Do I really need to say anything here? Thanks for this Merckx Mondays inspiration, Shifter Bikes!
For Lemond fans, few models hold the same cult-classic appeal like the 1990 Team Z TVT Carbone race bikes. Made in France by TVT these aluminum and carbon machines were made famous by their bright fluorescent paint jobs, Team Z insignia and Scott racing cockpit. Yes, these bikes are legendary. There are even Lemond fansites walking collectors through the process of building up this very bike.
Dan at Shifter Bikes took on this project for a customer, who sourced Campagnolo C-Record, the Scott bars, NOS hubs and hoops, allowing dan to assemble this bike over a two-year timeline. As you can imagine, projects like this are not cheap and are labor-intensive but like all good projects, they’re worth the wait.
The finished project is road-worthy, with latex filled tubies, allowing for peace of mind on a Sunday spin.
It’s been over years since I’ve been to Australia, so I made a point to connect with a few of my mates in Melbourne while en route to Tasmania. One of which being Dan Hale at Shifter Bikes, a bicycle studio in South Yarra. Two years ago I shot some photos of a rare gold plated Eddy Merckx Professional at Shifter Bikes and on this recent trip, I got to document the bike, built from the ground up with a Campagnolo 50th group.
While most bikes of this rarity would end up on the wall, the owner of this Merckx enjoys riding it , hence the modern pedals and non-period correct seat post. I suppose when you come across a frame like this, you’ve gotta do what you can to make it road-worthy (just ignore the front tire) and the result is a bike with a patina that comes from years of continued use.
This is the fifth layout of the Radavist 2016 Calendar, entitled “Hard Work.” This one’s from the archives and was shot on my Leica M7 with a 50mm Summicron.
Spring is here and it’s one of the busiest times of year for local bike shops. Everyone wants a tune-up, or a new bike, or even a set of new wheels. If you’re going for the latter, make sure you chose local, hand-built wheels and if you’re in Melbourne, Australia, go by and give Dan at Shifter Bikes a high five for me.
NEW: There’s also a mobile image uploaded for anyone wanting a mobile phone background each month. Click here to download May’s Mobile Wallpaper.
For a high-res JPG, suitable for print and desktop wallpaper*, right click and save link as – The Radavist 2016 Calendar – May. Please, this photo is for personal use only!
(*set background to white and center for optimal coverage)
Photos by Andy White
Melbourne is a special place for me, with its unique riding and exceptional local cyclists. Recently, the Vanilla Workshop and Speedvagen took to the road, er air, to hop Down Under for an Australian Fit Tour in Sydney and Melbourne. Behind the lens in the latter was Andy White from FYXO who captured some great moments from Sacha and company’s time at Shifter Bikes and on the streets.
See more at FYXO!
Hey Aussies! Get ready, the 2015 Speedvagen Australia Fit Tour is heading your way!
“Sacha White and The Vanilla Workshop are preparing to take off on the second leg of the Speedvagen Fit Tour. This trip takes Speedvagen to Australia, specifically Sydney and Melbourne. In addition to fitting new Speedvagen customers, there will be rides in each city as well as evening events open to the public. Fresh off the success of the California Fit Tour, extending the program is a natural progression, reaching customers that would normally not make it to Portland for a personal fitting with Sacha.
There are limited spots available, as each fit takes 2-3 hours. Spending this much time working with each customer allows Sacha to understand each rider’s unique strengths, needs, and limitations. The end result is your dream bike, completely tuned to your riding style. Learn more about the Australia Fit Tour or schedule a fit session with Sacha here.”
I keep going through my hard drive and finding little gems like this. If you’ve ever seen the old Eddy Merckx Professional catalog photos, then you’ve seen this frame before. These gold-plated Merckx frames are extremely rare. So rare that this is the only one I’ve seen and it was sitting on the counter at Shifter Bikes when I visited Dan last month.
The original finish is still intact, save for where the precious owner’s sweat caused the plating to chip off. This patina tells a story and I can only hope that it’ll never have a respray.
Check out a few more photos below.
Photo by Andy White
This is by far, my most favorite FYXO photo ever and this is one of Andy’s greatest long tales:
“Many have tried to replicate this ride, some with success, some with failure, none without awe of the surrounds of this part of the world and the challenges it presents when it’s just you and your bike.
I look back and think ‘did I really do that?’. Particularly day one’s 200km+ on dirt, sand, rock on a singlespeed CX one gear without an iPhone – yes, this post is that old.
These posts have inspired many to get out on there bikes and push limits and find new roads, surely helped popularise ‘gravel grinding’, yondering and whatever the hashtag of the moment is, but in truth it’s just #ridingabikewithmates.
The words of this story remain unchanged, though I’ve stitched the three day / three post report from 2009 into one. Lily Allen still puts me right back in the Eildon pub every time I hear it.”
If you could hear and smell this post, it would be the complete experience. Instead, you have to rely on words and photos. See more at FYXO.
When I’m in Melbourne, I usually set up my desk at Shifter Bikes and it’s not just because I enjoy shooting all of the Beautiful Bicycles that come through the door. I really enjoy Dan’s company and being able to rant with someone about life’s little difficulties… Blah blah blah bicycles.
With the Melbourne Cup coming this weekend he’s closing shop, so today will be the last day I’ll be there working. If you’re out and about, or you’ve got a bike to share, swing by!
The owner of this Gangsta track has been hanging around Shifter Bikes since he was in his early teens. Now, years later and he’s got an itch to ride his bike out from the city on a big, weekend ride. Before he could do so, he needed Dan to add bottle braze ons to the frame.
Now, the technique Dan used didn’t involve a torch, but it did involve a drill and a device called a Nutsert. More on that later. For now, let’s check out this rad Gangsta Track!
I swear, when I’m in Melbourne, it’s like classic steel roadie overload. Normally, I’m content with my modern steel but after a day at Shifter Bikes, I’m ready to start piecing together an Italian race machine. Dan has so many amazing builds coming out of his shop at the moment, but my favorite is this Colnago Decor with Campagnolo Record. Why? See for yourself in the Gallery!
I can really appreciate builds like this: vintage steel with a mix of modern componentry, especially when you add a tubeset like Columbus MS into the equation. This bike rolled into Shifter Bikes while I was in Melbourne and it was one of those bikes that didn’t like to sit still. It kept wanting to roll. Was it the legacy of Greg Lemond that was trying to establish a forward momentum? Who knows… but the Campagnolo Centaur 10, Zipp wheels, Thomson cockpit and Rolls saddle probably have something to do with it.
It’s hard to be around Shifter Bikes and not want to document what Dan does each day. Over the years, he’s become not only a mechanic for many of his customers, but a consultant. There’s only one way to gain knowledge and that’s through experience, something few people have the time for. While many people have naive opinions, Dan has callouses…
Tools of the trade:
Leica Summicron f2 50mm / Zeiss f2.8 28mm
Fuji Neopan 400
Commuting, for most anyway, can be a fairly boring and mundane experience, even on a bike. But for those who grew old in the wood, taking the “long way” into work as important as a cup of coffee. My Melbourne mornings usually began slightly hungover, no coffee or breakfast (sorry, brekkie) and immediately hopping onto the bike to ride into the city with Dan from Shifter Bikes. We’d always end up in the same place, but we never took the same route. The Yarra Trails quickly became my new favorite locale in Melbourne.
Check out more narrated photos in the Gallery!
Tools of the trade:
Fuji Neopan 400
When I’m in Melbourne, it’s always a pleasure to meet new people and see some incredible bikes. This go round, I walked almost everywhere with my Mamiya, shooting portraits and other bits of randomness. I finally got all my negatives scanned and they came out great. So let’s waste away the lazy Thursday afternoon with a full-loaded Gallery… Also, a lot of these are sitting in print form at Shifter Bikes, so if you’re in there, swing through a pick up your print.
Check out some narrated photos in the Gallery!
I don’t think I’ve shot a better photo of Dan from Shifter Bikes before. Out of all my Mamiya 7ii photos from Australia, this might just be my favorite. There’s a full set coming soon, once I finish scanning…
Regular scanning will commence today. I’m trying to wrap my head around jetlag and emails.
Malachi’s Northside Wheelers porteur is one of the best examples of how you don’t need to spend a lot of money to have a classy ride, just a little creativity and insight. It doesn’t hurt to have Danny Hale of Shifter Bikes on your side though…
This bike is very similar to Dan’s own singlespeed porteur (which was stolen last year). It’s a Taiwanese frame, painted matte black but has some sneaky detailing. A coaster brake keeps the bike’s silhouette clean, while a Shimano Nexus 3-speed hub aids in scaling Melbourne’s hills.
How the bike shifts is one of the most clever details: a Campagnolo downtube shifter is mounted to the seat stay, allowing Mal to “suicide shift” this sleek beauty. Other details include a Northside Wheelers saddle, crafted by Mick Peel of Busyman, pinstriping on the hub / rims, pink nipples, Campagnolo Strada cranks and custom painted fenders. It’s a sleeper! See for yourself in the Gallery.
Well, we’re all back from Shifter Dan’s 40th Birthday Bush Bash. After two days, 180 miles and over 31′,000 of climbing, we’re all a little sore. That said, if there was an HC for stokedness, we’d all be there. More to come, but for now, here’s Dan finding his inner spirit animal while climbing into the birthplace of the Necronomicog.