The (Current) Fleet

Somehow I have become a bike collector once again.  Several different times in my life I have purged the redundant machines accumulating in my garage only to have new redundancies appear a few years later.  I guess addiction to novelty is my underlying problem.

I currently have 6 bikes.  There isn’t actually all that much redundancy here, although there is a bit, yes.  I thought it might be cool to post some pics of each of them that haven’t made it onto this blog along with a preceding description of the bike’s raison d’etre.  (Did I spell that right?)   I am going to spend most of my time on the newest to me bike in the bunch (the Volare).

Here they are:

1983 Spectrum:  A racy(-ish), traditional road bike on skinny tires and no fenders for nice days and not-too-terribly-long rides when I want to go fast(-ish).  I ride my tubulars on this bike during much of the summer.  More limited gearing and stretched out position makes this bike not a particular favorite for long or steep climbs.  Aesthetically this bike hits all the right notes for me.

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SONY DSC
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77′-78′  Schwinn Volare:  My Eroica daydream bike with fenders, super low gearing, and overall condition that doesn’t demand being wiped with a diaper after every ride.  Think of it as my winter / rain bike.  For those times when I don’t want to get the Spectrum or Moulton dirty.  It’s a 1977 or 1978 model – not sure which, with Reynolds 531c tubing (good stuff!).  They were built by Panasonic for Schwinn, at a quality level matching the USA built Paramounts, so they are often referred to as the ‘Japanese Paramount’.

This is a good backdrop to indulge certain ‘retro’ proclivities I possess. I bought it as a frame only and the bike once had orange paint throughout (ok, not exactly – it had chromed / unpainted head tube lugs and fork crown, fork tips and rear stay ends). But apparently they chromed the whole bike and then just painted over top. Well, the bond between paint and chrome must have been poor (obviously).  Probably a surface prep problem because the chrome underneath is as glassy and smooth as chrome is actually meant to be (and unpainted).  You know, I thought about taking off the rest of the paint and just simply having a chromed bike (which would be lovely), but I am liking the ‘beausage’* look so I may just leave it like this indefinitely…

* = beauty through usage

Initial build kit included:
Rivendell ‘Silver’ branded (Tektro 539) Brakes and Grand Compe loopy cable brake levers
Nitto Dirt Drop stem and B132 Rando bars, 44cm width
Suntour Cyclone shifters and rear changer
Dura-Ace seatpost
V-O bottom bracket
Sugino crankset
Suntour Winner Pro 7 speed freewheel

Handling on this bike is great. Riding no hands is easy, and the steering is quite neutral. Turns when I want it to turn, goes straight when I want to go straight. But regrettably it has a speed wobble that randomly shows up (quite oddly) only at moderate speeds (15 to 20 mph range).

In other areas of the riding experience, the Volare is nicely flexy and rides light, and just comes to life underfoot, just like my dearly departed Vitus 979 from the days or yore. I would even dare say that it ‘planes’ in the Jan Heine sense of that word.  I think I may finally know what he is talking about.  I even double dare say it rides better (and is faster too) than the Spectrum and the Moulton.  What a bargain.  I only have about 400 bucks invested in this thing and it’s probably my nicest riding bike.

 Oh, as for the pedals, yes they are SPDs, and I do have a nice set of Campy record pedals (early 80’s vintage) with chromed steel toe clips and white leather campy toe straps in the parts bin, AND I have a pair of black cleated leather shoes in the closet, but I am not really tempted to use them.  I am not THAT retro, and  I think modern pedals and shoes are the bees knees and I wouldn’t go back except for some kind of special Eroica type event. I used to don toe clips and straps for occasional group rides back in my racing days (early 90’s) just to mess with people. But I don’t ride with anyone anymore who would actually be impressed by that  (do I?).
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A relatively recent shot.  I have swapped out the stem and have a better wb cage mount now.

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The bike doesn’t mind getting dirty. And more importantly, neither do I.

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As I bought it.  Photo taken by the seller.

2015 Moulton:  When I feel like being contrarian but not so contrarian that I hop on one of the recumbents.  It offers a pretty different ride feel from the Spectrum and Volare for obvious reasons.
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The Moulton climbs very well despite the weight penalty.  I am used to even heavier ‘bents though.

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Yeah, I ride it in the rain sometimes.

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Unterhausen takes a quick test ride.

1987 Bianchi:  Soon to become my beater bike for retro-styled mountain biking or gravel rides when I choose the upright format.  I got this bike in about 1992 or so.  Used it as a road touring bike and as a winter training bike for a lot of years.  I don’t ride this one much, but I can’t bear to part with it.
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This is a fun bike.

2008 Bacchetta Giro 26 Gravel ‘Bent:  For off-road / mixed surface recumbent riding.  For touring  (if I ever actually do that), or for dirty conditons / rain recumbent riding.  In the past I have raced, rando’ed and credit card toured on this thing.  It does it all.

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At Calvin’s Challenge.  Say Hi to Reddan in the background.

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Gravel roads, here we come.

 

2012 Metabike:  Dedicated purpose paved rando machine.  Makes the miles fly by.

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My main choice for rando.  By a lot.

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Pee break.

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Pre-Fleche porno session.

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About rothrockcyrcle

I am an endurance cyclist always looking for new ways to maximize fun and minimize BS.
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4 Responses to The (Current) Fleet

  1. Hello.
    Could you describe the differences between the Bacchetta and the Metabike, in terms of speed, comfort, handling, stiffness, climbing ability etc.
    Thanks!

  2. It’s not really fair to compare the two, as the particular Bacchetta I have is essentially a touring bike, whereas the Metabike is more geared towards high performance.

    • I see what you mean.

      I suppose I was most interested in the difference in stiffness between these two bikes, although I guess that could be hard to assess if the seats or seat pads are different.

      • The Metabike is lighter (being aluminum, not steel like the Giro) and handles better. The Meta’s frame is not significantly stiffer (as Bachettas are also very good in this regard) but the rear stays sure are. The meta does seem to climb better. The meta is more aero, probably owing to the higher BB (9″ above the seat compared to 7″ for the Giro), and lower seat height (compared to the ground). Both bikes have hardshell seats and Ventisit pads. The Meta transports more easily in the back of my car since it has a shorter wheelbase and tiller steering. I really only use the Giro for riding on gravel since I don’t want to mess up my nice bike.

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