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.
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
V-O bottom bracket
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.
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.
2012 Metabike: Dedicated purpose paved rando machine. Makes the miles fly by.