What can you get for a fiver these days? A whole shitty pizza, a slice of good pizza, a fancy foamy coffee, or a classic steel road bike. Sure, you have to be pretty lucky to get a road bike (or a coffee) for that, but when you have friends who collect and recycle roadside garbage for a living, sometimes a gem will present itself. My father’s mate back in Aussie came across this MBK Super Record and a Ken Evans frame in a footpath pile a couple of years ago, and at ten bucks for both we weren’t going to say no.
Ok, I’d be lying if I said the whole bike was as is; the wheelset was from another find and I think might have been freebies. But the lugged Columbus Cromor frame resplendent in tequila sunrise fade and full Campagnolo groupset, plus bars, stem and seatpost were all there. I’d given my dad the brief to grab anything Campagnolo at every opportunity, and the Vento wheels had popped up somewhere and complemented this bike perfectly.
A sleek Campa aero seatpost looks the business, but is just a tad short for me to get the perfect saddle height, having been chopped by the previous owner or someone down the line… who knows what this bike’s history is. The saddle will be replaced by a Flite when I dig it out.
Possibly original brake pads, they certainly don’t do much in the way of decreasing velocity but the calipers are things of beauty.
White hoods are so Merckx, and in remarkable condition. Some fresh fizik bar tape was wrapped but probably will be white in future.
Cinelli Giro d’Italia bars and I think it’s a Cinelli stem.
Genuine Campa headset with typically gnarled lock nut. Threadless headsets are no doubt the way to go for ease of use, but will never match this for awesomeness.
8 speed is all you need. If only… the small block cassette won’t get you up many hills unless you’re some sort of Belgian berg-monster. Some new cables are in order and probably a chain when I get around to it.
Belgian Compact. 53/39. I swapped out the 42t inner ring for a 39t that my friend Bel was going to make a clock out of, saving some knee trauma for the weeks I rode the bike back in Aus. It’s now residing here and will definitely see some action (not with those pedals though).
Old school bar shapes don’t play well with modern hood positioning preferences, and I’m no de Vlaeminck so they don’t look perfect but the bike is for riding as well as ogling.
There’s just something romantic about reaching for the downtube shifters and caressing a shift without electronics or even indexing.
Conti Ultra 2000 rubber in 23c is as scary and as harsh as it looks. The deep section Ventos don’t help much on the dampening and braking tasks either, but boy are they gorgeous.