Hello all just a quick intro.
My name is Oliver, joined up on an off chance really, I'd posted a wanted ad on another site for some Shim 105 components and got pointed towards here, it appears straight away I've found what I wanted!
A bit about me, well I started like most people as a child, went through a few rubbish bikes as a child, but 2 stick in my mind really well an SCI Scorpion BMX with a double top tube (would kill for one of these frames to build up for old times sake) and a Raleigh Pro race I got when I was about 15.
I did thousands of miles on that pro race, wore out a couple of chains (when I say wore out I mean stretched to the point they actually broke) yet still that bike soldiered on on the original worn crankset and rear block. Wore out the standard fit shimano rear mech, the front mech also died, but it was still running it's original brake blocks (now seriously worn and barely functional) and original black wheels so badly worn and out of shape it was eventually like a clown car!
I used to ride that back to school 16 miles each way, I did the birthday rides on it and surprisingly it didn't let me down much at all, I got a few punctures no surprise as it was run on cheap and nasty tyres and tubes really! I stupidly decided after years of storage to respray the bike and sticker it up as a colnago, it looked good but was never the same to me, so it ended up being sold on. I then went on to build from bare frames a cracking hardtail mountain bike which I hated, a Pinarello Sestriere which I needed to repair the frame on due to a cracked rear stay which I then fitted with campag 10 speed components. An Olmo Giro, Ciocc, Vitus 979 and minty peugeot pure gold all followed. Mostly (bar the 979 and peugeot) bought as bare frames then built with a variety of modern or retro components depending on the frame.
In among all this Sarah my other half wanted to get in to road bikes after I explained how much nicer to ride on the road a good road bike was compared to a full suspension mtb so we did the usual look around at halfords and the like and confirmed that to get anything usable would be around £500 so I said we need to look at used and probably restore it if needed. So we find a very tired looking Dawes up in N.Yorks, go and fetch it for £40. Strip it back, clean up all the components (all of which were saved except the brake levers the hoods of which had gone gummy) and stripped and painted the frame in her choice of colours, new decal set and reassemble and the bike looks fantastic.
Somehow none of the bikes I'd built for me managed to do what I wanted, I eventually realised after buying a disastrous Zeus Orbea with a cracked frame that what I wanted was my old pro race back, it may have had cheap and nasty components and been made of basic 501 but the angles were lovely and it was a pleasure to ride, in short heart was ruling head, I'm not a serious biker any more (too fat for a start) I just wanted something that gave me pleasure on and off the bike.
So I watched ebay as pro race after pro race went through, some absolute dogs some nice bikes, most of them missing their original components as they wore out, all of them going for a lot of money (more than I thought they were worth, most going towards £200, a lot of money for a basic old Raleigh) obviously a lot of other people were fancying reliving their youth too!
Then up pops a bike, local, described as very little use, rubbish picture but it looks tidy. Starting bid of £90. I take a chance and win it. When I get there I can't get over the condition, turns out a lady bought it and hated it so put it away after one ride down the street and back, it had covered around 200 yards. Original tyres still with bobbles, totally original in every way even down to the yellow zip ties round the hubs. I got on and rode it and it was like going back in time. I had my bike back.
The only downside is it's such a timewarp bike I've got to take some components off it (such as tyres and wheels) as they can't be replaced in this condition to be able to ride and enjoy it.
So then on my birthday we were walking through York and went in to a little bike shop, hanging up on the wall is a Blue/Silver Olmo frame. Some tooing and froing later we were walking back to the car wondering if a frame would fit in an MX5 boot.....It does for reference!
So I've been hunting a groupset for the bike, I had the remnants from the crap zeus which were a bastardised mix of Campag ergo 8 speed shifters, campag front mech, shim 105 rear mech, stronglight cranks, massively stretched chain and a set of cheap wheels (which will probably end up on the prorace as wheels to use) with a screw on rear block. Needless to say it wasn't the sweetest riding bike when it was working! But it also had campag brakes. So with most of a campag groupset I set to to find the missing bits but couldn't find any at a reasonable price so instead went for a set of period correct Shim 105, brakes and levers (levers need new black hoods), shifters, front/rear mechs, crankset, hubs in nice rims. So all together should be able to make a nice bike up here.
If I sound like a mechanic it's probably because I am, I run a small business restoring classic cars, I work on the bikes for fun, I'd do it full time if I could see a living there but you don't find many rich bike shop owners out there, but it does give me the tools and knowledge to be able to any job on a bike (still got to learn how to lace wheels up) including frame repairs and spraying which is handy.
I'll post some pics of the bikes up at some point, while fairly humble bikes the Raleigh and Dawes are gorgeous to look at.