Chaps, I was lucky enough to secure what looks like an ex Tim Gould race bike last week
I got some of its history from the vendor [a friend of the Gould family], but there are still lots of questions to answer, and I think a big part of this build is going to be sorting out its history.
Any way - here's some pics -- click to zoom:
The parts and serial number - 89511 - seem to back up the expert opinion on here, that it is a 1989 bike, probably raced during 1990. The frame and fork are fillet brazed Reynolds 753, and like the other team Peugeot frames of the era, were crafted by Chas Roberts: White Spiders.
This one's built with predominently XT components: biopace rings and Mavic M4 rims; a specialized bar, T bone-style stem and tioga pedals; Shimano 600 headset, and a San Marco saddle with Look badges in the signature brown leather of the day. Tyres are a fat Farmer John up front and a bony Wolber 'Integral' at the back [more of which later].
Before I make any big decisions on build, I need to sort out the timeline for this machine, and put it in context of Tim G's races. Firstly, I'm pretty sure it's not the 1990 Durango medal winner: from what I see on a grainy flick on youtube, that one had the blue team colours and a curved fork. So where does this fit in the race calendar?
Wu kindly got the ball rolling on the detective work with this:
What issue did this appear in Gus?
I've since spent a pleasurable few hours trawling this site and have come up with the following (thanks to the original posters for going to the trouble of scanning them):
Malverns 1990 - right fork, wrong colour:
1991, by when the team had gone over to Ritcheys:
But the closest is this, which I think is Peebles. I can't tell the riders apart, but the bike is a spit. Anyone know the year and month?
Having spent the day sneaking out to the shed to oggle details, a few intriguing things occur:
It's built for reliability: despite the 753 frame it weighs 28lb and the components err on the side of sturdy. This is obvious really when you think of stories of snapped kit losing races: there is a nice war story on VRC about a chap who aparently would have taken bronze at Durango in 1990 - his bike failed and a certain Tim Gould passed him on the trail and into history. Also look at the toe clips: double Christope frames neatly rivetted together for extra stiffness.
And did top riders really use biopace? How far was component choice limited by sponsorship deals? But the biggest surprise for me, is that there is hardly any tyre clearance at the back. At first I thought the Wolber skinny was a make-do added by one of the later owners; but you'd be hard pressed to get anything wider than a 1.7 in there.
So tell me, you racing gurus, did the early teams build a number of different bikes for the different disciplines, courses, and even conditions? Or did each rider plumb for his optimum set up?
Over the coming weeks, I'm going to need a fair bit of help sorting the build of this thing, and to kick off, I'd welcome any advice, recollections or pics that can shed light on the race scene in the late eighties and early nineties.
Top of the list is a race calendar for 1989 and 1990: I'm trying to pin down which races took place in which month of each year, and who came where [how I wish I'd kept those mags].