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Latest News & Articles

Privateer Issue 16 Out Now

July 19th, 2013

jbWhile Privateer was in California in April and May, exploring the state that gave us mountain biking and continues to lead the conversation, we spent a day at the NorCal High School MTB race at Boggs Mountain. Who should we find there working as the team wrench for the Drakes Pirates team? None other than Joe Breeze of Breezer Bikes and the MTB Hall of Fame. Here’s his take on why getting kids into mountain biking at a young age is so important.

Joe Breeze:

“I’ve been wrenching for the team since my son was a freshman, five years ago – he’s off to college this year. My wife and I have sponsored the team from the start with Breezer. For four years they were state champions.

“My dad was a machinist and a mechanic, so it was like father like son – I’d be working on my three speed from third grade. That was my job: ‘Take care of your bike, kid.’ I just got into it and one thing led to another.

“I’m sure some of these kids neglect their bikes because they know I’ll be wrenching at the race at the weekend. For my generation, it was more about us kids doing it; it wasn’t about parental involvement at all. We had to fend for ourselves – if we wanted to fix our bikes, then we had to fix them. (more…)

slotcar55′s 1963 Galmozzi original is rBoTM May 2013

July 15th, 2013

slotcar55's 1963 Galmozzi originalThe May 2013 road Bike of The Month contest was taken by slotcar55′s 1963 Galmozzi original. Second equal was taken by Flandria’s 1976 Flandria and Wallonie11′s 92 Merckx Corsa Extra.

The full result is as follows

1. slotcar55′s 1963 Galmozzi original
2. Flandria’s 1976 Flandria
3. Wallonie11′s 92 Merckx Corsa Extra

Double Dee’s 1980′s Vitus 979 is rBoTM June 2013

July 15th, 2013

Double Dee's 1980's Vitus 979The June 2013 road Bike of The Month contest was taken by Double Dee’s 1980′s Vitus 979. Second was taken by Montello’s – 1984 Pinarello Montello with Campagnolo 50th Group and third claimed by Scooter’s 1949 Rotrax La Premier Model.

The full result is as follows

1. Double Dee’s 1980′s Vitus 979
2. Montello’s 1984 Pinarello Montello with Campagnolo 50th Group
3. Scooter’s 1949 Rotrax La Premier Model

huelse’s 1988 Ibis Custom is Bike of The Month June 2013

July 10th, 2013

huelse’s 1988 Ibis Custom is Bike of The Month June 2013

huelse's 1988 Ibis CustomThe June 2013 Bike of The Month contest was taken by huelse’s 1988 Ibis Custom, from some very strong competition.

The full result is as follows
1. huelse’s 1988 Ibis Custom
2. Nader’s 1993 Yo Eddy Aquafade
3= SYN-CROSSIS’ 1993 Mountaingoat Whiskeytown Racer
3= Spwal’s 1994 Yeti ARC AS

Click here for more details and full results (more…)

Retrobike @Mountain Mayhem 2013

June 20th, 2013

retrobike mountain mayhemLast weekend saw the annual retrobike raid on Mountain Mayhem, the UKs largest 24 hour race. For 2013 Mountain Mayhem moved from the iconic Eastnor venue to pastures new at Gatcombe Park. Once again retrobike took what must surely have been the biggest group with at least 40 riders and numerous ‘supporters’, near enough all on retro machinery. Full retrobike mountain mayhem aftermath thread can be found here.
Thanks to ace snapper Gus Farmer for the image, check his thoughts and more images over on his wiggle blog.

London Klein Meet 23rd June

June 12th, 2013

What started out as one or two of us meeting up with our Dolomites, seems to have sparked enough interest to open the net wider to other Klein owners / riders.

This is the plan:

Anyone who owns or has access to a Klein

A ride of about 10-15 miles taking in Richmond Park, maybe Wimbledon Common and the Thames River path. Will include a few refreshment – NOS Polish stop offs, and a post ride beer or two.

Excuse to meet up and ride these bikes many are obsessed with. Seems to be plenty of us out there… (more…)

Campagnolo 80th Anniversary – Your Stories Wanted

June 5th, 2013

big_campagnolo-lemond-greg-02-tour-de-france-1990Cycling giants Campagnolo have recently celebrated their 80th anniversary with typical Italian flair and style. As part of the anniversary celebrations Campagnolo have setup the Campagnolo Virtual Museum. The virtual museum is well worth a look with numerous iconic images of riders, components and events from the past 80 years.
One of the most important parts of the virtual museum is the people section, which handily is where we come in. Campagnolo have asked we on retrobike get involved with their 80th Anniversary by sharing our Campagnolo experiences, stories and photos on the site where hopefully it will remain for digital posterity. To get involved go to the Campagnolo Virtual Museum here and start contributing.

Steve Peat’s 1993 Kona Hei Hei

June 4th, 2013

Steve Peat’s 1993 Kona Hei HeiSheffield born Steve Peat is without a doubt the UK’s most successful downhill racer. In the course of a career almost unmatched in length Peaty has taken numerous World Cup wins and British National Championships, along with the 2009 World Champs in Australia which is surely the highlight. At the start of Steve Peat’s career back in the early 90s he raced both Cross Country and Downhill when rider’s did that sort of thing for local shop Langsett Cycles. His success led to a ride with Kona and the 1993 UK Downhill Series aboard this rigid Kona Hei Hei which most ‘trail riders’ wouldn’t dare take round the red run at their local man made trail centre. The Kona features a front hope disc brake, Marzocchi forks, Ringle skewers, M900 groupset with Gripshift X-Rays and a massive USE seatpost.
The bike is featured in MBUK 291 along with Steve Peat’s 2013 Santa Cruz V10 Carbon. (more…)

Ridevintagemtb’s 1994 Kona Lava Dome is May 2013 ‘Kona vs GT vs Specialized Special’ BoTM

June 3rd, 2013

Ridevintagemtb's 1994 Kona Lava Dome The May 2013 ‘Kona vs GT vs Specialized Special’ Bike of The Month contest was taken by Ridevintagemtb’s (formerly ameybrook) 1994 Kona Lava Dome. Proof if needed that personality goes a long way, as might have been expected Kona topped this BoTM month poll.

The full result is as follows
1. Ridevintagemtb’s 1994 Kona Lava Dome
2. 24pouces’ 1993 Kona HeiHei
3. Rob Atkin’s 1994 Kona Kilauea

Click here for more details and full results (more…)

1994 Pinarello Espada and Big Mig

May 30th, 2013

MigThe early 90s were a halcyon time for road bike development. The steel era was (sadly) drawing to a close and the use of many materials now considered common place was being pioneered. This innovation was also unhindered by over zealous governing bodies. One bike which still stands out from this era is the Pinarello Espada, four of which were custom made from carbon fibre for one Mr Miguel Indurain, former Hour Record holder and five times Tour de France winner. The bikes were designed in association with F1 Engineer Ing Giacchi. This particular example was photographed at the recent Campagnolo 80th Anniversary event with it’s former rider.
Fausto Pinarello can complete the story
“There were only four of these bicycles made: two for the road and two for the track – just for Indurain. We developed this bike in 1994 when there weren’t the UCI rules on bicycle design and you were free to create truly special bicycles. We developed this bike in collaboration with Ing. Giacchi, an aerodynamics engineer who has worked extensively with Formula One racing. We realized that we couldn’t make a bicycle with this kind of shape in metal so we decided to use carbon fibre. The first version was made for track, for the world hour record and then we modified it for the derailleurs and internal cable guides. Of course, this bike was made to measure for Indurain, so the carbon fibre molds still exist. The cost of each frame mold was about $5,000, not counting manufacturing costs. Indurain did break the world hour record on the Espada, but he had never done it before.” (more…)

67 Framebuilding Steps with Paul Brodie

May 17th, 2013

Want to be able to build a frame like Paul Brodie? Follow this handout Paul has devised for his framebuilding 101 course and it’ll give you a start. Better still of course attend one of his courses :D


1. design frame
2. full scale drawing
3. select tubing
4. mark DT for butting (more…)

Keith Bontrager Experimental

May 15th, 2013

Keith BontragerThe words rare and unique are used all too freely in the world of retro – few bikes deserve to be described as such and this is truly one of them. This Bontrager Experimental was built around 1995 at Bontrager’s Santa Cruz frame shop and currently resides with a well regarded collector here in the UK.
This particular Bontrager Experimental and the other six or seven completed around the same time were built out of a debate as to which frame material was best. Keith Bontrager’s take was that no material could be said to be best and each should be used in a frame to optimize it’s properties. This frame consists of
*Large diameter Aluminium main triangle = Lightest and Stiffest.
*Steel chainstays and dropouts = small diameter tubing so the tyre chainstays and chainrings have good clearance and the most durable dropouts.
*Carbon Seatstays = The lightest and stiffest for brake mount stability (flexi stays make the rear brake feel Mushy)

PoTM February 2013 is hollister’s ‘Recoil’

May 15th, 2013

The February 2013 Photo of The Month #PoTM contest was won by hollister’s ‘Recoil’.

Click here to see hollister’s shot in all it’s glory (more…)

PoTM January 2013 is yo-Nate-y’s ‘New Beginnings’

May 13th, 2013

The January 2013 Photo of The Month #PoTM contest was won by yo-Nate-y’s ‘New Beginnings’.

Click here to see yo-Nate-y’s shot in all it’s glory (more…)

Raleigh Mustang to Maverick – FoD Scrapyard Challenge Ride

May 13th, 2013

Raleigh MustangMustang. Maverick. Cobra. All names from history of the UK MTB scene which stir the hearts of the true connoisseur. Yes, they were built from hi-tensile steel. Yes, they were better suited to the paper round than genuine off road. But still these early Raleigh’s and their ilk hold fond memories for many retrobikers of a certain age. The Retrobike West Midlands crew decided to celebrate these 35lbs plus behemoths with their Scrapyard challenge ride. Several brave riders toughed out the rain in the Forest of Dean with their side pull calipers and five speed friction shift gears to take on the first scrapyard challenge, check the full aftermath here.

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