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Latest News & Articles

Buying a retro mountain bike

October 29th, 2013

Why a retrobike?ameybrook's 1991 Yeti Cycles Ultimate

The coolest people of every generation have an icon. During the 1960s, among the rock n’ roll set on Chelsea’s Kings Road, it was the Jaguar E-Type. In the 2010s, the trendsetters are the 20-something media types of Shoreditch. They wear skinny jeans that stop above the ankle, and the coolest have meticulously manicured moustaches. Their preferred mode of transportation is a retrobike, specifically a fixed-wheel road bike from the 1970s or 80s, such as a Colnago or a Mercian. Less cool, but still way ahead of most of the population, is a slightly older male – mid 30s to mid 40s – typically a graphic designer with a penchant for classic trainers and vintage mountain bikes. On dry spring and summer days, they can be spotted cycling to work at a design studio in Islington on classic mountain bikes from the late 1980s and early 1990s. Some are on top-of-the-range dream bikes like the Klein Attitude, Fat Chance Yo Eddy, and the Yeti FRO, while others ride models like the Muddy Fox Courier, or an early Marin, which – to retrobikers – are just as cool from a design point of view. The main reason for this is that the century-old classic bicycle design reached a peak around this time, before technology such as suspension and hydraulic brakes changed the game. In essence, a retrobike, from entry-level to top end, is a celebration of classic bike design. (more…)

L’Eroica 2013 – Three Times A Lady?

October 23rd, 2013

L'EroicaSo, here we go again, another lame Edwards tale that will follow the usual format. I’d echo Micheal Gove with his “yadda, yadda, yadda” from Newsnight (I can’t believe I’ve just repped Gove) but I know that more is expected, desired even. They say never change a winning formula but when your formula ain’t winning you sure as hell make changes. So, if you’re after the usual hackneyed recounting of lack of physical and mechanical preparation, unfortunate bowel evacuation, shoehorned popular culture and your modest scribe bravely saving the day via scarcely creditable heroics then you will be disappointed. But somehow I doubt it.

I’ve ridden l’eroica twice before, taking on the full 205km L’Erocia in 2010 and then the more modest 135km L’Erocia in 2012 to take full advantage of a beer in the sunny square in Gaoile in Chianti while the dust was still fresh on my legs. Despite being enjoyable, neither visit was completely satisfying due to some elementary errors – finishing downhill on the Strade Bianche in the dark with no lights or brakes in 2010, turning up with 42×23 in 2012. Einstein defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” and I wasn’t for arguing with Bertie Boy (well, I have some quibbles with the E = mc² lark – no, not the risible Big Audio Dynamite clunker – although I’d obviously agree that with mass being equivalent to or converted to energy, at relativistic speeds particles become harder to accelerate because as you inject more energy their mass appears to increase if only because it explains, succinctly, the additional challenge faced by a big boned rider). But, crucially, would it be third time lucky or once, twice, three times a lady?

It’s pretty obvious that the physical preparation wasn’t going to all it should be. And it wasn’t. But my mechanical skills were much improved and with a week before departure I had a fully working bike (ok, ok, I hadn’t actually confirmed that it worked by riding it). I was particularly impressed by my ingenuity in getting the Super Record rear mech to work with the 28t Shimano freewheel – at first the upper cage and the freewheel interfered with each other but with the use of half a cable end cap I fabricated a solution that was as effective as it was inelegant. Naturally I left packing the bike away until 5 hours before we had to leave for the airport. Which considering that we had to leave the house at 3.30 a.m. was someway short of the exacting standards of preparation that I pride myself on. (more…)

Hans Rey 20 Questions

October 17th, 2013

Hans Rey Retro BikeHans Jörg Rey aka Hans “No Way” Rey will need no introduction to anyone who has ridden a Mountain Bike in the past twenty five years. The GT Bicycles veteran has multiple World and National championships under his belt but it his consistently high media profile many will know him for best. Images of Hans’ spectacular mountain bike trials shows and adventures are amongst the most iconic in the sport and have graced numerous magazine covers and posters. Hans kindly took the time to answer 20 questions for us…

1) Retrobike: How’s life in 2012?
Hans Rey: Life is good in 2013!!! I’m still living the dream, I’m as busy as ever riding bikes and having fun. I would have never dreamt that I would have such long and good career. I try to stay relevant to the times and my age, inspire people to ride or live their own dreams all along while making sure the sponsors get what they are looking for. I’ve done some great trips to Haiti (MTB Ayiti Event), Kenya & Uganda, Southern French Alps with Dan Atherton and the Lofoten Islands above the Arctic Circle in Norway.


PotM for September goes to Ductape’s Fire!

October 14th, 2013

Ductape_zpsc33054deDuctape wins the September Photo of the Month with his picture Fire!

Orange Mountain Bikes Factory Tour

October 10th, 2013

Orange Bikes Factory TourEngland has a historical north-south divide. But not these days surely? Not in the age of homogenised pursuits like Saturday shopping, the cinema the night before and the pub the morning after? Must be just the same up there as we are down here, must be.

No. They are not. They are hard. Maybe it’s the relentless economic climate that nurtures the south and freezes out the north. Being overlooked and neglected has made them tough. And they laugh about it. Pride themselves on it. Shandy drinking soft southerners. Being British has always been built on an element of banter within, but there is truth in the soft south, hard north divide. Maybe it’s as simple as the bleak weather. Maybe it’s deeper. Whatever it is, I am most definitely a southerner, kind of soft and am driving north into the rain and cold to see a little handmade British global success story. (more…)

Win Exposure Sirius light with bikedeals!

October 9th, 2013

bikedeals exposre sirius front lightbikedeals is a new website that has been launched to save cyclists time and money by presenting the best deals currently on the market all in one place.

To celebrate the site’s launch bikedeals are giving away an exposure sirius light! All you have to do to win this fine prize is register on the site (which is easy) and post on the competition thread, full details here. presents the best deals currently on the market all in one place. The bikedeals community analyse the UK bike retailers (e.g. Wiggle, CRC, Evans Cycles) looking for the biggest and best deals and then share them on daily. We use our extensive experience and respond to the market and current trends to present the best deals. We’re unbiased in the deals that we feature and many of the products we present are tried and tested by the community.

Bikedeals also collates cycling vouchers and discount codes for money off on all the main biking sites. These vouchers are usually only valid for a few days but are worth keeping an eye on for the keen bargain hunter; examples include 15% off all clothing at Evans Cycles, 15% off everything at ProBikeKit.

Sebastian’s 1991 MERLIN Titanium is Bike of The Month September 2013

October 8th, 2013

Sebastian's 1991 MERLIN TitaniumThe September 2013 Bike of The Month contest was taken by Sebastian’s 1991 MERLIN Titanium, from some really top rides, very little to chose between the top three on quality or votes.

The full result is as follows
1. Sebastian’s 1991 MERLIN Titanium
2. hollisters 1990 tropical jellybean salsa ala carte

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

Retro and Vintage at the Cycleshow 2013

September 27th, 2013

Retrobike was lucky enough to attend the 2013 Cycleshow at the NEC on the Thursday Press / Trade day. Having not been to a mainstream bike show for a few years (not since the defunct ‘Bike Show’) it was good to see such a large show with a diverse number of exhibitors – it would certainly seem that cycling is indeed in the ascendancy. Our overall highlights of the show were as follows

*Seeing Daley Thompson (legend!)
*Plenty of manufacturers turning out high end steel race frames. Not because it’s niche but because it’s a fine material for the job.
*Depth and breadth of stands, everything from the big corporate displays from the usual suspects down to much smaller companies with some interesting products.
*The proliferation of utility bikes, commuting bikes and e-bikes. Are we on the verge of a paradigm shift here in the UK?
*The real high end stuff. The game keeps moving on, some of the £10k+ Pinarellos and their ilk with electronic gearing were things of functional beauty.

Of course being firmly rooted in the past here at retrobike we cast our beady eyes over the stands and exhibitors with items of interest to the retro aficionado. There was plenty there to interest the cyclist who can recall the last time a steel frame won a major bike race, however don’t come here expecting fancy lugwork and beards. Our highlights were as follows (more…)

Sebastian’s 1995 GLEISS MTB Monobox is Bike of The Month August 2013

September 11th, 2013

Sebastian's 1995 GLEISS MTB MonoboxThe August 2013 Bike of The Month contest was taken by Sebastian’s 1995 GLEISS MTB Monobox, from some very strong competition.

The full result is as follows
1. Sebastian’s 1995 GLEISS MTB Monobox
2. Rumpfy’s 1990 Bontrager OR
3. Dossa’s 1990 Ridgeback 704XT

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

BoTM July 2013 ‘Muddy Fox vs Orange vs Saracen Special’ is nevadasmith’s 1989 Orange Formula

August 21st, 2013

nevadasmith's 1989 Orange Formula The July 2013 ‘Muddy Fox vs Orange vs Saracen Special’ Bike of The Month contest was taken by nevadasmith’s 1989 Orange Formula.

The full result is as follows

1. nevadasmith’s 1989 Orange Formula
2. Rodrigues’ 1989 Saracen Kili Flyer Comp
3= Gravy Monster’s 1989 Saracen Trekker Competition UU
3= The History Man’s 1997 Muddy Fox Rock N Roll TEAM

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

Win original mint sauce artwork with MBUK

July 29th, 2013

229feb05leaveusTo celebrate 25 years of the magazine MBUK are running a contest to win original mint sauce artwork!

Calling all Mint Sauce fans! This is a rare opportunity to own a piece of original Mint Sauce artwork, hand-drawn and painted by Mint creator Jo Burt.

He created this extra special double-page edition of Mint Sauce to celebrate MBUK’s 25th Anniversary issue, and you can see how he did that in our Making of Mint Sauce video here.

Click here to enter. Don’t forget to check out the retrobike mint sauce archive.

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…)

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