1990 Lavoie Titanium made by Maurice Lavoie

markjohnson76

Retro Guru
So confession time, I often lurk on here to absorb knowledge about bikes I'm building and don't contribute much. Most of my posts are image led and without my desktop computer and photoshop I can't share photos on this site. Adding photos here is a pain and they're so small that you can't see much detail. So I use Facebook and instagram ( ukretromtb ).

However this time I've found a couple of early and rare bikes that I'd love to learn more about. The other bike is a 1989 Roberts Phantom that cost £40.... The Retrobike site is awesome and I'm so grateful that this site exists. I think the wisest MTB minds exist here so I thought I'd engage with a couple of posts. Apologies for only being a consumer recently!

First bike is as per title. It's a 1990 (I believe) Lavoie Titanium. A bit of back story;

I bought an Orange C16r off of ebay and collected it from Orpington, just down the road from me in South London. The C16r was owned by a lovely lady called Val, she wasn't in when I collected it so her husband Dave led me to the shed to dig it out. While I was there I saw another bike attached to one of those roller, training wheel things in the corner. I asked if I could have a look at it and he dug it out. Straight away I could tell it was pretty special though there were no decals on it. The synchros, cooks Bros, XT and Pace set alarm bells ringing. He then told me it was Titanium..... He said he thought it was called a 'lavay' or something. He'd bought it second hand in 1993 from a bike shop in Bromley off of the shop owner as it was his personal bike. He'd used it a bit and the last few years it had been attached to the roller so he could watch tv in the shed when peddling away. Then he stopped doing that so it just sat there. He didn't really want to sell it and I couldn't justify the cost and space for yet another bike ( I was up to 26 bikes at this point and didn't even need the C16r but it was £40 and local, you know the story). After a bit of back and forth we agreed on £175 for it. Now I normally buy dusty bikes from the back of sheds for restoration and hardly ever pay more that £50 for them (including the two Roberts I have). So £175 was a push for me but it seemed worth it. I said I'd come back the next morning to pick it up.

I spent that night researching Lavoie. The residue of the decal was still there so I had the spelling. After researching in to the night on this site and others I started to get excited. It seemed I had a really rare bike on my hands. I'll be honest, it sounds sad but I couldn't sleep much as I was looking forward to getting it so much. I love the thrill of collecting an old bike that's sat unused for years and you don't know what condition it's really like till you get there. So next morning I text to say I'm about to leave only to be told Dave had changed his mind and wanted to keep it. Fair play to Dave, he was really attached to it and hoped he'd still use it some day.

So every month or so over the last year I'd send Val a text with un update of the build of her C16r, and also to ask if Dave wanted to sell. On Thursday night last week I got a text from Val saying Dave was ready to part with it, they had a new puppy and needed cash to buy stuff for it. On friday morning I was at their house with cash! It was great chatting to Val and Dave, they were such a lovely couple and were so glad the bike was going to someone who would appreciate it.

I had to dump the bike at my studio in London and dash off to dorset for the weekend so I hardly had time to look at it. But here it is! It need stripping down and rebuilding but it's pretty decent. I'm adding a flite saddle and taking off the bar ends. I'll probably swap the chainrings for black. I might put rigid forks on it. I'll prob put repro Smokes on too.

So far I've tracked down the new owner/tennant of Maurice Lavoies workshop in Pemberton, Canada. Unbelievably he has a stack of the original decals that he found in a drawer and he's promised to send me some. I've found the guy who owned the bike from new In Bromley, a really nice bloke called Mark Pearce who used to run Cycleland in Bromley. He still lives that way so I might pay him a visit.

If anyone has any more info on Lavoie titanium bikes or the man himself I'd love to know. I know he worked out of Pemberton and Whistler in B.C, Canada. And that he made the first Xizang frames (which also have the same TTN serial numbers as this one I think). I know there was an MBUK article from 1990 where a Lavoie frame was used to outgun a road bike. Any more info would be greatly appreciated. Photos especially!

Anyway, if you've read all of this then thanks! I hope it's not too boring and makes sense, I get a bit carried away trying to find out the history of these bikes.

Thanks,

Mark
 

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markjohnson76

Retro Guru
The MBUK article
 

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markjohnson76

Retro Guru
Hi Scant,

It's actually he sister bike from the one in the article. It's a bigger size judging by the head tube. Mark pearce imported this bike and the one in the article together. He kept this one for himself. it will be the same apart from size though. He thinks Lavoie only made a handful of them.
 

sinnerman

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Re:

:shock:

I dont know what im more amazed at....the fact you found a Lavoie, or the price you paid for it...

Man the whole story is cool, and it has to be the score of the decade.

:cool:
 

elite504

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Re:

Absolutely score of the century!
IIRC the 1990 mag had the cover article title "roadie chasing". Either the one with Tomac in DH mode on the front, or the one with the yellow spine and a head to head test of an RC100 and a Fat Chance Wicked lite. Awesome stuff. And both probably magazines that got a lot of people here into lusting after MTBs.

Mark Pearce still runs the Bromley Bike co, that rose from the ashes of Cycleland. I indeed toyed over buying that machine in about 1992 but whichever way I cut it, it was just too big.
Mr Lavoe IIRC now makes harmonicas or Jews harps (in Ti of course), or something along those lines.

If ever a bike needed taking back to magazine spec, i's that one. Even to the point of Looks, an aero bar and slicks. That article is and was and still is iconic.
Powerlites are a must. I surely don't even have to write that I'm sure.
And the red goes ;-)
 

sinnerman

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It isnt the bike running slicks with the areo bars, not that it matters, its cool full stop.
 
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