Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Tarini Track Bike

 Tarini is not a name in cycling (in NZ)
that would usually get any enthusiast or
collector too worked up, they are known for their 
range of pretty mundane late 1980'early 90's 
entry level road bikes, I know I haven't
ever aspired to have one in my collection...
..until I saw this frame for sale recently.
it was being advertised along with another three track bikes, 
 which had gathered a lot of interest, but I kept going
back to the unlovedTarini frame, here is the original photo
 from the listing.
There was something very serious about this bike.

Anyway I got it real cheap, as I said Tarini just don't 
get the local bike guys going.
It duly arrived, and straight away I knew I had made
the right decision, although sparse in detail, it was 
very nicely built and once stripped, cleaned and 
reassembled, and set up.. looked like it meant business.
Nice clean Tange fork crown detail. 

So cut to a few days later, I am at my local bike shop
The Hub, and mention the Tarini to the owner Rob, who tells
me you could order a custom built Tarini back in the day, and
in fact he had had one built for his son's first road bike.
 Tange 2 tube set, about the same gauge as Columbus SL
 Pretty tight clearance.

But here is where the story gets real interesting, it also
turns out that the main frame builder at Tarini was 
none other than Mark Mcclean, the same Mcclean
who built one of my favorite NZ race bikes..
So now I am doubly pleased I took the punt on
this Tarini, and also put another piece of the
NZ frame building history jigsaw together. 

Strangely enough I brought this pretty ugly jersey
a couple of years back, I didn't really want to, but thought
at the time that maybe it would have some sort of 
NZ cycling historical significance in the future...turns out it has.


Sunday, June 3, 2018

A Ephgrave and a Carlton refinished

As usual I haven't been keeping a very good
record of all the frame sets i refinish and
bikes I restore...but here are a couple I  have 
just finished.

First up is a absolutely beautiful Ephgrave No 1.
I have worked on and/restored a LOT of vintage
racing frames and bikes over the years, so I will say that
without doubt this Ephgrave frame set is one of the 
best finished and most beautiful frames I have 
had the pleasure to work on.

Here are some photos of the frame set after 
hand stripping.
You can plainly see the immaculate brazing and 
finishing, you can see a lot of love 
has gone into the building this frame.

I really wanted to pay a personal homage to Les Ephgrave 
when refinishing this frame set, I wanted to give it a paint
job that I thought Les would have been happy to see.
I mixed all the colours myself, and have to say
I am quite pleased with the result, the gold lining gives
it all a subtle finish and tied the colours together nicely.
As you might have noticed the Ephgrave head decal
was a bit to big for the spear point lugs, 
so I cut it down a touch, which was pretty common 
practice on frames with these type of lugs.

 I thought the contrasting brake bridge was a pretty 
nice little touch.

There was not one part of this bike I didn't like, 
it was perfect from one  end to the other, 
unfortunately it was to small for me, 
so it has now gone to a new owner in Japan, 
so although I am a bit sad to see it go,
I am really happy to have had the opportunity to work 
on frame built by one of the great frame builders..
Les Ephgrave.

Carlton Flyer.
Here is a Carlton Flyer that I probably spent
too much time on..but what the hell...

They are a bit under regarded and unloved these Carlton Flyers
so I thought I would show a bit of love to this one.


Monday, April 30, 2018

Sometimes you get lucky...

So I have been (very) slowly assembling
the parts for finishing my 1984
Colnago Mexico that had been period
modified into a specialist TT bike.
As I am sure most of you will know panto
parts for Colnago's are not cheap, so I
have been biding my time and picking 
up the odd part here and there for the right
 price...ie cheap.
One of the parts I just picked up was this
Campagnolo seat pin with Colnago logo
pantographed slightly off centre, which I
thought was quite funny.
It turns up looking pretty rough, which
was fine as that was it looked like 
in the photo's. 
As soon as I started disassembling the seat pin, I 
quickly realized that I has also brought a complete 
aftermarket Cobra alloy lightening kit for the 
Campag seat pin.
As I am a total obbsesive for these period aftermarket
lightening parts, you can imagine how pleased I was.
 Full Cobra lightening kit.
 Slightly offset Colnago panto
 Here is the pin after sanding with 600/800 then 1200
wet and dry sandpaper, then finished with a good polish 

 Maybe Italian colours in the groves?



Friday, April 6, 2018

Soviet Gold..1988 Takhion TT

Now for something a little special....

As anyone who might have read this blog previously
will know already that I am a sucker for specialist 
time trial bikes, especially of the 700c/700c variety. 
So of course one day having one of the very rare 
Soviet era built Takhion road going TT frames has
always been high on my list, but finding one has always
seemed an impossible dream..until this one came along..
  Takhion Special Racing Bicycle - Model BsHA-001
Frame number 344 build date 1988
 The frame came from Lithuania, and it's brother has been 
restored in the USA by Takhion expert and enthusiast Psy
Check out her blog and bikes here
Psy's lovingly restored frame 343 88 brother to 344.
There are a couple of other good resources for Takhion
here and here, but if want to just stay here, this is 
a brief history of Takhion. 

Takhion (Tachyon) (Тахион) was a brand of race bicycle frames 
developed and produced in Kharkov, Ukraine by the 
specialist department of race frame and associated 
race component builders TSKTB (some have it CDTA)
or Central Design Office for Bicycle Construction.
The department was headed by two main personalities
Georgy Panin & Reginald Vorontsov.
Vorontsov in Rossin cap, Rossin was heavily
involved in elite Soviet cycle racing.
The TSKTB department was operating from some
time in the sixties, but really came to prominence when
it was given the task of developing bikes for the Eastern
 Block USSR riders to use in the up and coming 1980 
Moscow Olympic games.
The result was a line of bikes called the 
Moscow 80 (Москва 80) some painted in
the same colour scheme as the then current
TI Raleigh Pro team bikes.
 Apparently these bikes bristled with innovations in weight
savings, from slotted and drilled componentry to specially
built titanium parts.

TSKTB then went on to develop the Takhion line of
race bikes to be used by the elite riders of the USSR.
Takhion is a hypothetical particle that can travel 
faster than the speed of light, and comes from the Greek 
tachy which means rapid.

 Between 1981 and 1992 TSKTB made somewhere
between 400-500 frames in 17 different varieties, although
some of these where one off prototypes.
344 came with non original bars, but original
brake calipers and B/B set.

Caliper is quite an elegant item, the arms are very nicely
formed and svelte, combined with a titanium centre bolt
and all alloy hardware, maybe let down a little by the
slightly clunky quick release lever.

 Steering head with alloy retaining nut.
 Columbus drop out showing frame No and build date.

Some details of the propriety lugs.
Very pretty gear boss.

Can't wait to get this one up and running,
and then try it out on my 25km work commute,
can't think of a better way to get a smile on my face
in the beginning of the day.
Factory photo from a presentation at the 1991
Milan Cycle Show.