Thursday, February 27, 2014


 Frejus catalogue approximate date 1960-61

 Frejus road and track bikes where imported by
 Worralls cycle &  sport distributors from the 
early/mid 1950's.
These sleek new machines signaled one of the final nails being
driven into the coffin of New Zealand frame builders of this period.
Everybody wanted one, and this new Continental invader was 
soon joined by the stylish Legnano's and French Bertin's 
being brought into the country by Auckland's Hill's Cycles.
Suddenly owning a locally built frameset 
seemed old fashioned.
 Hugo Koblet, Frejus star rider of the fifties
known as Le p├ędaleur de charme

It's easy to see why Frejus bikes where so popular....

Monday, February 24, 2014


A couple more classics from the pages of Cycling magazine.

Mike Ballard 1980
Very stylish black and white Ken Bird ensemble. 

Martin Pyne, 25 mile specialist 1982
This would have to be the last time a flying gate, in action,
was featured on the cover of a cycling magazine.

Saturday, February 8, 2014


I have long had a interest
in top end vintage Japanese race bikes
and components. I guess this stems from my
previous interest in 1960's Japanese sports cars.
Here are some SR components from the 
early/mid seventies.

 One of the things I really like about this early SR
stuff is their cool logo, while everybody else is going
all minimalist, here come SR with their Ramones eagle.

 What can I say, I'm a sucker for a nice logo.

Monday, February 3, 2014


I picked up this bike the other
week on Trade Me for a very cheap price, 
mainly because I had spotted that it had a Cinelli
steel stem with badge, and although the photo
in the add was pretty poor, I was also sure the frame
 had Nervex pro lugs, so what the hell....
 The Cinelli stem, which sparked my interest.
The bike (Oryx) as delivered.

So the bike arrives today, the  first thing I noticed is
that it has a Oryx head badge, and decals, which 
looked fairly original.
I have seen a couple of Oryx bikes around, but nothing
of note, apart from one David Benson has on his flicker,
although this was a later one, and the only nice one
I could find. 
So I put it on the work stand, and notice a Campagnolo
Grand Sport r/d, Benelux f/d, Zeus shifters, GB brakes...

On closer inspection I also noticed that there were two other
holes above and below the Oryx head badge, the plot thickens.
I had thought, when I was originally buying it,
that it might had been a Bertin C37. The colour and 
Nervex lugs were about right, but I could tell straight away
that this wasn't one of theirs, as the seat stay taper is shorter
on all the Bertin frames I have seen (a few), and as it turned out
the badge holes are different, (some early Bertins 
had a nice headbadge), and the frame numbers were wrong.
Nice spear point seat stays.
The Oryx badge removed, notice the two holes
on the centre line.

The next builder that came to mind was Gillott.
The build finish was at a glance,certainly of the caliber
one would expect from them, I have a Gillott track bike, so
I took the calipers out and measured the badge holes, and 
to my happy surprise found a match.
Also the frame numbers (61551)on The B/B  match the 
Gillott style.
This would make the frame build 1961, which matches
very well with the lug set, and components.

I will have to do a little more research to confirm, 
here's hoping......

Saturday, February 1, 2014


Here is a post modern classic.
The timeless Huret Jubilee.
These where initially released in 
1970 to celebrate the 50th anniversary
of Huret.
The aim was to make the lightest derailleur
on the market, and at 140gr they succeeded
brilliantly, not only for it's low weight, 
  it was also aesthetically 
an object of pure mechanical beauty.

The front derailleur and shifters while
pleasing, are not, in my opinion, of the same 
class as the rear derailleur. 

Funnily enough, this later rear derailleur
with it's drilled cages was actually slightly
heavier than the previous model, with plain
cages. The reason was that they had to ironically, make the 
cage fatter on the drilled version, so it wouldn't break.
Don't you love that.
The original earlier version, with lighter 
undrilled cages (what the...!)