Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Lance Armstrong 1995 Merckx Team Bike

As some of you might know, I have 
been selling quite a lot of my collection over the 
past year or so.
Well the reason for this radical downsizing is quite
simply that I have decided to develop my historic 
collection to a far higher level.
This has called for some hard choices I can tell you.
However I have made a pretty clear set of my own
guides as to what is worth displaying, or even if
not displaying now, then preserving in dry 
storage for either displaying, or if needed restoring 
at a later date.
 So to cut a long story short, the first bike I have acquired
through the painful disposal of some of my collection is this 
Lance Armstrong 1995 Team Motorola/Caloi Eddie Merckx.
Columbus SLX New 
Frame No:
F 9016
  The bike as it arrived from the States yesterday, much
to my relief. The process of getting it here had turned out 
to be quite time consuming and costly.
The person I brought it off, brought it in 1998 from
a cyclist who purchased it from the annual Motorola 
postseason sale in Wisconsin. 
He brought it less wheel set, and changed the bars
and stem to suit himself, well why wouldn't you?

 The frame is in remarkably good condition, I suspect
that  this frame didn't see a lot of action with Lance, as
Columbus MX Leader was also available to the riders 
that year, and I think a titanium frame(?).
Columbus SLX New frame decal.

I know that the team also had 753 frames that year decaled
as Columbus..apparently Merckx was quite fond of 
recommending 753 to pro teams. 

The paint finish on the bike it really quite outstanding, 
far better than I was expecting, even the Caloi decals
have a thin gold key line that you can't really make out in 
the photos, but make the red text 'pop' quite nicely.

 Now the next step will be to find and fit the original
components to the bike before I put it on display. 
 The all important top tube decal, obviously printed on a
1990's Gerber Edge Printer.
You can tell this by the slightly translucent finish of the
white on clear decal, screenprinted decals are opaque.  
I know this because I have a Gerber Edge 2 printer that
I have been trying to get going for the past couple of years
so I can make reproductions for certain bikes from this period
with these Gerber printed decals (Mitchell's for instance).
Unfortunately I haven't quite got there yet, but you will
know when I do, because I have at least 5 Mitchell's
stripped and waiting for their Gerber printed decals. 
  Gerbers were also used to make the metal foil 
decals as well.
Gerber printed Clear 'Mitchell' and foil
World Champion strips.
 So even though parting with several of my precious bikes
to purchase Lance's bike was at times quite painful, in
the end I am glad I did. This is a serious historical piece.
Whatever your thoughts around Armstrong and his legacy,
there can be no doubt that he popularized cycle racing
to a level that was beyond anyone's widest dreams. 
He was also a great rider, and pretty funny on his postcast

Here is some great footage of Lance and the boys in action
Tour du Pont 1995

1 comment:

  1. It certainly is a lovely frame. I hope you'll be able to find all of the components to finish your project