Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Restore or not that is the question...Cinelli SC Pista

So I just picked up this Cinelli SC Pista,
probably early 1960's, it came with most of 
what you see, but looking very worse for wear
when it arrived.
I had brought it intending to fully restore it and then
sell it on to fund new projects, and of course I
just like working on Cinelli's so I didn't need
much encouragement to take this one on. 
However when I unpacked it and got it on my 
work stand I quickly realized that this wasn't quite
the basket case that I had been expecting.
I brought out my gentlest cutting compound and
very carefully worked the top tube, sure enough under
the oxidized paint there was plenty of life, the chrome
too responded to a bit of love.
 So now I was faced with the question of wether to strip 
the frame and have it rechromed and then give it a nice
new paint job, I know I can easily sell a fully restored  
SC Pista, which is what I had brought the bike for, or
leave it in it's original patina.
The big problem is that most of the buying cycle
market like shiny restored or very mint
original examples of their favorites.
I phoned my chrome plater to arrange a full rechrome,
got back to my workstand looked again at the bike and 
realized I couldn't be the one to have the original Cinelli
paint and decals stripped off this survivor.
So I phoned Custom Chrome back and cancelled the job,
not that they would worry, they have three of my frames in
their workshop already.
No they are only original once, this frame is super straight
the rust on some of the chrome is only superficial, so
I spent the next two days stripping the bike down
gently cleaning and polishing the entire bike, it came
up even better than I hoped.

I wrapped the bars in cloth tape finished in twine
then painted with shallac.
The bike came with the very rare Cinelli head set, and
a nice badged steel stem.

 Sweet MK1 Brooks professional.

I mean seriously how could you strip off these original
Cinelli and Columbus decals? 

Too bad it is a 60cm frame or I most definitely 
 would have kept this one.

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.

Here is a piece of new information that David Benson has
just enlightened me with.
"This looks like one of a batch of Japanese track frames that 
Cycle Manufacturing Co, aka Tarini, imported in the late 80s. 
Does the bottom bracket have an NJS approval logo?"

I have double checked the frame and, couldn't find any NJS
logo's, damn shame. Will have to look into this interesting bit
of history.
Thanks David.


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.