Vive memor quam sis aevi brevis.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Really Big Gears!

Saw this bike yesterday while on my ride:

Classic Old School speed machine!

The owner told me that it was a 68(!) tooth ring. The inner ring looked like maybe a 62, but he wasn't sure himself. i forgot to ask who built the frameset, but was told it was titanium and about 25-30 years old. The original fork was replaced with a Kestrel carbon unit. It appeared that the rear brake was fitted to an adapter mounted on cantilever studs. Given the generous clearances, i wonder if it was originally built for cyclocross?

Jacques Anquetil would be envious... T.A. rings, 225mm Bullseye crank arms. Minimal ground clearance!

The rider had just come in from riding a rather rolling circuit. Looked like he had a 13-25 freewheel mounted. i asked how he got up those hills, and he said basically that he just takes a good run at them. i couldn't imaging turning over that windmill crank at any speed under 25mph! It reminded me of pictures i'd seen of the time trialists  in the old British cycling magazines, back when road racing there almost exclusively consisted of 25 and 50 mile TTs.

The guy was probably about my age or so, meaning late middle aged. As i get older my choice of the big rings has gone from 53, to 52, to 48, down to 46T... i have a bit of envy for a fellow whose knees and leg muscles can still turn over those gears!

If i encounter this rider and machine again (and it will probably be in the parking lot as there's no way i'd catch him on the road!), i'll try to take more pics of this unique bike. If you have an idea as to its origins/builder, pass them along? Thanks! 

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