29 Nov 2010

Buying Secondhand Road Racing Bicycles

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Racing Bikes (or more properly Road Bikes) operate at the dynamic edge of cycling, allowing you to go ever further and ever faster. This is the point for anybody who has ever considered or even admired professional cycling. Not that everybody does of course. For some people professional cyclists are just drug-addled perverts in tights/who shave their own legs.

Modern road bike technology is obscene and extraordinary in equal measure. To get on a good modern carbon-fibre bike almost feels like cheating, such amazing progress can you make. And off the peg carbon bikes from C.Boardman (Halfords) are reasonably priced. if you consider spending a grand on a bike a reasonable thing to do.

They are all made in Taiwan of course, a fact which doesn’t perhaps have a lot of romance attached to it. Certainly not as much as having your bike made in Italy, or California. Practically the only bikes you can buy made in The West are niche, hand-made steel numbers with niche prices e.g. Pegoretti.

Secondhand racing bikes are slightly different. They can in all honesty be a bit hit-and-miss. Some of them represent absurd value for money. We recently (and rather reluctantly) sold a Concorde made Frank Vandewalle for £370 which was truly amazing: fast, stiff, stable up and down hill – you could have raced it. And that is a great thing to be able to say about £370.

Some are better suited to posing, cranky old fashion nags with grinding hubs and bent forks (Heavens does sell these from time to time).

But then you paid £150 and if it gets nicked, it gets nicked, big deal. But then you left it outside the pub. And you’re not even sure which pub.

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