Saturday, February 27, 2010

Equipment - Bike Timeline, Part 6 - Temporary Digs

I built up a lot of bikes I either didn't like, didn't ride much, or sold off after a short time:

1987?: Panasonic DX 5000. This was a complete bike, but I bought only the frameset - a guy at the shop bought the rest of the bike. Panasonic used Tange Prestige tubing, with ultra thin 0.7/0.5/0.7 mm top tube wall thicknesses in the top tube. This made for a reasonably light frameset, but man was it noodly. The first time I did sprints on it, I thought the BB shell was broken. I stopped twice, checked for cracks and such, and realized that's the way it was.

I optimistically brought the bike to school, looking to do long "Euro" rides in the off-season. You know, like pros do - ride the soft bike for long distances, save the crit bike for short rides. The noodly frame would work well with the frost heaved roads. Only problem was I was only 2 hours away from home, and the roads here weren't any worse than those at home. The Cannondale climbed better and therefore became the default choice.

I sold the frame for a pittance to a friend Kevin F. He promptly crashed it, bending the top and down tubes. He gave me the frame back in case I could fix it. I kept it for almost two decades before I gave it to an enterprising frame builder.

This was to be my "winter" bike, or my "Classics" bike. Note uncut bars on TT bike in foreground.

1988: Nishiki TT bike, 51 cm? I bought this because I "needed" a time trial bike. 105 downtube shifters, cowhorns, 24" front wheel, I think it was $400 complete. I upgraded a lot of it, painted it, etc. Never went much faster though, max TT was 25 or 26 mph on a 7 mile flat course. We did a bit better in a couple collegiate TTTs, 28ish. It was fun to ride though.

Curiously enough I ran into the guy who sold me the bike at the beginning of 2010. I mentioned the bike and his face lit up. He remembered the Nishiki 105 TT bike blow out specials.

The TT bike in the window.

I wore that blue/black thing hanging on the window - it's a cotton beret. I used to wear it everywhere.

Yeah, I don't know either.


The front disk caught some wind and took me across a full lane of road at 30 mph. I was riding down 195 into UCONN, passing the Towers dorms. I almost walked the bike home to Hilltop. Aerolite pedals.

Record setting bike for me. Pedals were for goofin' around, I normally raced on Aerolites.

Note the extreme chain angle as the chain goes back - the derailleur I had on this bike was almost the best for pulling up the chain to the cogs. It looks like I have a 9T small cog, doesn't it?

I did a 16:28 for 7 miles, or 25.5 mph, on the bike above (black frame configuration). This was my absolute record speed in a time trial. Disk wheel (OTC prototype apparently), 24 inch 24 hole front M17 rim with a 17mm Panaracer tire and a Specialized hub (Superbe Pro like), bladed spokes, 100k Scott TT bars.

I traded this bike, with the disk and three front wheels, for a Trek mountain bike. Go figure.

1996?: Specialized Allez Carbon. Noodly too. Sold it to a girl (16 yr old employee's gf's friend, and she was 16 so a "girl") who wanted to race. I don't think she raced but she liked to hang out with her racer friends. Alas, no pictures. But it was a beautiful frameset, beautiful deep translucent red.


Anonymous said...


funny stuff, man you bring back some memories. About that panasonic, real sorry about the frame, ruined it in a crash, think it was new london, cannot remember.

keep writing, good stuff


Aki said...

New Britain. It's all good, kinda funny back then. Probably the first race on it.

I think it made up for me riding past that stick that took off your white Cannondale's dropout, I think it was near Westport, a left turn off of... 53? I try and point things out all the time now - hard learned lesson.

Anonymous said...

New Britain, maybe.

four corners square in town, Tai and i dropped, my head down pulling us back, spaced out = missed turn through the barricade, then almost ate the front of a caddy, driving towards me, and dumped it into the alley. not my finest moment........good bye panasonic....a compact ride, before compact rides.

tell me you know what Louis is up too, or Dan, or Ray, or Kevin

I see mike quite frequently, but need to tell you on the phone what happened to him. your jaw will drop - good stuff. He is probably not sleeping much, cause the little one is keeping him up. He had big life changes, and has partnered up another. give me your link to your phone number again, will call this week


Aki said...

I forgot about that one. I forget the town too, even what state. MA? Hot dog shaped course. I hated it.

Aki said...

Forgot. Go here, my email (or a link anyway) is at the bottom of the page in the middle of some text.