A mad spending spree from just before Christmas 2015 to New Years Eve 2015 saw me buy 5 old bikes to add to my collection. These were really bikes I didn't need. And to enhance matters a bit, a few weeks later I bought back a bike I had sold my son about a year earlier - because I had always promised him that I'd buy it back for what he paid me for it anytime he wanted to sell it, oh! and I thought I could use its groupset on one of my five new bikes.
I had been itching to buy another bike when I saw, on Ebay, a 1987 Koga Miyata Exerciser with no bids and a low starting price. Thought I might get it for a good deal. Did my usual, put in a reasonable bid with 5 seconds to go, only to find that the previous bidder got it for one euro more. I was then surprised to get a message from the seller an hour later to say the previous bidder had pulled out, if I was still interested and my bid price. Smelling a rat, but still interested, I said I was but only if I could buy it through Ebay. I reckoned he was using some funny trick to suss out my maximum bid. In the end, he relisted and I agreed to bid again up to my previous maximum and then he would bid to one euro below that just before the auction ended. This he did but obviously forgot our agreed maximum so I got the bike a bit cheaper than I expected - not much cheaper, but a bit.
That bike arrived on New Years Eve, but a Facebook Group that I followed had a very frequent seller of bikes, who was well respected within the group, with many sales and many good reviews. He had a number of bikes for sale, two I really liked a small Bianchi Campione d'Italia (1989) and a Colnago Super Team Buckler (1992). The Bianchi was right size for my daughter who was currently using one of my bikes which was a bit too long for her, and the Colnago was my size. Then the seller offered a special deal, 4 bikes for the price of three - the Bianchi and the Colnago, plus a Jans Janssen 1982 Shimano Aero Bike with Shimano Adamas AX groupset, and a Sab (Italian) with 8 Speed Campagnolo Mirage (which had mono-planer brakes - I have always fancied these). I wished there and then I had not bought the Koga as I really fancied this deal. That is when I went mad and bought the packeage.
I now had so many bikes I had to build a whole new bike rack to hold them. And when I bought the bike back from my son, a Vitus SVRS, I had another - 6 extra bikes in the space of a few weeks. However, for this bike I had a sneaky plan - strip the components off it, seel the frame, and use the Shimano Tiagra Groupset and the Shimano Wheelset on the Bianchi giving my daughter a small framed bike with modern equipment and recouping a few bob with the frame sale. The good news being that I quickly sold the frame for close to the full price of the bike.
And most of these bikes required varying degrees of TLC, so I had some interesting projects ahead of me. And the idea for this website was born - to chronicle those projects, or at least some of the interesting stages in those projects. Maybe someone will find themselves on a similar path, or facing a similar challenge to me, and this website might prove interesting and helpful. While I was at it, I also had come across tricks and techniques, usually from some of the cycling Facebook Groups that I am a member of, and these tricks are supplied by people who have much more experience with old and vintage bikes than I, but as their knowledge (trick)is placed on FB, it quickly loses prominence, so with their permission I copy their photos and instructions from FB and place them here. I only do this where I see something on FB that I haven't seen on the ordinary (more searchable) internet. If it is there already, there is no point me repeating it. Naturally this usually means that it is a solution to a problem that I had, or to a problem that I thought I had.