Sunday, April 1, 2012

Vintage Road Bike

Vintage Road Bike Roberts Frame
This bike has been in my garden shed for a decade or more.  It was assembled by me around 1979-80 after I had a serious accident on my Peugeot PX-10.  The frame on the PX-10 was bent beyond easy repair after a HT mic jumped out of an unzipped handlebar bag.  Grabbing the mic by the wire while going down a hill at 25 mph or more it wedged in between the front wheel and the frame pitching me over the handlebars onto my early Bell helment and face.  After the ambulance ride to the ER I received 26 stitches and some head x-rays.  Later I had several teeth repaired.  The Helmet foam was crushed and sliding down the road on my head wore through the trim bead on the helmet.

Early Bell helmet we wore at the time

 This probably saved me or at least prevented serious head injury.  This was introduced in '74 according the Bicycle Safety Institute page on history of bike helmets.

All the old PX-10 parts were now in the basement and I happened to see a used frame in a close enough size at a bike shop in Bethesda.  I was told it had belonged to a Mid Shipman  and that it was a criterium  racing frame.  Well the price was reasonable so I bought it and used the Wheels, Seat and Bar from the PX-10.  I purchased other parts mail order from Nashbar and Performance.  I assembled the bike and road many miles on it training, some club rides with PPTC and some Centuries and some weekend rides such as the League of American Wheelman/Bicyclists GEAR, GEAR UP and GEAR Down.  Later we took our children to some of the larger weekend events and they got to experience staying in college dormitories and having some freedom at the campus.

Campy levers

Mighty Cranks and Rings

Nice Sun Tour VX

Original '531' Decal

Dia-Comp Brakes

I think the Frame was made by Roberts in England.  I was told that the previous owner used it for Criterium racing and the bike had a short wheelbase, steep steering angle (for the time) and a high bottom bracket.  It was built with no cable braze ons for a rear brake cable so it may not have had a rear brake initially.  It did have braze ons for shifter cables and bottle cage.  When I bought the frame it also had Campy headset and bottom bracket.  I think I paid $175 for it at the time.  Not shown is the Brooks saddle from the PX-10.  The wheels are Mavac with tubular tires.  

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