Squadra di Vecchi Tori

Tuesday track by kiwicyclist
December 11, 2010, 8:16 pm
Filed under: products, Rides

A fortnight ago I raced at Brunswick’s club night at DISC for the first time on my new track bike – an absolute stonker of a frame built by Darryl Perkins out of Reynolds 853 tubing – I had been experimenting in the prior few outings racing on my old shitter fixie track bike I get around on for commuting as my Falcon was starting to feel flexy – or at least I was finally noticing this characteristic.  Its funny how the kernel of paranoia can take root in the subconscious when it comes to anything relating to your equipment – you tweak your seat position slightly and then it feels slightly out, you notice the odd creak from somewhere near the bottom bracket and ask yourself do the bearings need a repack etc etc.  As Poz succinctly puts it – you get the ‘yips’ if you fiddle around too much with the bike – and in my case I’m a serial tinkerer – in contrast to the great Merckx himself I’m normally doing it with little idea of whether I’m actually improving anything – and as I’ll explain in a future post on bike fits I’ve been fairly successful in getting it quite wrong on more than one occasion.

So back to the Falcon – I’d noticed rub marks on the driveside stays – a sure sign that they were flexing sideways and rubbing against the chainring.  The Falcon has a soft spot in my heart – I picked up the frame on ebay from a guy based in Bendigo who had bought the frame from Shane Sutton – Shane is one of the lead coaches for the British track cycling team and a successful Australian track and road cyclist in the 80s along with his brother Gary, father of current pro Chris Sutton.   The frame went for an extremely good price which I put down to a fairly garish baby sick yellow paintjob – I think people had overlooked the fact that in the description it mentioned Shane had won a number of important races on the bike including the Bendigo madison in the early 80s and, as I subsequently found out later from the man directly, he had taken the bike to the world champs.   

The frame itself was built by Terry Dolan in the UK and badged under the Falcon marque, an old well reputed UK brand that I found out through research has subsequently closed down.  It is also a reynolds steel frame – 583 – which has pretty thin tubing – probably ideal for a slimmer and smaller built Sutton but not ideal for an 83 kg ex- rugby playing 44 year old.    I had it resprayed by Peter at Star Enamellers in Sydney, one of the best frame restorers and painters in the business and delivered the frame to his paintshop in person via a short diversion from a business trip to Sydney – a pleasurable experience in itself.  New decals came from Greg at Cyclomondo and the frame was returned a few months later looking brand new – the union jack proudly displayed at the juncture of the downtube and the trademark Falcon crest sitting on the headtube as an improvised headbadge.

I dug up this picture taken in the old Shifterbikes Collingwood studio, bike in the stand getting its pristine white cloth tape wound on as a final master touch to another immaculate build by Mr Shifter:

Until about 6 weeks ago my entire (relatively short) track racing career has been astride the Falcon – I’ve won and lost races on it, bumped pedals, changed gears between races and lugged it across my shoulder to and from the carpark with a gearbag laden with track paraphenalia, rollers and track pump banging against my back – you could say its like a favorite pair of shoes – a piece of my cycling identity.

Well, sentimentally attached as I am to the bike it is time to move it on.   In the new year expect to see it advertised on www.fyxomatosis.com and on display at the new Shifterbikes studio in Prahan.

My new Perkins ride looks like this:

Specs:  Perkins 56cm reynolds 853 track frame (well used but straight and true) – sold to me by fixed.org celebrity – Coffee Ben or Benny Tats – who has this blog: http://bentoovey.tumblr.com/, deda stem, post and track bars, C record track crankset, record bb, shamal track tubular wheelset.   It is stiff, tight and pretty twitchy but a vast improvement on the Falcon – like comparing racing an old E type Jag against new Mercedes AMG 55 SLK.    A “smile” bike – one that makes you grin when you hop on and go.  

(And how did I go on its first outing?  Crap in the first two races of the night – I’ll use the ‘getting the bike dialled’ excuse – middle of the pack in each and then a third in the points race.  B grade elevation remains as elusive as ever but boy did I have a great night of ‘new bike fever’).

So – cheers Ben.  I’m a very satisfied customer.

Now I have to just start winning some races!

Couple of other shots from that race night:

Motorpace action:

Mr Fyxomatosis’ track weapon – Merckx MX Leader track bike, soon to be graced with some ‘better’ track wheels according to the owner:

(photos shot using my panasonic GF1)



Leave a Comment so far
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: