1985 Peugeot PSVN 12
In pearlescent white and with chrome forks, built with Super Vitus 980 tubing, this bike was a joy to ride. I had the pleasure of riding it on a beach in South Carolina for miles on end, the sand being firm enough to provide an thrilling ride amongst the surf and warm sun of a mid November day. The bike wasn’t all original, the rear derailleur was a more recent Shimano long cage type that could move across the 12 speeds with ease. It did still retain its Simplex front derailleur and shifters, it had a nice pair of Ambrosio rims and a lovely drilled Stronglight 104 crankset, and kept its original CTA emblemed handlebars. I remember how light this bike was, probably no more than 19lbs, and how I promised myself I would choose Super Vitus over Reynolds from now on. I sold it in Portland in 2012, for a measly $250, as we had just done a driving tour of the US and had hardly a penny left on our return!
Trek 330, 1987
I always liked the colour of this 60cm Trek 330 Elance, in fact my wife always spoke about it. I owned it for a short time in 2012, while living in Dash Point, Washington. Dash Point is a very hilly area, right on the Puget Sound, and you can see from my choice of gear that as soon as I left the house there was a sharp hill to climb. This bike was in near perfect condition; the paintwork was practically untarnished, glossy, beautiful looking. It had a nice mix of components, but I upgraded the handlebars and stem to the distinctive form of the Modolo X Tenos. Its wheels were Mavic Open CD 4 rims, and the gears were smoothly shifted by an indexed Suntour Alpha 5000 drivetrain. Most of the bike was original and weighed about 22lbs. I really liked the wrap of the seat lug, the quality of the build with its Reynolds 531 frame, ( the forks were Trek Chromolly ), and the feeling that the bike was as solid as any Italian bike of the same period. Perhaps it was a bit on the large and heavy side for the hills, but it was a favourite of mine
Ti Raleigh Team, 1987
I always wanted to own a Team Raleigh road bike. I remember poring over Raleigh catalogues in the early 1980’s with a friend in school, seeing the Team bike heralded on the first pages as a Tour De France winner and the most desirable bike for any British kid who wanted a racing bike. Granted, many of the kids back then had their heads turned by a new machine to hit the streets, the ultimate urban bike, the BMX; a Raleigh Burner would give you plenty more kudos on the pavements of the city back in 1983. However, who can deny that great red, yellow and black colour combination? This particular bike wasn’t an SB type, made with Reynolds 753, but the humbler 531c version, sans Campagnolo. Nevertheless, it was a great riding bike, with Shimano 600 components and Mavic anodised rims. I sold it for £246 in 2012, on Ebay UK.
Canondale R3000si, 2001
Probably the lightest bike I’ve ever owned, weighing in at less than 18lbs, bought for $400 in 2013 in Seattle. Much smaller, a 55cm, this was a bike that just made you push as fast as you could, every time you got on it. These types of aluminium frames have come under criticism over the years, and I do admit, the ride was sometimes on the harsh side. Nevertheless, it was stiff and responsive, really dynamic, and I always thought it looked great, ( the bomb, as Jessie says, in Breaking Bad ). It was all dressed up in Dura Ace, I mean, everything, apart from its Mavic Kysrium 9 speed wheels. I loved the finger triggered shifting; after years changing gears by means of downtube friction shifting, leaving one hand on the handlebars, these brifters were a revelation. Being slightly too small for me, this bike would give me lower back ache after an hour on the road. But for an hour, I was doing speeds I’d never done before on the flat of Burke Gilman Trail, Seattle. I sold it for £330 in 2014.