1980s Retro Racing Bicycle
My New Bike
I've always loved mountain biking, it's one of the few sports I've been actively involved in for years and have never found myself bored of this. Although family life these days means I have a lot less time to get out there and ride for a day or a weekend. I recently moved home too which although has seriously tapped into my free time has moved me closer to my work place, and therefore within reach of my less than athletic cycling legs!
I generally own mountain bikes and the first few weeks of road cycling was becoming a bit of a chore. Sure, I could buy road tires for one of my bikes, but that would be a hassle to change every time I hit the mountains. So I wanted to buy a new bike but didn't have much money to spend. I decided that I would buy a second-hand racing bike, and what better place to look than eBay. I found some fantastic 70s/80s racing bikes, great condition, but the prices were quite high. So it took some hunting - and some failed bids - before I finally found my racing bike.
It's a British built bike, but the frame was made in Western Germany, believed to have been put together in the 1980s.I say 'believed' as there's not much information on Tensor Cycles in Darlington, UK, because they are now no more and existed well before the invent of popular internet. My only clue is the frame stickers from Western Germany, so I know it was before the demolition of the Berlin Wall.
So I've bought this bike, it's arrived, and I love it! It's not as light, or quiet (the mudguards rattle a little - but a little tlc should sort this) and it requires a little work on the old caliper brakes and shimano gears. But all in all it's a stunning ride, the roads around here are a little bumpy so unlike my mountain bikes I can really feel every rise, dip or pothole I accidentally succumb to, but I can really feel the road and can ride so much faster and with much more confidence. Although I'm travelling faster I feel safer because of the confidence this bicycle gives me.
Not to mention the beautiful chrome handlebars and front forks, the slightest sunlight shining on them and they glow. There's some chips on the paint work but that's a given with the age, but all these things can be resolved with some care. It's keeping me fit, something I really need, and it's keeping me on my bike, something I love.
I initially thought I'd buy this bike and convert it to a 'fixie', or fixed gear bike as it's known, but now I have it I'm not so sure as I love this bicycle just the way it is, and was. I'm wondering whether to look at buying another old bicycle I can convert to a fixie, but we'll see. If I do, I'll let you know how it goes!
If anyone out there is thinking of buying a new bicycle I know how tempting it is to look at the great deals they have for sale on new bikes, whether they be mountain bikes or performance bikes, with their strong but lightweight frames, the additional accessories you can have thrown into a deal, but think about those older bikes, the ones that could be thrown out or sold for an absolute bargain. I can assure you, if you look around you can find something wonderful. A bicycle that makes you smile every time you saddle up to ride. These bicycles are how cycles used to be made.