Monday, December 27, 2010

Holiday Bonus Blog 1 - The Catalogues

Instead of writing about any work or rides I've been doing lately, I thought I'd use my post-Christmas food and beverage induced immobility to post up some photos that proved pretty popular when I originally posted them on my Facebook page. The first one of these filler blogs is devoted to a Flite saddle box full of treasured catalogues. The printed catalogue seems to be dying out, as online resources take their place, so sadly my collection doesn't seem to have grown much of ironic then to be posting them up on the web for (hopefully) electronic posterity.

Every photo is a scan from a catalogue or handbook in my own personal collection, and presented in chronological order. Many have been obtained by me directly, but many have been kindly donated by my good friends who I owe a great debt of gratitude to.

As always in my blog posts, please click on the images for larger versions. I hope you enjoy looking at these cool pictures as much as I enjoyed trawling through my Archives to bring them to you.

My friend and mentor Derek kindly gave me his 1950s Raleigh Handbook from the beautiful Raleigh Sports he owned as a child.

The centre pages of the 1950s Raleigh Maintenance Handbook.

The cover of the 1974 Campagnolo catalogue.

Campagnolo catalogue 1974. Super Record gruppo.

Campagnolo catalogue 1974. Super Record gruppo continued.

Campagnolo catalogue 1974. Mmmmmm, day I'll have a spare couple of grand to get myself one of these highly prized toolkits.

Shimano Aero Dynamics catalogue cover, 1980.

Shimano Aero Dynamics catalogue, 1980. Some of the radical for the time components

Shimano Aero Dynamics catalogue, 1980. When this came out skin shorts were still a novelty, and aerodynamics just meant bending your elbows more.

This beautiful Somec catalogue is from 1982.

Inside the 1982 Somec catalogue. Road machines dripping with pantographed Campagnolo bits, as well as prized Nisi, Assos and Modolo parts, and complete with sewn-on leather grips...

Still inside the Somec catalogue 1982, here are a couple of hot track irons.

A kids racing bicycle and Somec clothing and accessories.

Mavic ATB components catalogue 1990.

Mavic ATB components catalogue 1990, complete with their rebuildable derailleurs. I still own a pair of the hubs from this series - despite being built and rebuilt into a variety of different rims they are as smooth as the day I got them.

Merlin catalogue 1991.

Inside the 1991 Merlin catalogue.

More from the 1991 Merlin catalogue.

A Colnago C35 Ferrari collabo from Ernesto's 1991 catalogue.

A Bianchi advertisement from a 1992 Winning magazine featuring twice World Road Champion Gianni Bugno.

Look catalogue 1993, more Bugno.

A Diadora shoe tag from 1993 featuring the MG-Bianchi squad, which includes many notable riders like Johan Museeuw, Eros Poli, Mario Cipollini and, playing with his plums, the late Franco Ballerini.

The cover of the 1994 Cinelli bicycle and frame catalogue.

Inside the 1994 Cinelli bicycle and frame catalogue...

The Gold Medal USSR pursuit team from the 1988 Seoul Olympics and the 1985 Italian team that took the 1985 World title in Italy, pictured in the 1994 Cinelli bicycle and frame catalogue.

Various versions of the ground-breaking Cinelli Laser bicycle from inside the '94 frames and bicycles catalogue.

A gorgeous classic 1960 Cinelli Supercorsa from the '94 catalogue. It was common for racing bicycles of this era to be capable of doubling up as training bikes via the addition of mudguards, and with little or no support for racers frame pumps were carried even during races to pump up the spare tyres they looped around their shoulders.

The cover of the 1994 Cinelli components catalogue.

Splash page of the '94 Cinelli components catalogue. Left to right, top to bottom: Felice Gimondi, Eddy Merckx, Gino Bartali, Fausto Coppi, Lance Armstrong, Guiseppe Saronni, Francesco Moser, Greg LeMond, Claudio Chiappucci, Bernard Hinault and, in yellow, Jacques Anquetil.

The fabled Cinelli Grammo stem, from the 1994 components catalogue.

Eddy Merckx catalogue, 1994.

Inside the Eddy Merckx catalogue 1994. This MX-Leader is the exact colour scheme of my wife Jacq's Merckx. The painting is adapted from a photo of The Cannibal laying down the smack during the 1974 Giro d'Italia.

Colnago catalogue 1994. Ernesto Colnago, Toni Rominger and Abraham Olano.

Colnago catalogue 1994. Johan Museeuw and Franco Ballerini.

Colnago catalogue 1994. C35 carbon mtb frame.

Colnago catalogue 1994. Master framesets, as ridden by many great champions of the mid-90s such as the late Sam Raphael.

Cover of the 1995 Cinelli components catalogue.

Sexy Cinelli handlebars, a page from the '95 components catalogue.

The ZG Mobili - Selle Italia team of 1995 as depicted in a catalogue that came with my first Turbomatic saddle. The red and white Bottechia they are holding is painted in what is still one of my all-time favourite bicycle colourways.

From the Campagnolo catalogue 1995, the flagship 8 speed Record gruppo.

Gios catalogue 1995.

Campagnolo catalogue 1996; the great Miguel Indurain.

Pederson catalogue from 1996.

Look catalogue 1996. Jalabert in the Maillot Jaune with Johan Bruyneel and the rest of the awesome ONCE machine TTTing up a storm, and World Sprint Champion Florian Rousseau scorching around the boards...

Bianchi advert from 1996. The Gewiss rider is Evgeni Berzin, winner of the 1994 Giro d'Italia and Liège–Bastogne–Liège classic.

Bianchi Ti Megatube Campagnolo Record from the 1996 catalogue, almost identically specced to my beloved '97 Bianchi TSX-UL (below).

The Campagnolo Spare Parts Catalogue 1997.

The Bianchi catalogue cover 1997, from the days when my good friends at Cactus Climbing were the importers for this storied Italian marque.

A Bianchi Super GY from the 1997 catalogue. Regular readers of the Roadworks blog will have seen that I worked on a surviving GL version of one of these cool rigs recently...

Bianchi framesets from the '97 catalogue.

Fausto Coppi blurb, Bianchi catalogue 1997.

Campagnolo catalogue 1997, Chorus gruppo. Now 9 speed. Evgeni Berzin once again the rider, aboard his Bianchi Ti-Megatube.

The Colnago catalogue from 1997 - a carbon C40 with steel fork and Spinergy wheel!

The 1997 Bianchi Product Guide.

A page from the '98 Ciocc catalogue.

Greg LeMond needs no introduction to most cyclists of my era, but in case you think he's just the name on a brand of defunct road bikes, you should know that he won the Worlds twice (1983 and '89) and the Tour de France three times ('86, '89 and '90). The first American cyclist to really bridge the gap between the New World and the Old World, his palmares have since been dwarfed by the great Lance Armstrong, although his fame lives on with those who came into cycle sport before the rise of the Texan megastar. LeMond's eponymous machines feature in this catalogue from 1998.

Gios catalogue 1998, with a faint Chepe Gonzalez in the background.

I always wanted to like Jan Ullrich more than I did, but the only ride he ever did that really impressed me (I'm tough to please) was his second place to Bjarne Riis on his debut in the 1996 Tour de France. His Tour victory in '97 I thought was a snoozefest (apart from his stage win at Arcalis) and he never again showed me anything to hang my hero worship on...this is taken from the Campagnolo catalogue in 1998.

Someone who did impress me though was Ullrich's destroyer in the 1998 Tour; on a cold, wet day on the Galabier Marco Pantani took nearly nine minutes out of Der Kaiser and sealed the first Italian victory in le Grand Boucle since Gimondi won in 1965, and the first Italian Giro/Tour double since Fausto Coppi achieved this daunting feat in 1952. Pantani's '98 Giro win is depicted in the Campagnolo catalogue of 1999...

...and his historic and thrilling 1998 Tour victory is fêted in the 1999 Bianchi catalogue.

The splash page of the 1999 Ciocc catalogue.

Another year, another Bianchi catalogue. This is the 2000 version which somewhat oddly still features the by now tarnished Pantani, who had been thrown out of the '99 Giro while leading it for having suspect blood parameters.

An Opera from the 2001 Pinarello catalogue. Steel with carbon seat and chain stays, this was a radical blend of the two materials at the time.

From the 2001 Basso catalogue comes an unusual carbon monocoque Venta, from the Basso brand named for 1972 World Champion Marino Basso.

The cover of the Eddy Merckx catalogue 2002 features the awesome scandium frame in its Domo-Farm Frites Pro Team colours. One of the few aluminium road frames I've ridden where I really enjoyed the ride and handling.

Still on the Merckx tip, here's a cool image of the man himself during his dominating Tour de France debut, where he won every category - Yellow Jersey, Mountains, Combativity, Combination and Points. He would have won the Young Riders jersey too if they had awarded it in those days. His astounding final margin of victory was nearly 18 minutes over French hero and '67 Tour winner, Roger Pingeon. This is from the 2005 catalogue.

The last Bianchi catalogue I got was a free pull-out from my Velo-News magazine in 2006 featuring the Liquigas team in full flight during the teams time trial of the 2005 Tour de France.

If there's one frame builder whose frames I lust after, it's the iconoclastic Dario Pegoretti. I've built three of his stunning frames now, and I've not been able to find a single tiny quibble with any of them. Beautifully built, perfectly aligned and stunningly finished, they just do it for me. It helps to know he's built frames (under different names) for heroes of mine such as Bugno and Indurain, but even if it was just for guys named Tait, Millin and Livesey I would feel the same. Here's a couple of pages from Dario's quirky 2006 catalogue.

First, a lovely Luigino named for the famed builder who taught Pegoretti his craft, Luigino Milani. One day I will own one of these, oh yes I will.

And a marvellous Marcelo, although I'm afraid I'm not aware of the origin of this model name.

Colnago catalogue 2007.

And more Pegorettis to wind this up with. First, the cover of his 2007 catalogue. This shows the amazing TIG welds this Master of the Torch routinely lays down - no cheap tricks, shitty bog or sin-covering second pass welding here.

The 2008 catalogue uses some of Dario's art as its cover. He paints some frames like this but, being a boring guy, I prefer his slightly more orthodox finishes.

For instance, also from the '08 catalogue, I absolutely love this Responsorium...

And to close this blog off here's the back door of Dario's workshop.

Until next time, pedal on. Thanks for reading, Oli


Martin said...

Thanks for the catalog scans! Always great when somebody shares interesting stuff. I'm especially interested in the Somec catalog, since I just bought a Somec Super corsa from around this time. You wouldn't care to post some more from this catalog, by any chance? Anyway, thanks for an interesting blog!

Oli said...

Hi Martin, thanks for the kind words and glad you enjoyed the scans! however the pics I posted are the entire catalogue I have - I guess you could say it was more a pamphlet than a catalogue...Enjoy your Super Corsa, I'm a tad jealous! Cheers, Oli

Anonymous said...

actually I just sed the Anon posting link because it was easy, but my name is Guepardo.

Hi, I stumbled across your catalogues and thanks for sharing. Really there are those of us that appreciate it, even if we don't post a comment. Have you by chance seen the catalogue scans at:


Just thought I'd pass them along..
I have several mid-1990s Italian steel bikes, notably a Fondriest Status-X (cerca 1998) and a Colnago Master Olympic. I think the Colnago is about 1994 or 1995. I saw that you have the 1994 catalogues. Is there any chance that you may have any other pages from that gem and hard to find catalogue?

Oli said...

Hi Guepardo! Thanks for reading, for your kind comments, and also for the great links. Nice to hear about your bikes; I always liked the look of the Fondriest, especially as I was a big fan of him. I will gladly scan the rest of the catalogue and send you copies if you send me an email at oli[a] Cheers, Oli

Anonymous said...

thanks I'll send you an email soon! I'll send along a Fondriest PDF scan of my bike from their catalogue that the company sent me earlier this year when I inquired about their earlier bikes. You can add it to your collection. I'm not to clear on the company ownership these days and don't want to misinform, but I believe that M. Fondriest sold his company, or at least the name and it's ran by another group. Not sure how he's still involved.
When I emailed them they responded 6 months later (literally) and said they knew nothing about the older bikes or serial numbers and only a catalogue scan was sent, but I'm not complaining! Information is really really scant on these bikes, but I've heard internet rumours that they were all outsourced built to various northern Italy builders (which I believe as Maurizio Fondriest was a rider, not a builder). The bike I have is really light Deddaccai steel. The guy I bought it off of on Fleabay 1.5 years ago knew nothing about the bike and I don't think he rode it much, or dug to deep....
The Colnago Master Olympic was a "steel" so to speak as I as in Italy as my wife is from Italy and picked up it this year for a really good price. We came across an older guy in the neighborhood who had bought it new in the 90s and still had all original 8 speed chorus/athena parts. He didn't want to part with it, but there comes a time so I hear. What's amazing is those components may weigh 3x as much as newer Record, but that older stuff is bullet proof! I am putting the bike together with lighter alloy Record (peppered with carbon record), but as I remove those older components they are so solid and functional. I wish that 8speed chorus/athena group weighed about 5 kg less and I would keep them on the bike!...but alas I want to ride it with less cargo weight.
Thanks for the catalogue scans-btw I'm sure others would love to see Colnago!
I'll email you

Anonymous said...

Hi Oli,
Not anonymous, but Guepardo Lento here. I did email you a pm concerning the colnago catalogue scans. Not sure if maybe your spam filters intercepted or not? I emailed you a pdf file of my Fondriest to add to your collection.
Just checking, but I know how it goes when busy!

Oli said...

Hi GL! Sorry for the tardy response, but I've found it and replied now. Gracias, amigo!

Jvera said...

Does anyone happen have the geometry page from late 90's Bianchi catalogs?