Once upon a time we met up with Max in the woods while it pissed rain. He posed a bit for my camera as soon as we made sure no one was around. Then I helped him fix a flat tire and he was on his way. We've shared the results of that chance encounter here, we encourage you to check it out.
With the history we share with Max behind us, it's time to visit the story of Max and his new bike:
As a late bloomer in the slightly more "serious" world of cycling (not the BMX cruising I did going to school as a kid), I was oblivious to world of custom bicycles. As I became more immersed in the cycling culture I discovered the beauty of the bespoke bicycle.
On my first trip to NAHBS in Richmond VA (2010?), I saw Richard's bicycles in person. Something completely different than what most of the show was about (all the newest bells and whistles, tapered this, oversized that, etc.) which really intrigued me. I saw something I have lusted for ever since ...
Fast-forward 6 years and many bikes in between, this 1983 Sachs road (#973) came up on the internet chopping block. After two emails between Richard and I, it was on it's way to California from Connecticut.
Unpacking it was something special. I could see the shiny paint peak out between layer upon layer of bubble wrap. It could not have taken any longer! I really had to be careful with the knife as to not damage it before it's first ride.
The frame is made of Columbus SL tubing with Samson IC cast frame parts, and is painted by legendary painter and frame builder, Brian Baylis.
I decided to stay true to it's original heritage and do my first Campy build. Ten speed Chorus drivetrain, Enve 25 clinchers laced to DT240 hubs, Zipp post/stem, Fizik Aliante saddle, King Iris cages, Ultegra carbon pedals. Simple, efficient, elegant. At 17.8 lbs as you see it, it's no pig.
The ride itself is what I hoped for. Smooth on rough roads and fire roads native to most SoCal riding. No noodling in the back when climbing out of the saddle for lengthy periods of time. Snappy and responsive when carving tight hairpins. The Campy shifting ... I have seen the light; una cosa di bellezza.
I have a problem. I can't commit to bikes.
But this is different. I have a good feeling we'll go down with the proverbial sinking ship, together.
All images by Steven Nereo, and we encourage you to see his other work here.