Dan's Duo

You must know, although we think we're rappers and long for glamourous days in East London, we'll be the first to admit that we hail from the City of Dreaming Spires where the fixed gear scene has much more noble connotations. As we're an Oxford blog, we felt it appropriate to have a chat with our mate Dan Bowen, who has a much more local approach to his collection of vintage builds. 
Here's what he had to say:

Bike 1 - "The turd"

Background : cobbled together no real background...

This is my fixed gear - perfect for the canal path/round Oxford cycle. Got all together for under £50. - Its called "the turd" because its basically a pile of shit but also its colour and constant smelly mud it gets covered in going down the river. ..

The completely messed up and haphazard build of the bike makes for actually quite a fun ride especially the budget braking system (where if you break they don't recoil so you have to dismount or do some resistance training..) . It was not built for barspins or Ines Brunn style tricks but just go get from A to B with a little bit of fun & style

Parts - God knows but originally built out of a old Claud Butler frame 23" or so I am told...

Bike 2 - "Archibald" (Dan's pride and joy)

Called Archibald as I brought the frame off a guy on LFGSS who made me wait in Marble arch for 3 hours before he finally decided to turn up. I decided to build it because I got bored of the plastic feel of modern road bikes and wanted something special. Originally I wanted to restore the frame to former glory with a Campag Victory groupset but that costs to much (just type it into google) and I was far to desperate to ride so went a little budget. Why merckx? Well obviously he is be best rider of all time but I wanted something slightly different from the normal bikes you see around Oxford. Also my Dad used to own a Molteni merckx (the best bike ever made).

anyway enough about me - the bike :

Frame: 1985 team lotto frame as seen is the two photo links attached at end of Email: Would of actually been used by professional riders as merckx did not do "stock" in those days. Columbus SLX tubing of course (top notch back then).  60cm c-c seat tube, top tube 58 c-c so a little to big for me but short stem and plenty of food and long nights sleep and it will soon be perfect . Brought of chriss aa on LFGSS. They only rode on the yellow frame in 1985 making it pretty rare...

Wheels : These  are Mavis and quite deep (but real deep  not shite ebay £99 ones). Also the legendary Mavic 571 hubs, often considered the finest hubs ever made. Just an idea of how good they are I was walking my bike home from town, lifted up the front wheel and span it - it managed to spin from the Randolph to browns at walking pace.... Brought of Illy originally on LFGSS. Also tubular which can be a little pain in the ass but I am growing to like them.

Groupo: Shimano (Sorry) 600 - still pretty good and picked up at a nice price From LFGSS

Saddle: Pretty sweet Concor (definitely recommended). Its a turbo which I personally think is their best "Retro" one. Although the Rolls also look pretty sweet - but did not cut it for this bike. Personally Concor have won it over Brooks for me as brooks are becoming a bit over popular - also are thief magnets......

Stem and Bars: need upgrading - going to replace with cinelli when I get the cash. So if anyone has a 80mm Cinelli - I will buy it.

It runs on 8 speed - however more like 7 as on the smallest it rubs the chain/seat stay owing the the fact I changed the cassette to make it more hill friendly (If I can admit that one a fixed gear orientated website...)

Cheers Dan!
Shame about the 7 extra gears on the Merckx.


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