Rebuilding a knackered bike to prime

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Man on his Bianchi bike in Brixton

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – That expanding collection as the n+1 addiction kicks in.

“My kids are older, so I can go out riding and one day I was looking on eBay and I saw this, and the guy who as selling it lived just around the corner from where I worked and that gave me the opportunity… to go and look at it because I would never buy something without seeing it, and I persuaded him to take it off eBay if I gave him cash – and that was it. So I have been riding this since about 2011 there abouts.

“It was kind of knackered. The guy who had it before was a big fella so he put on quite a lot of strain so I replaced quite a lot of components and stuff. But then little things, like this is the original Veloce derailleur, is still fine. Cleaned it. Works good.

“I am a big believer that, since I have an Italian frame, I have to have Italian components on it. Campagnolo stuff and that costs a little bit more. But I tend to try and look after those things. You can be obsessive about it and I don’t want to do that. But I want to be sure they work and last.

“Since then I have bought a couple of other bikes and am building up my own collection. My surname is Dolan, so I had to get a Dolan. I just bought the frame and then got all the parts and put them on myself. I have a pretty good sense of the kind of bike I like to ride. My Dolan, I have a standard chainset and longer stem and it is built a little bit more for speed rather than endurance. I do the odd time trial on it, put some aerobars on it.

“If I was going to get a dream bike, money no object, I would probably go for one of the new LOOK aerolights. In the Mondrian colours, just because they look so lovely. But I would not want to ride it unless it was a perfectly dry, sunny day, so. But I have not got the speed to justify it. I read the cycling press and cycling is a money pit. But if you can get your components for cheap. I mean, the clothing I am wearing, these are supermarket bibs. I wear these all winter. Cheap socks. Shoes I bought on sale. You have got to look, right? They are a very good pair of shoes. I have had them for four or five years. I work in the music business so it is kind of ingrained in me. Make the first impression count and fuck all the rest.”


Photographer’s notes: 

I kid you not, this could be me. Part of it. I have too many bikes (n), almost. Still need +1 to make the collection complete. And I have a few that have come from eBay. I went shopping and found basic frames, decent road frames, that would let me get access to a fast ride without bankrupting my wallet. Plus the shoes – three pairs. I used to think one pair was enough, but I have gotten tired of riding in wet shoes the day after a rainstorm.

If you are interested in his club, he rides with New Malden Velo and you can see their location and rides on their website here….

And if interested in the bicycle obsession, have a gander at the LOOK aerolight frame and what money can buy… Website link here…

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