These are my bikes for 2017

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Bike frames and wheels packaged for transit

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – Compact and tight, the starting point for my 2017 bikes.

What started as a momentary entertainment has become a small, personal obsession. The Velominati Rule 12, of N+1 has taken me. I have seven unfinished frames that I am readying for the upcoming year. I have this continually expanding collection I cannot seem to stop from growing.

The problem began two years when I went looking for a decent road frame – just one – to get a faster ride up and running. One frame led to a second from the same person and I had to have that, as well. It was a custom paint job that will demand a photo when it gets two wheels on the ground.

Two frames in, that was when I realised Ribble frames were undervalued and could be gotten cheap. That I am in need of the largest frames helps. The demand  is limited, supply more than enough for my pocket book.

Then another frame. And then another. Then I saw good frames going for next to nothing. Had to have them, as well. Then I saw the need for a fixed gear, as well as something with fenders.

By the time I went to collect them, I had five more frames (two are fixes); five wheel sets; three group sets; tires; spare shoes; clothing; carbon fibre forks; and more.

Everything is a result of eBay, by far the best way to get affordable second hand materials. I mean, I have five Ribble frames, now. All from eBay. All for under 25 euros. Some for as little as 5 euros. Frankly, Ribble is the under-valued frames going on sale.

In my latest binge, I gathered another five sets of wheels. Wheels go for about 60 euros per wheel in Belgium. These were under 45 for a pair. Including shipping. Group sets are a little more expensive, depending on how fanatical the components.

Over the coming weeks, I am going to start the builds, get the wheels matched to frames, the groupsets aligned to create a decent collection.

There are a lot of good bikes out there that can be had for next to nothing. People who are parting ways with frames that have been in their garage for too long; or rebuilds they never managed to do. But it offers opportunities for other cyclists to bring life to these lost frames.

Right now, I have five Ribble frames in various states of renovation. I ride one every day and adore the control. I do weekend rides with people on bike vastly more expensive. The Ribble rides alongside, or further up the road. I have never looked at a carbon fibre frame w lust.

Buried in this collection is the frame I want as my new ride. The current Ribble will head to the UK as my ride one vacations. But this new Ribble is gorgeous and the sort of ride that makes me lust for a new bike.

Oh, and I have toi log in to eBay this morning.

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