Beautiful Bikes...the bikes people ride and why? Episode 1.

Posted by Peter Melville on 22nd Apr 2014

Episode 1.

Steve Chambers' Eddy Merckx (Tarragindi, Brisbane)

Bike specs:


Eddy Merckx
Model Corsa Extra
Size (top tube horizontal) 56cm
Fork Columbus
Wheels Campagnolo Zonda
Hubs Campagnolo
Tires Vittoria Rubino Pro
Pedals Shimano R540-SL
Stem Cinelli A1 Quill Stem
Bar Tape Cinelli Gel Cork
Casette Campagnolo 10 Speed
Front Derailleur Campagnolo Veloce
Rear Derailleur Campagnolo Veloce
Shift Levers Campagnolo Veloce
Front Brake Campagnolo Veloce
Rear Brake Campagnolo Veloce
Crankset Campagnolo Veloce
Accessories Saddle (Selle Italia), Seatpost (Campagnolo)

About the rider: Tell us a little about yourself?

Well there’s a little bit of a boy or girl in every adult cyclist isn’t there?Perhaps it’s the adrenaline, perhaps the sense of freedom, or the joy of being out exploring the world around us.Maybe we just think it keeps us youthful.I’ll happily believe that it does.

I mix my riding with some running and swimming.For some reason that mix of activities gels with my sense of self.I think it stems from watching the epic battles between triathletes Brad Bevan, Chris McCormack, and Greg Welch.Each pushing the other into uncomfortable aerobic territory!

What sort of riding do you do?

This is where things become more schizophrenic…My first bike was a road bike and I currently have two road bikes.That would be double most sensible folk and ones actual requirements.I love road riding, the sheer efficiency and beauty of a quality bike, the camaraderie, and yes the coffee and chat afterwards. I’m not a fan of weight-weenies unless you’re racing, so you won’t find me on a time trial bike trundling along the flat being passed by your grandfather on his hybrid!

To balance, I also have two mountain bikes, so I’m definitely not a purist by any measure!These are for fun and family time.We are lucky to have some fabulous trails around Brisbane.To my way of thinking it is hard to go past climbing a steep dirt trail on a cold winter’s day, steam puffing from each nostril, sweat pouring of the face preparing to freeze on the downhill.Of equal joy is watching the smiles on ones progeny as they gain new skills, get big air, or drift around a bend.

How long have you been cycling?

Umm, too long to reveal.Will ‘since I was two years old’ suffice as an answer to this question?

How did you come to choose your bike?

Well, this frame was actually on eBay.I was missing my late 1980’s custom built van Werkhoven road bike and started looking for a surrogate.
Fortunately I was in luck and came across a 1985 Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra frame in my size.An unbelievably good frame that just begged to be restored and re-built.

I worked with Joe Cosgrove of Cycle Design Frame Painting to authentically restore the frame and build up the bike.Now it’s up and running it is an absolute delight to ride.Steel framed, comfortable and fast.It surprises me each and every time I ride just how good a nearly 30 year old frame can be.There is no substitute for quality!

Groupset: What’s you choice of weapon?

With Columbus tubing there was only one choice – Campagnolo in traditional silver.

Do you have any particular favourite component, accessory or add-on?

Well everyone else likes the wheels, which are new Campagnolo Zonda.For me it’s the fact that Campagnolo make a very sexy retro looking groupset, and that Cinelli still make their Giro d’Italia traditional silver handlebars.

If you could choose another bike to add to your stable, what would you go for?

Isn’t four bikes enough?Silly question, of course not.I would actually like to do some touring, so perhaps a hybrid with a basket on the front?That way I can park it at the top of Mont such-and-such and enjoy a bottle of French red, a round of ripe Brie, and a crusty baguette with my girl.

Finally, and most importantly, does your steed have a nickname?

‘The Merckx’ not particularly creative I know!


Comments!Somebody please scan every fixie to see if it’s an antique frame in pain.If so, then buy and restore it, or give it someone who will!

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