Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Craigslist, Correspondence and yet ANOTHER Cuevas...

It all started with this ad I found via Craigslist earlier in the week:

Then began the correspondence:

Subject: Cuevas Track Bike on Craigslist

Me: Hey man, just wondering if it's still available or not? Can you give me some more details about it if it is? Please let me know when you get a chance. Thanks! Alan

Him: Still available. This is a handmade cromoly frame with a chrome fork. Back wheel is very tight depending on gear choice and chain. I put on the crank that I used when I road this bike regularly. I will sell with a few additional chain rings. I believe that I have 44, 47, 48. I will sell with my best tubular wheels. They are campy record, tied and soldiered. 32 spoke front, 36 rear the rims are 165 gram. I have some old tubulars tires on them now, nothing special. I think one tire might be flat. Sprinters bars and track stem. The seat post needs to be replaced - it works but it is scared up from being modified to fit in my monarch ergometer. I will include a pair of my old look pedals (not the keo size, original size). The paint is dull and tired. The frame is true and rides fine. The rear stays make this bike more of a sprinters bike than pursuit. I will also include a few cogs for the rear. You can make up a bunch of different ratios from 44x19 to 48 x 14 if memory serves me. Can I meet you to show you the bike?

Me: Hey man, wow thanks for all the extra info! I'd love to come check out your Cuevas track bike sometime this week. I have a car so I can just meet you over by, or at your place. Please let me know when you have time to meet up and we'll try to schedule something soon! Thanks again man!

Him: Wednesday, I will be taking my truck to work. I can put the bike in the truck and meet you ine western Nassau or in Queens. If you plan on riding on the track, I can meet you there so you get a first hand feel for how this bike rides. One of the tires has a slow leak, but you could get a few laps in. Do you ride the old LOOK cleats or have pedals and cleats that you would want to put on the bike so you can test ride?

Me: Hey man, Thanks for getting back to me so soon. But yeah, that sounds great! About what time on Wednesday would you be available? Meeting you at the track would be cool too. I have a set shoes with LOOK cleats but I haven't ridden them in a while. I'll try to remember to bring em in with me. I'm sure the bikes rides great but giving it a try would be pretty awesome! Please let me know when you gt a chance! Thanks, Alan

Him: I typically leave work around 5 or so myself. I would be able to get to the track by around six. The look pedals on the bike are not the smaller (keo) cleat but the older cleat.
Just to be clear. This is a crome moly reynold 531 double butted frame. Built in the early 80s for sprinting - that means beafy rear triangle. The frame is very tight both front and rear. Old Cinelli allow track bars. Chrome fork. Needs paint - currently flat black. I am selling it with wheels, but you probably wouldn't want to ride them off a track. The seat post works, but it isn't pretty. I am basically selling the frame, headset, bottom bracket and crank. The rest I am selling as part of the deal because I won't be on the track anymore. I will sell all the track parts I have with the bike -- additional chainrings and cogs. The bike is set up to ride, but will need one tire. I have a few spare tires, but not sure what holds air. The frame alone is worth what I am asking if you know what you are looking at. Let me know if you want to meet. We can firm up the metting with a call on Wednesday, but I would need to know before Tuesday night so I can pull everything together.

Me: Hey man, thanks again for even more info! That really does sounds like a pretty great set up you've got going there too. I can easily meet you at the track after I get outta work Wednesday. I usually get out later but if 6 is best for you I can just split early to make the meet.. Quick question about sizing: You said it's a 58cm frame. Are you measuring Center to Center on the Seat Tube or Center to Top? Also, could you tell me what the CTC of the Top Tube is when you get a chance?

In any case, I'm def interested in meeting up with you Wednesday. Let's keep in touch and talk sometime tomorrow night to just confirm things so you can be ready and all packed up for Wednesday..

Thanks again man and I'll talk to ya soon!


p.s. - Here's my number BTW: 1.917.sorryladiez!

Him: Looks like 58 cm to the middle of the top tube. I am sorry, I don't know what you mean by the term CTC of the tp tube. I assume you want to know center of the seat tube to the center of the steering tube. That looks like 55.5 cm.
I checked the additional equipment: cogs 14, 15, 16 and 18 chain rings 44, 49 and 50. Additional rear wheel (double sided).
I cleaned her up tonight. Both of the better wheels have tires that hold air. Spare rear has a leak. I wish I lived closer to the track and could think about going back to train there.
Don't worry about cutting out of work. You can get there when you can as long as there is light out enough to ride. Just confirm that you are planning on showing or I am liable to get re-hooked on the track and think better about selling the bike.

Me: Hey man, Yeah the measurements I was referring to are the center to center of the top tube which would be measured from the center of the Head Tube to the center of the Seat tube. Sounds like you got that right though. And the other is measured along the seat tube from the Center of the Bottom Bracket to the Center of where the Top Tube intersects with the seat tube.. All the other rings and cogs are awesome man! Lots of great gearing combos to be had.. Is the crank, BB, chainring, cogs, and headset Campy as well?

As for Kissena, its pretty bumpy. I mean, I ride in the street a lot so I'm used to it but when you're rolling at mach 2 on a track it's kinda not cool. Someone needs to open a proper wooden indoor Velodrome around here somewhere. Granted it's free and better than nothing but it's a bit of a bummer. Lots of people still go so I guess they're just used to it..

Anyways, I'm looking forward to checking the bike out along with the other parts you have for it. I'm into just about anything cycling related so if you've got any other memoribilia I'd love to have a look..

Thanks again man and I'll ttys! Alan

Him: bb, headset, cranks and hubs are campy record. Chain rings are Sugino, they were compatible and just as strong at 2/3rds the price. Gearing for warm ups and racing without having to break the chain. Racing at 88, 90 and 92.
As for the track, it is in much better shape than it was in the 80s when I raced. They took a good deal of the bump out of turn four and put a railing up so some kid on a dirt bike can't just fly across the banking. 400 meter is much too big and it wasn't banked enough to really race on. Back in the day when I used to motor pace to train, we couldn't consider the track. The indoor track has been a dream forever.
Kissena was actually built as a concession because when they built the original Shea, they destroyed the City's last track. At one time there were a few tracks around the City. Kissena was built on landfill, so they couldn't build it out of cement because of some crazy ordinance that says it has it can't be a permanent structure until the ground finishes settling - 100 years or so.
Call me tomorrow. I will assume that you are coming and bring the bike with me to work unless you tell me otherwise. I will check my email tonight.

Me: Hey man,

Sugino rings?! Oh well jeez, I'm not interested anymore- hehe, naw, that's totally cool man! I have a couple of sets of Sugino 75 cranks/rings and I love em'!

Yeah, from what I've heard from racers and friends who lived in the area that track was pretty jacked up for a long, long time. I actually remember seeing the report on NY1 when they first completely rebuilt it and was pretty stoked! Though by the time I got out there it was already cracking and bumpy..

It's sad when you think about how rich the track racing scene was here in our area and now all we have left is Kissena. God I'd kill for there to be a proper concrete track like in Trexlertown PA! I've heard that someone is going to build an indoor one a bit closer but it'll still be nearly 2hrs away. I actually live in Jersey near Fort Lee and have heard lots of stories about all the local tracks and races etc.. Actually there's this great article I found online a while ago that you might get a kick out of:

I actually went to the site of the brothers shop from the article and it's now THE gnarliest ghetto ever. What I wouldn't do to go back to the early 90's to hang out and shoot the shit with those old timers!

Anyways man, you can count on me to be there tomorrow! Just give me a call at some point to let me know what's going on and when you think you'll be there.. Here's my number again: 1.917.NODICE

Thanks a lot!


Him: OK. I will give you a call.
In the early 80s I raced Kissena every Thursday from mid April/May until Labor Day. I worked at Queens College and trained at the track a few night a week. I road more than a few Madisons (named after the six day races in the Garden). I trained with Leslie Moore the year after she divorced Harvey "Leonard" Nitz. He was the most decorated male cyclist with 17 national jerseys. Leslie was the number three woman in the country at that point. I road a 1:17 kilo on Kissena when the nationals were being contested on good tracks at 1:09. Mike McCarthy was a junior on my small team - he went on to ride the Tour de France for a year or two. I raced as a Cat 2 for two years against Davis Phinny, Eric Heiden and a few other notable people and had the opportunity to get my doors blown off in LA at the Nationals in 84. Cycling was grass roots at that point. Nelson Vails went on to get a silver medal in 84 at the Olympic games. The boycot tainted all the medals. I left the sport in 85 after becoming discouraged about all the roids in the game.
I feel fortunate to have been a part of the big time for a while, even if I was always struggling to keep it together.
See you tomorrow night.


Last night I found myself spending about an hour on the L.I.E. to travel all of 7 miles to get out to Kissena. Yeah, I'm sure there's some wonky ass back roads
way but 1) I HATE Queens and 2) If there was, everyone would undoubtedly take it.. Anyways, I finally made it and there was a very good turn out at the track as far as people actually riding goes. The dude was a super awesome guy and was cool to bull shit with for a bit. He dropped a bunch of old school names and talked about how they had to cut open and patch the sides of their jeans to get their thighs to fit, hehe.

Sometimes the best part about finding these old bikes and parts is
hearing the story behind them from the riders themselves. Something about hearing the history straight from the people who lived it gives me a better sense and connection of what it was really like during that time. I think it's what makes fixing them up and putting em to good use after years of neglect that much more rewarding. Not to mention the fact that I am now only the second owner of this bike! But enough of that shit cause I'm sure you're just wanting to just see the fucking thing already:

Here's everything I got:

A Zeus wrench, two more Sugino chainrings 49/44 and cogs 16/14 all NJS:

Along with an extra rear wheel with an old Suzue dual fixed hub. Spokes also tied and soldered laced to a Chromo tubular rim..

Parts run down:

Early 80's Custom Cuevas Track frame and Chrome fork
Campy Record hubs laced to tubulars (can't remember the name) tied and soldered
Campy Record Cranks
Campy Record BB
Campy Record Pista Headset
3ttt Alloy stem
Cinelli Alloy bars
Saddle, pedals, chain and post are all junk..

More pics on my flickr..

For whatever reason I just KNEW deep down that it was not a 58cm and would fit me. Even after I asked him about it. The first thing I did was measure it when he pulled it out of his truck. The exact measurements are 56 CTC ST and 55.5 CTC TT.. pretty much absolutely fuuuucking perfect for me! Just check out how freaking tight the geo is:

Soooo zexy!

So for all that I paid a measly $500 bucks- YESSSSSSZZZZ!!!!! Which is fuuucking retardely good seeing as how I paid $500 for my first Cuevas Track frame I bought a while back frame and fork only!

Not too sure what I'm going to do with this one yet. I haven't really had time to inspect it thoroughly since I got home kinda late last night. It felt a bit crunchy when I rode it around but should do very well with a complete overhaul. If I keep it I think I'll most likely keep it as original as possible. Maybe find a couple of NOS replacement parts if I need em along with a repaint possibly.. So yeah, now I have TWO Cuevas builds to work on. How hard is my life???



Anonymous said...

longest post ever.

Anonymous said...

you jammy bastard! how do you even fit in your apartment now?

CyclingWMD said...

aaahaha, yeah, my plan is to make a feeble attempt at solving that issue tomorrow..

jros said...

i hate you.