Own a Piece (or Two) of Cyclocross History

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A Vintage Philippe steel cyclocross bike

A Vintage Philippe steel cyclocross bike ridden by the late Steve Larsen is up for auction

Sure, we here at Cyclocross Magazine are lucky to be able to ride the latest and greatest cyclocross bikes, often made of exotic materials, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have an appreciation for the classic bikes of yesteryear. The dedicated eBay hunter can find the occasional vintage cyclocross bike throughout the year, but this week we discovered two rare classic cyclocross steeds up for auction that the ’cross historian should appreciate.

Steve Larsen’s Philippe vintage cyclocross bike is one of the vintage bikes up for auction, and it’s reportedly one of only four ever made. The late Steve Larsen excelled at every racing discipline he tried, and cyclocross was no exception. His early steel Philippe cyclocross steed remains built exactly as he raced it in the early 90s, complete with Shimano bar-con 7-speed shifters, a second generation Shimano Ultegra 600 rear derailleur, 7-speed freewheel, Vittoria Tigre tubulars, Campagnolo Record hubs, headset and crankset with dual chainguards, Deore XT cantilever brakes and what we believe is a huge Mafac rear cable quick release. The frame itself has some pretty cool features worth noting, including a built-in rear brake cable stop, internal gear cable housing, steel Vitus tubing and the ultra-PRO “Fabrication Pro 7″ decal.

Steve Larsens' Philippe cyclocross bike

Steve Larsen's Philippe cyclocross bike

Want to ensure this bike is preserved forever?  You can always bid on it and if you win, donate it to Cyclocross Magazine’s growing collection of vintage ’cross parts. We hope one day to open a mini-museum to showcase such items of ’cross history for all to enjoy.

The other bike that caught our attention was a lucky garage sale find by a stoked eBayer – a Miyata Alumicross vintage cyclocross bike. This bonded aluminum cyclocross bike might be one of the first aluminum production ’cross bikes to hit our shores that didn’t come from the Alan/Guerciotti/Vitus factory in Italy. It was also unique in that it featured aluminum tubes bonded to steel lugs.

1989 Miyata Alumicross cyclocross bike

This early production 1989 Miyata Alumicross cyclocross bike is up for grabs on eBay

The Japanese company Miyata didn’t just design an early hybrid in building the Alumicross. The company was an early believer in the “insanity of cyclocross” and advertisements touted the Alumicross as the perfect vehicle to get from “Point A to Point B” over “hard surface, mud pits and fallen trees.”

This Alumicross, like the Philippe, also features internal cable routing, but this frame routes the rear brake cable housing, not shift cables, internally, and this keeps the brake cable away from your hand or shoulder on dismounts and run-ups.

The components selection includes a modest selection of vintage, original, no-nonsense Japan-sourced Suntour, SR Sakae and Sansin parts, along with the original IRC cross country tires.

It’s a neat chance to own one of the earliest Japanese production cyclocross bikes without needing to go on a wild goose chase looking for period-correct parts. Check it out.

 

 

Cyclocross Magazine, Issue 22, Print and digital subscriptionsHave you subscribed yet? You're missing out if not. Get all-original content and your cyclocross fix throughout the year with a subscription and Issue 23 back copy, with features on Lars van der Haar, Jonathan Page, Elle Anderson and more!
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