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Bike used in world hour record project appears on online auction site

One of the bikes that Graeme Obree used to set his world hour record in 1993 is on sale on eBay.

As detailed in the film The Flying Scotsman, Obree attempted to beat the record for the furthest distance ridden in an hour – held at the time by Francesco Moser – in Hamer, Norway, on 16 July 1993.

He missed the mark by nearly a kilometre on the bike offered for sale, but with the track booked for 24 hours he had another go the following morning on his self-built Old Faithful, and set a new record of 51.596km. This beat Moser’s figure by 445 metres.

The eBay seller is Vic Haines. His description reads, “One of the 2 bikes used in the historic hour record ride, used in Hamar Oslo beating the legendary Francesco Moser's record of 51-15. Back in 1993 as the photos show the bike is in very good order having only been ridden in training and once for 1 hour, it has been on my boardroom wall for 10 yrs and then in secure storage facility.”

The bike is a carbon-fibre copy of Old Faithful. Rather than a separate top tube and down tube, it features a single tube that effectively extends into the chainstays, and a single-legged fork.

"I had modifications done at [Mike] Burrows, but he did not make it," Vic Haines told us. "I own the bike because I paid for it and a lot of other stuff to get Graeme Obree accepted as more than a circus act."

The bike has a reserve price that the current highest bid of £2,050 has not met, and the auction ends next Thursday, 9 January, at 1:46pm.

The original Old Faithful is displayed at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.

Obree rode both his world hour records in his ski-tuck position, with his chest horizontal and positioned very close to the bars and his upper arms against his sides.

Go to eBay if you’d like to put in a bid.

Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over the past 20 years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for seven years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a youthful 45-year-old Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.

14 comments

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samwstraw [27 posts] 2 years ago
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Just to clarify? Is this the one he rode the day before and didn't break the record? Then he switched to old faithful the next morning and beat it?

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jmaccelari [237 posts] 2 years ago
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It's a Specialized. Is he allowed to sell it or have they got the trademark?

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sm [368 posts] 2 years ago
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I'm guessing it's not the actual bike used otherwise the ebay blurb would mention such a fact to hike up the price. Still, quite the machine.

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Redvee [191 posts] 2 years ago
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samwstraw wrote:

Just to clarify? Is this the one he rode the day before and didn't break the record? Then he switched to old faithful the next morning and beat it?

I'm reading the book at the moment and there was a slight difference between this bike and Obree's original 'Old Faithful'. Can't remember exactly what it was but think it was the gearing that was different.

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samwstraw [27 posts] 2 years ago
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Well, this one is 100% washing machine free.

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Mat Brett [599 posts] 2 years ago
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samwstraw wrote:

Just to clarify? Is this the one he rode the day before and didn't break the record? Then he switched to old faithful the next morning and beat it?

We think it must be, but we're not 100% sure. We've contacted the seller on eBay for clarity but right now you know as much as we do. Everything we know comes from that eBay description. If anyone has any additional info, we'd be keen to hear it.

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alexhamps [7 posts] 2 years ago
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Chain's slack

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ragtimecyclist [158 posts] 2 years ago
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Imagine turning up for your sunday morning ride on that...with a straight face, as if to say 'new bike...so what?'  21

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smigos [1 post] 2 years ago
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From the eBay user name hainesace I assume this belongs to Vic Haines (Obree's former Manager). It is the Mike Burrows-built replica of Old Faithfull used for the first record attempt. Haines arranged to get the replica made as UCI rules dictate that two bikes are brought to the record attempt.

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Mat Brett [599 posts] 2 years ago
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smigos wrote:

From the eBay user name hainesace I assume this belongs to Vic Haines (Obree's former Manager). It is the Mike Burrows-built replica of Old Faithfull used for the first record attempt. Haines arranged to get the replica made as UCI rules dictate that two bikes are brought to the record attempt.

Nice one. Thanks for the confirmation. Cheers.

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Legin [86 posts] 2 years ago
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The seller is Vic Haines and he is the guy that financed and took Obree from being on the verge of quitting cycling to the achievement he is most noted for. You will not see Haines ever referred too in detail in any article or book sanctioned by Obree basically because Obree wiped Haines from his history; sometimes your hero's aren't what they seem to be!

I guess if you don't acknowledge the main contributor to your success you don't have to reward them by either repaying any debt or sharing the rewards.

This bike is the copy Haines had made to comply with UCI rules that there must be at least two versions of every bike used for an hour record; attempt or the attempt is invalid. Obree didn't even know the rule existed!

Someone would do well to get Haines's side of the story; he can be a bit garrulous but he has always given a lot to cycling and had an encouraging word for many riders even the plodders. He is well known around these parts  1

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pmr [196 posts] 2 years ago
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If thats a replica not the one he did the actual record on, ... well does it still have washing machine bearings?!!!  4

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ped [207 posts] 2 years ago
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The purchase of the bike (and the breakdown of relationship between Vic and Graeme) is mentioned here: http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/cycling-obree-to-turn-pro-after-split...

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stenmeister [216 posts] 2 years ago
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Haines' was interviewed for Edward Pickering's excellent book 'Race Against Time' which details the rivalry between Boardman and Obree.

Haines was quite disgruntled at the way Obree treated him and said that he owned the bike and that it was his intention to sell it.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Race-Against-Time-Boardman/dp/0593070267/ref...