If you fancy owning a piece of movie history, a British bike shop is selling bikes that were used in the forthcoming Lance Armstrong film starring Ben Foster.
Ultimate Cycles are offering bikes that were bought direct from the production company working on the Stephen Frears film, although they can’t guarantee that every bike will make the final cut. They have premises in Portsmouth, Hampshire, where you can view the bikes.
The yet to be named film focuses on Irish sports journalist David Walsh, played by Chris O’Dowd (The IT Crowd, Bridesmaids), and his search for evidence to expose Armstrong’s use of performance enhancing drugs.
The bikes on offer are in some cases original period bikes sourced for the film, some that were built specifically for the film, and others that are modern bikes finished to look like pro bikes from the Armstrong era.
This is a Trek Madone from 2005, for example, in a replica US Postal Service team finish. Ultimate Cycles think that it’s a Madone 5.9 SL, although they’re not totally sure because of the respray. It’s equipped with a Shimano Dura-Ace groupset and is priced at £1,100. Like most of the other bikes on offer, it doesn’t have logos (more on that in a mo).
This is an Italia RC, a current aluminium/carbon frame in the Condor lineup, given a red paint job to look like a Cannondale (vaguely; we don’t imagine the average cinema goer will be checking out the bikes in detail). It comes with a Campagnolo Centaur/Xenon groupset and is priced at £749.
Why the lack of logos? Well, you can't sell a Condor with Cannondale logos on it. That looks dodgy. So the production company had to take any false logos off the bikes – which was the correct thing to do with the above Condor, originally disguised as a Cannondale.
The trouble is, the people doing the job didn't know which bikes were stickered up correctly and which weren't, so they took the logos off all the bikes to be on the safe side, which is why the Trek above is stickerless.
This one is a Condor Italia RC too, painted up to look like a T-Mobile Giant. It is also priced £749.
"Some of the bikes went to the cast and crew but we bought the rest from Ventoux Productions who were working on the film," said Iain Ferguson, owner of Ultimate Cycles.
Iain says that he has 45 more bikes in addition to the ones already on the website.
"There are some lovely Columbus lugged frames that look just like original Eddy Merckx frames, and some random ones like Gazelles and Peugeots.
"We have another couple of T-Mobile Pinarellos to go up, 10 Project One Trek Madones and the same number of old blue USPS Trek 500s.
"One De Rosa Titanio eos that we've sold was lovely, and I’ve taken a 2005 Trek Madone 5.9 SL for myself because that's one that I particularly remember Lance riding. There's an original steel Motorola Eddy Merckx TSX too. Someone is going to have to offer me a lot of money to part with that one!"
For more details go to www.ultimatecycles.co.uk.
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over 20+ years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for eight 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 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.