British time trial legend Ian Cammish has put his 1983 record-breaking time trial bike up for sale because, he says, his wife is fed up of looking at it above their fireplace.
In the days before aero bars and helmets with long tails, ‘funny bikes’ with sloping top tubes and upturned bars ruled the dual-carriageway drag strip battlegrounds of the UK time trial scene.
Right through the 1980s, Ian Cammish dominated time-trialling, winning the British Best All-rounder series nine times between 1980 and 1989 - only the 1987 title escaped him.
In 1983, Cammmish broke the competition records for out-and-back 100-mile and 50-mile distances, becoming the first rider to crack 30mph for 50 miles. He still holds the Road Records Association titles for straight-out 50- and 100-mile rides.
The bike he’s selling was built by Brian Rourke, and his description of the parts and the reason he’s selling it makes the eBay auction well worth a read, even if you're not in the market for a retro TT bike.
Cammish writes: “I've put a starting bid of £1500 ... which reflects the minimum value I put on it and the fact I don't really want to get rid of it ... but at least it'll keep the Mrs happy if I can say it's up on here for sale
“Own a piece of time trialling history by breaking my heart and making my wife happy.
“(DO please look after it if you buy it).”
Cammish used PMP L-shaped cranks back in the day but you don’t get those with this bike because “Unfortunately the PMP cranks cracked a long time ago and were replaced with Ron Kitching's superlight Tevano ones (still very nice and extremely rare).”
Other notable parts include a Mavic rear mech that was functionally a clone of the Campagnolo Super Record of the time and a “collector's piece in itself” and Modolo Kronos brakes that Cammish says “cost a bleedin' fortune ... just do a search on here and see for yourself”.
Surprisingly he doesn’t make mention of the Cinelli M71s. These clipless pedals preceded the Look design and were popular with time triallists in the ’70s and ’80s. Almost nobody else used them because they were practically impossible impossible to get out of in a hurry.
The bike is a 59cm frame, but Cammish says: “Let's face it you're not going to want to ride this surely? It should be framed and hung above someone's fireplace. My Mrs is fed up looking at it above ours ... one of the reason she wants rid.”
Acknowledged by the Telegraph as a leading cycling journalist, John Stevenson has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc editor Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013 and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.