Olivia’s Lawrencia Mixte aka “Lardee”
Below is my initial reaction after picking up a bike Olivia purchased on eBay.
Jeez life gets busy. But as a wise man aka my boss, once said, sleep is for chicks. But hey I’m not giving up on this little project. Im just going to power on restoring bikes including this little number.
She has been named Lardee by her future owner who purchased her in a state nothing short of a nightmare. I hope she doesn’t read this because I pretended that it would all be okay when I first met the bike and its owner. Fortunately it has come up nicely after a thorough clean and hopefully the new owner will appreciate the hard work which has transformed this bike into something thats far from perfect, but passable, worth restoring, and in the words of another wise man, Id hit that.
Here’s some before and afters for your enjoyment.
Some parts came in today all the way from the USA. It took 11 days to ship so its been quite a long wait. Should opt for express postage next time.
This is quite an expensive build, but Lardee’s owner wanted to spend on quality components so that she would never look at her bike and think: you need an upgrade, and that mentality has really turned this tired old bike into a delightfully restored bicycle.
Featured in this post are french styled handlebars, ratcheting thumb shifters, inverse brake levers and brass bell.
Here was a lateupdate #2.
Lardee is already being enjoyed on the streets of Darlinghurst, Sydney, by her new owner so I am MEGA behind!
Here are some progess pictures I took of the cup holder (yes it was designed to hold cups and cans rather than bottles), the hammered fenders, cranks, MKS pedals, Shimano derailleur and Araya alloy rims. 80% of these parts are nice alloy parts which were used in a bid to save weight and improve the overall quality of the bike. The owner chose to ditch the chrome rims in favour of slightly less polished alloy rims, which are a million times safer to ride in the rain.
Looking back, Im just so amazed at how well this bike looked and felt after admittedly, a lot of work, keeping in mind how it used to look. This bike was bought off eBay, but hundreds or thousands like it must be simply dumped at the tip out or left out to rot. Its such a shame that people throw away these beautiful bikes.
This is the last update before finishing the bike and highlights the simple but elegant touches which sets this bike apart from the rest.
Its clear from earlier posts that Lardee was quite an ordinary bike. Ordinary mild steel frame, it is a mixte frame though. Oridinary original paint in okay condition, still better than a powder coat in my mind. Lastly, very, very ordinary components. However the seemingly insignificant, yet excessively time consuming, hand-made touches, such as the twined thumb shifters, cup holder, kick stand and the shellaced grip tape, together with the beautiful leather saddle, ridiculously over priced combo of shifters, shifter pods and handlebars, and the Rivendell saddlesac soon to be united with this bike by its owner, has really transformed this ordinary bike into something a little bit spesh.
Another thing to notice is how much was spent on the bits of the bike which the owner would spend the most time touching: the pedals, the saddle and the handlebars. I think its important that if your going to enjoy riding your bike, mnoney needs to be invested in all of those points of contact. Would you really enjoy riding a bike with awful rubber grips and fake plastic leather saddle…probably not.
Finally, Id just like to reiterate, no other eBay seller, no matter how experienced they claim to be, or how popular they may be, offers this level of attention to detail as apart of their service. Enjoy the pics which will be up shortly.