Italian Dreams–Benotto & Atala
These two beauties make a cameo appearance in the previous post, but they’re both worthy of special mention. We all have some appreciation for the beauty and flow of the Romance languages, and bicycle makers in those nations have indeed capitalized on the American desire for something a little bit more–how shall we put this–well, maybe just a little prettier. Think Bianchi, De Rosa, Colnago or even (dare I say it) Peugeot. But the Italians seem to have maintained the most cachet, so let’s just focus on them for a minute. It’s also tempting to try and spin a fictional love story for Benotto and Atala; I am sure they do love each other very much, and enjoyed every minute they spent together riding along the cobblestone roads of the Italian countryside…of course now they have both found themselves in San Francisco, are a little lost, and need loving homes!
Atala, at 53 cm, would be a good fit for a human about 5’5″ to 5’9″. Benotto’s a little smaller, at 50 cm, and is seeking a rider in the 5’0″ to 5’4″ neighborhood. While both would like to think they’re priceless, the brutality of capitalism and the global marketplace have assigned each of them values of $550.
SFBC Winterfest Auction Bike – Custom built by Pedal Revolution
SFBC Winterfest Auction Bike – Custom built by Pedal Revolution
This bike was assembled from the frame up by Pedal Revolution and given to The San Francisco Bike Coalition for their Annual fundraising party – Winterfest!
Lead Mechanic Todd B. with assistance from two our Youth interns Daniel and Josh spearheaded the assembly utilizing many donated components from Soma Fabrications. This is a signature example of a custom refurbished Pedal Revolution bike; a classic steel frame completely rebuilt with great quality new parts into a totally reconfigured city bike. Our focus is versatility, function, reliability, and fun! Early mountain bike frames like this one had a very high level of craftsmanship from Japan and had more of a touring bike geometry compared to contemporary mountain bikes. We love transforming these classic bikes into unique and utilitarian commuter style bikes, capable of carrying significant loads and accommodating racks, baskets, and fenders. Many of our customers rely on their bikes as their primary mode of transportation, grocery getting, commuting, and recreation. They want a bike that can reliably get them to work and back home and then be outfitted for a weekend bike camping trip or out of town adventure.
Pedal Revolution is a non-profit bike shop that has been in business since 1992 and hosts a paid work internship program for at-risk bay area youth. We employ 20 young people every year as interns in our shop working side by side with our professional staff. Our interns learn a combination of basic work-readiness skills and participate in a bicycle service based training curriculum experiencing bicycle repair, assembly, and sales in our own business. Interns assist our professional staff in the building of our new and custom refurbished used bicycles like the one you see here. Our refurbished used bicycles arrive from donations from individuals like you who want to support our program. The bikes are stripped, assessed, and then rebuilt with new components to assure a long and reliable life. These bikes are unique, one of a kind creations with distinct style and a character all their own. Please consider donating your old bicycles, frames, or bike parts to our program to support our social mission. Next time you are in the market for a fantastic new or refurbished used bike come visit us!
Here are some photos of the before and after bike build process:
Pictured below are two of our current youth interns Josh and Daniel holding the vintage Miyata “Terra Runner” frameset that provided the foundation for this build:
80’s Japan built, triple butted, lugged steel goodness.
The paint was a little rough so we sent it off to our friends at Champion Powdercoating for a super sweet repaint.
We’ve come to referring to this textured blue finish as ” Pining for the Fjords Blue”.
Service Manager Joel had the bright idea to have the stem painted to match.
Came out quite nice!
Here are Josh and Daniel again with painted frame, fork, and stem with the new wheels and Soma Fabrications New Xpress tires which they set up and installed.
Below Daniel carefully shellacks the cork grips designated for the bike. We love the classic look of cork grips.
Shellacking weatherproofs them and keeps them looking good for a long time.
Brand new drivetrain with Sugino touring cranks, Shimano and IRD mechanicals, and stylish MKS touring pedals.
Shop bottle/shop sticker steeze.
Sprung leather touring saddle.
Soma Fabrications Oxford Handlebar, IRD thumbshifters, Champs Elysees front rack, and Wald basket….gotta have a basket.
Those grips though!
This was a really fun project for the Pedal Rev crew. Hope you like!
-80’s era Lugged steel Miyata “Terra Runner” early MTB frame
-Made in Japan
-Custom powder-coated “Pining for the Fjords Blue”
-Shimano 26” wheelset
-Soma Fabrications New Xpress Touring Tires
-Sugino XD500 Touring Crankset
-Shimano Deore M591 Long cage rear Derailleur
-IRD Front derailleur
-MKS Sylvan Touring Pedals
-Velo Orange Leather Saddle
-Soma Fabrications Oxford handlebar
-IRD 9spd indexed thumbshifters
-Shellacked Cork Grips
-Soma Fabrications Champs Elysees stainless front rack
Custom "Turbo Banana" Touring Rig, 56cm
Though there are indeed hundreds of types of bananas that we humans eat, they are all crosses of only two wild banana species. This makes bananas quite susceptible to disease, which led big fruit companies (primarily Dole) to buy up vast acreage in the tropics as a hedge against future outbreaks. Those interested in reading more about this subject should check out this book.
Even if you don’t have a particular affinity for the ubiquitous fruit, this brilliantly yellow bicycle may just suit your fancy. Been thinking about getting a Surly Long Haul Trucker or Cross Check, but want something with a whole lot more character? Then this rig might just be perfect for you. In fact, the stem/handlebars have been lifted directly from a brand new Cross Check, and feature 3X10 bar end mounted shifters.
You’ll note that there are plenty of rack and fender mounts, as well as a light mount on the fork. A good quality set of wheels (Shimano hubs/Sun CR18 rims, 36 spoke) should hold up well as the miles float by. Be sure to only wear Banana Boat sunscreen while you’re out there crushing those miles, however….
A good fit for somebody about 5’9″ to 5’11”. Come check it out!
Schwinn Sierra 8 Speed Nexus Internally Geared Hub 21" @Pedal Revolution Refurbished Bike Update
This Schwinn Sierra began life as an early era mountain bike and has all the characteristics that made the bikes of that time so versatile: Steel frame, relaxed geometry, long wheel base, low-ish bottom bracket, rack and fender mounts. Early mountain bike design borrowed a lot from classic touring bikes and were designed to be comfortable for off-road touring rather than the popular type of “shredding” style riding done today on contemporary mountain bikes. These early bikes were so robust that a few decades later the frames are still going strong. We love receiving donations of these bikes and rebuilding them as dependable utility commuter bikes. In fact, a current inclination among many San Francisco bike couriers is to use a rebuilt early era mountain bike for delivery, rather than the tried and true fixed gear or steel road bike. They are more comfortable for long days in the saddle, cheap to repair and replace, can accommodate heavy loads, aren’t flashy looking (theft deterrent!), and can take a beating!
This one got the unique treatment of an internally geared Shimano Nexus 8 speed wheelset plus all the other goodies that we love – Continental Touring tires, WTB saddle, upright Wald handlebar, new brakes, and full fenders for the rainy days to come.
21″ fits a taller individual of about 5’11”- 6’2″.
Custom Gitane 63 cm Town-Style 3 speed @ Pedal Revolution Refurbished Bicycle Update
Are you or someone dear to you between 6’1″ and 6’4″, dig the color orange, and in the market for a unique town-style bicycle that rides like a dream? If any of this rings true, you’d best come in to Pedal Rev to check out this Gitane.
According to the original sales paperwork provided by the gentleman who kindly donated it to us, this bike cost $165 way back in 1972. It still had all the original parts on it, and the paint is in great shape for its age. But cycling has come a long way since then and major changes were on order; in fact, the frame, seatpost, and matching original Zefal pump are the only items that weren’t replaced.
Cool details on this bike include a new polished 3-speed wheel, some vintage Suntour Cyclone cranks, and some pretty wide Nitto handlebars that’ll be well suited to the larger individual who ends up putting miles on this rig.
Some ergonomic Portland Design Works grips are comfortable on the hands, and the retro-look Tektro brake levers control new dual-pivot calipers that’ll bring this orange whip to a stop in no time.
Come on by and take it for a test ride!
Univega "Davey Jones Green" MTB Commuter 19" @Pedal Revolution Refurbished Bike Update
The rain and a chill in the air have slowed things down here at the shop and the fine mechanics at Pedal Revolution have been keeping busy building up a huge assortment of custom used bikes….almost too many to post! We have a good assortment of affordable commuter bike options as well as some nicer road, touring, and city bike rebuilds. Stop in and pay us a visit to see our latest offerings.
Here is a great deal of the day: A rebuilt Univega Alpina Uno set up for commuter duty with durable Continental City Ride tires. $325 for this bombproof steel framed utility bike!
19″ and an ideal fit for a rider 5’9″ – 6’1″.
Surly Straggler SRAM Apex Build @Pedal Revolution New Bike Update
Surly Straggler! One of Surly’s newest models takes the much loved Cross Check platform and ramps it up with disc brakes and integrated shifters. A perfect blend of new contemporary and classic proven technology, this do-it-all bike has all the modern road and “adventure” bike features like a full SRAM Apex road component group, Hayes cable actuated disc brakes, and chubby Surly Knard 70o/650 x 41 tires. Like it’s sister bike the Cross Check, the Straggler has all the rack and fender mounts you could ever need to set it up for a wet weather commute or as a fully loaded touring rig. You could even slap some 28mm road slicks on it and head out on a century or a heavy road ride with the spandex crowd.
This Straggler (pictured) is the Mint colored version in a 650b wheel size. A cool new addition is the option of the 650b wheel size in the smaller frame sizes to accommodate the smaller rider and give better wheel/geometry fit and less toe overlap. The bike is also available in a Shimano 105 kit version for those Shimano-philes out there.
Powdercoated Custom Step-Through Commuter 50cm @Pedal Revolution Refurbished Bike Update
Who says “Mixte” style bikes need to be dainty and pastel colored? We had this one powdercoated in a stylish finish we’ve come to refer to as “Scorched Earth Brown”. Full custom rebuild job on this one and it rides like a dream. All the good stuff and Pedal Rev favorites are represented: 1×7 “just enough” drivetrain, Mavic/Shimano road wheelset, Panaracer Pasela tires, WTB comfort saddle, Velo Orange Milan handlebars, Soma Sutro stem, and leather grips. Understated and awesome.
50cm and an ideal fit for a rider 5’3″ – 5’6″.
Raleigh "Sports" Brown Townie 57cm @Pedal Revolution Refurbished Bike Update
Super custom rebuild on this gem of a Raleigh frameset. A ground-up build with all parts replaced on this made in England frame including a Tange chrome fork, Sturmey Archer 3 speed internally geared wheelset, MKS touring pedals, Dual pivot brake calipers, Soma oxford bar, and leather grips and saddle. Reconfigured to give a more upright seating arrangement, this bike is a go-to city bike for daily use. Slap a basket and some fenders on it and you’ve got a reliable grocery getter/rain bike.
57cm fits 5’10” – 6’1″
Pedal Revolution Used Bike Update: IRO Mark V Single Speed
Pedal Revolution Used Bike Update: IRO Mark V Single Speed – 49cm
Depending on your needs, a single-speed bike can be awesome. In addition to the excellent elemental minimalist stripped down bare naked good looks, single-speeds tend to be more maintenance free than bikes with complex gear systems. Because the drivetrains are so simple, wear and tear parts that do need to be replaced are generally less expensive (1/8″ single speed/bmx style chain for $15 vs a $50 10 speed cassette chain!!!). Simply due to having fewer parts, the bikes also trend lightweight for less dollars.
As a secondary or tertiary bike, single speeds are ideal. Their lightweight and simplicity makes hauling them up and down apartment stairs and on and off public transit a breeze. Further, no need to worry about your rear derailleur getting bent out of shape when parking at a busy bike rack.
This bike has super nice unique handbuilt wheels (super strong and light!): pink IRO sealed bearing hubs and Velocity rims. The brand new wheels are 650C size (actual rim/Bead Seat Diameter 571 mm), smaller than conventional road 700c (BSD 622 mm) wheels so they are appropriately scaled to the very small frame and rider.
Oury grips, neo-retro Tektro brake levers, and a sweptback Velo Orange Milan handlebar for comfort and style.
Because of the unique parts, and small frame and appropriately sized wheels, this is a really killer bike for someone around 5′ tall:
$600 – 49cm frame
Pedal Revolution Used Bike Update: Schwinn Sierra Drop Bar Mountain Tour Bike
Pedal Revolution Used Bike Update: Schwinn Sierra Drop Bar Mountain Tour Bike
It’s truly astounding the number of 80’s and 90’s vintage mountain bikes Pedal Revolution receives in donation (thank you generous benefactors). They are testament both to the number of these bikes sold during the original mountain bike boom and the quality of construction of these frames (FYI: their iron like strength, resilience, and durability is largely due to them being actually made of steel!).
By the standards of today, bikes like this Schwinn Sierra are terrible bikes for serious single-track mountain biking (ps. the flip side is also true that the super fun trail riding bikes of today are the absolute worst transportation bikes due to technological suspension overkill and lack of utilitarian features). However, with some parts changes and updates these original off road specialty machines can be transformed into excellent city and transportation steeds.
Just to mix things up from the rote Pedal Revolution older mountain bike becomes city bike genesis (street slicks replace knobby tires, new drive train parts, etc), a drop bar was added to this bike to give it some long ride and bike tour potential.
The orange bar wrap gives the bike some seasonal fall flair. Front and rear fork eyelets add more easy fender and rack options.
Suntour Bar end shifters are just fantastic. They were on some very cheap back in the day bikes (the Schwinn Sierra was not originally cheap or equipped with these). Every micro friction shift with these units is an utter delight. They are what I (Joel) use on my own touring bike!
This is a great all-purpose bike for someone about 6′ tall. The large tires and strong frame with plenty of accessory mounts make a great bike for carrying large loads on bike trips around the city or across the country!
Schwinn Sierra 23″ : $550
Fuji – Mt. Fuji Touring Bike 55cm @Pedal Revolution Custom Bike Update
Fuji, Mt. Fuji
Another day, and another gem of a refurbished bicycle is here at Pedal Rev. This cycle started its life as a higher end Mt. Fuji mountain bike from what I (Nolan) believe to be a 1980. This lugged steel steed was created in the magical time when bicycles were expected to do more: your mountain bike was your touring bike, your commuting bike, and your beverage bike. Quality steel, comfortable geometry, copious eyelets and more made this bike an exemplary all-in-one eighties powerhouse.
While the Mt. Fuji is a great bike, this particular Mt. Fuji was in a bit of a bad way when it arrived at Pedal Rev as a donation. Distressed paint, and parts worn beyond repair left us wondering: “What were we to do?” Champion Powder Coating provided us with a screaming matte green paintjob (thanks y’all!), and a new parts build got this bike back in fighting shape. While the bike was originally built with a riser bar, we built it with the cockpit of a touring/randonneuring bike. Randonneuring bicycles seem to be all the rage right now and the newly dubbed Mt. Fuji Destroyer falls in with the best of them. Our Destroyer has traditional road bar/levers and bar end shifters to allow for multiple riding positions. The wide range 3×9 drivetrain give the bike plenty of gears to tackle the hills, while a powerful set of cantilever brakes provide enough Umph! to stop after bombing down said hills. 26” wheels and the perennial Pasela PT tire round out the build. Just when you thought the Destroyer couldn’t get any better, we added some flair in the form of a color correct Velocity H2O cage, and wrapped the drive side chainstay with black Newbaum’s cloth bar tape for a real curated look. The Willys Jeep is (matte) green with envy.
This bicycle measures out to a 55cm, and would work be perfect for a rider 5’9”-6’. Come in and put some fun between your legs.
Lemond 853 Reynolds Steel Road Bike 54cm @Pedal Revolution Custom Bike Update
Steel bicycles have had a cadre of die-hard fans who appreciate their smooth ride quality and long-term durability. In an era where much of what we consume is becoming more and more dispose-able, short life spans in products are less and less relevant. That fancy new smart phone you just got will soon be overshadowed by the slightly updated version coming out in six months. Fortunately, if you do a little research, a bicycle can still be purchased that will last for many years of consistent service. This custom rebuilt Lemond road bike is a fine example of a classic lightweight steel-framed bicycle that has many years of service to give. Built from Reynolds 853 tubing, this is a performance designated bike designed to go fast and handle quickly. The vibration dampening compliance that the steel frame provides is noticeable when travelling over rough roads or after long hours in the saddle. This bike was refurbished with a well-rounded parts grouping including a Shimano 105 drivetrain and brakeset, brand new Shimano tiagra 9 speed shifters, Soma Highway One compact handlebar, and durable Vittoria Randonneur tires.
It’s sized at 54cm and would be a great fit for a rider 5’5″ – 5’9″.
Pedal Revolution Used Bicycle Update: Motobecane Step-Through 3-Speed
Pedal Revolution Used Bicycle Update: Motobecane Step-Through 3-Speed
Another Pedal Revolution original here. This bike was donated with long obsolete 27″ wheels, a conventional derailleur drivetrain, a low long deep drop handlebar (i.e. uncomfortable) and a bric a brac of low-endish 80s parts.
The bike was reconstituted with a more upright Velo Orange Milan bar and svelte Tektro neo-retro levers (they look like a lot of levers on older bikes but benefit from stiffer cold forge construction and return springs for smoothness and greater cable life).
New 700c wheels with a Sturmey Archer 3-Speed internal gear hub replace the clunky and complex original drivetrain. Soma Xpress terra cotta tires make another appearance here. These are essentially a slightly more beefed up version of the Panaracer Pasela tires that get are often spotlighted on this blog.
The gold housing just looks really great. It jives well with the painted on logo but neither enhances or undermines the brake function.
The cork grips were heavily layered with shellac for good looks but they also don’t feel too bad.
The demi-mixte frame construction is totally wild. Just prior to Pedal Revolution being donated this bike, I (Joel), had seen another one of these frames in the shop for the first time and it blew my mind. So strange to have another one given to us so soon after that. The unconventional frame construction and 3-Speed rebuild make this a super unique bike.
Burgundy (in New Orleans, they would call the color “Ber-gun-day”) Motobecane Step-Through 3-Speed:
$500 – A Good Ride for someone about 5’4″?
Motobecane Grand Touring Road Bike 53cm @Pedal Revolution Refurbished Bike Update
As attributes, quick, light, and affordable are generally not found together in one bicycle. Generally you’d have to settle for one or two of the above characteristics. This 80’s Motobecane Grand Touring is a gem of a bike that finds a happy balance between all three. It was rebuilt with a new wheelset, brakes, Soma New Express Terracotta tires, and a Soma Highway one bar. It’s a great mix of old and new at a very reasonable price.
53cm ST – 55cm TT. A great fit for 5’5″-5’9″.
Custom rebuilt 17" Specialized Stumpjumper with Sparkle powdercoat @Pedal Revolution Custom Used Bikes Update
Custom rebuilt Specialized Stumpjumper with Sparkle powdercoat.
This beauty began it’s life as a high-end mountain bike but after a creative makeover from Pedal Revolution it’s transitioned into a great city bike. A mix of high end Shimano components matched to Panaracer Pasela touring tires, Soma Sutro stem and and Ahearne Map bar for a comfortable higher bar position, and Selle Italia saddle makes this a great all-around ride. The quick geometry makes it react with snappy turns and fast handling plus the added durability found in the classic mountain bike platform. A great do-it-all bike with an exceptional paint job.
17″ fits 5’5′-5’9″
Robin Hood 3-Speed @ Pedal Revolution Refurbished Bike Update
1969 Robin Hood 3-Speed Step-Through – $
In the year 2008, I (Joel) began my career as a bicycle mechanic. 7 years ago this month actually. I worked at Broadway Bicycle School in Cambridge, MA. This shop serviced many old British 3-Speed bikes. It was actually kind of a specialty of the shop. I was tasked with tuning up many of these bikes and let me tell you, at the time, they were the bane of my existence. Compared with contemporary bikes, these bikes are unconventional and quirky as can be (internal gear hubs that are influenced by by their position in the frame, front hubs that are adjusted in the fork, use of metric and non-metric/imperial fasteners, “Raleigh”/26 TPI threading, brakes that are centered with a hammer and punch!…).
At a certain indecipherable point (I suppose it has been a process, journey or evolution in my development as a mechanic and cyclist) I formed a real affection for these idiosyncratic machines best celebrated on the Sheldon Brown (fellow Broadway Bicycle School alumnus) website. Please allow me to quote:
These Are Real Bikes!
As evidenced by the date stamped on this Robin Hood’s Sturmey Archer hub, this bicycle was manufactured in 1969.
In 1969, the guts of the Sturmey Archer AW hub were much the same as in 1902, having survived two world wars, the great depression, the baby boom and several high-profile assassinations fully intact. However, 1969 was a pivotal year of change in the history of Rock N Roll. Anyone in the Bay Area today who happens to catch audio glimpses of traffic reports referencing Altamont must surely be reminded of the ugly events that occurred at the free concert there in December 1969, the edge of the 1970s. As we now know, the Altamount Free Concert was the event that signaled the end of the day glow tie dye days of peace and love. What followed was a decade of earth tones, religious cultism, political assassination, heavy narcotic use, domestic terrorism, disco, escalating imperial war atrocities, and the emergence of punk rock. Around the time I was birthed, The Clash succinctly penned the perfect counter point to the peace and love espoused by the flowerer children of the 60’s, Hate and War (“the only things we got today”). A real theme song for the 1970s.
A more positive association one can make with this bike and The Clash is their invocation of Robin Hood in the excellent song White Man in Hammersmith Palais. Perhaps the first of example of White musicians properly doing what Bob Marley would affectionately call the “punky reggae”.
As mentioned in the above quote from the Sheldon Brown website, although these are real bikes, they were geared for the flat streets of Nottingham or Manchester (see the below video) England rather than hilly San Francisco. Thusly, the original cottered cranks were replaced with a Velo Orange threadless bottom bracket (mooting the Raleigh threaded bottom bracket shell) and a beautiful Sugino crank fitted with a 42 tooth chainring. This crank is mated to a 23 tooth rear cog and provides excellent gearing for our vertiginous local terrain.