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November 27, 2011

You might remember I wrote a post a while back where I tried to get to the bottom of a problem with the various old steel Viner frames that come up for sale on ebay.

Thankfully by getting in touch with Viner in Pistoia, I managed to understand the difference in the various cut out details in the lugwork on these 1970s and 80s frames.

Recently Guido over at italiaanseracefietsen has unearthed  these 1981 US Viner adverts, and he’s kindly let me publish them. What a find! They finally explain the other ‘cut out’ detail I’ve seen on some ebay frames. As well as the ‘stars’ and ‘crosses’ I’ve also seen old Viner frames with a simpler, almost heart shaped cut out. These were the frames that were deemed ‘fakes’ on some internet forums. Well these ads have confirmed that these frames are indeed original Viners – the Record racing frameset (see below). A cut price frame that kept the angles and clearances of the Special Professional, but used cheaper Falck tubing for the rear triangle and plainer paint finishes.

The ads have also thrown up some other interesting details, such as the strange half circular attachment on the right hand rear drop out on the above Special Professional. Is this for extra strength? These Special Professional’s were intended to be raced on, perhaps these were bolted on to stop the rear drop out bending when a crash happened?

More importantly for anyone intending to buy an old steel framed Viner from this era, all Viners have the seat tube length stamped onto the left underside of the bottom bracket shell, with the Special Professionals also having the top tube length stamped on the opposite side on the bottom bracket.


November 24, 2011

So anyone contemplating getting the new made-to-measure Viner Gladium 2.0, here are the colour specs available. At the moment the 2012 Viner catalogue and the website don’t have these images, so thanks to Viner UK for letting me publish them. As per the other frames in the carbon range, gloss or matt finish is available. Jury is still out on the ‘violet’ version, but at least it’s something a little different in the 2012 range.


October 24, 2011

It seems, judging by Rob Pryor’s feedback, that the Titan Karbon would make a superb Sportive bike. Rob of SRI Importing kindly let me use these photos of his Titan, which has created a bit of a stir for the last 10 months he’s had it. I can imagine there aren’t that many on the roads in Canada, so it’s understated beauty and rarity will no doubt make other cyclists stop and look.

Underneath that beauty lies some real substance. Essentially what Viner have done is take a Maxima, replace the carbon tubes with titanium, and add the rear triangle from the Mitus 0,5. As Rob can vouch, you still get the famed Viner stability, poise, handling and cornering but the titanium tubes add a real ‘softness’ to the ride, soaking up bumps and rough patches, resulting in Rob still feeling freash after long rides. However the carbon rear triangle still adds stiffness, so that no power is lost when climbing or sprinting. Add to the fact that you can have it built made-to-measure then surely the Titan Karbon would make the perfect Sportive bike. A perfect fitting bike with the titanium tubes meaning a 100km plus Sportive could be tackled without aches and pains, but still with enough race pedigree to make climbing easier.

And there would be no doubt that the Titan Karbon would stand out from the usual Sportive crowd, even with it’s understated beauty.


October 20, 2011

I just came across this Viner Special Professional on ebay today. It looks to be a totally original bike from Italy complete with Campag Super Record groupset and some nice pantographed parts. The bike obviously needs a bit of a clean and perhaps a respray but it’s been looked after – even the Modolo brake hood rubbers are in good nick (these usually perish over time) and the original San Marco Concor Supercorsa saddle has hardly any signs of wear.

It’s a shame it’s too small for me – but if anyone is interested this is the ebay listing


October 17, 2011

Bike Science in Bristol have now got their first Viner demo bike built up. A stunning Perfecta 2.11 with Campag Chorus 11 and Deda finishing kit. Andy Sexton and his team can help you achieve the perfect Perfecta, as they offer a full fitting service included in the price.

So if you’re thinking of buying the new 2012 model and want a test ride get in touch with Andy Sexton at Bike Science on 0117 9273444.

80’s SLX

October 12, 2011

The 80’s. The decade that saw massive upheaval’s in the UK, the birth of many musical movements, and the years of my youth. It was also the decade where I first fell in love with cycling. I remember the garish flouro paintjobs on many bikes, and drooling over exotic Italian frames in the mecca that was Sheffield’s Tony Butterworths.

The 1986 Viner SLX pictured above, sent in by Adam Green, sums up the style of the decade very well. Beautiful craftsmanship adorned with outlandish paintjobs! Adam picked up this bike from a friend who had too many bikes and not enough time to ride them all. The bike was originally picked up in Milan in 2009, sporting Campag’s beautiful C Record components. This groupset was stripped off the frame and the Viner sold on to Adam’s friend. The frame is in pretty good nick, the only downside being it doesn’t have the original forks (the originals were bent – so a Colnago style straight fork was built for it – which looks pretty good to me). The original forks are pictured below.

As you see, Viner’s in the 1980’s had lost some of the embellishments of the 1960s and 1970s Special Professional’s and Special Corsa’s, mainly the cut outs on the lugs and pantographing. Simpler lugs were the order of the day, flourishes were left to the paintjobs, garish bike ribbon and copious amounts of chroming!

Adam’s Viner is built with Columbus SLX, the tubeset that superceded the famous SL. It improved on SL with the use of five internal spiral ridges at the ends of the double butted tubes, that added rigidity to the joint areas, making SLX a ‘superbutted’ tubeset, ideal for Professional use.

Adam isn’t a professional, but is making good use of his Viner, racing alongside his brother (on his 1980s Brian Rourke) in local Triathlons.


October 10, 2011

If anyone understands German then it would be great if you could let me know what Marcel Wust is saying about the new Maxima in this video! Ex Festina pro Marcel is a big fan of Viners, he famously announced that the Maxima was the best bike he’d ever ridden (so much so he wanted to keep hold of the test bike he rode a few years ago) and has since tested the Maxima RS for German Procycling magazine.

Looking uncannily like the British actor Rufus Sewell, Marcel seems to like the new RS 2, but then again, what’s not to like!