MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

 

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MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

CCM T du C - INTRODUCTION

FINDING THE CCM T du C

BUILDING THE CCM T du C

RIDING THE CCM T du C

BICYCLES OF CANADA

 

  

CCM TOUR du CANADA - INTRODUCTION

Though hardly the finest road bicycle made in Canada, the CCM Tour du Canada is one of the most sought after of Canadian vintage road bicycles and the reason is very unlikely.  CCM, incidentally, is the acronym for Canadian Cycle and Motor Company.

Needless to say, there were never a great many Tour du Canada road bicycles made.  They were special order items in the seventies, and quite pricey when compared to other CCM offerings of the day.  The bottom of the line CCM Targa was priced at $79.95. The second from top of the line CCM "Silver Ghost" road bicycle sold for $110.05.  The top of the line CCM Tour du Canada went out the door for a whopping $628.85!  These prices were taken directly from the 1976 CCM Parts & Accessories Price List.

The Parts & Accessories Price List shows the Tour du Canada offered in 1976 only.  For the years 1973 - 1975, the CCM top road bike dog indicated in the catalogue was the Silver Ghost followed by the Mistral.  Both considerably lesser models.  Prior to 1973 the top of the line road issue would have been the CCM Formula 1 I believe.  The Formula 1 was a Reynolds 531 offering but not a particularly high ender in my opinion.  I should add that the Formula 1 information is speculation on my part, not fact based on documentation of any kind.

My 1975 TdC model sold in 1976 for the bargain basement price of $525.00 new.  I even have the original sales receipt to prove it.  Apparently, this was somewhat cheaper than the European bicycles the TdC was to compete against.  It was also cheaper to buy than a comparable high end Canadian bicycle of similar vintage.  One would think that the TdC would have sold and sold well.

Perhaps the TdC did sell well, perhaps not.  But something strange, and almost predictable, did happen.  The story I am about to relate was shared with me by a local vintage road bicycle Guru.  The Guru was involved in the bicycle industry when Tour du Canada bicycles were being sold.  I must add that this guy's knowledge of vintage road bicycles is astounding.  And his story is corroborated by yet another credible source, a collector of CCM bicycles, many of which are housed in the Regina Sports museum today.

I seems that, in an effort to sell their top of the line racers, the CCM company sold the TdC at a very good price.  So good, according to the local Guru, that bicycle shops across Canada would buy several of these high end bicycles, strip all of the Campagnolo Nouvo Record components off and then sell the components for more than the price of the TdC.  The hand built full Reynolds 531 frame sets, still perceived to have an inherent value at the time, would have been stored somewhere - for while.  Finally, after being in the way for how many years one can only guess, the frame sets would have been fed to the "Dump".

I shared the Guru's story to the CCM bicycle collector and he said that it was true, offering a very similar if not identical rendition of the situation.  I need to add the the CCM collector owns one of the oldest bicycles shops in Canada and was also a CCM distributor during the seventies.

Now, I do not know if the story is true or not, but there have been other clues that suggest an element of credibility...

My 1975 CCM Tour du Canada is fitted entirely with 1972 Campagnolo Nouvo Record components.  Interestingly enough, mid seventies Super Mondia bicycles from Switzerland were also similarly fitted with 72 components.  To me this suggests that there were an abundance of Campy stuff from 1972.  And why not?

The Bike Boom came and went in a two or two and a half year blur.  Bike Boom days saw bicycle sales more than doubled in a very short period of time, to reach numbers that exceeded 15,000,000 annually in the United States alone.  Those numbers apply to the two most prominent Bike Boom years - 1971 and 1972.

Is it possible that the Bean Counters at Campagnolo figured sales were going to continue at the new higher volume?  Did Campagnolo step up production to prepare for the level of sales that they were anticipating?

Of course the Bike Boom came and went in fairly short order.  Sales volumes of bicycles and bicycle components dropped at an alarming rate in 1973 for an assortment of reasons.  Perhaps the boys at Campy were stuck with an inflated inventory and recognized the need for a Stock Reduction Sale!  Big companies, like CCM and Mondia, might have had both the credibility and bucks to buy up inventories at a fraction of the intended value.

My guess is that that is exactly what happened, but that is just a guess.  A guess, I might add that seems even more credible, when one considers that early seventies Nouvo Record rear derailleurs are commonly offered on Ebay.  But you have to keep an eye open for something from 1975 or 1976.  I should know since I spent a bit of time waiting for a nice 76 model to surface for my 1976 Marinoni Quebec.  Anyway, that is just a theory that I subscribe to.  It is true?  Dunno?

By the mid seventies, when my CCM TdC was manufactured, companies like CCM and Mondia might well have been buying up Campagnolo's early seventies inflated inventory, at pretty good prices.  This would suggest the practice of stripping Tour du Canada bicycles for the Campy components might have been profitable for the retailers of the time.  Just a theory.

At any rate, I consider myself lucky to have found one of these rare old road bicycles.  And finding the CCM Tour du Canada is a story all by itself...

NEXT - FINDING THE CCM TOUR  du CANADA

 

 

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