MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

 

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MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

V SPORT CRITERIUM - INTRO

FINDING THE CRITERIUM

SHIMANO 600 ARABESQUE

BUILDING THE CRITERIUM

RIDING THE CRITERIUM

 

BICYCLES OF CANADA

  

RIDING THE VELO SPORT CRITERIUM

This beautiful old road bicycle, once again too big for me to ride safely, offered a very nice ride.  That said, I did not really ride the "Criterium" enough to offer a fair evaluation of its ride characteristics and quality.  I would, however, love to get one of these Velo Sports in my size and add it to my collection of Canadian made vintage road bicycles.  Riding the big frame was very pleasing, in spite of the poor fit.  I can't help but think that if the bicycle had been my size, the ride would have been perfect.

I have owned and ridden the slightly lesser Velo Sport Prestige.  The on that I owne was cosmetically challenged but worked perfectly.  I had set it up as a Junk Bike for my day to day city riding but it was soon bought out from under me once I started riding it.  Someone always seems to want a "Junk Bike" provided it is of good quality, works well and looks awful.

The only other Velo Sport that I have actually spent much time with was my fifteen speed Alpin touring bicycle.  The Alpin had very good ride qualities but the design was a bit different than the Criterium.  Being a touring bicycle all the way, the frame geometry was different and so too was the feel of the ride.  The components were not Shimano 600 and the brakes were cantilever style stoppers.  Once again, offering different feel and results when riding.  But the same quality was present in the Alpin.  It was a similar higher end Velo Sport offering and for that reason I mention its ride qualities in support of the Criterium's.

As I have come to expect, from well made and reasonably high end vintage road bicycle, they accelerate well and the "Criterium" is no exception.  Quick off the line and easy to keep going are two characteristics I recall well, even though I did not ride the bicycle for more than a dozen miles or so.  Handling was quick, even though the geometry did not appear that tight.  Body input, quickly and predictably lead to the expected result.  The bicycle just worked well.

As expected, the Shimano 600 transmission was a joy to use.  Shifting was easy to get used to and the gear range was more than adequate for the somewhat hilly conditions in and around Thunder Bay.

Vintage road bicycles, in the Velo Sport Criteruim's condition, are getting to be harder to find.  They certainly sell for more when they are found.  Today, that same local bicycle shop would want four times what I paid for the "Criterium" less than three years ago.

This brings up a point that I have mentioned elsewhere in these pages but certainly bears repeating.  Today is the best time to acquire a vintage road bicycle.  Interest in them is growing at a very rapid rate and prices are soaring.  Bikes I used to leave at the Dump now have considerable value and if they are worth more today than they were yesterday, imagine what they will be worth tomorrow.

 

 

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