Here’s a new Outside column about how people really only ride their bikes if the weather’s perfect, they’re scared shitless of something, or they have no other choice because of a transit strike or act of God:
For years people have been saying, “Everyone will start riding bikes for transportation if [insert agenda here],” but I’m starting to believe that, as long as there’s something to complain about, day-in, day-out bicycling will remain the domain of the weirdo forever.
As always, I quivered with anticipation as I opened the box:
Removing the peripherals, I noted the tubular tires:
As well as the non-coddling gearing:
There was also a distinct Italian flavor. You could taste it in the hubs:
And of course this decorative scranus-cradling ass pedestal:
Clearly it was a classic Italian road bike, but as I removed the chassis itself from the box I wondered what kind of classic Italian road bike?
A Silca frame pump and Campagnolo everything…
A 3T cockpit…
Was it a De Rosa? A Pinarello? A Colnago? A Scoiattolo, which is a fake brand I just made up?
Removing the protective foam from the downtube, I revealed the downtube and discovered that it was in fact a…
But it wasn’t just any Nishiki, it was a Nishiki Cervino:
And it was in fact made in Italy:
Here’s the bike, and here’s the story:
[Photo: Classic Cycle]
So basically it’s a Nishiki made by Viner, which makes it a Vinershiki.
I couldn’t wait to take it out for a ride, but I knew I needed a spare tire. Fortunately I found a pair of forgotten tubulars in an old sweatsock:
There are way, way more horrific things to discover in an old sweatsock.
Choosing the one that looked the least likely to explode in a puff of dust as soon as I started pumping air into it, I strapped it underneath the decorative ass pedestal and headed out. Of course I was wearing appropriate gloves:
However, I was not wearing appropriate shoes:
And in every other respect I was very much playing for Team Dirtbag, not Gruppo Sportivo Bici Classica:
Some bikes ride exactly how you think they will, and some don’t. A perfect example of the latter is the Vengeance Bike, which I just assumed would ride like the hunk of plastic it is but turned out to be like my favorite road bike ever. Meanwhile, the Vinershiki felt just like I thought it would in pretty much every way: light, smooth, fast, and comfortable–dreamy even–but with that rat-a-tat-tat old Campy shifting and brake levers like those things you squeeze to make your hands stronger:
I don’t know how much of its smooth ride quality to attribute to the tires:
On one hand they’re just basic “training” tubulars, but on the other hand they’re still tubulars.
Oh, here’s my tubular-in-a-sock strapped to the underside of my decorative ass pedestal:
By the way, Viner is pronounced VEE-ner, and I guess this is now officially my new Viner sock.
Apart from the Nishiki decal, when you think of a classic road bike you think of a bike exactly like this one. However, it does have a distinct touch, and that’s the aero-mounted shifters:
Just think of the watts you’re saving!
There’s also a chrome fork crown:
A Super Record drivetrain:
And un-compact chainrings that’ll put hair on your chest…or cause it to fall out if your chest is already hairy:
At some point I may go clipless, but for now at least it seems a shame to ruin the whole vibe by divesting it of its toe clips and straps:
Will I grow to love it more than the Vengeance Bike? I could easily see it happening, but only time will tell:
Either way, I’m looking forward to finding out.