Episode 211. Cinzia Elite. (Part 1).

 Okay folks, I'm going to waffle on for a bit about my latest junk, a Cinzia Elite folding bike.

If you have your head in your hands and you're shaking it and asking what the heck has he got that junk for, don't worry, I'm doing that too! I have no idea why I picked this up, my only excuse is that I'm an addict, and this is what addicts do. Or atleast, that was the excuse that I tried to palm off on her Worshipfulness. To which she replied, "No, you're a knobhead, and this is what knobheads do. You're out of control now, it's time to admit that you've got a problem." She might be on to something there.

So why have I got it, well the truth is that Mrs Clint and I were out to lunch in her Ranger, but across the road from the pub we were eating in I could see a skip, with what appeared to be handlebars sticking out the top of it. I didn't alert her Worshipfulness to what I could see as I figured that it was probably a childrens bike, and therefore of no interest to me. But then she went off to the loo, and I thought that I could probably nip across the road, look in the skip, satisfy my curiosity, and be back at he table without her even knowing. I couldn't see how it could go wrong. the problem was that when I got to the skip it was just laying on the top of the other rubbish, and it wasn't a childrens bike. So I asked the person who was loading the skip if I could have it, and she said yes. So quick as a flash it was out of the skip, across the road, and in the back of Mrs Clints Ford Ranger pick up. I was even back at the table before our food arrived, and without her knowing I'd ever left my seat.

Our meal came, and we ate it, and as ever it was pretty damn good. I paid the bill despite her Worshipfulness saying that she wanted to take me out for lunch, and we headed out to the truck to go home. "What the heck (She didn't say heck, but the last two letters of  the word she used did end in ck!) is that" she said as she looked quickly across the road at the skip. Before I could answer she followed it up with, "I'd hoped you hadn't noticed the handlebars poking out of that skip, when did you get it?" I said that I liberated it when she went for a squirt. She told me that she didn't want me bringing another bike home, to which I replied that technically I wasn't, it was in her truck and she was driving so in reality she was bringing it home. In my head that sounded like a funny response, but the look on Mrs Clints face suggested otherwise, but off home we went.

Once back at BelongaClint I unloaded my new treasure, and Mrs Clint headed off indoors for a big drink apparently. I can't blame her, it was a warm day, I was thirsty too. I gave the bike a little look over and thought it didn't seem too bad, everything seemed free and well lubricated, and even the dynamo lights worked.

After a quick look at the Sturmey Archer hub to get a rough idea of when it was made (looks like about January 1980). I installed some new wind into the tyres and after making sure everything was tight I figured that a bit of a shake down run was needed.

I headed out on my normal test route with the dynamo whizzing away and the lights burning, well, not brightly,  more like a candle in a jam jar! But surely that's all part of the charm of a bike like this. To be fair I'm not really a fan of shopping bikes, or folding bikes, and definitely not a fan of folding shopping bikes. As a rule I feel a bit unsteady on them. I've always put this down to them having small diameter wheels of either 16", or 20", but the wheels on this thing are a bit larger at 22". I know that this doesn't sound a lot, but according to her Worshipfulness that extra 2" makes all the difference, and to be fair to her it did feel a lot better to ride than my previous shopping type bikes that I've ridden.

The test ride was pretty successful, the only real problem was the cotter pin on the crank was loose, so the crank flopped about a bit while I was pedaling. I've always hated cotter pin type cranks, even as a kid on my Raleigh Chopper I could never get them right, and so it is with this one. Once home I tried to tighten it up, but had no luck, and looking at the cotter pin its self it is quite worn, so it probably needs replacing.

So what are my plans for this little thing of beauty? Not being a fan of folding bikes originally my plans were to sell it on to someone who is into this type of bike. However after my ride I couldn't help feeling that I should have atleast one in my collection. If I'd have had one a couple of weeks ago when I went to Wales in the StreetKa Named Desire (read my other blog if you've no idea what I'm babbling on about) I could've popped it in the boot, and had a bike to ride while I was there. So I think for now it's going to stay. I'm going to have a bit of a dig through my stash to see if I can find some suitable parts, so that I can personalise this thing a little bit. I don't wanna go mad, but the handlebars seem to be a little bit bent, the saddle could be better, and if I can find a cotterless crank that'll fit then that would be excellent. So it looks like althought this isn't the first shopping type bike I've ever had, it is the first one that I'll be keeping in my collection for a little while. As usual, updates as they occur...

So until next time, have a great day gang... Lets ride!