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RBL Verfolger alias 'Gurke'

That strange bike is one of my luckiest possessions. Although it comes with Vetta-labels it is a RBL. (Vetta was probably just a sponsor.) RBL was a tiny little shop in a little township in the formerly GDR which customized Diamant standard frames on order. In these days a rider was more than happy to find someone who modified his one out of a million factory frame and made it suitable for his demands. There were not many places you could go for such orders back then. Elsner which was the first address but was usually fully booked out by famous aces and their clubs. Niemann and RBL (Radsport Börngen Limbach) were two other known workshops for frame modifications and building. But this frame was built after the wall came down in the middle of the nineties which is underlined by the frame number B96005 (possibly meaning Mr. Börngen’s 5th frame in 1996). In the nineties basically all raw material was available. It was the workshop which eventually did not yet completely arrive in the new era. When you look at the frame you do not find the most beautiful lug work. The lugs are a mixture of Italian and/or Belgian stuff as well is the tubing. The rear dropouts are from GDR's Diamant. The mono stay is made by filled brazed technology, possibly a remembrance of the Textima bikes which were made only a few crank turns away and which were highly admired by all riders of Middle-Germany. I consider the paint original with some minor repairs done. It is naturally painted by hand and let you recognise that the finish is not the best either but still better than that of today inflationary produced “Italian” aluminium made fashionable track frames. Assuming this bike was built for competitions and trainings which it was most likely used for the work by all means is just fine. Yet it is neither a piece of industrial precision nor a piece of handcrafted perfection. It was made of what was carried over from the past and what already arrived from the present which makes it a true piece of cycling history. There was given an order at a time to a workshop which supposedly should have closed down already in order to leave room to mass production bike warehouses and customers without attentiveness regarding the labour of handcraft. This bike did not drop out of a big factory line. It is made by hands and cycling enthusiasm. This piece of nostalgia makes me smile every single ride on it giving me a lot of joy. The crank is a Russian copy of Campagnolo pista. Since the Australian world champion Gary Neiwand used to train with Michael Hübner I thought it is acceptable to put a Suntour wheel set on the bike formerly used by Danny Clark. The pedals are very nicely made Lieblein (LLC), CNC made lightweight pedals produced by another cycling enthusiast – but this is another story.

Frame:
RBL

Fork/Headset:
Columbus

Crankset/Bottom Bracket:
Russion copy of Campagnolo

Pedals:
Lieblein

Handlebars/Stem:
Nitto RB021/Look Ergostem

Front Wheel/Hub/Tire:
Suntour wheelset formerely ridden by Danny Clark

Bike History

Click a link below to see past stages of this bike.

  1. Initial
  2. carbon
  3. silver

Current Stage Info:

Swapped one look stem by another - getting happy with it.
Kept the bike's components in it's era.
It already rode good. Now it looks good too.

Added by Thor. Last updated 3 months ago.

6 Comments

Kikoloko

Kikoloko says:

Campy C record seatpost would permanently compliment this work of art.

Posted 4 months ago

chalybeius

chalybeius says:

Nice writing! Very interesting!

Posted 7 months ago

steelbuddie

steelbuddie says:

Bei dir ist es also gelandet ;-)

Posted 8 months ago

Thor

Thor says:

yepp. gut gelandet ;)

Posted 8 months ago

Fredd

Fredd says:

wow your bikes are all beautiful

Posted 8 months ago

Thor

Thor says:

Thank you!

Posted 4 months ago