Today we resurrect eBay Watchlist, our roundup of the coolest, best, weirdest and most outrageous cycling oddities we can find on the world’s biggest online auction site.
This week, we’ve asked the BikeRadar team to find listings for the bikes or components they lusted after in years gone by — from esoteric early electronic groupsets to classic mid-noughties lightweight carbon, we have found some absolute gems!
Sit back, strap in and be sure to let us know what bike or component captured your imagination in years gone by in the comments.
Rob Spedding — Raleigh Vektar
I have previous when it comes to buying old bikes from eBay — when I rode L’Eroica Britannia in 2017, I tracked down an early 1980s Raleigh Sprint that was almost identical to my first ever road bike.
I did start looking for a Raleigh Team Banana race replica, but tracking down a genuine Reynolds 531c version as opposed to the cheaper 18/23 chromoly model similar to my Sprint is getting harder and harder. Instead, I’ve gone truly back to the future and the incredibly futuristic Raleigh Vektar!
When I was a boy, computers required at least one extra building to house their wires and disk drives, mobile phones were located in red boxes on every street corner and the only in-car connectivity was between the burning hot vinyl of an Austin Marina and your be-shorted thighs on a summer’s day.
To this schoolboy, then, the Raleigh Vektar pseudo-BMX with its sophisticated onboard electronics — a dangerously positioned digital speedo! An AM Radio! A sound generator! — was the stuff of a white-hot technological future.
Apparently the system cost £500,000 to develop. God only knows what Raleigh spent that money on, but I still quite fancy getting one to sit despondently next to my good bikes.
Probably not this one though — the only one currently for sale on eBay — looks like too much of a fixer-upper for me.
Matthew Allen — Cervélo R5Ca
As a young and impressionable roadie, I was obsessed with Beyond the Peloton, a behind the scenes series that detailed the exploits of the Cervélo Test Team in the early noughties.
Cervélo was doing some truly innovative things at the time, and the R5Ca was particularly mad: at a time when a 1kg frame was considered pretty darned light, the R5Ca’s claimed to weigh less than 700g including all its hardware.
This frameset retailed at a heady $9,800 way back in 2010 and even by today’s standards, it’s pretty exceptional, with aesthetics that don’t look remotely out-dated.
Will Poole — Scott Endorphin
The Scott Endorphin was like nothing else available at the time. While its looks melded Kirk Revolution with Alpinestars’ elevated chainstays, this was carbon fibre — and insane. Raced by some of my heroes and heroines of the day, it was the first bike I wanted, and knew I couldn’t even hope to afford.
Rob Weaver — Intense M1 FRO
While I’ll admit I wanted to find a Sunn Radical Plus from 1999 — a bike that was way ahead of its time, and won numerous World Cup DH races, titles and World Champ titles — it’s hard to ignore the classic Intense M1, and just how important it was at the time (plus I couldn’t find any Radical Plus bikes for sale).
The first time I saw the M1 was when Shaun Palmer piloted his custom Troy Lee Designs painted bike to second place at the World Champs in Cairns, Australia. Palmer finished just tenths behind the young Frenchman, Nico Vouiloz, who would go on to dominate the downhill scene for close to the next decade.
That race shot Palmer and his motocross-inspired style (he was the only rider to not wear a lycra skin suit during the finals, instead opting to wear baggy Fox motocross kit) to fame and helped cement the M1 as one of the most competitive bikes out there.
Over the years, numerous brands bought Intense M1’s and rebadged them in a bid to give their riders the best chance possible when they got between the tapes (even the old MBUK team did this when they were sponsored by Jamis bikes). The reason so many brands did this was simple; the bike’s geometry was good and its suspension worked.
As a young aspiring racer in the late nineties, I always hankered after an M1. While they might not possess quite the same mystique as the hard-to-come-by Sunn Radical Plus, there’s no denying the M1 was one of the coolest, most significant bikes of its generation, and helped to inspire and shape the bikes we see today.
Oliver Woodman — Iron Horse Sunday Factory
Inspired by Sam Hill’s flat pedal dominance on these machines during much of the six years he spent with Team Monster Energy Iron Horse, I often found myself longing for an Iron Horse Sunday as a youth.
The DHX 5.0 shock is delightfully period correct and I seem to remember these had a real appetite for frame bearings.
Seb Stott — Kona Stinky
The Kona Stinky is the quintessential mid-noughties freeride sled that everyone wanted for about six months in 2005 (myself included).
This one’s got the correct Marzocchi Bomber forks, Truvativ Hussefelt cockpit, Kenda tyres, Hayes brakes (albeit an anachronistic model), and a double-disc chain guide (whatever happened to them?). I also like how all the shots in the listing are of the non-drive-side.
Simon Withers — Mavic Mektronic groupset
I first got into cycling in the 1980s, later watching Chris Boardman win Olympic Gold in 1992 — before he became an electronic pioneer riding Mavic’s Zap in the Tour de France.
I remember walking past the much-missed John’s Bikes in Bath around that time and lusting after the Zap groupset in the window, which I think was priced at £1,000 — a massive amount of money then.
Sadly, there’s no full Zap groupset on eBay at present — though you can get a Mavic Zap ‘rear derailleur and controller tester’ for $1,000 — but Mavic’s equally lust-worthy follow-up Mektronic groupset, which was just as short-lived, is yours for a bargain $749. Buy, buy, buy before the gavel falls!
I’d fit it to on an original Giant TCR and to really rock the 90s’ vibe I’d be wearing Rudy Project Xrays (which are still available for €24).
Alex Evans — Giant ATX-1
The Giant ATX One DH — in red, yellow and blue with Boxxer 151 forks — has to be the ultimate drool- and lust-worthy bike for me.
Harking back to the days of my youth flicking through the pages of Mountain Biking UK magazine, I used to absorb every last inch of the page if it had this iconic DH bike printed across it. There’s something about the colours, styling and general aura that screams speed and performance.
Ridden by the hilarious and now rather famous Red Bull TV commentator Rob Warner to World Cup success, the killer combination of Rob and ATX One, for a then very impressionable youngster, egged me on to ride.
In fact, I love this bike so much I managed to persuade a mate to sell me his. And now my un-molested example (complete with AC chain device, Boxxers, Hope Pro4 brakes and Mavic D321 rims) is currently sitting in the dusty rafters of my attic.
One day I might even ride it again.
Warren Rossiter — 1980s Bianchi road bike
I’ve ridden a similar bike to this borrowed from Bianchi at three separate L’Eroica events over the years, and I feel something of an affinity with steel Bianchi bikes as we’ve been through a lot together — red wine, dusty chalk Tuscan roads, mechanical mishaps & hard work.