German bicycle collector lists treasure trove of vintage road bicycles
A German bicycle collector has listed a complete collection of 60 classic road bicycles on eBay. The private sale represents a unique opportunity to purchase a vast rideable chunk of recent road cycling history.
The listing, which includes only four photographs — one of which shows the collection stacked wall to wall in a building in Blieskastel, Germany — features a Buy It Now price of $35,000. It also mentions that it was the seller’s “dearest wish to preserve and to cultivate the heritage of cycling”.
The treasure trove collection includes 60 complete road bicycles from over 35 classic names such as Colnago, Pinarello, Chesini, Denti, Barelli, Messina and Peugeot. Also included are an additional 15 frames.
The listing description outlines bicycles or frames from the following brands: Colnago, Pinarello, Chesini, Denti, Barelli, Messina, Bianchi, Champion, Paganini, Bataglin, Geminiani, Faggin, Kotter, Cilo, Enik, Jan Jansen, Gentleman, Raleigh, Diamond, Alan, Koga Miyata, Motobecane, Peugeot, Mercier, Eddy Schütz, Lejeune, Bim Diederich, Charles Pelissier, Raymond Poulidor, Jacques Anqueteil, Jeannie Longo, Hinault, Puch, Velotec, Schauff, Gerber.
The seller also provides details for a Facebook account in the listing, which includes further photographs and videos from inside the collection. The circumstances surrounding the sale aren’t yet clear, although we’ll post more details as we get them.
Although a disappointing amount of photographs are listed, this one gives you a good idea of the scale of the loteBay
BikeRadar got in touch with Niklas Bender, the owner of the collection, and dug a little deeper into this intriguing lot.
BR: This is a vast collection of bicycles, how long has it taken you to build up such a collection and how did you go about sourcing the bikes?
NB: I’ve been passionate about bicycles since I was five years old. Today I am the founder of the cycling wear brand FERVOR and owner of a concept bike store in the south west of Germany, near the French border. Because I always had to share my belongings with five brothers and sisters I had to be very creative in giving all of us the chance to ride a bike. I grew up in the centre of racing activities and I participated in all kinds of bicycle racing from BMX to mountain bike to road and track. It took me 30 years to assemble this collection.
At first I was fascinated by racing bikes that I couldn’t always afford, so I started picking up bikes wherever I found them, sometimes from the junkyard, sometimes I was given bikes from basements or attics where they lay neglected for years. I then opened a bike shop and bikes more or less started coming to me instead of him having to search for them.
BR: You’ve described having 60 bicycles up for sale, is this the complete collection or is it part of something much larger?
NB: I will keep a small number of bikes, not necessarily the most expensive or rare bikes, but the ones that are closest to my heart because they are entrenched in stories and history. So this is more of a personal choice than a ‘rational collector’s’ decision.
BR: If you were to pick five highlights from the collection what would they be?
NB: Impossible to say. Some people may favour a particular groupset, some a particular brand. That is not all that important to me. There are a few bikes which were built for and actually raced in 1954 in either the World Championship or the Europeans. They were built by a framebuilder fairly nearby in Metz, France, so they come with a local flavour which makes them dear to me.
BR: Were the bicycles set up to be part of some sort of exhibition?
NB: As numbers grew over the years I was in need of a place to store them. So finding the place nearby was a stroke of luck. The building started life as a barn in the 17th century, but with its high roof and its sparse illumination it is akin to a sacral building or has a ring of a church even. The arranging of the bikes on the walls saved space, it also helped to transfer the humble building into a proper place of worship for my life’s passion, cycling.
BR: Should a potential buyer want to get in touch, what’s the best way to get hold of you?