Saturday, August 16, 2008
I snagged this at a garage sale this morning. I bought it because the full 600 brifter group and Columbus tubing sticker made it worth risking $55. The people I bought it from told me that it had been sitting unused outside for about a year. Probably not the best bike storage strategy in Wisconsin—the chain and some of the fasteners were a little rusty—but the frame looked nice and clean. Even the tires are pretty good.
Two odd details. First, it has no decals—not a one—but for the Columbus tubing sticker, which is where things get really odd:
It's Metax. Yeah, I didn't know what it was at first either. I thought this was some low-end tube set and that the bike was maybe something banged out by the thousands in Taiwan. Maybe something from the Performance Bike mail-order catalog (it had Performance-badged bottle cages and a Forté stem). But Metax, as our pal Google tells it, is a stainless tube set.
Stainless really isn't a very popular frame material, so this narrows things down a lot. I know that one local builder was using stainless around the time this bike was probably built, but this bike doesn't seem flamboyant enough to be one of Lawrence's, and I have no idea whether he ever used Metax.
Two things might help a little. First, it has unusual rear dropouts, including a fender boss on the seatstay:
Second, it has a distinctive serial number:
PS—Sorry folks, but for reasons beyond my control, the Ute review is just going to have to wait.
Posted by Michael Lemberger at 10:00 PM