Gruber's Ex-Team TVM Gazelle 853-Servais Knaven

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  • Well as it's Paris-Roubaix tomorrow and Servais Knaven won it in 2001 (riding for Domo-Farm Frites

    Hincapie got mauled in the finish against 4 of their riders and Knaven sneaked off the front) I thought I'd bust out a frame that I bought around this time last year and hadn't gotten around to building up, as since then I've lived in London, Holland, Glasgow and Sweden...

    It probably looked something like this ex-Laurent Roux Team Gazelle in 731 OS with full Dura-Ace but I'm more into Campag and I'm skint so just had to sell my fick-swill Ti frame and had a very nice Centaur carbon 10speed group leftover and newly built after months of scrounging, some very nice Royce/Ambrosio Excellight wheels ready to be hung on it.

    So, today with a stinking cold I thought i would bosh it together and see how it looks...

    Frame with touch ups... I need to find a better match as although it looked ok wet, when dry it goes more reddish. The number hanger had to be removed as it was really too corroded to be of any use.


    been biding my time for cheap near-new second-hand Royce ultra-light hubs and bought the Excellight rims on Planet-X sale, Sapim Race spokes, self-built for less than £400 all in. Dug out a my nice summer Vittoria Diamante Pro Light tyres, all in a very light wheelset at around 2kg with cassette, skewers and tyres, 1.540 only wheels.


    Carbon Centaur 10 speed, with some black ITM Super Italia bars and stem that I've had knocking around for ages that are really very nice and light

    Eat an icecream to muster the strength of a thousand steroid addled, monotesticular bears to bend the back-end into shape again with the aid of an Ikea chopping board:

    and bosh:

    Obvious things to change are the crappy and fucked alloy needle bearing headset which I would really like to be a Chris King 2Nut SottoVoce in black, and obviously also the crappy alloy seatpost which given the nice Campag Chorus one I had earmarked was denied entry like a Latvian day-labourer might be on a Saturday night at Groucho's, was the only one that I had that would fit. A black Thompson will be sought once I figure out what size the damn thing actually is. Bar tape is boring black, which may be changed to something contrasting like purple if I feel fruity, and the Selle SLR might get swapped out as I last rode it on my carbon beastie that got pulped when a car hit me so as far as I'm concerned it's got bad ju-ju.

    All in I'm pretty pleased-the touch ins are annoying me a bit but it really is astoundingly light for a steel frame (my scales are terrible but I think it's around the 8.5kg mark) and I'm looking forward to beasting up some hills on it when my cold has shifted.

  • Nice work, looks great.

  • loving this

  • Cheers, thankfully the crappy phone pics don't show up the slightly tatty touch ins but I quite like the modern group on it and the geometry with the skinny carbon forks.

    I think once my monies are a bit more stable i'll get the headset and seatpost sorted, till then I'm happy enough but as this is going to be my nice bike I'll be doing a lot of tinkering.

    Tomorrow, re-building my Denton tourer with a 10speed veloce compact group!

  • Well, if you ever get board of it, I'll be first in line for the frame and forks.

  • Would that saddle have been used in the period within which that frame was raced?

  • No-think the saddle is 2010, frame would be 1998.

  • Probably me being a mental, but I think everything hangs together really nicely apart from the saddle which jumps out at me as being slightly uncomfortable with everything else.

    Ignore me.

  • I can see what you mean-I don't think it's helped by the chunky seatpost but I'm thinking of getting rid of it anyway so I'll maybe see if I can find an older style Prologo or something....

  • Looks good. Nice decals on the stays...

  • Probably me being a mental, but I think everything hangs together really nicely apart from the saddle which jumps out at me as being slightly uncomfortable with everything else.

    Ignore me.


    I also think the sliver headset ties the other silver parts together. For the most part I'm not a fan of black 1" threaded headsets.

    Personally I would get a Cain Creek classic in silver. Nice shape but without shouty logos:

  • looks great, nice work, the stem and bars suit it really well.

  • aye I was quite chuffed with the bars/stem-I'd thought about going for an ahead converter but the stem would be too chunky for the skinny fork/tubes.

    For the headset-I see what you mean hugo; maybe a bit boring to have everything black anyway. I almost almost pulled the trigger on a Chris King earlier but stopped myself just at order confirmation as I really can't afford it but I see the Cane Creek is almost as expensive! arg.

    Dallying with the purple bartape option as i've a roll spare in my toolbox so might try it on today... Also been scouting for an older selle flite saddle and a Thompson seatpost on fleabay.

  • I really like it, I'm a big fan of 853 frames with modern components for obvious reasons. I think a Flite saddle looks good, if your arse can get on with it, and the black Thomson you mentioned will tie in with the stem nicely.

  • ^^ yes it's a pain. In an ideal world you'd have some 1" carbon ahead forks sprayed to match.

    I found a brand called VP Components. They have a good shape and use Cain Creek bearings. Here's a link:­sets/

    Unfortunately my phone doesn't seem to like their website. But I have definitely seem 1" threaded and I have a silver 1" threadless.

  • ^ this is the correct answer.
    lovely build by the way

  • ^^ agreed, I've got the threadless 1" version on my Roberts and its problem free.

  • Hmm. Good shout on the Record threaded but I'm a bit reluctant to go back to cup n cone after having used cartridge bearings on my last few bikes...

    Fit and forget for the most part and I prefer them for servicing when needed, plus the bearing races last much longer because there's no direct pressure going onto them from the ball bearings. Still, that's probably just me being a bit spoilt and lazy.

  • Found this pic of Knaven in action (looking pretty fucking badass) on what looks to be the same bike...

  • also this image of Claus Moller who rode for TVM with name on TT visible and looks identical font so think it's legit:

  • Found this pic of Knaven in action (looking pretty fucking badass) on what looks to be the same bike...

    That looks like it's a compact geometry frame, no?

  • hard to tell with his legs/perspective-there were a few variations of the team bikes over '98/'99 between alu/steel and semi-compact/classic though so it's possible...

  • also this one-think it's Het Volk '98

  • Found this pic of Knaven in action (looking pretty fucking badass) on what looks to be the same bike...

    That's a Gazelle Démax :)

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Gruber's Ex-Team TVM Gazelle 853-Servais Knaven

Posted by Avatar for übé®_grübé® @übé®_grübé®