This looks like a very handsome tall bike. Low starting bid with no reserve, too.
1980 Austro-Daimler Vent Noir II
Original Well-Preserved Smoke Chromie
FRAME #6186274 Lugged steel: Reynolds 531; ST: 61cm (c-t, 60cm c-c); TT: 59cm (c-c)
FORK Reynolds 531; 700c x 1″
CRANKSET Campagnolo Gran Sport 170 Strada; 53/42
FREEWHEEL SunTour 14-26 6-speed; Original Regina 14-24 5-speed available
REAR DERAILLEUR Campagnolo Gran Sport
FRONT DERAILLEUR Campagnolo Gran Sport
BRAKE CALIPERS Campagnolo Gran Sport
LEVERS Campagnolo Gran Sport, Shield Logo hoods
HUBS Campagnolo G.S.
WHEELSET Mavic G 40 700c (original Rigida rims available)
TIRES Vittorio Competition Kevlar
STEM Cinelli 1A 105mm
BARS Cinelli Giro D’Italia 64-42
SEATPOST Campagnolo 27.2 mm
SADDLE Brooks Professional 1980
PEDALS Campagnolo Gran Sport/Christophe clips/Binda straps
The hills are alive. While Austro-Daimler isn’t what one might call a household name in cycling, it earned a great deal of respect in its day and continues to build a following among classic and vintage cycling enthusiasts. If you’re reading this, count yourself among us. Stemming from the hills of the Lavanttal Alps, Austro-Daimler (an extinct automotive nameplate that Steyr-Daimler-Puch resurrected for the American market) is classic European with a lively Alpine charm. I first became enamoured with the marque while working at a bike shop in Colorado. At the shop we sold an array of bicycles from utilitarian Schwiinn Varstitys to high-end pro bikes from Colnago and Masi. The build quality of the 531-framed, Bocama-lugged Austro-Daimlers was instantly impressive and that carried through to their ride quality. In and around the nearby foothills, the Alpine lineage was immediately apparent. They were at once responsive, silky, nimble, and assured. Componentry was excellent. And then there’s the smoke chrome finish. To a high school kid in 1980, that was the raddest thing I’d ever seen on a bike. Overall, they represented an excellent value vis-à-vis the Italians whilst remaining competitive with the emerging Japanese wares. Despite their value, I couldn’t afford a smoke chrome A-D at the time, but they made a lasting impression. Today, this Austro-Damiler Vent Noir II is the finest of the four smoke chromies that I’ve owned since rekindling my passion for steel about 15 years ago (including an über-rare Ultima SL). I bought it from the original owner and it has been kept as he had it since new. All documented through receipts, he swapped the stock San Marco Corsaire for a Brooks Professional When he moved to Washington from Sacramento a few years later, he had Wheelsmith build a set of Mavics laced to the original Campy G.S. hubs with a 6-speed freewheel for added climbing capability. Original rings and rims have been preserved however. I bought the bike 10 or so years ago while living in Oregon and it has followed me back to Colorado and now in Florida where frankly its Alpine charm is for naught (what we call a “hill,” you might call a “bridge”). And while it no longer has the opportunities to show off its climbing (and descending!) prowess, it remains a comfortable all-day rider. In addition, it still looks near new. There is some decay in the decals and while I can attest that some smoke chrome Austro-Daimlers have not held up to the factory’s claim of the finish being “impervious” to scratches, this one has been lovingly cared for throughout its life and it retains a gleaming, impervious-as-promised finish. Still rad after all these years. The durable Campy Gran Sport components are in equally well-reserved condition, with no nicks and precise movement. There is excellent power transfer through smooth, crisp shifts while braking is sure and even, with no pulsating or squeaking. This is an exceptional vintage bike that goes as well as it shows.