Ride Cycling Magazine)
September 3, 2018
As good as new.
A prized bike frame, destroyed by a careless motorist, lay in a garage for a decade and a half, its owner dreaming of the day technology might catch up with this carbon fibre malarkey. Attie Koekemoer reports.
I often wonder how my dad, Hannes, ended up on a baby-pink-coloured bicycle. Of the five road bikes he enjoyed over the years, this Rosa is the one that always stood out (Rosa sounds way more sophisticated than pink). Hannes completed his 1 400 km Edinburgh-London and the 1 200km Paris‒Brest‒Paris events on this machine at the ripe young age of 61. A year or two later he got hit from behind by a car while out on a club ride. He came down hard, thankfully only heavily bruised, but the bike was broken and so was his heart. One of the first commercial carbon-fibre frames around, the Look Once Team Edition – as ridden by Laurent Jalabert and others in the Tour de France – was done. There was no future for this frame.
All of that changed when Paolo from Carbon Bike Repair, in Johannesburg, visited the Ride offices with regards advertising in the magazine. We had always wondered why carbon fibre could not be repaired, and had recently learnt that this was already a reality in the UK and other parts of the world. I had seen the odd carbon bicycle repaired by ‘a friend in the aviation business’, but those were just repaired, not restored and the end product looked more like a duct-tape TV-room job. Nobody, until recently, was doing this professionally.