Whenever I see a garage sale, I always scan it, looking for any signs of bicycles. Garage sale bikes are usually disappointing, almost always dilapidated Huffys or other department store bikes. Every once in a while though, you find something kind of cool.
During the Tour of Carson, we rode by a garage sale up on Arrowhead Drive. I saw a dirty old bike mixed in with all the other junk, but couldn’t really tell if it was for sale or if someone had ridden up on it. It didn’t appear to be junk though. I was riding sweep on the tandem, and decided to just keep riding in the interest of time; however, I only made it a block or two, when I was compelled to go back and see what that bike was.
I asked the lady at the garage sale if the bike for sale. She said it was, so I started to look it over. The first thing I noticed was the lugged frame. The head badge and decals were missing, but the seat stays and bottom bracket were stamped with the word “Faggin”. I wasn’t familiar with the brand, and even thought it sounded a bit funny. I continued looking the bike over.
My interest started perking up as I inspected the components. Dura Ace, Campagnolo, Cinelli, Look…I was pretty sure I had found something! I didn’t have enough money for what they were asking, but they took what I had. They even delivered it for me, since I was out on my bike.
Later, I got the bike cleaned up and took it for a spin. I expected the bike to feel like an old clunker. Old mountain bikes feel dated, and usually aren’t very inspiring to ride. This road bike felt great though! Apparently road bike geometry hasn’t changed a whole lot over the years.
I did some more research on the brand Faggin. The company is in Italy, and looks like they’ve been around for quite some time. Their website is in Italian, so it was hard for me to learn much from it. There is quite a bit of discussion about Faggin bikes on the web, and apparently the name is pronounced “fah-Jeen” or perhaps “fa-Zheen”. I’m sure all my friends will stick with the American pronunciation when talking about me and my bike though. It’s easy to see why this brand may have had a hard time getting a foothold in America. The previous owner went as far as to remove the large FAGGIN decals off the down tube.
A couple of the bike shop owners agree that the bike is late 80’s. The downtube shifters on this bike are kind of a pain, but the brakes feel every bit as modern as the 105’s on my 2007 Trek. The bike weighs in at 22 lbs, but the light wheels give it a spirited ride. The lugged steel frame and fork really smooth out the ride, and feels quite a bit different than the aluminum/carbon fiber on my Trek.
I’ve made a few trips around town on the Faggin, and it’s just a blast to ride. The bike encourages you to go fast! I’m looking forward to getting some longer rides on it. I’d have to say that this garage sale special was quite a bargain at $22!