After the great fire of November 20th 2000!
We're back here in EUROPE, and we're back as Renaissance Cycle! We're back with a smaller offering, but with a nicer web store. Unlike the earlier site, we'll have lots of spares to offer! In fact, this was our intention with the older on-line store Renaissance Cycles. But we found out and learned that at the time there were lots of boxed GOODIES to be had, so we took that route. Then came the fire on November 20, 2000 with the loss of a lot of inventory. You can imagine this was a major blow and a hard one to swallow.
This site is a work in progress, so it will be lacking here and there. We appreciate your patience as we plug along. Lots of good things will be happening.
Info up-date below 6/23/20
I am basically a one man show with A little help from my other half with the operations of Renaissance cycle - ebay sales and operating my repair shop here in EINDHOVEN! So to say much of the time I am running on fumes, up-keep of the 3 venues from A tooooo Z is pretty much performed 100% by me! ... myself! ... And I and of course a tiny bit by my other half! Yes I have tried in the past of getting some help, but they just don't work out SO I decided tooooooo pretty much doing it alone. I am slowly getting away from ebay of which is my main tool of getting Renaissance up to snuf! Repair shop, simply said I cannot find anybody that will do the SAME work AS LIKE I would like the work to be done, period!
Am I CRAZY! I guess so!
The ZEUS SUPER SER Buy!
It was roughly 2003 when we purchased the remaining ZEUS inventories from Henry Labadie. Henry Labadie was one of the team managers for LUIS OCANA and also the importer and distributor of ZEUS cycling gear for all of France. Before our acquisition for these inventories, we had two dry runs at trying to get to these inventories. The first try I was told by my contact, ROLAND, to come for a visit. He said: "They are waiting for you". So I make plans, fly down to Bordeaux for a visit to SUPER SER only to learn that the main player Henry wasn't there. He went on vacation! Anyway my friend Roland said: "We go to the other sellers: The crazy couple! ROLAND said! They sleep by the stocks you must liberate these stocks from the crazy couple!"
I told him: "You should deal these goods and you make the $$$, he answered:" No, no, no, I don't want to play in your backyard! That was very generous of him as of course this was his home turf. Back to the crazy couple. Roland told me: "They will be there until 5:00 pm So Roland is driving me there, avoiding the toll roads and we end up getting lost. We finally get there with 5 minutes to spare. Anyway the cat and mouse game was about to begin! The lady from the crazy couple was showing me the goods giving me prices here and there. As she was showing me the goods, I was keeping my Poker Face on. The seller, I saw from the corner of my eyes the crazy old lady looked at ROLAND and making signs to him thinking I was crazy! I wasn't saying anything just looking at the goods! I didn't know a lick of French! Anyway I was making a list in my head of the items that I WANTED TO BUY! ... When I was ready I said OK! I want this and that and so on! One of these item was EVEREST ALLOY freewheels! There was 25 plus pieces and At 3 euros a pop I couldn't go wrong! The crazy old lady!...Said to ROLAND!...He's smart!
On the second try for the ZEUS inventories Roland said: "Come again, the Zeus people: they will be there for you, Henry will be there. So I replied:" Ok, it's summer time, we'll rent a motor home and take the kids along, WRONG! We get there and Henry is not there again! This time he went hunting! So again, I (we!) Ended up with the crazy couple, the EVEREST Freewheel people. Of course we had another great buy from them. After business was done we were invited for dinner. Lots of goose, delicious baked French bread, fresh veggies from their French garden and plenty of cheap wine! We also had to deal with their dog Bruno, a sweet boxer walking around under the table while begging for bits of food. All in all great French hospitality, even from Bruno! We then spent the night near the warehouse and the next day their son arrived with lots of goodies to look at! Anyway, we finished up the buy and proceeded to leave with our bounty! We stuffed every nook and cranny within the motor home. Even the shower stall was stuffed with bike stuff! Now we're ready to make a b-line for Holland! When making ready to leave we were going to turn left when driving out of the drive-way! But the old lady from the crazy couple pointed right and said: "Paris! ... Paris! So we took her advice, we had no clue! Driving through the French countryside at night with very little gas was not a nice feeling. Soon after we found gas, at about 2:00 am, we were passing through a small city and I told my wife to stop! I stuck my head out the window and said I can smell it! An old bicycle shop is nearby! I was convinced I smelled the smell of rubber and oiled soaked wooden floors of an OLD bicycle shop! I yelled! Yes! .. it's here! Soon after lights from people's homes were turning on! We were waking them up, so we got out of there real fast! Anyway after the 2nd dry run at the Zeus stocks I totally gave up on these sellers! Then one day back in Holland, the phone rang and it was them calling to see if we're still interested, I said no but my wife said: "They are ready to sell!" I said okay, I'm going to give them a low ball offer of 8,000 euros. Next, I hear my wife telling them: 7,500! I said while rolling my eyes! Yeah right! Now she's wheeling and dealing! I then heard her say: "They took the offer!" Three days later we're on our way to pack up these inventories.
This was one of the most emotional buying trips that we will ever have, This was for all the bike stuff that was there, plus some. Several days later with roughly 10 pallets packed, I was talking to the son of Henry and one other French man. Before we knew it a HUGE garbage bag came SLAMMING onto the floor right in the middle of the four of us! Then it started to pour garbage bags. I said, "What is this?" The son answered that this was also for you. There were roughly 30 plus GARBAGE SIZE bags of Zeus clothing being tossed out of a small upper room. I said okay: "So what's the extra cost?" Luckily for me, there was no extra cost, $$$ BONUS TIME! Funny thing about these bags of clothing, through out our time there 7 DAYS PLUS! ... I never met or saw the little gremlin who was tossing us the bags of clothing out of this cubby hole! On that same day, I watched Henry, the owner. He was holding a saddle like he was holding a baby and stroking it as if he was petting a little puppy. Then I saw the tears running down his face. I thought to myself: Oh no, this is like taking his children from him. He's had all this stuff for years and years and within a few days time it will be gone forever. I then said to him if there's items that he wanted to keep then it's okay. He didn't want to hear about it, but as the day went on, I was watching him now and then walking away with a few things here and there. He was piling it up in the restroom! I showed my wife and we agreed to let it go. Throughout several days while we were packing pallets of goods, some of his old customers would come to visit the old stocks and also came to say goodbye to these bicycle parts, I also watched a few of these old customers as they were hugging the packed pallets and giving them a good back rub as like they were parting ways with an old friend. I said to my wife: "I don't know how much more of this I can take, this is really making me think twice about this buy! Since we had two dry runs at these stocks, just in case we had a back- up plan (the crazy couple) in place. Anyway we decided to stay the course for this ZEUS buy. Then there was the garage, My lead (Roland) for these ZEUS stocks told me to ask about the garage, something that I had no clue about. So I asked and they said: "Yes, we go and see". As it turns out it was part of their once bicycle shop. The doors opened and I said! Oh, no! This was probably one of a few times that anybody had been in there for well over 20 years. The tools were still on the work bench, bikes in the stands and so on. It was like they went to lunch one day and forgot to go back to work for two decades. I said: "No way, I'm not touching anything in there. I don't want any bad ju ... ju! They told me it was alright and it could go at no extra cost again. I agreed but told them I need to pay something for what I would take. I looked and found the campy spares and a good number of steel barrel hub sets: "I'll take the Campagnolo spares, hub sets the Zeus poster and the empty work stand, the rest will stay where it is. After eight days and 20 plus pallets, we were done. We shared a drink, A few of their old customers were there as well waiting for 'the end' when it was all gone. Our final hours there were totally gut wrenching! The truck finally showed up, and it was time to load it all up. As I was driving the forklift with a loaded pallets, passing these old customers and friends, you could see them tearing up. They all knew the end was near. Soon after the truck was loaded, it was time to go. As the truck was driving away, the final goodbye was here and they all were crying and waving goodbye to the departing truck.
The Final Pack Leaving Holland 2005!
Two days before we were making ready to leave Holland for California, we were in the middle of packing up a 40 'container. All the pallets were just slipping into the container by a inch or two. Towards the end just past midnight it started to rain and the last few pallets were toooo TALL! Anyway, while the pallets were up in the air, somehow I made it up to the top of the pallet and started to jump up and down trying to down size the pallet so it would slide into the box. My wife was on the forklift and I told her: "Don't touch anything while I'm up here. One slip-up and it's over for me". The final night was balls to the walls! Across from the main warehouse we had a smaller warehouse which I was trying to clean out before we left. My wife was packing the last orders as I was driving the forklift back and fourth taking goods from the smaller warehouse to our remaining warehouse, She would continuously give me hourly up-dates! At about 3:00 am she yelled: "We're F # CKED! You see 4 hours later we were to be off to the airport! Anyway, instead of finishing up to cleaning up the smaller warehouse and there was no way we ' ll be done in time I decided we'll keep the small warehouse until our next trip when coming back to HOLLAND, so I just slammed everything in there up against the walls, LOCKED IT UP then get back to the main warehouse. There were still orders that needed to be shipped, So I decided we'll take these inventories with us, I emptied most of our luggage and filled it with our customers' orders to take with us, so we could ship from our new US address! We locked up the warehouse and it was stuffed to the gills! One last problem our cars was to be stored within the warehouse, instead it was left outside! Next! We're now off to the airport with our three kids! We've had some crazy runs to acquire the goods you'll find on our website! When I'm good with this web-site I'll be on the road once again! .... Buying up what I can find! A DUTCH SELLER HAD TOLD ME! .... OH! .... YOUR THE GUY THAT RAPPED THE REGION! We've had some crazy runs to acquire the goods you'll find on our website! When I'm good with this web-site I'll be on the road once again! re now off to the airport with our three kids! We've had some crazy runs to acquire the goods you'll find on our website! When I'm good with this web-site I'll be on the road once again! .... Buying up what I can find!
Buying up stocks in BELGIUM # 1
CAMPAGNOLO # 17 CATALOG! ... BROOKS And IDEAL SADDLES!
During one of our BELGIUM Buying trips we LOCATED a small shop in a small village near GENT, Anyway the owner was nice and welcoming so he said go and look so I figured we'll head straight to the attic so we made it to the attic , this place was 4 stories tall and there was lots to look at, once in the attic as thought it was well run down all the forgotten stuff as we looked around I noticed light spots on the floor, so I looked up and the roof and it was full of holes, we were looking at BLUE SKYs anyway we thought we need to find everything we can before it all went to waste! The rims would be safe for some time because they were tucked away up against the walls, as we started to go through the layers of goods JACK POT! We found hundreds and hundreds of BROOKS PROFESSIONAL and IDEAL # 80 SADDLES, BROOKS SADDLES will be safe for a period because there we in FACTORY sealed cases, IDEAL # 80 saddles a whole different story they were sitting as open stock so we decided to go after the IDEAL saddles first then come back for the BROOKS SADDLES! As we were walking around I noticed a pile of paper goods, I thought to check it out because you never know what you will find, long and behold a # 17 CAMPAGNOLO CATOLOG so I took it along with the IDEAL saddles, BROOKS SADDLES unfortunately we didn't make it back in time, they were lost in a fire the day before when we were making a go at them .... Fires! .... We hate fires!
Buying trip BELGIUM # 2!
Our first trip to SIMONS was winter of 1986!
One day bicycle shop here in HOLLAND invited us to a trip into BELGIUM I said sure so off to BELGIUM we went, so we were off when approaching the BELGIUM BORDER a BELGIAN Border officer was waving us down, instead of slowing down the driver floored it and we flew across the Border, I ASKED HEY! he was trying to stop us! The driver said! Did you see his car, do you think he's going to catch us in that! It was one of those BMW mini cars, we were driving in Big MERCEDES BENZ! I said, I guess not! Anyway we arrived to I think SIMONS, it was a very large warehouse with very little staff, anyway we were free to roam all over the place, main floor basement and so on, The stocks of CAMPAGNOLO TOOL KITS WAS MINE BOGGLING, ROUGHLY 50 to 60 TOOL Boxes of both offerings, rows and rows of ITALIAN Frame sets GIOS, MASI, ALAN and so on. As we were walking around we came across an open back door and I saw CAMPAGNOLO Components box's littering the ground. When taking a better look there was 3X 40's trailers stuffed with CAMPAGNOLO, One guy was picking an order his 1st item was a crank-set, he stuck it on the edge of the floor of the container walked away and came back with some other CAMPAGNOLO items when doing so he ended up kicking the crank-set off the truck, he's then looked at us and gave us the OH WELL LOOK! He then went back inside for another crank-set! MY THOUGHT! They treat this stuff like TRASH! Then I went to the CAMPAGNOLO Box's that was on in the ground, I kick a box cover and there it was a hub-set left to rot, I took a look at some of the other box's, HOLY SHIT! CAMPAGNOLO Components all over the place, DERAILLEURS, HUB-SETS, BRAKE SETS And so on! .... There must have been several dozen pieces all over the place. As it turns out SIMONS was the WORLDS LARGEST CAMPAGNOLO DEALER! I Once spoke with the former owner for the CAMPAGNOLO importer for the BENELUX, we talked about SIMMONS! He said they were crazy! They purchased 140.000 pairs of CAMPAGNOLO rims! .... Unfortunatley SIMON's and the former CAMPAGNOLO importer are long gone.
SIMONS ~ EDDY MERCKX 1037 / A pedal deal!
During a buying trip to EDDY MERCKX we were taken to one of the back rooms at EDDYS factory by I think one of EDDYS friends as we were looking at EDDYS old bicycles Bob said you cannot buy any of these bicycles but you can have these, it was 3 BIG WOODEN Box's these boxes were EDDYS FREEWHEEL Boxes, I asked are you sure, Bob said he's not going to use these anymore so they are yours, I said what's the price Bob said, they are yours for FREE! A present from EDDY! I said to myself OK EDDYS giving me a present that he'll have no clue about, these were EDDYS MAILLARD freewheels from his race days NEW and used! As we were still looking around in this room I found 50 plus NOS CAMPAGNOLO 1037 / A right side pedals, I ASKED Bob, where's the left side, he said, No idea? So I asked so what's the price, he said presents from EDDY! I figured OH WELL, I can break them down for the dust caps and so on! Anyway several weeks later I popped into SIMONS did some digging around and I found 50 plus 1037 / A Left side pedals, I asked the owner FON's Hey where's the Right side, he said no idea? So what's the price, he said, presents for you! We'll that's the craziest thing I got 50 plus pedal sets for free!