It’s a sad sight to see a bicycle on top of a scrap heap, no matter what the condition. Unfortunately, a lot of the bikes on top of those heaps deserve to be there, as a result of our disposable society.
But an occasional few are tossed away as a result of pure ignorance… of the fact that well made frames — this Alan Super Record CX from 1984, for example — can be made usable once again.
The Italian marque of Alan was founded in 1972 by Lodovico Falconi, an ex-employee of Torpado who was inspired by the use of aluminium by companies such as Campagnolo and 3ttt for their parts.
Falconi thought, “Why not aluminium frames?” Aluminium was an unpopular choice of frame material in the steel-dominated world of the 1970s Italian racing world.
After experimenting with the high-strength adhesives used by the aerospatial industry, Falconi conceived the ‘glued and screwed’ construction method of bonding tubes into lugs.
His two children were named Alberto and Annamaria, and the first two letters of their names were conjoined to form the new brand name of Alan.
So it is apt that this Alan frame was found on a tip in The Netherlands by Junior Hoefsloot, who works at a children’s benevolent foundation, dedicated to giving underprivileged youths an opportunity through skillbuilding in woodwork or bicycle mechanics — both a staple industry in The Netherlands.
The workshop creates an environment where old frames are restored into beautiful commuter bikes and sold, working mainly with refurbished parts. When found, the Alan’s forks were bent, but replaced with a chromed Tange fork. Once matched, the frame and forks went unused into a corner of the workshop and forgotten for a year.
Then Junior was gifted a roll of wood-finish 3M adhesive wrap, normally used for auto panelling. Inspiration struck and the Alan was dug out and wrapped, built up with a Sturmey Archer crankset and S2C duomatic rear hub, custom fenders and a Brooks B17 saddle and grips.
Renamed ‘Minna’, a custom leather tool box was made for the rear, from leather repurposed from the back section of an old couch at the back of the workshop. It seems what once was old, is now made new. Massive thanks and kudos to Junior, his Alan Minna and his work with the children.