The traditional name for New Zealand’s Mount Arthur is Tuao Wharepapa. To the chagrin of most New Zealanders, it can best be described as a place straight out of Middle Earth: an ancient chunk of hard, crystalline marble, that hides dwarfish cave systems that are the deepest in the southern hemisphere.
Mount Arthur is a long way from Mexico City, but there’s a connection. The peak was the inspiration for this mountain bike, built back in 1991, by the former team of Blitz Machines, which was originally based in the capital of Mexico, and has just been restored to its former glory.
Blitz Machines is the English translation of Maquinas Relámpago, a small workshop in Mexico City dedicated to the restoration and repair of competitive bikes. It closed in 1999 but, in 2010, was reopened by three young Mexicans, and the dream continued.
One of the original frames constructed by the team of Maquinas Relámpago was this MTB for a local cyclist. It was ridden regularly for 20 years and then forgotten, before it was tracked down by the current Blitz Machines crew, still at an alleged 90% of its original condition.
The frame was made with Tange Prestige tubing. Blitz Machines stripped and renovated each part and component, sympathetically, before repainting it with a coat of black gloss and glitter.
Blitz Machines consists of three guys: an industrial designer, a geographer and an architect. The common denominator is a love of bicycles, and their focus is collecting and restoring bikes that have a tarnished class and style to them.
It’s an innocent and passionate pursuit, but the results are clean and usable. Not only do they love restoring pedal-powered bikes, they also take care of old motorbikes too, like a 1976 Carabela Marquesa, which they turned into a ‘street motocross’. Sounds like fun.
It’s no classic fat tyre flyer, but their Mt Arthur has been reinstated as a daily rider for the original owner, twenty years later. It just goes to show that you certainly get a lot of mileage out of a well-made steel frame and, after all these years, it can still be the most enjoyable bike in the garage.
Head to the Blitz Machines Tumblr for more of their exotic builds.