When Miguel ‘Big Mig’ Indurain won the first of his five consecutive Tour de France victories, in 1991, he was riding a bike considered by many to be one of the finest Spain had to offer. It was a Razesa, a small but prolific workshop in the Basque country that built frames for the Zeus concern.
Razesa are still in operation, although each offering in their catalog is vastly different to the one seen here. Helder Olino spent over a year restoring this specimen, stripping and repainting the frame before sourcing, polishing and installing a complete Zeus groupset himself.
Founded by Luis Arregui 10 years before Campagnolo, Zeus has sustained a reputation as a great imitator of Tullio’s components, but in fact there are over 105 patents in Arregui’s name. Upon closer inspection, the similarities between Zeus and Razesa frames are easily spotted.
Helder has been riding his Razesa nearly every day since completing the restoration, no doubt enjoying the responsiveness and sure-footedness common to the Hispanic marque. It may not be as modern as the current models but it’s definitely far more hermoso.
Special thanks to Helder for the photography. Head over to his flickr set for more.