Gazelle Champion Mondial 853 LTD - 2017
If you happen to follow me on Instagram, you will know I am a big Gazelle fan. My hometown Nijmegen is located near Dieren, where the Gazelle factory is still located. Occasionally I cycle past it, nostalgic for the times when bicycles were made in the Netherlands instead of being produced in distant countries such as China and Taiwan out of strange materials.
Since I started collecting bikes 7 years ago, Gazelle always had a special place in my collection. Since then I've probably owned more than hundred Gazelle Champion Mondials in all possible sizes, models and colors. I even had some team bikes and the rare 1994 Jubilee edition and the Speedstream of which only 25 models were built.
At the end of the 1980s, Gazelle was one of the largest and most professional bicycle manufacturers in the Netherlands. At one point, Gazelle’s special racing department produced around 10,000 frames a year! In 1992, Gazelle introduced the Jubilee model to celebrate its 100th anniversary. From that moment on, Gazelle was allowed to use the designation "Royal". Ten years later, in 2002, the Gazelle special racing department produced its last frame in Dieren.
In 2017, Gazelle came forward with the news that they would once again release the Champion Mondial. The iconic model would return in a very limited edition to celebrate the 125th birthday of Gazelle. The end result is stunning, it's a fusion of old-fashioned craftsmanship and modern technology! This symbiosis makes the hearts of many steel bike lovers beat faster, mine most certainly included. The frame itself is produced with Reynolds 853 tubing in various diameters and uses both lug and TIG welding technology.
Take a look at the headset tube on the top. There, for example, a lug is used, while at the bottom of the tube a TIG weld is used to connect the tubes. This contributes to modern driving characteristics, but it also goes back to the past: in the race department of Gazelle soldering was done with lugs as well as welding. Another typical Champion Mondial feature is the wrap-around rear stays which are engraved on both sides. The seat post and the stem that are painted in the same color as the frame, another element that completes this bike completely.
The bike has been further assembled with the lightest and best components that were available in 2017. Of course I went for a Super Record group from Campagnolo, what else should be on a Gazelle Champion Mondial ;)