Virtual Park Up: The Velvet Sledgehammer’s ‘Sharknado’

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This week’s VC ‘Bike of the Week’ comes from CyclingTips employee and deep sea fishing enthusiast Leigh Schilling.

Many of you may already know Leigh from his time at Hampton Cycles or his day’s behind the lens covering races all across Victoria. Leigh is now the Sales Director here at CT and his reputation for being an aggressive racer in his heyday has earned him the nickname “velvet sledgehammer”. If you ever see Leigh cruising down Beach Rd on his Shark-Works make sure you say g’day!

“I remember the first time I saw this frame in person – I was lucky enough to be at the Specialized dealer launch, at their headquarters in Morgan Hill California. It didn’t catch my eye, to be honest, I didn’t even walk over to it to have a closer look.

Fast forward a few months later and after some damage occurred to my Black on Black Tarmac frame, this was the replacement sent to me. I opened the box and was greeted by the most amazing metallic blue, with light glitter flaked through it. Then I saw the dirty big shark on the top tube :( It didn’t grab me at first. I pulled the packaging away, studied the graphics a little closer. I loved the blue, I liked the shark, I wasn’t too excited about the fade to silver or the colours to commemorate Nibali’s Giro, Tour & Vuelta victories.

I built it up with my parts from the old bike & started to like it a little more. It was just a bike to train on for me at the time, so I didn’t take too much notice of it. Once I took it out on the roads though, I’d get comment after comment from friends & strangers – “nice paint job… that custom?” or “Paint My Bike?” Some that knew what it was would yell out “the shark!”

Riding through Adelaide at this years Tour Down Under I rode next to a few of the Astana riders, even they yelled out to me “Nibali!”

For the past 18 months, I’ve been saying that I want to get it stripped & re- sprayed into a custom design to my liking, I just cant seem to get rid of that amazing blue top tube though.

Until I can decide on a worthy paint job upgrade – I think I might just keep it the way it is.”

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