My Road Bicycle History

Posted: May 7, 2009 in Bicycling

I frequent the web site bikeforums.net. Yesterday, one of the denizens of the forum asked people to post their history of road bike ownership. After spending a fair amount of time remembering and looking at some old bicycle brochures, here’s my list beginning at the start of my racing “career.” (Note that I bought the bike during the model year listed unless otherwise noted.)

  • 1974 Lambert Pro: One of the finest British racing bikes ever built (not). Started out with plastic Simplex rear derailleur, ended up with a Shimano Crane. Eventually put it out of my misery by cracking the head tube. I weighed about 120 lbs soaking wet at the time.
  • 1975 Bianchi Specialissima: Purchased in June 1976 and I still have the frame and a couple of original parts on it. It was originally all Campy Nuovo Record. This is probably the bike that I rode the most — more than 40K miles.
  • 1980 Medici Pro Strada: Truly the one bike that I wish I never sold. It was essentially a Masi Gran Criterium as it was built by former Masi builder Gian Simonetti. I put a mix of Shimano and Sun Tour parts on it. It did have a Campy seat clamp bolt on it. This was my first racing-only bike.
  • 1984(?) Basso (something-or-other): This was a straight gauge Columbus frame that I built using most of the parts off of the 1975 Bianchi. I built it as a training bike as the Bianchi had seen better days by then.
  • 1985 Vitus 979: Built it with a combination of Sun Tour and Galli parts as a race rig. I got it pretty cheap as I was a bike shop employee at the time (don’t ask). It was a noodle but I weighed less than 130 lbs. back then so it was bearable for racing.
  • 1985 Olmo (I-can’t-remember): Built it with the same combination of parts as the Vitus used it as a training bike. It was a Columbus SL frame and many will argue that it was a better bike than the Vitus. I won’t argue that point. I also got this with a bike shop employee discount. It replaced the Basso.
  • 1986 Shogun Kazé: TT funny bike that I eventually rebuilt using most of the parts off of the Vitus. It was my first TT-specific bike. It’s still sitting in my garage. Did a few sub 1hr 1 min TTs on it but I could never quite get under 1 hr.
  • 1988 Serotta Colorado: This was the best steel frame that I have ever owned. Built it with a combination of Shimano Dura Ace and Shimano Santé components. It was my first bike with index shifting and I used the Santé derailleurs because my local wrench said that they would work well with the plethora of Sun Tour freewheels that I had (and still have) at the time. He was right. I eventually rebuilt the bike with 2005 Campy Record-8 components — my first bike with ergo shifting. This replaced the Vitus.
  • 1990 Stowe Triad: This bike is still sitting in my garage and I haven’t ridden it for ages. For some reason I haven’t had any luck selling it and I tried almost everything except ebay. I built the bike with mostly the same parts that I originally had on the Serotta. It still has most of those parts. I have a funny story about Robert Stowe but I’ll save it for another time. This bike replaced the Olmo as my training bike.
  • 1997 Bianchi Megatube Ti: This was the original Megatube Ti with the large “aero” fabricated and welded downtube. It was my 40th birthday present from my wife. I built it with 1996 Campy Record-8 components. This bike became my “race” bike (I wasn’t racing much at the time) and my Serotta moved to the training bike role. More to follow on this frame.
  • 2000 Bianchi XL EV2 Al: I bought this frame when I cracked the down tube on the Serotta. I put most of the components from the Serotta on this frame and it became my race bike while the 1997 Bianchi migrated to training bike status. This was when I started racing more seriously again as my kids were starting to get older.
  • 2001 Bianchi XL Ti: I got this frame in 2002 as a warranty replacement for the 1997 Bianchi (which developed crack on the seat tube right at the weld for the front derailleur hanger). Put the parts on it from that bike and it was my training bike for a few years. I put Record-10 on it in 2003.
  • 2002 Look KG381i: I got this on clearance in 2003 and built it with 2003 Record-10 (skipped 9-speed). This and the subsequent Look KG481SL had the best stock geometry fit of any bike I’ve owned. It replaced the 2000 Bianchi as my race bike.
  • 2000 Quattro Assi Team 2000: I bought this in 2002 as a cheap TT frame (< $500) to replace the Shogun. Built it piece by piece by looking for sales and on ebay for Chorus parts. This is the worst riding bike that I’ve ever owned, hands down.
  • 2005 Look KG481SL: I did a double swap on components when I built this bike. The low mileage parts on the Look KG381i went on this bike and the higher mileage parts from the Bianchi XL Ti went on the other Look. I really liked this bike.
  • 2006 Look 565: I got this frame in 2007 as a warranty replacement for the KG381i (which developed corrosion issues at the tube to lug interface). I ended up with the wrong size but rode it about 2,500 miles in about six months as my training bike before I sold it. It rode pretty well but it really shined on descents.
  • 2007 Bianchi D2 Crono Carbon: I got a deal on this frame from my LBS that I couldn’t refuse. OK, I could have refused it but I was lusting after this frame from the first time that I saw it and I hated the Quattro Assi. I built it with almost all of the parts from the Quattro Assi. I just put new bars and wheels on it. Who said you can’t buy a sub 1 hr, 40K TT?
  • 2007 Serotta Attack: I got this as my 50th birthday present to myself. Built it with 2006 Record-10. I raced on it at the end of 2007 and for all of 2008. I love how this bike rides. It’s the best bike I’ve ever owned and my first custom geometry frame. Towards the end of 2008 I started getting paranoid about racing on this bike. I have never worried about crashing a bike before and I didn’t like racing with that thought in the back of my head so I sold the KG481SL (which had rotated to training bike status) and…
  • 2009 Cervélo R3: At the end of 2008, I bought my current race rig with 2008 Record-10. I like this thing well enough but the handling doesn’t inspire me (yet) — probably because the Serotta rides so well. Really didn’t do the weight weenie thing when I built it but it comes in at 14.6 lbs with heavy Look delta pedals.

That’s my road bike history. There are a couple of mountain bikes, track bikes, and other miscellaneous bikes mixed in there but I’ll stop here.

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