Archive for December, 2015

My Complete Bicycle History (Updated)

Posted: December 28, 2015 in Bicycling

Once again, I am inspired by a thread on an online cycling forum. I am taking my original post and updating it with my latest bicycle information and I am adding all of the other bikes that I’ve owned (that I can remember) since beginning of my racing “career.” (Note that I bought the bike during the model year listed unless otherwise noted. Also, unless otherwise noted, bikes are road bikes. Last, bikes in bold are in my current inventory.)

  • 1970 Magneet (unknown model): My first 10-speed bike. I got it because it had Campagnolo derailleurs on it. Never mind that they were Campagnolo Valentino derailleurs. It also had the ubiquitous (for that era) Weinmann center-pull brakes. I also repainted the bike a metallic purple when the original paint sort of fell off. I actually “competed” in my first race on this bike. Not sure what I did with this bike.
  • 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. Someone wanted to buy it from me after a friend of my father welded(!) the head tube. I sold it to him.
  • 1975 Bianchi Specialissima: Purchased in June 1976 and I still have the frame and a couple of original parts on it after a complete restoration using period incorrect Campagnolo Super Record components circa 1984. It was originally all Campy Nuovo Record. This is probably the bike that I rode the most — more than 40K miles. Museum piece in my house.
  • 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. I sold the complete bike but I don’t remember how I advertised it or who bought it.
  • 1982(?) Benotto (model???) track bike: My first track bike was made-in-Mexico and had straight gauge, steel tubing. I got it so that I could train at the newly constructed, 7-Eleven Olympic Veldrome (built for the 1984 Summer Olympics). The fork had quick-release chrome plating and by the time I sold the frame the fork had almost no chrome plating left on it. Overall, it was a nice track bike and served me well. Sold the frame and fork around 2006 at a swap meet and it’s probably a brakeless road fixie now.
  • 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. I got it pretty cheap as I was a bike shop employee at the time (don’t ask). Eventually the sold the bike after getting the frame powder-coated when the quick release Italian paint job gave up the ghost.
  • 1984 Cannondale SM-500 Mountain Bike: Got sucked into the mountain bike craze and this was another employee purchase. The bike was a dark metallic green and it interestingly had a 26″ front wheel (standard for that era) and a 24″(!) rear wheel. I could climb trails that would cause others to dab but it was scary descending on it. Sold it to a co-worker who, as I was told, rode it all the time all around the South Bay.
  • 1985 Vitus 979: Built it with a combination of Sun Tour and Galli parts as a race rig.  It was a noodle but I weighed less than 130 lbs. back then so it was bearable for racing. This was also another employee purchase and I ended up selling the frame and fork to a friend.
  • 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. It also had a wild, 3-color, fade paint job. I think I sold the frame and fork through the Pennysaver.
  • 1986 Shogun Kazé: TT funny bike that I eventually rebuilt using most of the parts off of the Vitus. This was my first TT-specific bike. It’s still sitting in my garage waiting for another rebuild. Did a few sub 1hr 1 min TTs on it but I could never quite get under 1 hr.
  • 1987 Fisher Procaliber: Bought this as lightly used frame. It had one of those under-the-chainstays rear brake. It descended much better than the Cannondale but it didn’t climb as well. Given my inability to descend fast, it probably was a bad change for me. Eventually I converted the bike into city bike duty and I towed my kids in a trailer behind this bike for untold miles. Finally sold it to a colleague’s daughter around 2007.
  • 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. Cracked the down tube in 2000 and sent it to Serotta for a repair evaluation. Never got it back from them as the repair cost was too high.
  • 1990 Stowe Triad: I originally built the bike with mostly the same parts that I originally had on the Serotta Colorado. I rebuilt it with circa 2005 Campagnolo Chorus-10 components in 2013 and then disassembled it a year later to build a road bike for my wife. 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. Rode it a few times after rebuilding it and the mystique of steel road bikes was lost on me after riding carbon frames for over a decade. Steel may be real but it doesn’t ride better than carbon. Sold it at the end of 2015 to a clubmate who wants to build up a classic steel road bike.
  • 1997 Bianchi Megatube Ti: This was the original Megatube Ti with the large “aero” fabricated and welded down tube. 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 history on this frame below.
  • 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. Sold the complete bike to a friend.
  • 2001 Bianchi XL Ti: I got this frame in 2002 as a warranty replacement for the 1997 Bianchi Megatube Ti (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. Sold the frame on ebay.
  • 2002 Look KG381i: I got this on clearance in 2003 and built it with 2003 Record-10. This and the subsequent Look KG481SL had the best stock geometry fit of any bike I’ve owned. It replaced the 2000 Bianchi XL EV2 Al s my race bike. You’ll see the fate of this frame further down this post.
  • 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 on Chorus-10 parts. This is the worst riding bike that I’ve ever owned, hands down. Sold the frame at a swap meet.
  • 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 KG381i. I really liked this bike. Sold the complete bike to someone through an online cycling forum.
  • 2005 Bianchi Milano 120 (120th Anniversary Edition): Decided that I wanted a town bike and liked the one that my wife had. Got this one on closeout as a year-old model. It’s a fun bike that is easy to ride. Changed out the bars, saddle, and seatpost but otherwise, it’s pretty much stock. Always get compliments about the bike (not me).
  • 2006 Bianchi Pista Concept: Built this using most of the parts from my Benotto track bike. Eventually replaced everything on it — not that there’s muck to replace on a track bike. Put over 7,000 miles on it. All of those miles were training and racing on an indoor, 250 meter, velodrome. Thought the frame was cracking in 2013. Turns out it wasn’t. Then it developed a real crack on the seat clamp. It’s currently built with a variety of leftover track components and wheels and it’s waiting in my garage while I decide what I should try to do with it.
  • 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 to a friend. 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 only changed bars and wheels when I first built it. Who said you can’t buy a sub 1 hr, 40K TT? Currently the frame and fork are taking up space in my garage. Make me an offer.
  • 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). In August 2015, I was racing on this bike, as usual, in a Tuesday evening race and I crashed on it. After the crash and because the frame has over 26K miles, I decided to temporarily retire it. I have plans to get it repainted and then rebuild it.
  • 2009 Cervélo R3: At the end of 2008, I bought to be my race rig and bought a 2008 Campagnolo Record-10 group. I liked this bike well enough but its race speed handling didn’t inspire me — probably because it had a slightly funky front end geometry. Really didn’t do the weight weenie thing when I built it but it came in at 14.6 lbs with heavy Look delta pedals. Sold the frame and fork to a friend.
  • 2007 Bianchi Roger: Only used bike I’ve ever bought. Found it on craigslist in 2009. It is my rain bike and single-speed training bike. Eventually replaced everything on it except the brakes and wheels and added fenders. (Not too much to change though since it’s a single-speed.) My clubmates like riding behind me when I ride it in the rain because it has full fenders so there’s little road spray. Haven’t ridden it too much in the past year since we have had drought conditions for the past two winters.
  • 2010 Lapierre Xelius FDJ: Put the components from Cervélo on this frame. Raced on it for a year. It was an OK race bike but it didn’t stir my soul. Sold the frame and fork to a friend who bought it for his nephew.
  • 2010 Cannondale SuperSix Hi-Mod: Got this pretty cheap in 2011 as it was a leftover team bike for a local club. Found a NOS Campagnolo Record-10 group for this build. Liked it a lot and raced on it for two seasons. Ended up selling the frame and fork to a friend who easily outsprints me while riding it.
  • 2011 Stop Proletariat: The frame is billed as a single-speed mountain bike. I bought it because I wanted to build a single-speed commuter bike with disc brakes and belt drive. I like the bike a lot though much of how I use it overlaps with the Bianchi Milano.
  • 2012 Cannondale SuperSix EVO Hi-Mod: Got another end of season deal on this frame and fork. Built it for the 2013 season with the Record-10 parts off of the SuperSix Hi-Mod and I like it even more than that bike. Eventually put an SRM power meter on it so now I can see my pitiful watts during races. Raced on it for three full seasons but now it’s my training bike after retiring the Serotta Attack.
  • 2012 Specialized Shiv: After the 2012 USAC National Road Championships in Bend, OR, I got an itch to get a Shiv. Found this bike on ebay as a built but never ridden deal (wrong size). Moved the derailleurs and saddle from the Bianchi D2 Crono Carbon on to the Shiv “module.” It looks great but I’m not any faster on it. Surprise, surprise.
  • 2013 Bianchi Super Pista: Bought this when I thought my Bianchi Pista Concept had a crack in the frame. I didn’t build it until 2014 because I never had the time or inspiration to do so. I was thinking about selling it when I discovered a real crack in the Pista Concept. Interestingly, the geometry and build tolerances are so close to the old bike that I was able to swap parts without having to make any major adjustments. It rides the same as the old bike. We’ll see if I can go any faster on it.
  • 2016 Fuji SL 1.1: My current race team sponsor, West River Cycles, arranged a deal for us to get “team” bikes from Fuji for a great price. Since I wanted to retire the Serotta Attack the timing for getting this frame was perfect. Over the years, I was interested in Fuji’s top end road bikes but their geometry wasn’t right for me. Fortunately, the SL 1.1 looks like it will work well. Building it with most of the parts off of the Cannondale SuperSix EVO Hi-Mod.