Thursday, October 20, 2011

Getting There

Everyone, meet my new "fast" bike. It's an early '90's Colnago, built up with the components that most recently graced the Kestrel, whose frameset now hangs over my television in my apartment.  It has a chrome fork, as you can see, and a right side chainstay that's also chromed (along with the rear dropouts).  The head tube lugs are polished stainless, which I think matches the polish of the chrome really nicely!  Otherwise, it's a beautiful Italian red with white accenting clubs and other graphics, including a few fades.  It's a work in progress, as you see it, aimed at getting in a trial run, and not much more.

Tonight I wheeled it over next to the Motobecane to compare its size to what I'm riding right now.  And it's really interesting, comparing this bike's geometry to the Motobecane's. The Moto seems to have a steeper seat tube, a longer top tube and only slightly longer chainstays. The steeper seat tube is a particular surprise, because it's an all-around kind of bike (marketed and branded as Grand Touring).  The bottom bracket looks to be farther forward on this bike, as a result, and the saddle farther to the rear. It's a good illustration of how two frames in a similar size can adopt a few different angles and end up providing very different riding positions.

You'll have to excuse the aesthetics of the current setup. The stem is 3xugly, the curvy bars don't really harmonize with the classic frame layout, and as Italian as the tires are... let's face it -- they're orange.  They do clash less with this red than the brighter red of the Kestrel, I'll admit.

And from a componentry perspective, there are several missing pieces as it sits, right now. There's no seatpost binder bolt, I think the seatpost is slightly undersized, there are no cables or brake levers installed, there are no pedals, and... I think that's it. To fix the stuff that's missing or not ideal, I've got Nitto 115 bars on order (same bars as on the Moto and I appreciate their width and square shoulders), along with a 27.0 seatpost to try vs. the current 26.8, and a pretty Nitto Dynamic 100 stem is also on the way, to primp up the looks and pull the bars in a skosh closer to me. The cables are clear plastic over braided stainless, and the tape will be white to start with.  At some point during the off season, the bottom brackets on this bike and the Moto may trade places as well (Shimano for Phil Wood, with the nicer Phil going onto this bike).

I'd like to take it for a spin on Saturday, without taped bars (they'll be swapped anyway, remember). Let's see if I can get my act together enough to pull that off!

All for now,


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