We love a bike with a good story behind it. More than this we love knowing that bike we build is going to ridden often and ridden hard. This is a case where both are true. This bike belongs to a cyclist who originally contacted us last fall. Like most of our customers, he had some racing experience and felt that his recent bikes, while light and stiff, lacked true race geometry and more importantly, were bereft of the visceral feel and soul of the bikes he had liked most during his racing career.
The design process for this custom build was easy once we had the desired fit parameters in hand. Like many of our custom bikes, this ended up being a slightly modified version of one of our stock geometries, in this case a 58cm with a 1cm reduction in head tube length and a corresponding adjustment to the c-c seat tube measurement.
The paint choice was a different story and proved to be the most complicated aspect of this frameset project, as is so often the case. To make a long story short, we ended up taking some inspiration from this cyclist's first real road bike when he was a kid, in this case a Cannondale SR400. We essentially applied this color palette to what we have come to call our "Team" paint scheme. This was not a project of retrogression; it was fulfillment of an experienced cyclist's desire for an American-made race machine with an aesthetic inspiration from said rider's youth.
The build on this bike reflects its intended use, which is a full season of riding and racing here on the east coast, with all our decaying infrastructure, unpredictable weather and variable road conditions. Full specs on this bike:
- Frame: Custom 58cm
- Fork: Enve Composites Tapered Road
- Wheels: Ambrosio Nemesis rims, Royce Hubs, Sapim CX Ray Spokes - built by Luxe Wheelworks
- Gruppo: Dura Ace 9000 mechanical, full group
- Handlebar: Ritchey Curve Classic
- Stem: Ritchey WCS Classic
- Saddle: Fizik Antares in Chalk White
- Tires: Challenge Strada 700x25 Tubulars
- Bar Tape: Fizik Microtouch in blue
And in the end, did it fit the bill? Well, we got a short note from the rider about a week after he received the bike. It read, simply: "Sublime. That is a bike made to race."