Training, racing, gear, facial hair styles and thoughts from my push to become an elite cyclist.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Objects of Interest: Assorted Bikes

In the absence of riding outdoors I've had to fill my need for cycling jones with internet pictures of other bikes, other riders and other fun two wheeled endeavors.  The images below are of bikes that I'm currently interested in, and other than the fact that I don't own any of them they don't have much else in common.

This is a '95 Specialized S-Works FSR, courtesy of www.retrobike.co.uk.  When I was first getting into mountain biking in the mid 90's this was the bike I wanted, but thought I'd never have.  It had all of the trimmings of the time- carbon Rock Shox FSX fork, Grip Shift X Ray shifters and White Industries hubs.  Pretty sweet.  This bike was built when almost all high end Specialized models were still made in the US. 

 This cool match up of old and new and comes by way of Skyde bikes out of France.  This particular bike was raced on the European cross country circuit by Ludovic Dubau, current world masters cyclocross champ.  It's an interesting application of titanium and an ISP on a mountain bike.  I'm not sure how well anyone can cut a titanium ISP, but it sure does look cool even if it has obvious drawbacks.  The carbon Reynolds wheels and tubular Dugast Rhino mountain bike tires make this thing look the part of a real dirt-going pasta rocket.

The gearing up front is interesting as well, and if you look closely you'll see it's a 9 speed drivetrain that seems to have only the smaller two chainrings attached.  While that's a common setup for all mountain riding, most elite racers that opt for two chainrings usually drop the smallest, not the biggest.  It would be interesting to see if he's still running this setup this season or if the more widespread 10 speed options make Mr Dubau opt for something more mainstream.   

This Panasonic early 90's replica was also discovered on www.retrobike.co.uk.  In many ways I think the technology that was current in this bike is what many people like to cling to- 8 Speed Dura Ace, box section tubulars and a hand made frame with a simple paint job.  Those are all perfectly respectable things, but bikes have evolved since then.  Still, this is a cool bike, and I think anything pro is cool.  This bike has all of the original trimmings including a San Marco Rolls saddle.  I wouldn't mind one of these for recovery rides on sunny summer days...you know, when all the Miata drivers tool around the back roads getting sunburns on their bald heads. 

I'm not sure who actually manufactured this bike, but the total retro look with white cables and plastic Profile Kages make it a complete package.  

New Englanders will know this one immediately- it's a Spooky Supertouch.  Spooky has been resurrected in the last couple years and has started to make some cool bikes that are legit American-made race sleds at reasonable prices.  They're not super flashy or Euro-cool, but they have a very deliberate feel that is both cost effective and high performance at the same time.  In my early racing days I wanted a Darkside, and the latest incarnation shown below is still a rad race bike that I'd be psyched to own. 

 For some reason I've gotten hung up on the 1 x drivetrain option lately for both cross and mountain bikes.  It doesn't fit with my Vermont geography, nor my preferred riding style of seated spinning, but there's something very pro and purposeful about it that I find appealing.  I'm considering dabbling with one on my new Moots RSL when it arrives, but I doubt I'll be able to push a single ring for any of my endurance events. 

This Mariposa was shown on the Bicycle Specialties website, and to me this bike is a very refined and sophisticated without being stuffy.  The simple but elegant paint on top of a great timeless frame make this a great example of what a bike should be.  It's cool to run 8 speed Campy on a bike if that's what was current when the bike was built.  This is sort of like an older Porsche that isn't quite in step with the latest and greatest on the track, but its heritage and pedigree are unmistakable.  Handmade and (North) American are always a winning combo. 

This is another New England handmade lust magnet courtesy of Mike Zanconato/reposted from Bikerumor.  Mike has been making high end steel bikes for a dedicated and growing fan base like this 'cross bike he'll be showing at NAHBS.  Several guys on the New England CX circuit are running bikes built by Zank, and after seeing some of them up close I can say that I'm impressed.  The welds, fit and finish are superb and the fit is what you'd expect from an artisan.

In my current line of thinking I'll be using my 'cross bike as my early season roadie, and it would kill me to run something so beautiful through that kind of punishment.  Still, Zanconato says that he builds bikes to be ridden.  There's no doubt in mind that this is the perfect weapon for a fast, chattery and technical 'cross course.  If you look closely you'll also see some of Zanconato's custom close ratio chainrings.  The classic lugged steel frame and fork with the Campy 10 speed build kit and Shamal wheels make this a very cool blend of old school craftsmanship and new school technology. 

Man, I can't wait for spring.

1 comment:

  1. Love it.

    Plus I have been liking through to you from vermoots.wordpress.com