Sunday, February 25, 2007

Steel Is Real

Whenever I'm riding and I pass a cycling shop I stop in and chat, look around, and ask if there are any "interesting" older steel bikes for sale. I must say I have a soft spot for steel bikes, especially beautifully crafted ones. My modern aluminium/carbon Pinarello is a very functional tool but it doesn't particularly inspire me.

So in November I was cruising in the hills and stopped at a shop. Asking if there were any interesting bikes available the owner began wheeling a series of bikes out. The first few were nothing special, then he rolled out THE bike.

It is a custom made MALAGNINI, an artisan builder from Verona province. It's made of Columbus SLX steel, has chromed lugs, fork and chainstays/seatstays. All 8 speed Dura-Ace. The bikeand components, are in as-new condition and the frame has a funky paint job that I like. It also has some nice touches such as a chainrest that is brazed onto the chainstay, and there is no seatpost collar as the seatpost uses a wedge that is driven from the side of the Dura-Ace seatpost. Nice!

I took it for a long test ride (2 hours...hey, things are different here!) and the ride was so great I was grinning ear to ear. The fit was perfect. After some negotiating I purchased the bike for a ridiculously low price as steel bikes have quickly fallen out of favor as the alu/carbon bikes, and now all carbon bikes, have taken over the market. Speaking of which, it strikes me that Italian cyclists are even faster adopters than Americans of the latest cycling technologies and advancements.

My Pinarello is probably 2-3 pounds lighter but this bike is the BOMB. The gearing isn't suitable for the steeper climbs but I've decided to leave it all original for now and use it on looooong, sunny, ride days.

No comments:

Post a Comment