Friday, October 19, 2007

New Bike Project: Chesini "Innovation", The Start

After the Giro of Lake Garda on Sunday on my Richard Sachs I was reminded again how wonderful a well made steel bike can ride. My every day bike is a Pinarello Marvel (aluminum with carbon fork and carbon seatstays) and while it has been a workhorse I can't say it brings a big smile to my face. So, I've decided to retire it. Besides, it's fun to do bike projects and have new experiences. Keeps things fresh.

I did go bike shopping and would have liked to try a good carbon bike but with the euro/dollar conversion rates being in the toilet I decided to go another route.

Some time ago I had found a rather interesting frame/fork built in approximately 1993. It's a Chesini "Innovation". I've previously written about Chesini here but to summarize it's the oldest bike shop in Verona. I also like having bikes that are a bit different and this meets that criteria. In fact, the design was patented ("brevetto") here in Italy. It's a sloping (in the current sense) steel frame, lugged, and built with Columbus EL-OS. For steel it's light. The headset is engraved with an image of the Roman coliseum of Verona and that appealed to me as well.

I've decided to to mix new and old. The first step will be to have the frame painted, now a hideous yellow. I've given the frame to Chesini and that part of the process has begun. From my stash I'll be using an ITM Millennium all carbon fork to use with the frame to give it a modern look and save weight over the original heavy fork (which is also being painted but will be saved). I also have some other bits to save weight: Easton CT2 carbon seatpost, ITM Millennium Ultralight handlebars, Cinelli Ti stem (if the length is right). The Shimano components from the Pinarello will be moved over.

I haven't decided on what to do with the wheels yet. I might moved the Malagnini's DuraAce wheels onto the Chesini.

I think the project will be finished by the end of November. It was a good time to have started this project because as of right now I have a pretty good back pain from hitting the pavement on Tuesday. In order to avoid being hit by a car at a newly built roundabout I swerved into some find sand the construction crew left behind on the roadway. Tires lost traction and I did a pretty good slide. Two days later I started feeling the back pain. Tomorrow is the Granfondo Italia and I'm going to do it (unless it rains) and hopefully just get through it. Then I'll rest...with a nice vacation.

Photos: Chesini "Innovation" headtube, seat tube/top tube unique lug design

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