Yes. I bought another bike. I have a problem. But this one was simply too good to pass up.
Allow me to regale you with the saga:
Even though I have several bikes, I have always kinda wanted to build my own. Buy a frame, select the components. Make it custom. It’s even on my New Years resolution list. To this end, I’ve been looking on Craigslist and online (eBay, etc) for bike frames.
As I kept searching (and researching) my criteria kept changing. I wanted new. I wanted vintage. I wanted steel. I wanted some lighter material. And all of this I wanted for not an exorbitant amount. Needless to say, I ended up in a pretty deep click hole and I was spiraling.
At the end of the day, I made a list of what I like in bikes. It’s kind of a short list. I like uniqueness/boutiqueness. I like a bit of vintage. I like Italian. I like lighter steel frames. And I like the idea of titanium.
Titanium appeals to me partly because I’m a metallurgist. And partly because of the boutiqueness of the material. It was all the rage for awhile until they figured out how to make stronger aluminum frames. And then less brittle carbon frames.
Titanium is just kinda cool. All the strength of steel- half the weight. No fatigue issues (unlike aluminum). Tough and dent/fracture resistant (unlike carbon and aluminum). It’s also kind of difficult to work with.
Anyway- so my online bike frame research started to hone in on titanium frames. And vintage Italian frames. Cost soon became a factor— shit this is an expensive hobby!
And then I stumbled on an eBay auction for a full titanium Colnago. The asking price for the full bike was what some folks were wanting for just a frame. And the bike was outfitted with a full compliment of Campagnolo components. Derailleurs. Rear cartridge. Cranks. Brakes. Even Wheels.
I started to hyperventilate.
And then I looked at where the bike would ship from (as anything from overseas would be a deal killer). And lo! The bike was in Minne-fucking-apolis.
It was almost like fate.
So I reached out to the seller, and he was cool with a test ride. So he and I went for a “bike n chat” while I checked out the bike.
The bike is in excellent shape for being made in the late 90’s. And with a quick Venmo transaction— the bike was mine.
I took it out for an inaugural ride on Saturday to Minnehaha Falls. It’s a 28.5 mile bike loop for me. Even in the heat and wind I sleazily averaged over 17mph.
I did a “tweak ride” on Sunday where I fiddled with the seat angle and height. That ride also went effortlessly and was around 21.5 miles.
Even though the bike is semi-vintage, titanium, and Italian, it’s also a bike that’s already complete. Which means I am again, getting a bike and not building it custom. So I was worried that I’d have buyer’s remorse.
Not so. The bike fits me really well and I’m very comfortable on it. It’s stiff, but it rides so smoothly. It also corners effortlessly and feels nimble and responsive. And like it’ll go quick if I step on it.
I quite fancy him.