Yesterday was the sordid dirty history of the Mountain Bike fleet, so it only make sense today to get the tarmac version published to complete the set.
Back in the day, when I was a rabid mountain biker, roadies were snobby people who never waved back to you when you saw them out riding and, who on earth would want to waste money on skinny little bikes that couldn’t shred or be crashed into trees?! But eventually even I saw the sense that the only thing worse than not going mountain biking was riding your mountain bike with slicks on the road – Truly dreadful. So, in the end I started out on a super shit Bauer road bike… No pic I’m afraid, but it didn’t take me long to work out that steel road bikes were a dumb idea (gasps of disgust from the traditionalists). So, here we go into it with the Dirty Road Bike history lesson:
1. Giant CFR 2
Yes, horror… I owned a Giant, well, 3 actually. BUT, its hard to argue with the fact that they offer the best value for money, which was a bonus given I wanted to spend as little as possible on road bikes back in the day:
Note the Spinachi bar extenders which were both useful and dangerous, a phase shall we say? Funky stem set up to, holy fuck the days before Aheadsets were weird.
2. Giant CFR1
Eventually road riding wormed its way into my life… Strictly for training purposes for MTB though let it be noted! As such, it was time to upgrade and the Giant value for money spoke to me again. Unfortunately, the best model was fucking orange and horrendous. After acquiring it and hating the colour, the Lizard came to the rescue. It just so happened that it was the first year that the PRO team ONCE were sponsored by Giant, so with a photo in hand, I went to see bike painter extraordinaire Ross Bee and hey presto, team bike:
Yip, tricked everyone into thinking I was riding a team bike with shit gear on it… Score.
3. Giant TCR
Giant’s foray into PRO cycling made them marginally cooler and when I saw the TCR frame I had to have it! It looked cool, was light… But, turned out to be an absolute piece of shit to ride. Not to mention it was too big and fucked up my back… FAIL:
4. The Casati Clipper
Ah… My first ‘beautiful’ road bike… I had never heard of Casati before, but I remember clamping my consumer driven eyes on this beauty and the legendary response from a certain bike salesman whom shall remain nameless when I asked what size it was: “Your size”
And with that, I was sold and the Italian steed was mine:
This was a beautiful machine… It had class and style and an air about it. Unfortunately, none of that rubbed off on me, where I was regrettably going through my PRO team gear phase:
Yes, unfortunate… Add to this the fact that the whole Gerolsteiner team was on the gear in a massive way and you can see why this wasn’t the finest hour in the fashion stakes, but fuck those Big Georgie Oakleys were cool there (Note – BG also mainlining EPO like godzilla).
5. Pinarello F4:13
Sticking with the Italian theme next up was Pinarello’s first Carbon bike… This to me felt like a serious road bike, there was something about it that was a step up from anything I had previously ridden and it enticed me back into road racing. Plus, I was a fiend for Red & Black kit, so this fitted in beautifully:
Unfortunately a combo of a vigorous wind trainer session and a ride over moonshine hill saw the demise of the rear end of the F4:13 for me, but it was eventually resurrected and some 8 years later its still in service as AT’s training/commuting hack, a testament to how good this thing was! It was hard to ride this bike and not love cycling. Although when I look at old photos I wish I had a time machine to stop me from riding without a vest, or embarrassingly, with ankle length socks, gasp, almost a Triathlete:
AT also proving here that even in 2007 he already had a strong career rolling in fucking up my photos, this prior to the start of K2, a 200km race of mucho suffering:
6. BMC SLT
Ignoring the “Style, Passion. Precision” and flame decals that adorned this bike, once you got past the Eurotrash graphics this was an excellent machine. Full Campy Chrous gruppo and matching Easton components, it was a great piece of kit and I loved riding it. Sure, it was technically a training bike, but remains one of the most treasured road bikes I have ever owned:
It was a very reluctant sale when moving to Singapore, regrettably it ended it life being folded into the side of a car driven by a retard running a stop sign in Churton Park, fortunately Craigos was ok, but the BMC was consigned to the rubbish bin. A moments silence please everyone…
7. Pinarello Prince
Here it is – DREAM bike alert! From the very first moment I saw this bike I HAD to have it… Unfortunately like any super model, they know how hot they are and, they are also quite expensive to snag. So, when a scarcely used one came up for sale in Wellington from none other than the legendary Backy, I pounced on the deal quicker than the office hoe jumping on the photocopier at Friday night drinks. Sure, it was still an eye watering amount to spend, but as a great man once said “Quality is remembered long after price is forgotten”, he was right:
This thing was perfect, nothing out of place and it screamed quality – Campy 10 speed record, light, stiff, fast and finally, I learnt to match my kit to the bike, with devastating effect:
This shot was from what remains probably the greatest day ever on a road bike – the Sub 6 K2 effort in 2008. Still unsure how I managed a 5.45 around there (for non-cyclists, that’s a tough day), but I can safely say that this machine played a very key role in the day. Fuck it was awesome to ride. Alas, a week before moving to Singapore, a crack appeared in the rear D hanger, resulting in panic and a move to?
8. Cannondale SuperSix
Yip, my first Cannondale! A total coincidence, but this SuperSix remains one of my favourite paint jobs on a Cannondale road bike, clearly completed before Dale fired the paint department and replaced them with low cost cunts who were colour blind and didn’t care as much about quality:
Regrettably, this one was a Crackendale, letting go on the seat tube below the front D… No drama’s on the warranty front (aside from it taking 4 months for a Frame to turn up), which resulted in me going back to an even hotter Italian;
9. Pinarello Prince the sequel
4 weeks without a bike is too much, let alone 4 months… So, it was time to build up the Prince frame that had been sent to me as a warranty. When you get something this hot, you have to clothe it accordingly, so I dripped it in Super Record and FSA fabulousness (non-cyclists are yawning and unfollowing right now), thus producing an absolute weapon of a bike:
Aside from the Zipp 404 wheels which were absolute pieces of shit, this bike was even better than the first one to ride, assuming you loved Red & Black like I did. After the Cannondale association started thanks to Cannasia, this beast sat on the wall for 18 months or more before I finally sold the frame to J Stubbs, who has done it justice with a hot build out.
And, in the Nomad Logs for road bikes, that brings us to current days, with 2 Evo’s and a CAAD10 tucked away somewhere.
So, what’s the point of this series? Well, one lying, cheating and bullying fucker once said “Its not about the bike”, which I couldn’t disagree with more – The machines are integral to what we do as cyclists. They help us through tough patches, they take us places we’d never normally go or see, they share amazing moments with us, they never nag, judge or emotionally blackmail you and when its time to part with them it can feel like you’re selling a child (I assume). As such, its important to give them a nod from time to time as they were part of the journey and as you can see, probably evolved through life as you did.
Finish work early – Go home, clean your bike and lovingly to the point of being weird, give it a coat of polish… Oh yeah…