Sunday, December 5, 2010

My Bikes: Colossi XCR

























The story on my new Colossi XCR started around 6 months ago when the club (colossi.cc) that I'm closely involved with, started on the idea of team bikes. I began the conversation with some designs for a road frame, followed up by a factory visit where we decided that instead of going for a painted look on the team road frames we could do 'raw', using Jan's Columbus XCR tube set.

Columbus XCR is the most expensive tube set in the world, and is a triple butted seamless advanced stainless steel. The only other mass market version of this frame is the Cinelli XCR- yours for only 3000EUR (frame only). My colossi was a little less, but still looks a million dollars in my humble opinion with the gleaming finish set off by the brass fillet brazing.

Building this bike was not an easy task- many of the old parts I was re-using had corroded and the seat post I was trying to use as a temporary solution didn't fit, and the snailmail didn't arrive with my new one. All of which meant that it took over a week to build and I cut it very fine in breaking the golden rule of never racing with untested equipment by fitting the correct seat post 20minutes before the start line of yesterday's race. Going straight into a race like this as a first ride on a bike would usually spell disaster, but in fact going into the first corner the bike felt like something I'd been riding for the past two years. This is testimony to the custom geometry (and my tape measure), but also the fact I'd specced it to be very similar to my (now in bits) Ridley.

The bike felt sure footed and responsive- very similar in handling to the Ridley (a product of geometry), but much smoother over uneven surfaces. It's not quite as compliant as my Harry Quinn, but it's also much stiffer. You know you're riding steel, but it's not like any other steel bike I've ridden. It feels modern in it's stiffness at the bottom bracket and certainly you can race this frame without worrying you're giving anything away to the carbon competitors. Part of this stiffness is down to my new Record cranks, and the same goes to the front end with the oversized Thomson stem with Deda Newtons (that I'm really liking). Climbing & descending on rides since the first race has again felt like riding an old friend. Steel is real indeed. I'm not sure I'll buy an off the peg road frame ever again...

http://www.colossi.cc/frames

Edit Jan' 2013 See http://bikesandbuildings.blogspot.hk/2013/01/xcr-black-beauty.html