We’re feeling very much “in the pink” at the moment, and not just because the Giro d’Italia is heading to a thrilling conclusion. As the late spring days lengthen and the plentiful sunshine adds an extra sparkle to everything in our shop window, we spend our weekdays wrenching on fine bicycles from yesteryear, wrestling with (sadly all too often) neglected components that have seized through age and corrosion. With judicious application of lubrication (“More Gloop!”), a tightening of this nut, slightly more torque on this spoke, ever so little less on that one, a dab of grease here and a buff with some wax up here and on there, and “Shazam!”; another bike is rescued from the cellars of abandonment and displayed in our showroom of dreams. Ready for you to hop over the crossbar, loudly ring the handlebar mounted bell as a declaration of intent, and sally happily forth onto the boulevards and backroads of Berlin, Brandenburg and beyond, spinning the pedals of a bicycle that once again works impeccably, silently urging you further and faster, and displaying to all who see it that you have very fine taste indeed! Here comes the weekend! Saddle up! Hope we’ll see you on the road this sunny Saturday and Sunday! Or in our super store next week!
In the early 1990s Ernesto Colnago, manufacturer of road bikes of the highest pedigree, partnered with Ferarri, constructors of (more often than not) bright red and (in every instance) blitz quick motorcars, to pursue every possible material advantage in state-of-the-art bicycle design. One of the results of this intense research and development exercise was the Colnago Carbitubo, which was produced under licence and in very limited numbers for Colnago by Alan, another long established specialist racing frame builder.
Quite apart from the Rosso Corso, Nero and Oro paintwork, itself a real eyecatcher, this frame is immediately distinct by virtue of its twin downtubes, which make for a seriously stiff and responsive ride. Indeed, the Carbitubo (not this actual one, mind!) was ridden to numerous successes in period by none other than Tony Rominger, nemesis of Miguel Indurain, and it is rumoured that he retains more than one such Carbitubo race bike in his personal collection.
This machine has been assembled with appropriate components from the first half of the ’90s, including a Campagnolo Shamal 16/16 wheelset and an 8 speed Campagnolo Record group. It is equipped with an ITM handelbar and stem combo, shod with sticky Continental Sprinter tyres, and topped off with a nice perforated black leather Flite saddle. All in all a stand-out ride, a real conversation piece, and an investment likely to increase in value.
It’s that time of year for the first of the three great European stage races, the Giro d’Italia. Watching the fastest riders tearing through the scenic Italian landscape gets us in the mood to go for a fast bike ride ourselves. Should you also be struck by the sudden urge to emulate the exploits of Messrs. Battaglin, Wellens, Yates and Co. we’ve quite the appropriate ride. This unique and flamboyant handmade Cicli Berlinetta ‘Crono’ frame and fork has just the right amount of pink, an eye-catching curved top tube to enable you to hunker down in an aerodynamic tuck on your way to Bar Italia for an espresso, and what’s more the price is very attractive indeed.