Colnago Carbitubo

This was my first roadbike, offered to me by my brother as a triathlete was too stingy to come up with the goods and prefered to do the cycling on a mountainbike, I kid you not. £400 wetsuit no problem. Pushbike, no problem, I’ll do it on a mountainbike.
Just confirms my oppinion of a few Triathletes are totally nutz.

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Not suggesting that all Triathletes are nutz but why on earth would you ride an MTB when even like something of the above is considered a leisure position. Now I broke my first Carbitubo. I didn’t realise what it was, the Ferrari of cycles at the time. Mine was a Khazahstan team bike in the Tour of Britain. It had seen good use but wasn’t up to a 19 stone pounding. Not over the roads I was riding.

This is my second and it feels very relaxed, probably because it a size too big for me. It has been fitted out with all my surplus gear so hasn’t cost me anything other than what it cost me on Ebay.

It is fitted out in my surplus Sora Groupset, much to many of you’s  disgust.  Now I love my Trek Madone and the Iceni is still worth riding but going out on a classic bike like this still gives you that buzz. It must be the two down tubes as there is nothing out there like it.

Another thing is the quality of the workmanship  pantagraphed cloverleaf logo’s decorate all the lugs and it really does make the bike an eye catcher. This was before the likes of the superb paintwork styles of some of the later bikes.

Use of carbon fibre was in it’s infancy when this bike was released and Colnago went down the road to Ferrari to borrow some of their expertise. With my first one coming apart at the seams it opened my eyes up to how versatile carbonfibre is.

This bike now about 17 years old looks like a normal bike for the period. The chainstay where it first came apart looks like a normal aluminium or steel chainstay. The material is very very thin. It is about 2mm thick at max, more like 1.5mm and the more I read up on epoxies to fix it the more I was convinced what a wonder material carbonfibre was.

I didn’t know it was carbonfibre at the time when I bought it, just that it was a bike I had to have. The ride was electric when I tried it out, razor sharp, responding to every pedal input, even at 19 stone. It needed a new set of wheels as one was black and one was silver. So upgrade time it was, the ride to Wheelbase was an eyeopener I just couldn’t hack downtube shifters, I was all over the place. Dangerously so, so it was an upgrade to STI,s.

Now the general consensus is an Italian bike needs a Campag groupset but when you haven’t a clue about groupsets or STI’s pounds shillings and pence start to come into it. Sora it was as the upgrade was going to cost what I paid for the bike.  For that I got a set of Mavic MA3 rims on 105 hubs, Shimano  Sora 8 speed double shifters and a decent job on the bar tape. Setup was faultless. Clearly a case of using your local bike shop until you learn some core skills.

19 stone on a double is hard work at times when you have no concept of what fitness is. The ride home had me in 39×25 on a gentle climb and I mean gentle. Town Lane, Bebington, hardly a climb at all. Back to Wheelbase for the next upgrade.

A triple on a Colnago surely some mistake. But a triple it was, I’m still trying to get any cycling clothes to fit me at this stage.  Mixing with other cyclists and sharing knowledge was not even a concept in my mind. What did I have to offer?

Now the Colnago name on the bike had me as a marked man, everybody and I mean everybody had me in their sights. There wasn’t a club or rider at one time that hadn’t passed me or dropped me. I’m sure the bike used to spur them on, ” I’ve just passed some fat bastard on a Colnago” used to readily spring to mind.

It all ended when I separated the chainstay from the dropout on a ride going over Montgomery Hill, Caldy. Picked up the mobile to Val and asked to be picked up. It was a bleak moment in my fledgling cycling career.

More later when I take some pictures of the detail that makes this a fine bike. 01 jun 08
More later when I start living the dream.

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