Last week a really special bike went out the door of Ferretti Cycles. Somewhere in March or April, Dave contacted me inquiring about a custom road bike as somewhat of a retirement present for himself. He wasn't really sure about what exactly he wanted but we talked it through and narrowed it down to a disc brake, thru axle road bike. Nothing at all out of my wheel house. We spoke briefly about the paint jobs that come with the bike and I told Dave to be thinking about paint as it's one of the most difficult parts of the bike to decide on and I'd be in touch when the time for paint came.
Well, Fast forward to the end of June and the call went out to Dave to see what he wanted for paint. He requested "Black and oh, my grandson has Autism so if I give you an Autism Awareness sticker can you put it on the bike for.me"? I have got to admit, I waffled... I really didn't want to put a sticker on the bike then clear coat it. Enter negotiation mode!!! I suggested that he send me an image of the sticker and I'd paint it on. He quickly pulled up an Autism Awareness sticker on his phone to show me saying "something like this, you know just so people will see it and maybe start a conversation about it". Ok, now my mind is racing... "Ok Dave- Do you trust me to come up with something special for you"? He agreed, just make the bike a conversation started about Autism.
This is what I came up with! I hope you all love it as much as Dave and I do!!! Leave a comment!
A future post will happen with a bit more info about the components behind this awesome bike!
What? A non-Ferretti bike on the Ferretti page??? Well, until I book a whole bunch of wind tunnel time to fabricate a TT rig, then yes…. This is my duathlon race bike. The bones are a 2017 Fuji Norcom Straight that have been dressed with hodgepodge of Sram and Shimano parts! More importantly, the wheels are an awesome set of 88mm Carbon, tubeless rims that I’ve worked with a manufacture to have produced. The are laced to incredible #Whiteind T11 hubs and shod with Vittoria Corsa speed TLR tires (23mm front, 25 rear both set up tubeless). Let me tell you, the wheels make this bike fly (and yes, if you ask nicely I’ll build you a set).
Techie cyclist can just be so dramatic. Marketing professionals too. Not so long ago the industry as well as many opinionated cyclist announced the death of the 26" wheel. First to the 29'er, then the 27.5, don't forget everyone's favorites the 96'r (yeah you forgot so quickly, you're welcome). Just today I saw the cover of Mountain Bike Action magazine touting the newest, latest, greatest... a mix of a 29" and 27.5" wheel. Sigh.... Relax folks. I can promise you that though there's a lot different choices out there, none will totally dethrone another. Which brings me to my point (I know, you just want me to make it... But the way I see it is you're reading which sorta makes you my captive audience...) 26" wheels ARE STILL RELEVANT. I can hear the collective groans...
That's right... You heard it heard it here first. And no, I'm not smoking anything funny... Or edibles. Or any other strange chemicals... Except caffeine, yeah a bunch of that... 26" wheels are alive and well. Witness the above photo. You're looking at three different wheels there. The furthest wheel is a 27.5 x 2.8, the middle is a 27.5 x 2.35 and the foreground is a 26 x 2.8. Photo's can really make it difficult to judge the size differences but let me tell you... the 27.5 x 2.8 is a fair amount bigger than the 26". I know, who cares???? Well, I do. Why??? Well I'm currently building a bike for a fairly, well, ummm, short (vertically challenged or whatever the PC term is) woman. A 27.5 x 2.8 or 3 ends up making a bike that just has too much stand over height. With the 26" x plus size, I can reclaim almost 3/4" of standover while providing a plus size tire!!! That's pretty significant! What's more, if the rider is feeling like she wants to go into Jane racer mode, she can slap on a set of 27.5 x 2.2" tires and toe the start line while having the same BB height, handling at a loss of weight!!! Hmm, sounds like a win to me!
Just because the industry say's 29'r are fast doesn't mean at 5'2" you should be riding them... Instead, let's get you on some hoops that allow you to not only stand over your bike but be confident in it as it fits perfectly! Yeah, Yeah... The pundits will claim that a 29" wheel rolls over stuff better... It does! But if you're so short that standing over a 29'r becomes a genital rearranging experience you may want to look elsewhere! Anyway.... There's plenty of options out there folks. Explore them with open minds!
I know I'm asking for trouble here... But go ahead, drop your thoughts and comments about having a bike with a wheel size that actually fits you down in the comments!!! Especially looking for comments from folks 5'3 and below as well as 6'2" and above!
I'm going to try something slightly different for this blog... Lot's of graphic content, few words... With that said, Enjoy! As always drop a comment, ask a question, ride your bike!
I'm not really going to give you many words, Instead a picture... The start of a truly custom paint job! It's what we do and just one of the many things that will make one of our bikes uniquely yours! This fork belongs to a gravel bike. It's a beautiful light blue with a sky blue inlay. Trust me, pictures don't do it justice! What colors do you dream of for your next handmade bike?
One of the things that I pride this company with is that our frames are truly "custom" frames. Made by hand, thoughtfully, one at a time. Many hours are spent talking with clients about their wants and needs, then sitting down to design a bike that matches our discussions. Some companies and shops have diluted the term "custom" by calling bikes that customers can pick and choose paint colors and parts custom... So instead of fighting that term, we're going to just reword what we call ourselves a bit... We are a "handmade" bicycle maker. Each one different. Each one individual. Each one just for the person who ordered it! All this said, I've worked on a new graphic that will start delivering on the bikes. Here's the first iteration... Let me know what you think!
Ton's been going on here in the shop... Lot's of fabrication and paint work. I thought I'd take a second to show you a quick glance of the latest project!
You're probably saying "great, what am I looking at"? Well this my friends is a gravel bike. Clearance for nice plump tires, which all the cool kids seem to be running while maintaining room for both a 1x or 2x crankset! Not exactly an easy feat!
In other news... Been messing around with some paint! Big bad metal flake stuff! Check out the video below!
Ok, a little follow up for those of you interested in the Conti GP5000 TL tires. I've put some miles on them over the past week and here's some measurements. (All taken on 25mm ext rim, 18 internal @ 80PSI)
Schwalbe Pro 1 700 x 25 - Actual measurement: 29.4 mm
Schwalbe Pro 1 700 x 25 - Actual measurement: 26.3mm
Continental GP5000TL 700 x 25- Actual measurement: 26.4
Subjectively, I feel that the Schwalbe are slightly more comfortable riding. Begs the question if it's the added width making them feel smoother. The Continental feel a bit harsher compared to the Schwalbe. Unfortunately there are too many things going on (different casing volumes, different TPI) for me to try to suss out where the ride difference is coming from.
Rolling- Yeah... both are freaking fast. If you haven't had the opportunity to ride the new breed of road tubeless, do so! You're in for a treat! I've been a die hard tubular fan for many years but honestly these two tires have me totally rethinking that! Here are two links to instrumented tests for the rolling resistance of both the Schwalbe and the Conti:
Puncture resistance- I don't have enough time on the Conti to make a fair assessment. I can say that after a few hundred miles, the tires are void of any nicks and slices that I sustained on the Schwalbe. Speaking of... I have only had 1 flat with the Schwalbe... and it was a catastrophic one. As in so big that an inner tube wasn't going to fix it! That said, the beads on tubeless seem to be tight enough and I rode 12 miles on a flat front! Adviseable, no... Getting back under my own power... yes.
Weight: Yes I scale my tires... Perhaps I need a hobby. Conti weighed in at 297 g. Schwalbe weighed in at 264g.
So, what do you think??? Drop a comment below with your experiences!
To be continued!
2019 has arrived and here at Ferretti Cycles I felt it was fitting to start the years off with a bike that is sure to become my favorite (or hopefully yours). You see, this bike has been brewing in my head for several years now. It was conceived when I asked myself what my favorite bike was. The contenders were numerous as I've lost tract of how many bikes I've owned over the years. Ironically, it was super easy to whittle away at that mass of bikes and come a few that I really loved. So you ask, what/who were my contenders??? In no particular order 1. Batavus Competition (year unknow), 2. Bridgestone RB-1 (1990), 3. Schwinn Paramount (1994). Yup, there it is... my dream list.
Though completely different bikes, all three had some common traits. All were steel, all were lugged and all were "all day" type bikes. So that's what I set out to do... Build a Lugged steel bike using modern alloys, modern components, having "neutral" handling, a beautiful old school look that rides like a million bucks!
Frame- The first question people always ask me is "what tubing is it"? Well I hate to break this to you folks but the brand... well it really doesn't make that much of a difference... I know, I know, you think you like Columbus or Dedaccaia or Reynolds... but truth be told, you can't tell a difference riding... What makes more of a difference is if the builder takes a thoughtful approach by utilizing the proper tubing diameters and butt profiles to optimize a bike for the potential rider... now that makes a difference! In fact, it makes a palpable difference! All this said, to answer what you really asked is this bike is a combination of Columbus Spirit, Columbus Zona and Deda Zero. Are you happy now??? Oh, and you need to see this frame in person... It's got an amazing paint job. It's Metal flake silver with Candy Blue accents. Photo's don't do it justice!
Geometry- Oh another area people like to geek out.... What's the head tube angle? What's the chainstay length? Rarely the more important questions of what's the trail and the bottom bracket drop? Never the most important question of was this build centered off of a professional, known good fit? So since this is my blog and I'm writing it (I'll cry if I want to, cry if I want to, you would cry too if it happened to you), I'll tell you... In my humble opinion any great riding, great handling bike starts out with a design that is centered around a great fit!!! And this one was designed around a fit performed by Noel at Bonkwerx. I've spent several hours with Noel, fine tuning my fit and coming up with a fit that works. From that fit, I'm able to design a bicycle where my mass is where it's supposed to be, without the use of super short/long seatposts/stems, excessive seat seatbacks, 100 stem spacers, so and and so forth... So there... Now for what you think you want to know... Parallel 73 degree angles, 72 mm bb drop, 405 stays (if you want trail you'll have to ask nicely). ;-)
Components- I'd say "nothing special" but the more I think about it, they are! I selected all parts that are super solid, affordable and will last a good long while! Drivetrain duties are handled by Sram Rival 22 with a 50/34 crank and an 11/32 cassette. So much has been written about this stuff that I'm not going to bother with another word. Wheels- My own brew! I work with a manufacture that produces carbon rims to my spec. These happen to be 38mm carbon rims that are tubeless compatible. Though compatible, these are set up with Michelin Power Competition 25mm tires, my current favorite. Hubs are Bitex and offer a great way to get an awesome set of wheels for an affordable price. Cockpit duties are handled by Whisky Parts . I've utilized their fantastic No.7 6F bar. It's aluminum and has a shape I find to be very agreeable! I've continued with the Whisky line, utilizing their No.7 seatpost and stem! Nothing super fancy but they offer a great performance to value proposition! The seat is a Fabric Scoop. I wish I could insert a heart emogi there because that's how I feel about their saddles... That pretty much wraps up this bike... Oh, a silver King headset. Enough said about that.
The ride- Well, I just went for a quick spin on it. Let's just say I had to get off it quickly!!! You see, I actually built this bike as a demo bike for Rochester Fitness and Cycling . Being a dealer/rep for my bikes, I wanted to be sure that the shop had a bike to show folks! Anyway, that's what ended my ride so fast... I could tell that if I kept riding, this bike wasn't going to make it to the shop. It would be added to my quiver of bikes... And If you know me, you know that Michelle will kill me if I bring another bike home. So, do me a favor and save me from myself! Stop by Rochester Fitness and Cycling to test ride this machine! If it fits you, it's for sale. If it doesn't fit but you have a dream bike, hit me up!
David is either found riding his bike or in his workshop working on them!