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Posts Tagged ‘colnago’

Cyclorama Welcomes Taurus Biciclette

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011 by Mick Allan

I hadn’t heard of Taurus Biciclette at all until very recently, even though I consider myself a bike nerd and they’ve been going for more than 100 years. They are a small manufacturer based in Vanzaghello just outside of Milan, Italy. They make city bikes, work-cycles, a tricycle, a tandem and a folder. And a range of classically styled bikes.

I was just saying to Caz the other night how love can take you by surprise, knocking you for six when you least expect it. Well so it was when I caught my first glimpse of the Taurus Contropedale in blue. Blu diplomatica to be precise.

I’ve had some really spectacular bikes over the years, many of which I wish very much that I’d kept hold of. But for the most part, each and every bike I sold financed the next, even better bike. Each new bike was an upgrade. I’ve had 50+ mountain bikes and probably the same again in assorted road bikes, recumbent bikes and trikes, roadsters, folders, fixed-wheels, unicycles, tandems etc. Like many folks who have spent career time at the retail end of the cycle industry, my staff discount was some small compensation for crappy wages and it allowed me to build ever more exotic bikes.

This merry-go-round has slowed significantly in recent years and my fleet has started to settle. I’ve got the bakfiets which you’ve all read about if you’ve been following the blog, the pedal-powered equivalent of a Volvo station wagon. I sold the Colnago to get that. I’ve got the Africa Bike, boring, reliable and capable daily driver with a good level of cargo/kid carrying capacity. Then there’s the Schwinn Black Phantom, my pride and joy. My hot rod which only comes out on dry summery days. And my mountain bike, what’s left of it, since I started selling it and got cold feet when I got to the frame and fork and wheels. I’ll build it back up one day.

What’s missing I suppose is a Brompton L3, but since I lost mine (when my mate Andy was assualted for it and left with a brain injury from which he hasn’t recovered) I haven’t had the inclination (or the dosh) to replace it. And that’s it. If pushed, I’ll admit to the occasional fantasy of building a super posh touring bike, but the likelyhood of me finding the time to head off on a loaded tour any time soon is as remote as the Outer Hebrides. Not in this half of the decade for sure. So I didn’t need another bike.

That was, until I clapped eyes on the Contropedale.

taurus logo

Oh eM Gee, as they say.

I am the kind of geek who frets over the slightest gram – even though I haven’t ridden competitively for thirty years (and even then I wasn’t competitive..). I am the kind of bike nerd who studies the detail on handmade frames for hours on end, who has a collection of images of the tubing arrangements at the seat cluster of the world’s leading carbon fibre TT and Tri bikes. Yes really. Who winces at the sight of Shi**no, even Dura Ace, on a Colnago. But the Contopedale is not an expensive bike. It’s not light either judging by the tubing and construction. It’s really nothing especiale. But to me it is the most beautiful bicycle in the world. It is the bike seen in profile on every bike route sign and painted in white on cycle paths the world over. It is The Bicycle distilled to its very essence.

When I first caught sight of it I knew it would be mine. And with a milestone birthday coming up I had just the excuse I needed.

That Taurus have agreed to feature in the Cyclorama book and the product pages of Cyclorama.net is really just a bonus!

Right click and ‘view image’ to see it in all its glory.

A bicycle.
A bicycle.

Read about Taurus Biciclette in Cyclorama.

Go on, take a look at that and tell me it doesn’t stir something in your soul. I’ll let you know how it rides when it arrives.

I can’t wait.

Birmingham Bike Show

Friday, September 30th, 2011 by Mick Allan

With the recent Eurobike and Interbike shows still fresh in our memeries we set off to the National Exhibition Centre with little enthusiasm. We’ve been spoilt by the biggest shows on the planet, how could Brum come close? Well, we expected it to be boring and we were wrong. It was blimming great. The public days will be the new venue’s real test but what was obvious from speaking to exhibitors is that the UK cycle industry is in good health. They’re all doing very well thank you. The bouyancy and optimism which was evident at the Bristol Handmade Show earlier in the year is not restricted to that tiny niche – it’s industry wide. And long may it continue. (Right click and view image to see larger images)

Condor had some gems.

Condor had some gems.

Condor

Condor mixte

Hard-as-nails Dolan track iron. Well... carbon...

Hard-as-nails Dolan track iron. Well... carbon...

Always a pleasure. So lush.

Bianchi. Always a pleasure. So lush.

Junior Dolan racer. Small and perfectly formed.

Junior Dolan racer. Small and perfectly formed.

Say no more.
Say no more.Colnago

Yes please....

Yes please....

OMG LMFAO @Pearson's model names!

OMG LMFAO @Pearson's model names!

Pearson Cycles

Pearson I've started so I'll finish

A cunning plan

A cunning plan

Blue

Carying cargo is cool.

Carrying cargo is cool.

This was exquisite. And lots of money.
Nice retro Pug let down by modern saddle
The long awaited return of purple anodizing.

The long awaited return of purple anodizing. Enigma fixed.

As ever  there are  more to see (of this show and others) in Cyclorama Dot Net’s Facebook albums.

The Italian

Friday, October 29th, 2010 by Mick Allan

My Colnago is back on the road.

Woo.

It’s a long story. The Teenager was running late for work one day, jumped onto his bike without properly securing his load and promptly stuffed the carrier bag containing his sandwiches into the front wheel. It totally destroyed the wheel, ripping the eyelets from the very rim. A few days later I (generously < > foolishly) allowed him to borrow the front wheel from my bike to keep his on the road. Shortly therafter The Teenager’s Girlfriend borrowed his bike, was running late for work, jumped onto The Teenager’s bike without properly securing her load and promptly stuffed her handbag containing God Knows What into the (now my) front wheel. The incident removed precisely 16 of the 32 spokes by shearing each spoke nipple off at the rim. I’d never seen anything like it but what was particularly freaky was that the wheel, though unrideable, remained perfectly true. She was sufficiently remorseful. Luckily The Teenager is now a fully qualified Cytech level 2 trained mechanic so it only took him four months to rebuild the wheel ….

So finally the Italian is back on the road. It’s a Colnago but don’t let that fool you, it really is a hack of the hackest sort. I ride it through every winter. The wheels don’t match, actually nothing matches. The rims are different colours. The only thing that the parts have in common is that they are Campagnolo but they are all from different groupsets; Centaur, Veloce, Athena, Xenon. And not just from different years, they represent four different decades of production! Mix ‘n match. The rear wheel bearings are shot and the nipples don’t turn. The decals are scratched and flakey and the paint is tired. But you know what? The thing flies. A recumbent might be faster but nothing beats the simple pleasure of going fast on a road bike. Even a tired and rattley one.

I rode it to work last Monday, into a cold, miserable, wet headwind, and when I got to the turn-off I just wanted to keep on riding. I just didn’t want to stop.

But the best thing about my Colnago is the colour. Girls shout; ‘Nice bike!’ as I roll past. I wheeled it into Argos frame finishers in Bristol last year to enquire about tidying it up.  Unfortunately it’s simply impossible with today’s paints and pigments to acheive a paint match.

Pink ColnagoAnd that’s the decider. If I can’t get the colour replicated I aint getting it fixed. The flakey decals will just have to stay.

It’s the most lurid mid eighties glam….

Pink!

And I’m not changing that for all the Shimano in Taiwan.