Regarding the frame weight issue along with the KOF survival question, I think that one point has not been emphasized enough, though it has been frequently mentioned with the reference to being measured for a custom fit bike. When I hop on a sixties or possibly early seventies Fuji track bike that I often ride, something strange and wonderful happens (don't chide me for being hookey), the bike seems to give me energy rather than draw it away as I ride. Perhaps something to do with geometry as well, but the thing fits me perfectly, and is just so comfortable and supportive to ride, a real miracle! I don't know how the weight issue plays into this, but it can't be so pertinent. If you are fortunate to have a bike so optimum for yourself, I think that you know what I mean, and it really does take the riding experience to a level that is...well....close to spiritual. It would seem that working together with a KOF builder, one is more likely to find a bike that can glorify cycling to a very profound level.
Dennis Young Hotaka, Japan
> Well I'm going to step on toes here....and it rambles - but here it
> I've been around the bike biz a bit, and I'm convinced that the
> business is
> totally driven by marketing. There are wonderful modern bikes out
> but for the bulk of the market, the bikes folks buy are the wrong
> ones. A
> great modern steel frame really is optimal for most folks - a
> perfect blend
> of comfort, handling, fit, stability, the list goes on and on.
> But most folks who love their vintage bikes are too quick to fall
> for the
> latest material for their "go-fast-bike" when a custom steel frame
> that is
> done right will be the best widget to get the job done. And too
> many folks
> dismiss bikes such as those Bruce Gordon is building as mellow
> touring bikes
> unworthy of the weekend peloton.
> But I think it is just the opposite - traditional race bikes are
> mostly for those who are often less hard core and who ride shorter
> distances. The machines that Bruce Gordon, Peter Weigle, Alex
> Singer (and
> that famous Baylis guy) are building are amazingly well suited for
> that know what its like AFTER the first 50 or 100 miles of a days
> ride are
> done. What gets you on a long ride isn't a pound of weight - its the
> constant pounding of the miles.
> Here in Colorado, so many folks train so that they can do well on
> the club
> 120 mile event rides in the mountains. Yet the race bike which
> only takes
> 23mm tires, has no bags to carry clothes for changing mountain
> and which has no fenders for the inevitable rain on a summer
> afternoon is
> tragically unsuitable.
> So Bruce Gordon and a few other builders are making gorgeous custom
> that are ideal for the majority of riders - riders that frequently
> themselves on a quick 50, 75, or 100 mile jaunt. Each of us as an
> should ride these machines and recomend them to our friends. But
> why don't
> we? Because so many of us are swept up believing the marketing.
> We chase
> the false idols of weight and perceived stiffness. A good steel
> frame is
> not much more than a waterbottle away from a Ti frame in weight.
> And it
> isn't about stiffness - its about a bike that flexes in sync with your
> riding style - and getting that match right is where the custom
> comes in.
> When I owned Bicycle Classics inc. I rode them all - especially
> the modern
> Italian Scandium and titanium. I had a Merckx SC, a Pinarello
> Prince, and
> others - yet I am most at home, even when "sprinting", on my
> Weigle. Sure
> the modern bikes did great things - but the Weigle is so much
> better for
> nearly every type of riding I do, I can't imagine life on an
> So folks need to answer the question "what is the optimal bike for
> my needs"
> - and if you answer the question without being swayed by fads or
> misinformation, we should be swamping builders such as Bruce Gordon
> orders for ourselves and from our friends. American custom frames are
> inexpensive - it is a crime that Bruce Gordon isn't complaining
> that he is
> swamped. So lets get cracking!
> Mike Kone in Boulder CO