Sunday, November 1, 2009

Colnago Arabesque

Here are some pictures of the new Colnago.

I took it out for my first ride yesterday afternoon. A few thoughts:

1. It corners like it's on rails. Definitely a whole lot better than my aluminum Specialized E5.
2. As you'd expect from a steel bike, it's a very smooth ride.
3. This bike gives me a whole new appreciation for the guys who raced on these sorts of drive trains. With only 12 gears and when you take the cross chaining scenarios into account, effectively 8 gears; plus the fact that it's got a 53/41 chain ring on the front, hills are a really big deal. I've always thought of it as sacrilege when people get their 126mm rear spacing stretched out to 130mm so that they can put a modern drive train on a classic like this one. Now I have a much better appreciation for why they do it.
4. I've never spent a lot of time on a bike with down tube shifters. Running these things isn't so simple. A lot of times when you shift the rear you find yourself also needing to trim the front. For someone who is so used to the ergonomics of having your shifting right at your fingertips at all times, the down tube shifters are a significant amount of extra effort.
5. When you take the shortage of gears and extra time required to shift into account, you quickly realize that it is often easier or necessary to make due with the gear you're already in, rather than going through the pain of shifting. i.e. you have to get used to spinning at very different rpm.


Richard said...

Stunner! I saw your images on flickr. I have a 87 Marinoni w/ down tube shifters. I always feel for the gear!

RT said...

Love the colnago -If you ever decide to sell the Arabesque let me know -