Sunday, 23 January 2011

Part 2: The Criteria

The following was the criteria I had been developing in my mind over a long period of time until I had reached the point where I was clear enough to begin putting it into action!

The Frame:
Being English I wanted the frame at least to be made in this country, and decided that I wanted to go with a high end Raleigh frame.  Rather than a brand new frame, I wanted to go with a late 80's / early 90's Reynolds steel frame, in particular 653 which was a hybrid of various types of Reynolds tubing, to give what I always felt was a perfect balance between weight, stiffness, flexibility, and ride comfort.  A quick Internet search will show that arguments rage over which are the best frame materials/tube sets, but having tried bikes with 653 frames in the past, it was what I had decided on.

The Group-set:
In my mind when it comes to a road bike there is only one real option for the group-set and that is Campagnolo.  All my road bikes have been Campag, and all my mountain bikes have been Shimano or SRAM, so I don’t have anything against other manufacturers.  I also wanted to go modern and not “period” with the group, but in an understated way, which fits in with the overall look I had in mind, so opted for 2011 Veloce 10 speed which is sadly the only group-set they still offer in all natural aluminium finish.

The Bars & Stem:
For these I wanted to keep it Italian, in particular Cinelli who in my mind always made the nicest bars and stems especially of the period the frame was made in.  So for the stem I am going to go with a Cinelli 1A, and for the bars Cinelli Criterium 40cm, of which it is possible to obtain with cable grooves (important as I will be running geared).

The Wheels:
These were going to be based on a pair of perfect condition Campag Veloce 36 spoke hubs which I had on some old wheels, but thankfully recent enough to be able to take a 10sp Cassette.  Having had experience of them in the past I opted to go with silver Mavic Open Pro’s with silver DT Swiss double- butted spokes.  This was also going to be a job for the LBS as I have never attempted to build my own wheels, so leaving this to the pros!

The Saddle:
For a LONG time I wanted to haemorrhage the cash on a Brooks “Swallow” titanium saddle, and now was the time!  I have ridden one before and the combination of style, comfort, low(ish)-weight, the fact it’s handmade, and the history, meant it had been the only option in my mind for quite some time.