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Hunt For Steel

– This week’s dream bike.


– This week’s dream component. Not Alfredo Binda, but beautiful all the same.


This is one part of what we dream about when we dream about Girona.


– After mentioning a few weeks back that I was on the hunt for a steel road frame and fork, I went ahead and ordered a Dave Kirk. I’ll keep folks posted here about the purchase process. My last email to Dave revealed that there are plenty of questions for us to answer —

Dave – Sorry for the delay in getting back in touch. I think we’re both in the same boat: Trying to balance the busiest time of the work year with riding time and family!

I’d love to move forward with ordering a frame from you. Here are some generalities I have in mind:

Neon fascination, diet style– I am 5’9 ish and weigh between 165-175 depending on time of year, etc. – In terms of geometry, the two best-fitting bikes I ever owned were a Wilier Zero.7 in size Medium and a Cervelo R3 SL in size 54.
– I’d like a lugged bike, including a lugged fork. In my mind this will be a race bike and a climbing bike.
– I would like the bike to be able to handle 28c road tires.
– I am uncertain about seat stays. That is, Terraplane or not, sidetack or not, etc. Also, my inclination is for a horizontal top tube though I am not opposed to a sloping top tube if you recommend it.
– In terms of paint color and pattern, I am tempted to do a Coors Light tribute paint job. Not sure if by virtue of saying that, something specific comes to mind for you. But we could have fun with that.
– My plan is to continue to blog about my experience. From that perspective, I would love to ask if it’s possible for us to somehow abbreviate the wait time. I don’t doubt that your queue is something you aren’t inclined to disrupt. But if you think that there might be adequate PR value if I could take delivery this summer, I’d appreciate that. (Of course I have to ask!)

Please let me know how you’d like to move forward. Thx, Brendan

Della Santa - Rainbow Stripes– As part of my hunt for steel, I also contacted Della Santa. I previously mentioned that my original inquiry was answered by a mysterious soul named Coot, not Roland Della Santa himself. Subsequent to that, I got a very nice follow up email from Coot. He wrote —

I did want to clarify one thing. Actually, I’m not Roland’s salesperson or assistant. I’m just his longtime friend who answers his emails, as Roland doesn’t have a computer. He’d never get anything done if he did, so he’s chosen to go without.

Roland’s phone number isn’t listed on the website, but based on the sheer number of daily calls (from customers, old cycling buddies and ex-racers, fans, groupies, and people who just want to hear his stories), plus his penchant for chatting (for hours, at times), I’m always surprised he gets anything done. Add in emails and the opportunity he’d have to increase his almost encyclopedic knowledge of racing, and there might never be another Della Santa made. Thus, no computer.

– And, lastly, I did finally hear back from Ira Ryan 18 days after my original email to him about his framebuilding process. After a nearly three week wait for a reply, I lost both my enthusiasm for Portland and any confidence that we’d have a comfortable dialogue. I’ve spent 11 years trying to guarantee a 24 hour turnaround on all email sent to Competitive Cyclist, so I’m perhaps irrationally fixated on this front. I recognize that the deficiency here is mine, not Ira’s.

Reply from Ira

Also, parenthetically, when I first mentioned Ira here on What’s New, I made a crucial typo. There was some controversy about whether I sent my original inquiry to Ira at the correct email address. Indeed the address I blogged was, in fact, incorrect. But just to clear things up, my email went to — that is, the correct address – not

Team Sky near the sky

– City living

Road sign of the week

– Country living

Pine Canyon to Guardsmans Pass

– Best-of-both living


– The Giro d’Italia has given us the best racing of the year in 2012. It was breathtaking to watch Ryder Hesjedal motor like a Power Stoke diesel to a maglia rosa on Stage 14. But from the standpoint of sheer spectating excitement, nothing can touch the effort of Matteo Rabottini to earn a win against all odds in Stage 15. After 160km alone in the rain and the mountains, including one nasty crash on the final descent, Rabottini was caught by Katusha’s Joaquim Rodriguez. Never have I seen a rider dig so deep into the suitcase of courage. It was the ride of the year.

If watching that doesn’t give you deep lust in your heart for all things neon, in particular a Cipollini frameset, please seek out therapy.

Neon, Fluo, High Viz -- lovely all!

– One final Giro necessity: Tune into the Flickr Photostream of Kristof Ramon. If you’re already a fan of Jered Gruber, Ramon is the perfect complement. Gruber’s specialty seems to be landscapes. His shots give primacy to the beauty of the surroundings. By contrast, Ramon seems to specialize in portraiture. What he reveals about the faces of the riders is unlike anyone else.

Joaquim Rodriguez in pink