I got this bike from Deluxe Cycles 4 years ago, it was what some may call an “impulse buy.” From the very beginning of my cycling career there were always a few things that oozed COOL.. wound up forks, deep dish alloy racing wheels, CAMPY. This bike had all the boxes checked, so as much as I didn’t need another bike this came home from NYC to SF with me. It has since become my cruiser bike, and when an injury gets me down my recovery bike, flat pedals, gears and brakes keeps me chilling. It was much cleaner when I got it, but I really like the wear and tear on the classy groupo and fancy frame, nice things are made to be used.
I know that proper bike photo’s require the big ring.. but this bike almost never get’s there.. perpetual little ring cruising!
The paint matched Wound Up carbon fork is pretty much the coolest addition to any custom build, coming up I could never afford a Wound Up but all the coolest messenger bikes had them. I love how the grease and dirt has slowly crept up the fork blades from years of riding
The Cinelli Alter stem was one of the most iconic components to come out of the 90’s cycling scene. Non practical, a bitch to install and prone to failures from all the bolts that you could over tighten, these are the coolest non essential stem EVER (runner up to the CInelli Frog stem from the same era). I have the pin up girl top cap to go with the stem..but they tend to get stolen so it resides safely inside. The bike actually came with a 130mm Alter stem and it took me over a year to find the 110mm that I have on it now.
Also without the cap they Alter makes for a great pen holder..
You have Campy cool.. and then you have Titanium Record 8 speed campy cool… . i have always thought that you don’t really need more than 8 gears, this along with the Dura-Ace flight deck 8spd group was the high water mark of brifters..(ATMO). These have that classic campy “ergo” hood and the brakes have a notched “click” every time you pull the lever. Great on the downshifts, sloppy on the upshifts (always shift down, just go faster!) these are some of the most subtly bling on the bike.
While they are no Delta’s these Campy Record Brakes are pretty flossy, and they “kinda” stop the bike.. The Mango 1 1/8 Chris King headset is on of the few non period correct parts on the bike. While I think it would be cool to swap in a silver or pewter HS, it is too much work so the mango lives on. The cable stop was the only thing broken when I got the bike, and once again I have always meant to fix it….but it still shifts just fine so….
I like to use the cheapest cloth bar tape I can find, wrap it as tight as I can, then let it be forever. The patina from sweat, rain, dirt and life in general just gets better with time.. Eventually it becomes, to me at least, the most perfect bar wrap. Not very grippy, no padding or comfort..but somehow it fits like a glove and soothes even the sorest of hands…. plus it looks v classy.
LEGALIZE SPINACII!!! if you are not familiar with the battle cry go HERE and read all about it. I got these Spinaci’s directly from Cinelli for a trip years ago.. but they are not made for oversized bars, so they went into the collection. A friend knowing my propensity for 44mm bars gave me these wide (for the time period) Cinelli ergo races bars years ago, once again i didn’t have a bike for them so into the collection they went. Then this Croll rolled into my life and I found the perfect frame for my period correct 80’s aero race cockpit!! Years of collecting, hours spent gently tightening old screws provided the coolest thing to hit the streets since Lemond’s 1989 TDF victory.
Also there was a time at TCB when you were required to have a rack.. and this barely served that purpose, but I can confirm that you can fit at least 1 fully loaded catering bag on this ”rack.”
Classic 80’s gearing of 53/39 on this once pristine Campy Record crankset keeps this big perpetually in the little ring. One of the few non period correct parts besides the Chris King HS these BMX pedals keep things chill…and also a little terrifying. This is a classic “long and low” 90’s race frame, so the low BB height combined with the 172.5mm length cranks and super wide BMX pedals causes some serious pedal strike whence diving into turns..you can see it illustrated on the outer edge of the pedals.
CROLL was a Minneapolis based custom bike builder, I can only guess that this frame was built sometime in the late 90’s to be a criterium race bike. All of these are assumptions, based on the geo and build. But it is cool to know I am cruising around on an American built race frame!
All the small parts on the frame are from local legend Tom Ritchey, so once again it is rad to be on a USA hand made frame, with local pieces!!!
The proof is in the puddlng
Another ultimate cool piece of equipment was the Selle Italia SLR saddle.. once again never had the money to get one when I was coming up, but for the Croll I dug deep into the collect to find the “cleanest” one I had. The thinest of padding, totally lack of taint relieving cut out, and classic 165g of pure weigh saving combined to create the literal cherry on top. The bike came with the classic Campy Aero setback seat-post, i swapped in a Thomson straight post to make it more comfortable, this is the 3rd and last non period correct piece on the bike.
The best and worst.. built in seat clamps sweat class and style…but one wrong turn of the wrench and your frame is toast. So once this was set it was has not been touched in 4 years. I also think the MASH friendship bracelet imbibes some luck in keeping this little bolt solid.
8 speeds, and one of the classiest rear derailleur to ever come out of Italy. This has never been adjusted, a credit to Wilis at Deluxe who tuned the bike before it came my way. Maybe in only has 8 speeds, but i think the fact that it can shift for 4 years with only a splash of chain lube once in a while makes up for my lack of shifting options. I love the splatter of dirt and oil on the fancy bladed spokes of the Shamals.
I think the 4 years of collect grease and dirt on these Campy hubs will cause some people to seize up, but for me it is like the rings of a tree, illustrating years of growth and cruising. Security skewers are huge part of this chill ride as I can lock it up anywhere with little worry. I actually have no idea where the key for the skewers is…so here’s hoping these old Continental 4000s tyres hold up for years to come.
It takes years of calculated neglect to create grease marks such as this. Truly an ode to the craftsmanship and precision put into these hubs, they still spin as fast and true as the day i got them.
Deep dish alloy race wheels where the coolest of cool in the 80’s and 90’s. before 80mm deep disc brake carbon rims, the Campy Shamal / VENTO and Mavic Cosmic wheel-sets were raced by in pro pelotons around the world. These at the time where the pinnacle of high speed technology , machine built with hidden spokes and high polish finishes.
Even the 90’s graphic ‘s and front screen speed and the illusion of high tech.
The little things such as the clippy jawn left over from a messenger shift years ago and the frame pump tab on the head tube continue to bring me stoke every time I hop on this bike. Hopefully one I day i will slam that stem to complete the “aero advantage.”
Hand built USA goodness combined with the finest Italy could produce in the mid 90’s !
When I was ripping around the mean streets of Portland OR on my shitty steel PAKE track bike (more on that later) a NJS frame with some 90’s carbon wheels was an unattainable level of style and shred. I always said that one day I would own a classic NJS bike built by one of the best in Japan with some of the freshest carbon aero wheels the 90’s had to offer. Fast forward 10 years and this monster of a NJS (kinda) bike came my way, along with a random CL add sent to me by a friend for this Spinergy wheel-set. Kind of a match made in heaven, or hell depending on who you talk too. COREX was a South Korean NJS frame brand, this frame was wrecked and then repaired by local bay area legend Bernie Mikkelsen and those wheels….well they are really fast in a straight line..
I guess the original yellow paint job probably looked really nice when it was fresh and clean, but since the replacement of a few tubes and countless years of wear and tear the patina is really starting to shine through. I think the theme on this build is “comfort doesn’t equal fun”
This frame was bought in the mid 2000’s by a former TCB rider, right at the tail end of the NJS craze that swept the American track bike scene. If I remember when I got it the bike had some NITTO bullhorns and a high flange Phil Wood x Velocity deep V wheelset, very classic. At some point the frame was crashed in an alleycat and both the top tube and the down tube were wrecked. Not wanting to give up on the dream the frame was taken to Bernie Mikkelsen of Alameda CA.
So here in the Bay Area there are few frame builders that have the reputation of Bernie Mikkelsen, he has been at it since 1974 (!!!!) and has created some of the most iconic custom bikes no one has never hear of (the KAMIKAZE, probably one of the first purpose built messenger work frames) and is known at the guy that can fix just about any frame and bring it back to life. I guess Bernie decided to keep it classic, because he kept the original head tube, seat cluster lug and BB, and just replaced the top and down tube. This bike has some very stylish original lug work on the back and then some smooth as butter fillet brazing on the front, and the original fork!!
KALAVINKA, 3RENSHO, NAGASAWA… these were the names that haunted my dreams like teenagers with pop stars. These were some of the most revered NJS frame builders in Japan, and their bikes were always just out of reach. So the NAGASAWA lugs on this Corex polish the proverbial turd to a lustrous glow. While the frame may have been built in South Korea the bones are undeniably of the finest Japanese lineage.
The little details like the NAGASAWA stamps on the drop outs paired with these NJS tensioners (thanks Jake !!!) add to the over all NJSness of the build.. if you can ignore the massive carbon blades in the back ground.
Somewhere along the line a NOS set of COREX decals were hunted down on the internet and applied to the frame. I think the choice to eschew a repaint and just throw a few cans of clear coat on the repaired frame was a solid one. Eventually most of the decals have fallen off and the quick clear coat has led to rust spots. But one of my favorite things about this bike is the contrast between the original paint and the repaired tubes. The subtle difference between the classic lug work and the smooth fillet brazes doesn’t catch everyone’s eye but when it does it produces confusion, slight disgust and sometimes and smile.
In the late 80’s and early 90’s the cycling industry was inundated with new technology, carbon fiber!! anodization!! CNC machining !! the possibilities for speed and performance were unlimited!!! With great power comes great responsibility.. the fine folks over at Spinergy forgot (never had to begin with?) their responsibility for the safety of rider in the pursuit of raw speed and power.
These wheels were all the rage for a year or two in the late 90’s their 8 carbon blades promised an aero advantage over simple spoked wheels. Unfortunately those same blades sliced off a few knee caps during crashes in pro tour races, and “MAYBE” exploded under a few amateur racers in tight turns. So in their infinite wisdom in the early 2000’s the UCI banned the Spinergy Rev X wheels along with a few other carbon follies in an effort keep racers “safer".’ Since then these wheels have developed a reputation as DEATH WHEELS, un predicable and prone to epic and unexpected failures. Not something I really worry about when compared to the stylistic and aero advantages they provide on my jaunt to the coffee shop.
Even after the Rev X was torn from the quiver of the pro peleton they enjoyed a 2nd heyday in the continental and amateur racing scene. Spinergy even made efforts to strengthen their fragile wheel (brand) but creating after market “stiffeners” dubbed the X BEAM to build up the wheels rigidity. These were then proven scientifically to make the wheel LESS STIFF, so Spinergy wisely decided to abandoned the Rev X project for the green pastures of SPOX….. The thing that separates this wheel-set from most other Spinergy’s is the fact they are clincher, and came from the factory with a track hub. Most Spinergy’s out there are tubular (performance wheels DUH) and those that ended up fixed usually got there from some janky conversion and re-spacing. These are the real deal built for the streets and skidz Spinergy Track Wheels!
One the real though these wheels are very sketchy, in a straight line sure they are super fast and once you get them moving they really do slice through the air like the aero knives they are. But turning, especially at speed is a white knuckle experience to say the least. Skidding.. yea no, factory track hub or not you can feel the wheels (or is it the frame…) flex like crazy. So this is strictly a chilleur ride, all show and no go.
A few years back Mavic released a new carbon race wheelset with MATCHING TIRES!! Yep that’s right they created a tire for the front and a tire for the rear of this very special wheel set. Obviously to make the pro’s faster and the rest of use feel better about spending all that extra money for the matching tire set to our new $$$$ wheels.
I was digging through a box of bike parts in JT’s Paris flat in 2015 when I came across this matching set of tires, if there was ever the even fancier matching wheel set is an even bet. Since JT doesn’t ride bikes any more these made it back to my garage where they sat for a few years just waiting for the right wheels to gift their excess speed unto… . Finally this perfect wheel-set appeared and now they have a permanent home for their high technology.
Sugino 75’s forever, the most solid, the classiest, the iconic crankset of NJS racers from the beginning. Paired with a loose ball HATTA NJS BB this is a set it and forget it combo. The original finish on the crank arms has been polished to a high sheen by years of Vans rubbing against it, truly a timeless combination.
unless someone has some Superbe Pro 165mm….? anyone?
ZEN was the tip top, buy it once and use it forever chainring. Still used by NJS and UCI pro level racers at a cool $150 USD these rings may break the bank but they will never break on the banks!!!
Double straps are all the rage and rightfully so if you are going to hit the skidz and shred the streets. But back in the day it was single straps or nothing, paired with the cheap MKS Sylvan track pedal this was the set up that i learned to skid on and still feel is the classiest. Those Cadence Collection singles were saved from a super limited production run, doubles for days, singles are saved.
The coloration of almost a decade of jean shorts and cut off dickies being rubbed into this fine Italian leather is the definition of patina.
For this build I opted to throw out my weight saving tendencies while still sticking with a classic saddle. The Selle Italia SLR has always made my butt happy even it it looks like a torture device to some. This particular saddle came off a messenger’s work bike, I wish there was someway to hold this in time and never let it change while still riding it daily.. alas I really need to get some super glue and fix the tear in the front before it gets worse..because there is no way I am gonna stop riding this saddle.
Salsa stems were handmade in Petaluma CA for years, bridging the gap between the Japanese and Italian classic stem style and a rougher and tougher handmade aesthetic. I have been a collector for years and while there are a huge amount of riser stems finding an aggressive race stem is a diamond in the rough. Almost as hard as finding these flat bars.. oh wait I found these in a box on the sidewalk, and is that an orange soda can as a bar shim.. ?
These bars are precisely measured to the scientifically proven perfect width for shredding, my shoulders.. if the bars can make the gap then hopefully shoulders can too. This is a huge step up from the previous method of cutting the bars to be as wide as my pedals… 2006 was a weird time.
When a friend comes into town i am more than willing to give them a bike to borrow. When a homie comes into town you bring out the Cadillac for them to roll around on. Most of them left something for me after they were done with it.
NTCB all day, also upside down Chris King headsets all day, if you have to ask you’ll never know
Truly a Frankenstein of style, the best (or worst) of a couple of different worlds, guaranteed to get some weird looks and salty comments. I love this rat rod and couldn’t think of a better bike for my short trips to the coffee shop and bar.