El Campione

Simply Put: Breathtaking.

In paying homage to Beppe Saronni we had no choice but to build a machine that would do his name justice. I feel as though this is the best bike we have built to date. And now that I have put a couple hundred miles on it, I will confess that as far as my flavor of riding is concerned, this is the best bike I have ridden.

The total bike weight including pedals is 13.88lbs. And while you guys may be surprised to see Campagnolo Record 10 speed on the bike, you may also be surprised to learn that Record 10 speed is about 50 grams lighter than Super Record 11 speed. I weighed the groups myself. This is not to say that I prefer 10 speed to 11 speed. I just felt that for some reason 10 speed Record was more appropriate on this frameset. I dunno why. But look at the "red" 10 speed shifters....they just belong. I believe the bike is aesthetically perfect. Whether or not what I believe is what you believe, I will tell you that the 10 speed "red" shifter in absolutely incredible. Shifting is like, "BOOM....BOOM....BOOM....BOOM!!!". This would be the way that I prefer the shifter to operate. In any case, Saronni won a World Championship on less gears than this.

Attention to detail. Lightweight Milram Standard wheels. Gold Nokon. Gold Zero Gravity Brakes. White Power Cordz. Deda Presa bar and Service Course stem. TIME Carbon Ti Pedals. White Vittoria tubulars (love the red valve stems). Fizik bartap and saddle, of course. Once again, that's how you know the bike is mine! Lightweight quick releases, ceramic derailleur pulleys, and TIME carbon bottle cage bolts would be the extra little bit of hotrodding we did to this thing. And the 11-21. This cassette with the Record "red" shifters is like Ebony and Ivory, living together in perfect harmony. I know, I know....it isn't a Specialized SL2 with Shimano and Zipp wheels for $9000, but then again....THANK GOD IT ISN'T!!

It seems to me that no other rider was loved and cared for by Ernesto as Giuseppe Saronni. Sure, Ernesto made many bikes for Eddy, but it seems as though Saronni was like his godson. In pictures with Enzo Ferrari, the Pope, and other dignitaries of the time you always see Saronni there. A handsome fellow. Nothing like the cannibal. A graceful and respected cyclist whose talents earned him a World Championship and 2 Giro d'Italia victories as well as many others.

I've always thought that part of what you get when you buy an Italian made Colnago is the artistry and legacy that comes from a company committed to excellence and passionate about perfection. Colnago's paint is 2nd to none. And it is amazing to me that I fell in love with one of their most simple paint schemes. Maybe it is just the perfect tone of red...I dunno. Maybe it is the subtle touches of gold....I dunno. The throwback paint scheme? Maybe. The frame just represents pure beauty to me. This I know.

OK....so I'll stop getting carried away. But I truly believe that El Campione is the greatest bike that the greatest bike shop in the universe has created. No offence to Mordred or Red Dragon.

So much did I love the paint scheme that I had 12 made. 12 and only 12 will ever be made. These framesets are exclusively sold through Pista Palace. They are $5495, the same price as any other EPS and comes with headset and seatpost. Kudos to the guys at R&A for getting Mapei EPS framesets made. It seems as though Pista Palace is not the only shop that appreciates nostalgia as much as performance. And who knows what is up the road....while we love the Saronni EPS, I must confess that I love the detailing of the Arabesque.....uh oh......

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