This post is a joint effort by my older brother Graham and I as a compilation of the various bikes we have owned/and or ridden over the course of our years spent in the cycling industry. We have both spent a lot of time with bicycles, between many years riding/racing as well as working in various shops. A couple of years ago when we got together we sat down and made a list of the various bikes we’ve owned/ridden/raced over the years.

  1. Corsaro Cabrio (The Pink Warrior), 2000: Graham’s first road bike, a pink steel road bike from some time in the 1980s. It was Graham’s high school friend’s sister’s bike. It’s been a Howard legend and has had many lives. It won the 2001 junior state cyclocross championships and has almost been resurrected on many midnight basement mechanic sessions. It had 27 inch wheels and Suntour 6 speed.
  2. Univega Modo Vincere. Graham raced it in 2001 and I raced it in 2002. A steel beast, complete with Campagnolo Veloce 3×9 drivetrain and an aluminum fork.
  3. Green Klein Quantum. Graham raced it in 2002 with “poor-man Ksyriums” American Classic hubs on cxp 30 sew up rims and 28 bladed spokes. Heavy, dangerous wheels.
  4. Raleigh CX hybrid. This was in our friend Chris’s garage and we dusted it off and turned it into my cyclocross/winter training bike for the fall of 2002. It was a true Howard classic, as one of our first Frankenbikes. A lousy hybrid frame cobbled together with Campagnolo shifters and a Shimano drivetrain, which meant that only two out of eight gears worked. The headset was so blown out that it steered in indexed settings. I rode it in the winter with thorn resistant tubes which made it even heavier. I couldn’t keep up on the rides and it was really frustrating but I never considered riding a different bike. We eventually took it to the curb, smashed it and sawed the top tube in half.
  5. Peugeot road/cyclocross bike. Graham found this steel warrior on ebay and did cyclocross on it in 2002 and I brought it to Budapest in 2004. It was originally a road frame from around 1986 and had had brake bosses put on the rear, and a custom cross fork made. It was another Howard classic, cobbled together with junk we found in the basement or friends’ basements. It lived many years as a winter beater bike. It also lives in memory as the whippiest frame we’ve ever ridden.
  6. Cannondale Caad 3, (Sleek Orange Racer) 2003. My road bike for the 2003 season. We found it on ebay and quickly realized why it was so cheap. All of the parts were worn out on it, so it was another Frankenbike with junk we found cheap. A smattering of interesting Shimano 105 parts dominated this disaster.
  7. Black Klein Q Race, 2003. Graham’s road bike for the 2003 season. It had nice, new parts on it but still sucked as the frame was too rigid, and the wheelbase too short, such that it had a unique tendency to skip/chatter around corners, as we learned was a feature of all bikes of the Klein brand.
  8. Redline CX bike, scandium. Frame bought on ebay. One of the great Howard Frankenbike projects, my 2003 cyclocross bike. Despite it being cobbled together with basement parts, it weighed in at only 17 pounds and I won a lot of races on it, when I could keep the chain on, that is. It had a habit of dropping the chain off of its single front chainring and was impossible to get back on.
  9. Mark Gullickson Mongoose (made by 3D racing or some nonsense), 2003. Graham’s cyclocross bike. Also just a frame bought on ebay and cobbled together with basement parts. It had a massive dent in the top tube which we covered with bubble wrap and electrical tape.
  10. Trek Mountain Bike 6000 Graham’s mountain bike/winter training steed from 2004. A splendid 35lb 26” hardtail offering from Trek.
  11. Trek 5200, 2004. Graham’s road bike for the 2004 season. Graham always said it was one of the best bikes he’d had. Nothing fancy, reliable. A good carbon slug.
  12. Cannondale caad 5, 2004. My road bike in 2004. Harsh aluminum ride that destroyed my lower back.
  13. Bianchi Axis cyclocross bike. Graham sold his Mongoose and bought a friend’s old Bianchi for the 2004 cyclocross season, meanwhile I was over in Budapest riding the Peugeot.
  14. Black Scandium Felt, 2005. Graham’s road bike for the 2005 season. This year we found ourselves on a development team that gave us bikes and they weren’t basement projects.
  15. Red Felt Kinesis, 2005. I was just given a frame, so I swapped all the Shimano Ultegra parts from my old Cannondale from the year before and put them on the Felt. This was one of the most hilarious Frankenbikes we had because my shifters were constantly broken, I raced on sew-up Bontrager Race X-Lite wheels that had broken spokes and cheap tires that slowly leaked air, had a derailleur hanger that bent if the wind was too strong, and still managed to win lots of races on it. Winning races on our Frankenbike steeds was always a source of joy and hilarity for us.
  16. Lemond Poprad cyclocross bike, 2005 – 2009. The first time I took this out for a ride I crashed it into a tree and dented the top tube. The rear triangle was bent so the back wheel sat in the frame crooked. It was my winter training steed for a long time and got a lot of abuse. Due to the dent and crooked frame, it was worth more as a winter ride we could abuse than we could ever make if we sold it on ebay, so we held onto it for a while.
  17. Redline, 2006. Graham eventually sold the Bianchi Axis and found himself another redline cyclocross bike. He eventually had to sell it for money to replace a broken axle on my car. It marked our first success in the single chainring department, and is remembered as one of our finest Frankenbikes, as it used a front bar end shifter for it’s rear shifter.
  18. Ridley Damocles, 2006
  19. Ridley Damocles. Graham and I both rode Ridleys in 2006. This was the first time I’d ever been on a bike that felt like it was pedaling itself. They were not frankenbikes and it was glorious.
  20. Klein Q Pro, 2007. I bought a friend’s old Klein (from the same years as Graham’s other Kleins) as a winter bike when I had to give the Ridley back to the team after the season. We held onto it for a while, because like the Lemond, it was worth more to us than we could make on ebay. It was one of the fancy made in WA Klein’s, and had Time made carbon rear seat stays, yet due to the Klein’s goofy long top tube and low head tube made it impossible to get the fit right. This was one of the few bikes that we both rode at various points, along with the Univega.
  21. Pinarello Paris, 2007. Graham was on the pro team in 2007 and rode the Paris.
  22. Pinarello F4:13, 2007. I was still on the development team in 2007 and rode the model below the Paris. We still managed to clap it out with clown parts, though, by putting on a heavy-duty, stiffer crank on it and also a stronger chain because I kept breaking the lighter ones.
  23. Pinarello Prince, 2008
  24. Pinarello Prince, 2008. We were both on the pro team this year, so we were both riding the Prince. If you stayed upright on them, they were like rockets, but they were glass if you crashed them. I managed to break 3 of them. One I broke the chain stay while doing intervals on the trainer, one I shattered when I crashed in a race on the East coast, and one I put my knee through the toptube when I crashed in a sketchy Indiana race. I believe I cost the team around $10,000 in broken equipment that year. We also managed to clown it out by putting on a cheaper, stiffer crank which made it look hilarious.
  25. Pinarello Prince, 2009. Graham was still on the pro team the next year.
  26. Pinarello FP3, 2009. I essentially quit this year, finishing my undergrad and riding for an amateur team until I left to go teach English abroad. After the Prince the year before, this bike felt like a slug. I hardly rode it, though, so it was okay.
  27. Pinarello Montello. Graham’s time trial bike that he raced for a number of years.
  28. Surly Karate Monkey, 2007: Graham’s steel 29er mountain bike. He raced it with road bike wheels and it met its end when he folded the downtube. We dubbed it the Karate Cow for its responsiveness.
  29. Gary Fisher Paragon, 2008: Dubbed Whitey, this was Graham’s 29er mountain bike for a few years.
  30. Gary Fisher Rig, 2008: My first and only mountain bike, a single speed 29er. It still is around, with Graham in Oregon.
  31. 1998 Cannondale Caad 4 (used 2010-2013). Graham found this on ebay and built it up with clown parts as a gigantic middle finger to the cycling industry. He even raced it and was on TV winning a stage of the Tour de Nez on it. It was eventually stolen from his porch, which he is still upset about.
  32. Trek 29er, 2012: Graham’s mountain bike he had in Oregon for a while until he sold it and decided to just ride his friend’s mountain bike.
  33. Blue CX bike, 2012: Graham had a good stint for a while of getting bike companies to sponsor him and his buddy to give them equipment and do the local Oregon cyclocross scene but eventually quit because cyclocross racing takes too heavy a toll on the body and digestive system.
  34. Trek Pilot, 2013: One of Graham’s projects. Because of some online glitch, Graham scored a frameset for really cheap, slapped some janky parts on it, rode it for a little while, and sold it.
  35. Swift, 2013: Another one of Graham’s projects.
  36. Fuji CX bike (x2), 2013: Another bike sponsor cyclocross bike that Graham raced for a year.
  37. Cannondale 2.8, 2014: Graham’s friend Skiles had one in his Louisville shop, and sent it to him out of sympathy for his stolen caad 4. It now lives as a glorious townie and has a hilarious beach bike style handlebar.
  38. Cannondale Caad 8, 2015. A Graham project.
  39. Ciocc, 2015: An old steel frame, also a Graham project.
  40. Masi: same as above. This will eventually be my road bike when I go to Oregon.
  41. Bianchi Advantage (The Buick), 2013: Graham built this bike up for me as my Istanbul bike. It’s great. Thumb friction shifters, bomb proof wheels, this is the bike I ride along the seaside in Istanbul and try to not hit picnicking Turks or get run over in the Istanbul traffic. It weighs about 30 pounds and I nicknamed it The Buick for its ride quality and responsiveness. I recently collided into a tree with it and the fork folded but the wheels are fine.
  42. Trek Crockett, 2015. Cyclocross bike Graham currently rides.
  43. Cervelo R3, 2015. Graham’s current road bike. It’s a rocket ship, is fantastic, and in no way is a Frankenbike.

Of these forty-some steeds, there are a few that are the true stand out machines. Our most marvelous disasters were the Lemond Poprad, the Raleigh hybrid and the Sleek Orange Racer. These were the bikes that we have the most cherished memories of being truly spectacular train wrecks on wheels. They were terrible bikes. What’s truly amazing is that we managed to sell almost every single one of them, the exception being the Raleigh. Our top two favourite rides among these are for Graham, his Cannondale Caad 4 which got stolen (the other one that didn’t sell), and mine is the Buick which is still going, but it needs to be nursed back to health after its encounter with the tree.

1 Comment

Leave a Reply