Going Custom: Part One
Being a long time reader of the Radavist and Velocipede Salon, I have always enjoyed perusing through the galleries of custom made bikes. I made a decision last year that I wanted to replace my current race bike, and I recently decided on going custom after a few other avenues fell through. I knew exactly what I wanted, a race frame with direct mount brakes and the ability to fit a 28 mm tire. Just like what I currently have. What?
I have had my Trek Madone 5.2 for over three years now, and it is a great bike. However, there is just one thing that I cannot get over. The rear brake on this aero frame is tucked away under the bottom bracket, and it is a dirt, grime, and grit collector. If I spend ten minutes cleaning my bike, I spend 4 minutes on that alone. When I swap wheels and get a little brake rub, I have to flip the whole thing over to adjust it. It really drives me crazy, so I decided to be done with it.
I have replaced the groupset and the wheels, and the eTap and Aeolus set up has really made me love riding, so much that replacing the frame would be no big deal. I would simply move the groupset over and sell the Trek frame.
I tried to get a frame from the Giant blowout that they were having, but no 54's were available. When I looked further into the TCR framesets I also saw that getting a 28 mm tire in the frame was going to be tough. Ugh.
I search eBay and saw lots of popular frames for under a grand. The Focus Izalco was one high on my list. I saw the CAAD12 and CAAD10 that I love, but none of them take a bigger tire. And then I saw the Gaulzetti Corsa, an aluminum race bike that seemed to pop up from time to time for $800-$900.
As I read about the Corsas, I got extremely interested. They looked great, could handle a larger tire, and had a snappy feel that was also able to be ridden all day long. Craig Gaulzetti has been building race bikes for many years, and I am told that even Richard Sachs has a Gaulzetti or two that he rides regularly on the road. Gaulzetti has recently built bikes that have even won some races over in Europe underneath rider, Innokenty Zavyalov.
The more I dug into the Corsa, the more I got the impression that they were a lot like the CAAD10 I had (and loved). I also came to find out that any of the Corsas out on the market have varying custom geometries, so I should be careful when looking at the used market. I was a little worried that the custom geometries might not work for me, but then I also learned that the Corsa was recently replaced by a new “Interclub” model which sold for $2800.
I really love the way an aluminum race bike feels, and the Interclub checked off all the boxes for me: threaded bottom bracket, custom paint, custom geometry, direct mount brakes, larger tires, and the ability to have an outstanding race bike that would also be great for rides over 50 miles.
Considering that my frame still has value, and that I would likely sell both that and my Mr. Pink, I was all about getting a new bike. This was going to be fun. So, I paid my deposit and I waited. Waited and thought about what color this should be.