Friday, September 25, 2015

Townies > Hybrids

About ten years or so ago saw the rise of hybrid bicycles. No, unlike the automotive variety, this classification refers to bicycles that was intended for asphalt/very light off-road use, but with upright riding position and geometry that almost similar to the mountain bikes. Often equipped with short travel suspension fork and disc brakes, these hybrids caters the need of a utilitarian ride that's comfortable and handles easily, yet fast enough for the urban environment.
What these hybrids are lacking of, is flair.

The last decades of the 20th century marks the golden era of Italian made steel frames. You'll see innovations in frame construction, such as tube shaping (spotted on Columbus MAX tubeset or the wildly shaped Cinelli Lasers), flamboyant paint finish (see Colnago Dream frames), or distinctive, ornate lug designs. The Italians are passionate about their steel bicycles, and it definitely shows.

Compared to the other Rossins from the same era, this Columbus SLX-tubed Strada Professional might looked tame. But look closer down and you'll see the distinctive-shaped Italian-threaded bottom bracket shell casting, with Rossin's signature engravings plastered almost everywhere.

Other peculiar attribute of steel frames from the late '80s is the internally-routed rear brake cable, executed neatly on this red Strada.

This Strada is built with early '80s Campagnolo Super Record groupset. But as a townie the bicycle needs a more upright position, so the handlebar of choice is a Velo Orange Postino combined with City Levers from the same brand. If you feel like you've seen this combination of parts and wheels before, we'll give you a hint: it was taken almost verbatim from another Pancalen build.

There you have it, a townie with a dash of flair. Right now Muhammad "Mr. Mad" Aldjaidi, the owner of this red Strada can cruise along the dense traffic in style, because there's one thing we're both agree: townies are much better than hybrids.

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