As I was pouring myself yet another pot of confinement coffee this morning, I got to thinking about my now ‘old’ (6 years) Colnago C59 and the fact that it remains on the top shelf up my bike wall. I think I want a new bike, of course, but I’m not even sure if the new one would replace the C59, or the 10 year old Bianchi underneath (the ‘2nd bike’). And then I recalled a blog article I wrote years ago on something Colnago likes to call the ‘forever bike’.
The article was a review of a little documentary by journalist/writer Rob Penn, on putting together the bike that would take him into the sunset. From a glance at his website, he’s still on it after 9 years.
This concept of the ‘forever bike’ was one of the things that directed me to my C59. First, it was made it Italy ‘in Ernesto’s basement’, but more importantly, the frame has a pretty classic geometry (although mine is sloping – you could actually get a flat top tube version).
It could very well be that this bike will start to look dated soon, but I don’t feel like it has yet, and the ride is as good or better (after 5 years of tinkering) as the day I bought it.
Another reason I’m thinking about the ‘forever bike’ is because stuff is starting to get old on the frame, so I’m finding myself considering updating the drivetrain, for example. This is when decisions have to be made because Campy Record costs €1500 or more. When you start getting into that level of dough, you begin thinking that maybe it’d be better to just quadruple that and buy a new bike. Okay, quintuple. Luckily for me, with the covid economy the way it is, neither is a possibility, and my Colnago is my Forever Bike whether I like it or not.
I know that there are some out there reading this who are wondering if I’m writing in a foreign language – lots of cyclists buy a new bike every 2 or 3 years no matter what. I know others who buy a bike and simply ride it till it breaks or falls apart. Is there anyone out there who intentionally bought/built up their bike to last a lifetime?