Guest Blog: “A Happy Accident”


As the late great painter Bob Ross  liked to say:  “We don’t have mistakes here, we just have happy accidents.”

Two weeks ago, I happened to notice on our Davis Bike Club newsgroup that someone was selling a 58 cm Colnago Ace that he won at The Davis Hall of Bicycling Fame auction the weekend before.  He and his wife thought it would fit their son, but it didn’t.  All they wanted was their money back and the price was more than reasonable.

Here is the description of this frame from the Colnago website:

“The Ace offers head-turning style with spine-saving com­fort. Specifically designed to pro­vide an easy ride for Gran Fondo rid­ers and those who are just start­ing to take their cycling seri­ously the Ace pro­vides a more upright and com­fort­able posi­tion than our stan­dard geome­tries. The frame is a car­bon fibre mono­coque and fea­tures round main tubes and square chain­stays. The study of cross-sections, com­bined with a care­ful analy­sis of the lay­out of the car­bon fibres has made it pos­si­ble to max­imise com­fort with­out com­pro­mis­ing lat­eral stiff­ness for per­for­mance and rid­ing plea­sure. Available in eight slop­ing sizes and three colour variations.”

Now I really don’t need another road bike right now (and your point is … ?), but, given the modest price they were asking I at least had to check the geometry on the Colnago web site to see how well it would fit me.  Well this thing was going to be just spot on!  I quickly e-mailed the seller telling them to consider it sold and arranged to pick it up that afternoon.

After meeting with them and having a really great chat about the bike, I paid them and loaded it up without riding it.  For one it didn’t have pedals and I already knew the geometry was spot on for me anyway.

The next day after just a minor adjustment to the seat height, I hopped on for a little shakedown ride.  Immediately, however, something just didn’t seem right.  It felt way too small.  I couldn’t understand it—this thing should have fit as well as a custom made frame.  Not even a mile into the ride I knew this was just not going to work and was trying to figure out what I was going to do with this thing.  At first I thought I could strip the parts off, and sell the frame and fork on eBay, get most of my money back and keep the parts for an upcoming project.  But the more I thought about it, I realized that I just might be able to get this thing to fit Ms. Foodie.

Making a few minor adjustments for Ms. Foodie ...

After getting home and measuring the fit of her Trek 5000 I knew that there was more than a chance.  In fact, while measuring the Colnago frame it became clear to me that it had to be a 56 cm model and not a 58 cm—so that explains why it felt too small for me. After adjusting the seat height and swapping in a shorter stem I could see that the taller head tube and shorter top tube of the Colnago actually could make for a better fit for her than the Trek she has been riding.

All was confirmed the next day with a lovely Winters and back ride of about 35 miles.  Considering the great price we got on it, I do think it is worthy of a component upgrade in the not-too-distant future, (though the Campy Veloce 10 components do perform quite adequately), but for now still a great performing bike as is.

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