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Archive for March, 2009

013

You may have recently read about Torelli’s Montefalco road bike in the last issue of ROAD.  Well the short story is that it is an all carbon road frame weighing in around 900 grams, depending on size.  The review said it is stiff, comfortable, climbs well and descends well.  I read this and became interested knowing that Newhall Bicycle Company carries Torelli, however a new frameset was not in my plans, especially considering the current economic climate. 

Fast forward to a week ago when I called Roger at Newhall Bicycle Company.  I wanted to say hey, and was curious about a frameset made by another manufacturer that he carries.  I know, a new frameset was not in my plans.  It was at that point that he said that I needed to come by and see something he just got in.  I stopped by that evening after work and Roger showed me the Torelli Montefalco-Newhall Bicycle Company Edition.    It looked great with the NBC colors (green, yellow and some red) and graphics, and it weighed next to nothing.  Again I was not planning on this purchase, but this was too unique to pass up.  After shuffling some things around, and consulting the wife, I called Roger to confirm my purchase.

After reviewing the geometry on Torelli’s site, I saw that the large had a 57cm virtual top tube, and 57cm seat tube, just like my Pinella.  I even called Torelli, to discuss the sizing, because I was concerned for some reason.  I tend to be a little obsessive.  I know, an obsessive roadie, big surprise.  Anyway, after several consultations and reviews, I decided on the large and I was on my way.  I built it up on a Saturday morning, and had it over to Roger’s for cabling the following Monday.  However, when I had it built up it seemed really big.  I must have measured it 3 different ways, 5 times against the Pinella.  Each time it was right on, however something still seemed wrong. I finally realized that it is just the larger tubes, and that massive headtube.  The headtube is not only tall, it is thick.  While the top diameter is 1-1/8″, and the bottom is 1-1/2″, ultimately providing some sort of super stiffness/control.  I don’t know, what it is exactly supposed to do, but it is supposed to be good.

Still being a little concerned about the sizing, Roger wanted me to take it for a test ride in the morning and see how everything felt.  That night I dropped the stem down, which I was thankful for the following morning, and got her ready for the trial run. 

That morning I awoke to pouring rain.  Yes, pouring rain in Southern California, it happens.  However nothing was going to stop me, I had to take this mother out for a trial run.  I have got to say this is the nicest riding bike I have ever owned.  I like steel, but this thing is smooth.  It is the nicest combination of smoothness and stiffness I have ever experienced, and is really a pleasure to ride.  As it turns out the sizing is perfect, and the tall headtube allows me to run the stem without any spacers.  I’ve always wanted to do that.    Performance-wise this baby purrs.  On downhills and flats, it just motors.  Every pedal turn is efficient and creates speed as it eats up the road.  Other carbon bikes I have ridden seemed “dead”, in other words, not lively like a metal bike.  This ride is very comforable, but is still lively.  On the hills, it makes climbing seem easier.  I am sure this is because of the combination of weight and stiffness.  The total build with Campy Chorus and Centaur weighs in at 15.5 pounds (with pedals, cages, computer), which is not too shabby, at least by my standards.  My only issue is that I haven’t had a lot of time to ride it.  I am hoping for some quality saddle time this weekend to really feel this thing out.

The Pinella is not dead.  I am building her up with Shimano components I already have, so she’ll still be around and cruising the mean streets of Santa Clarita.  Here are a few more pictures:

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