Reader's Bikes: Tim's Colnago Cross - Road Cycling UK

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Reader's Bikes: Tim's Colnago Cross

Are you proud of your trusty bicycle? Has it stuck with you through the good times and the bad? Or maybe you have a brand spanking new machine which you think outshines the rest. Old or new, steel or carbon and whatever your story we want you to tell us why your bike is a bit special. And we want to see the evidence. So, send a couple of photos and some words in to editor@roadcyclinguk.com and we’ll consider featuring you and your bike in the brand new ‘Reader’s Bikes’ section.

Want to see yourself on this page next week? If the answers yes, then we want to hear from you.


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Tim Costello (Southdown Velo) writes: I thought I would contribute some
pictures and words about my darling Colnago cross-bike, and how I tried cross
for the first time last year.

As a serious road racer, I had always rather looked down my nose at cyclo-cross.
Who was the world cyclo-cross champion anyway? Did I care? This is the story
of how I become a born again cyclo-cros rider and my beautiful Colnago cyclo-cross
bike.

At the end of the last road season, I once again took my mountain bike out from
the shed and dusted it off. It looked very sad. I had taken delivery of it on
the day Margaret Thatcher resigned as Prime Minister. I hadn’t done any maintenance
since. A very quick look was enough to calculate that it was not cost effective
to replace all those parts that were long past their sell-buy date.

I enjoyed riding off-road in the winter, but I had never felt comfortable in
the mountain bike position. What if I had an off-road bike, but with an on-road
position? By pleasant co-incidence I was in Mike Perry’s shop, Maestro. As we
sat drinking coffee and chatting, my eye was caught by a rather dandy looking
orange Colnago.

It was a Colnago allright, but there was something unsual about it. I took
a closer look, and it was love. A Colnago cyclo-cross frame with a very tasty
finish. Enquiries revealed that it had been used once by Mike’s son before he
broke his arm. It had remained hanging up ever since. I skirted around the subject
of buying the frame. You don’t want to be too keen on a first date. After a
few more visits to the shop the bond had grown stronger. Eventually, thanks
to a very competitive price (thanks Mike) I was the proud owner.

I now started to read everything about cyclo-cross, including the information
available on LondonCycleSport. I browsed eBay to get bits and pieces and ransacked
the shed for old cast-offs. Eventually she was up and running and I was ready
for my first race. I practised jumping on and off a few times and felt ready.

I lined up for my first race in the grounds of a hospital in Southampton. At
the start I looked with contempt at the mountain bike riders and people with
hairy legs. Then we were off! Barely had I clipped my feet in and the leaders
were all ready way ahead of me. I struggled manfully and after a lap caught
a chap who looked more suited to riding to the pub. He didn’t even have toe-clips.
After a few more laps I had caught a few more riders, but I was still solidly
at the back. I ended up in a race long tussle with a chap on a bike with no
gears.

The pain was dreadful. Never has my back hurt so much, but it was great fun.
I finally pipped my nemisis on the last lap. It felt fantastic. I have since
realised that I am probably the world’s worst cyclo-cross rider. It hasn’t put
me off in the slightest. Quite the reverse.

It’s like starting cycling all over again. I’m a born-again crosser and loving
it.

Bike specs

  • Frame – Colnago aluminium frame with steel forks.
  • Groupset – largely Campagnolo Veloce.
  • Wheels – Old Mavic Pros on Campagnolo Chrous hubs.
  • Tyres – Continental – who else?

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