The first Dancelli: The Red Arrow
This Dancelli was my very first bike – well, “Straßenrennrad” as we call it in German, which translates into “street racing bike” [or, as it’s called in America, “road bike”], that is, as I had a bike when I was a schoolboy and another one as a child.
It was built by Cicli Baldo in Trento, Italy, to my specifications, and it’s a Dancelli frame, with a Modolo handlebar and brakes and Ofmega front and rear deraillers, a 6-speed cassette [14-16-18-20-22-24] and a Campagnolo 53-39 crankset. After a fall I exchanged the original saddle for a Selle Italia and am quite comfortable with it.
Alas, it’s ruined. To keep it out of the brutal southern Texas sunshine I had set it behind the car and forgotten. And when I backed out of the garage, I partly ran over it and bent the frame irreparably.
The Marin: The Mill Valley
In 2003, while staying in the US, I bought a second bicycle, a Marin “Mill Valley“. I bought it here in the US [in Denver, to be exact], as I wanted to ride a bike here during my frequent stays and it would have been (much) too expensive to always transport a bike back and forth between Germany and the US on a plane. The Marin was/is a hybrid, or “Fitness Bike” as that type would be called in German(y). I enjoyed riding that bike a lot, too, but to tell the truth, I never felt really comfortable on it. After a short time my hands go numb. I suspect that the frame is a tad too small for me and thus too much of my weight needs to be supported by my arms and hands. Even changing the grips [now Ergon grips] didn’t help (much). I also put on a different saddle [SQ-Lab 610], which helped a lot.
The Stevens: The Gran Turismo
After I had shipped the Red Arrow to the US, I was left withour a bike in Germany.
The second Dancelli: Purple Lightning
After I had ruined my first one, I kept thinking which bike to buy as a replacement. I really wanted a fast road bike, and I do like those “old” diamond-shaped lugged steel frames. Call me old-fashioned or even sentimental, but it is as it is. And I also believe in their qualities: they do give you a lot or suspension, more than the modern aluminum ones and (nearly) as much as carbon frames. Of course, contrary to aluminum and carbon, they can rust – but that’s negligible as good maintenance will take care of it. And compared to carbon I feel safer on a steel frame as a scratch is that – just a scratch – and not a structural damage as with carbon.
to be continued