Feature: Steel Monster

Everybody loves an old steel bike. The amazingly smooth ride, the classic geometry and most important, the looks. But not everyone is so keen on all the parts built onto those old bikes. Now, if the bike is purely a show piece, I’m all for the classic Campagnolo or the Shimano 600 and the like, but for everyday riding, most of us would prefer the comforts of the modern group set.


As the culture in South Africa is growing, everyone is after a steel bike. While some choose to keep them retro and authentic, others choose to spec the old steel frames with the best components modern money can buy.


Our feature bikes falls nicely in the middle of these two extremes. The idea from the get- go was to spend as little money as possible to build a cool looking steel bike. It was built up from a spare set of wheels, donated group set parts, mis- matched crank arms and all the rest was bits and bobs collected here and there over the years.

At the heart of this beast is a Reynolds 531 tubed steel frame that started out life as probably a Peter Alan or a Le Jeune or maybe something exotic like an Eddy or the like. Keeping the fork from falling out is a Ritchey Logic threaded headset.


In keeping with the matchy Ritchey stuff, the handlebars are Ritchey’s Logic 2 WCS alloy bars bolted onto a matching Ritchey WCS stem. All of this WCS goodness is wrapped in Fizik 2mm bar tape.

The rider is perched atop a Selle San Marco Concore saddle, linked to the bike via a 27.2mm KCNC Scandium seat post.

The bike is kitted out with 10 speed Campagnolo Record parts. Except for the brake callipers, which are from the Chorus range. The Record 10 speed crank is the pre carbon version, which really lends to the old- school, classic look of the bike.

Putting all the power to the road, is a set of Giant PA-2 wheels which were initially used as a spare set of training wheels, until they were promoted to full time bike use. The wheels are wrapped in Specialized Turbo Pro 25c tires.

So this bike might not be the pretties, but it sure has a lot of character. There is something about this bike that brings out the little boy (or girl) in us, who stand drooling in the shop window over a new bike. It reminds us of what riding is about and helps us forget about having the latest and greatest carbon everything. It’s about the ride.


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