Occasionally, I’ll see a bike, and just drool over it. Guest poster Don Blount, however, is a man of action. When he wants a new bike, he gets one. And in his case, it’s a custom frame. I’m drooling again.
It is a custom, hand-built, steel frame Tallerico bike designed and built by Jon Tallerico of Lodi, California.
And I love it.
It is a wine color with some pearl. So depending on the lighting it can look burgundy, brown, purple and even black.
Here is what strikes me about the bike:
1) It looks small.
The bike has a sloping top tube that allows me to straddle the bike. The long head tube is sort of a Tallerico signature seen in a number of his bikes. Combined, it makes the bike look small to my eye.
2) The bike is beyond comfortable.
The effective top tube length of the new bike is 54 cm, which is the same as my old bike. But the new bike is built around me with what feels like a shorter cockpit area. So my arms can dangle comfortably without me feeling stretched out. The steel frame is stiff but dampening, providing a firm ride but one that is not too stiff. In short, it is comfortable.
And a comfortable bike makes it easy to spend time on the bike.
I have more than 110 hours on this bike since getting it in mid-February. That adds up to more than 1,800 miles (2,900 kilometers) and 46,000 feet (14,000 meters) of climbing. That includes a metric century, two centuries and a double metric. I can literally, and I have, sat on the bike all day without issue.
The bike is nimble, meaning it is fast, responsive and climbs well. The more I ride it, the more I understand what it can do and the more I enjoy riding it.
For those who like specs: most of the components were swapped from my previous bike, a Scattante CFR Comp. And most of those had I upgraded over the past few years.
Moved to the new bike were: Ritchey carbon bars, Selle Italia Gel Flow saddle, Shimano Ultegra brakes and compact crankset, Ritchey pedals, Shimano 105 shifters, Forte stem, Williams 30X wheels.
New are an FSA carbon seatpost, Bontrager carbon water bottle cages (impractical but a splurge), slightly used Shimano Dura-Ace 7800 front and rear derailleur (more on this in another post), Shimano Ultegra quick release skewers and of course, cables and wires.
The bike also has a carbon Enve front fork and Chris King headset.
Quite frankly, I had no interest in getting a new bike as it was not in my budget or my wish list at the time. A custom-built bike costs about $2,500-$3,000. But when Jon approached me with the idea of building me a bike, he presented an offer that I heartily accepted.
And I am glad he did.