Both Campagnolo and Colnago are two brands that inspire a most fervent heat of passion in their fans, and it’s not hard to understand why. The blood of Italy’s cycle racing heritage, both old and new, runs deep within them.
Jonathan Giesecke rides with the Singaporean crew, and has obviously been inspired by the Italian spirit — enough to warrant building up one of the most spectacular combinations of Campagnolo and Colnago into a hot rod ride.
The REVSIN Cycling Team is a band of ‘experienced and passionate cyclists in Singapore’ and Jonathan wanted a classic bike for their more casual/recovery ride on Sunday mornings.
“At the time I had recently completed the build of my 1974 Colnago Mexico,” he tells us, “complete with period-correct Campagnolo Nuovo Record group and although it was the smoothest, nicest handling bike I had ridden, it just wasn’t comfortable or that safe for the reasonably paced group ride with guys who were mostly on modern machines. The period speed adjusters (side pull 70’s Campy brakes) and the downtube friction shifters meant it just wasn’t that great for riding in the group.
“I decided I wanted to build a bicycle interpretation of a hot rod — a classic looking machine with modern mechanicals and a more user-friendly set up. So much in the same way as builds of classic cars go, I set out with a simple brief that got a little out of hand as time went on (something I learnt with the restoration of my 1967 Morris Mini that is now heavily modified and supercharged).
“It was at this stage when I started to specify the build that things got a little out of hand.
“I was always going to repaint the frame and I knew I wanted a lugged stem matched to classic Giro D’Italia bars to give it a classic look. I then started to look at paint colours and fell for the House of Kolor chameleon/pearl type colours.
“I ended up settling on a more low-key, but still ‘bling’, Green-to-Gold that provided the classic look, with a bit of flair. From there the gold highlight colour was selected.
“The Rebound Centre stripped, chromed and painted the bike, including stencilling and painting all the decals (except tubing decals) before clear coating. They also have frame building experience so they brazed the custom stem before chroming and painting it to match the frame.
“It did take some time to work the way through their waiting list, but their attention to detail is awesome and was what I was really looking for on this build.
“There was no other choice than an alloy Campagnolo 11-speed Athena group for its complimentary styling. My selection of gold detailing led me to source gold aluminium bolts, screws, adjusters wherever available and matched them with a KMC gold chain.
“Where bolts were not available off the shelf in gold I’ve had them 22ct gold-plated (seatpost binder, stem bolts, brake shoes nuts). Sometimes this ‘bling’ stuff can look quite tacky on a bike but I think that in this instance, as a complete and thorough theme, it looks great.
“With the bling paint and gold details I started looking to the lowrider scene for inspiration. It became clear that although guys in the US were building lowrider bikes, none of them were road bikes. In looking at builds in that scene I started to see the use of engraved details and decided I had to add more details with engraving.
“I managed to find an engraver just outside of Dallas, Eazy from Precision Engraving, to get creative with the crankset and Nitto seatpost. I told him that I wanted some Colnago ‘clubs’ included then let him do the rest.
“After being blown away by Eazy’s work I sourced some late model Deltas (Croce D’Aune so not to upset the Campy Record Gods) because they provided more alloy surfaces to engrave and balance the look a little better. They might not stop as well as the modern Campy dual pivots but they look great.
“The Velocity Deep V rims in white with gold/bronze coloured spokes were selected to go with the lowrider theme.
“With all the bling and engraving, there was no other person to contact other than Mick at Busyman Bicycles for a re-trimmed Fizik Arione and matching tape. I had seen his work on a friend’s Baums (yes, plural) and knew he was the right guy for it.
“I simply sent him some pictures of the engraving and he worked out a design to match in natural Kangaroo leather to compliment the gum wall tyres.
Some might call it over the top, but it’s tastefully flamboyant, and that’s how we like our Italian racers. Jonathan would like to thank Fab at Fabs Cycles in Singapore for the gold plating and final assembly, and we’d like to thank Jonathan for the words and fantastic photos.