Climbing the Col de l'Aiguillon on August 2, 2015.
Climbing the Col de l'Aiguillon on August 2, 2015.

Old Road Bikes

I got into cycling with mountain bikes. After several years of trail riding, I and a few friends decided to do some road cycling as well. In 1992 I bought a Trek 5200 from my local bike shop. I rode it through the Jura and through the Seeland a lot but left it at home during my language year in California in 94/95. It went with me to Sonoma County, when I moved there in 1997. For 4 more years it was the bike I used to climb Cavedale Road just outside Sonoma and Pine Flats after I moved to Santa Rosa. It became my daily commuter after I bought a Litespeed Ultimate until the drive-side chain stay broke in 2006. The bike had a lifetime warranty and Trek USA gave me a Trek Madone 5.2 as a replacement, even though I no longer had the purchase receipt from my Swiss LBS. The Madone 5.2 was built up with the components from the 5200 and took over as my commuter bike; first in Santa Rosa and later in Biel, Switzerland after we moved across the pond. In Switzerland, I upgraded it to a newer Ultegra groupset including Ultegra wheels, and sold it in 2010 to make room for another bike. The Litespeed Ultimate was the road bike I owned and rode the longest. It took me across every climb in Sonoma County and climbed across the Chasseral countless times. It served as a single-speed commuter after I built a Neilpryde Alize. In 2014 I bought a fairly inexpensive Volagi Viaje frameset, which forever changed road cycling for me. I went back to what I call a traditional road bike when I built a Ritte Snob Disc. Had I known back then where the Volagi would be taking me, I would have in all likelihood not purchased the Ritte. As gorgeous as this bike is, it was born under a somewhat unlucky star. After two rides, the Enve fork broke. A few weeks later, Enve actually had to recall that fork. Ritte was great though and sent me a replacement fork in the matching paint. I rode the bike for a couple of years and loved it, but ultimately the Volagi with room for much wider tires took over. When I bought my third Volagi and sold the first one, I decided to move the SRAM eTap HRD groupset from the first Volagi to the Ritte. But before doing so, I wanted a small paint damage on the steerer tube repaired. The fork replacement years earlier came with a lower headset change from 1 1/4" to 1 1/2". Extracting the lower cup and pressing in a new one caused the paint to come off. The paint shop I hired for the repair then realized that a small local paint repair would never be 100%, so we repainted the whole bike. A move in 2019 and the addition of a Nordest Albarda allroad bike halted the completion of the Ritte, but finally, in 2020 it was carefully put back together. So, there are currently three road bikes in my stable; the Ritte put together with old and new parts, the third Volagi Viaje built with an NOS frameset I had found online in 2018 and an inexpensive Nordest Albarda also built with a mix of old and new parts. Here's the list of the road bikes I've owned over the years.

Ritte Snob Disc (rebuilt)
Ritte Snob Disc
First rideOct 29, 2015
Last rideJul 29, 2017
Total rides56
Distance3'699 km
Elevation91'411 m
Hours152 h
Volagi Viaje RD (sold)
Volagi Viaje RD
First rideMar 29, 2014
Last rideFeb 28, 2019
Total rides226
Distance13'126 km
Elevation336'545 m
Hours559 h
Neilpryde Alize (sold)
Neilpryde Alize
First rideJul 2, 2011
Last rideSep 26, 2014
Total rides105
Distance5'846 km
Elevation158'940 m
Hours241 h
Litespeed Ultimate (sold)
Litespeed Ultimate
First ride2000
Last ride2011
Total ridesunknown
Trek Madone 5.2 (sold)
Trek Madone 5.2
First ride2006
Last ride2010
Total ridesunknown
Trek 5200 (broke)
Trek 5200
First ride1992
Last ride2006
Total ridesunknown