Where do I even begin with this bike? At the 2011 NAHBS, I spent the afternoon with Chris Bishop, after all the madness of the show had subsided. We rode around Austin, soaked up the sun, got lunch and chatted bikes. That’s when he asked if I would want to have a road bike in the 2012 NAHBS. Of course I wanted a Bishop road bike but I was torn. Since Chris was mostly known for lugged frames, would he want to make a modern, light, fillet frame? Hell, I didn’t even know what I wanted to be honest.
But first thing’s first. I had to get fit by Chris. After the Philly Bike Expo, I headed to Baltimore with him and Tommy, where I stayed the night and got fit in the morning. We began with what I knew, my Merckx road bike and some standard body dimensions. These became our starting point. From there, we tweaked the fit based on what kind of riding I do. Everything was dialed in on the fit bike: head tube angle, fork rake, seat tube angle, etc. Chris asked what I liked and what I didn’t like.
After some back and forth, we had a geometry and finally, a tubing selection: the downtube and chain stays are Columbus Spirit. The head tube is True Temper OX Platinum, Seat tube NOS Columbus MAX, seat stays, top tube are Dedacciai Zero. I wanted the bike as light as possible but not getting into weight weenie status so we went with an ENVE cockpit and a ENVE 1.0 fork, along with an ENVE post, which was made in the States a week before the show! Other tidbits include a Chris King No-Threadset headset and a Fizik Kurve saddle.
Since I love SRAM, a mix of Force and Red was used (not showing the Red Cassette) but I’m most stoked on the wheels. I went with Pewter Chris King R45s laced with Sapim spokes to HED Belgium Rims. Tommy built the wheels with CX Rays up front and Race spokes on the rear. But the frame is what makes the bike. Chris went to town on every single detail here. The cable stops were machined, the replacable, 7075 Paragon drop outs were machined, the pressfit 30 BB shell was hand filed and the fillet construction is pristine. So pristine that it won best fillet construction at the 2012 NAHBS. To top it off, Bryan at Fresh Frame and Tommy concocted one killer paint job, using my logo colors and my love for chevrons as a precedent.
There, enough talking, check out the Gallery by clicking the above photo or click here to open a new tab.
So how does it ride? Like a fucking rocket. It fits me perfectly and for the kind of riding I do everyday, I couldn’t ask for a better bike. We only do hill rides, so the slightly-steeper seat tube addresses my desire to ride the saddle back in the rails and keeps the front end from popping up on climbs when seated. The cockpit is surprisingly stiff and incredibly light. There’s no sway when I’m out of the saddle, hammering up a climb. I’ve never been on a pressfit 30 bike before but combined with the massive Columbus MAX seat tube and the Spirit downtube, there is no movement coming from that sucker. This bike corners like nothing I’ve ever ridden before and descends like a demon into hell. It’s my beast, my Necronomicog.
As it is, with the new SRAM Red cassette and without the pedals, it comes in right at 17lbs. For a massive (62cm) steel road bike, that’s VERY impressive. I can’t explain how satisfied I am with it. All I can do is thank Chris for all his hard work, Brian at Fresh Frame for the paint and all the companies who helped out!