This is my current project bike. It is an new old stock De Bernardi lugged steel frame. It is in wonderful condition showing only a little wear from being handled over the past 10 years. It had never been built up or ridden. This bike is representative of the end of an era in framebuilding. Pretty much after the late 90’s very few companies were building lugged steel bikes as their flagship models. Many had gone to carbon, titanium or hybrids for their high end units and some had abandoned steel altogether! For a time you could only get a classic steel frame from a niche or custom builder, but that seems to be changing somewhat. Many manufacturers are once again offering some steel frames although they are usually offered in a retro category. I believe that in time steel as a frame material will return to the mainstream to a much greater degree. Its wonderful qualities will once again be recognized and a way will be found to market it to the biking public as new technology.

I have built this bike with a Campagnolo gruppo (of course) in a Record/Chorus mix and a traditional style. I tried to avoid the use of any black anodized alloy components. I prefer silver and chromed parts because they just make for a brighter bike. Quality components like these should not be blacked out or hidden. Because of that I have had to settle for Campagnolo Veloce hubs. They are still good quality and have a nice polished finish. I’ve built them up with my favorite Mavic Open Pro rims and double butted spokes. It is a very nice wheelset! 

I chose to use a 2 x 10 drivetrain with downtube shifters. It runs silently and shifts very well and I am very happy with this setup.  The TTT bars and stem are clean and simple and the absence of shifting cables adds to this effect.  The brake levers are aero style and hide these cables as well. The timeless Brooks Swift leather saddle is the only choice for a classic bike like this. It may seem dated but is actually quite modern with titanium rails and weighs in around 300 grams. Brooks saddles have no peer for comfort and durability!

Now the important part, the ride. This bike is amazing, it is incredibly smooth and responsive to ride. The handling is precise and stable. It gives you a good feel for the road without the harshness of ride found with other frame materials. It once again reminds me of what a great bike should be.