Michael arrived at the shop with thoughts to buy a custom frame. Suffering from a back injury and then riding a generic frame set (a Lapierre Sensium 200) the frame wasn’t suited to Michael's lack of flexibility or body measurements. He was searchings ways to eliminate his considerable pain.
While the injury was affecting his day to day actions and Michael faced the dire solution of surgery, the positive lining is that Michael based his next bike investment not by reviews of best bikes, or looking to what the Pro’s were doing. Instead Michael sensibly and correctly invested in a frame made for comfort. It was known that if he bought for comfort he would increase his motivation and his training.
“Chainsmith were brilliant. Ali, David and Ben became friends through the process. The support was paramount because this was a big investment monetarily as well as towards my future health.”
“A custom steel frame was a way to have a bike tailored to my exact physical proportions and take into account my recent spinal surgery. It was also a value proposition when considering the rate many people “flip” their carbon frames.”
The brief involved building a bike made to his measurements in every possible way. The geometry of the frame and the choice of components needed to be suitable for Michael’s medical history. Furthermore it was essential the frame be built from a material more forgiving than the stiffer carbon he was used to.
“The Chesini was immediately more responsive yet forgiving. It has the perfect balance between stiffness and flexibility. Like getting on a thoroughbred horse.”
Together we looked at Chesini, the oldest frame builder in Verona with a history embedded in Italian Racing. Chesini was making frames for both professionals and for amateurs using the knowledge and skillset begun from 1925. Now owned by Osvaldo, the brand continues to develop with technological insight and continued innovations.
The experienced design and craftmanship are inspiring and we felt certain Osvaldo would produce the most beautiful frameset for Michaels requirements. Our meetings over the years with Chesini Owners Osvaldo and Pamela were based at their Verona workshop and store. So along with David Piacenti I'd experienced the Chesini enthusiasm and drive towards designing perfect frames. In each stage of development we understood the need to perfect even the smallest of details.
The Chesini expertise in creating individualised bespoke frames is the focus. To see their workshop in action where they labor intently upon the perfection of welds, and even the immaculate hand paint on the head badge, is both a pleasure and a privilege.
Back in Sydney, the process of deciding which frame was the most suitable for Michael was straightforward. Michael had every intention of this being his main bike to last years. Built with Reynolds stainless steel tubing the frame was assured of longevity.
Communicating clearly with our clients is essential. After measuring Michael and recording details of his injuries and his riding history we reviewed with Chesini the type of riding Michael intended. Then, we waited for the geometry to be completed.
When the geometry arrived in our inbox we didn't need to alter a single dimension. The width and length in tubing alongside their angles were outlined in accurate detail. And so we waited patiently for the next stage, which involved Chesini finishing the frame with Michael's chosen design in graphic and colours.
The outcome was a spectacular frame. Pulling it from the box we could see this would be a beautifully balanced bike. Later these thoughts proved right as, in Michaels words, “The change to the Chesini was night and day.”
Working together with the valuable knowledge of David Piacenti, the frame was built with incredible detail in accordance to Michael's motivation. We were always considerate to his personal tastes, and the paint work is very much aligned to a minimal style that Michael relates to. As for components, Micheal can be assured that whenever he leans his bike at the cafe, the Chesini with its Campagnolo groups and Wheels will be appreciated.
Most importantly the bike is built with absolute attention by a Campagnolo Tech at Chainsmith. Provided a comprehensive bike fit, the position we provided for Michael has remained a source of comfort and he continues to ride pain free.
“My riding experience has been fantastic and fun. I cant see myself going for a “cookie cutter” bike ever again, no matter how well fitted. The Chesini also gets all the admiring looks at the cafe.”
While we strongly believe the benefits of a custom fit frame and a unique built bike matching your riding desire and your history far outweight the benefits of lightweight, aero design advantages, the proof is always as they say in the pudding. Michael to this day is extremely proud of his Chesini, remains motivated, and has no intention of changing anything about his XRS925. Importantly his health has improved and his comfort is a success. That, in our eyes, is the biggest of wins.