Saturday, August 21, 2010

Palo Alto.

I recently acquired a frame that was of Italian make and was sold by Palo Alto in the early '80s. After much research, I found an old Palo Alto catalog from 1984. It had photos of the frame I had. It was interesting to note that these frames were sold as framesets only, with the option of purchasing any assortment of parts to build up the bike. It was refreshing to see a company offering their customers flexibility and the ability to customize a new bike. So many new bikes come as complete packages, and if you want something different like handlebars, you need to buy another set of handlebars and are stuck with extra ones that you didn't want in the first place.
As I build up bikes one at a time, it was nice to see that some companies encourage customers to think about what components they want on their bikes. The frame in question was Italian made by Biemmezeta in the early '80s and was made completely with lugged Columbus SL tubing, very nice.
Taking inspiration from a book of vintage French bicycles, I decided to build up this frame with some nice, classy colors. White tires can sometimes overwhelm the color scheme of a bike if the frame is heavy with white accents, but they can brighten up a frame as a complementary color. Same with handlebar tape. I opted for shellac'd green tape, giving a deep olive color, that complements the frame and other components without overwhelming the entire build. I think it turned out nicely, as did a fellow rider who recently acquired this bike.

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