Custom Bike Build: Colossi SRAM Red

The owner of this bike, a graphic designer, set out to make a bike that, in order of importance:

1. Looks hottt

2. Is light

3. Is a good value

For the one-of-a-kind look she was going for it would have to be a custom or small batch paint job regardless of the frame material. In order to hit the light and good value goals, it would either have to be a light frame with low end components, or a heavy frame with high end components. In terms of resale value, it is more difficult to unload a custom paint job bike frame than high end components. Also, there are more options for a custom steel frame than an aluminum or carbon frame. So the obvious decision was to get a custom steel frame and use high end components to keep the weight low and the performance high.

She decided on a Colossi frame.

Colossi was founded by Jan Kole, a former Dutch professional cyclist who raced in Europe in the 70s and 80s with the Solahart-Herca and Femis Bank squads. After his racing career ended, Kole began making custom frames for bike shops in the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark and the UK. As the industry shifted to Asia, he set up a workshop in 2005 in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, close to Hong Kong.

They apparently also make lots of bikes for bigger bike brands. It took about 6 weeks to be made and shipped. Most of that time was shipping time. The frame was $425.00.

From the Colossi website.

From the Colossi website.

It takes lots o stickers to get from Hong Kong to the USA.

It takes lots o stickers to get from Hong Kong to the USA.

Jan Kole.

Jan Kole.

Digital typeface, nice touch.

Digital typeface, nice touch.

Everything sourced and ready to go to the LBS!

Everything sourced and ready to go to the LBS!

All the components were researched and sourced individually, on sale or used. The build was done by Westside Bikes, and took them about 3 days.

About 1/3 of the bike cost was the Mavic Ksyrium SLR limited edition 125 wheels (the yellow to match the color scheme of course!), purchased on sale for $1,200. At a feathery 1,370g, these worked to bring the bike weight way down. Though these are the biggest single purchase for the bike, it is also the one that's likely to retain value the best as well: in my experience Mavic wheels are easy to resale and hold their value well.

Nice graphic details on the 125th anniversary wheelset by Mavic.

Nice graphic details on the 125th anniversary wheelset by Mavic.

Yellow - for the color scheme obviously!

Yellow - for the color scheme obviously!

The SRAM Red group set was sourced as individual pieces (all on sale of course) for a total of $975.00. The other components are fi'zi:k (the saddle is now fi'zi:k too), and carbon Look pedals. The barfly mount integrates into the faceplate of the fi'zi:k handlebars, which made the decision to go with fi'zi:k components easier.

One last minute addition/splurge for weight savings was the ENVE fork (the frame came with a heavy steel fork), adding $340 to the total. I'd argue that you can resell an ENVE fork pretty easily.

The result? You can see how hotttt the bike looks. The bike weighted in at 16.4lbs, which I would consider light for a carbon fiber bike, but is incredibly light for a steel frame bike. All the parts were carefully considered and sourced, and I believe the good value box can be ticked for every piece of this bike.

I asked how the bike performs, and the owner responded that the main goal of her riding is for fun. For her it's not about speed. She simply feels good riding it - it makes her want to smile. She loves the responsiveness of the SRAM Red components (she was previously riding a Specialized Ruby with a Shimano 105/Ultegra mix). The steel is more forgiving in terms of ride quality. She laughed and said, "'Steel is real,' whatever that means."

Regrets: She wishes she could've test ridden the bike frame to get a feel of the geometry. For her, headtube needs to be taller, and the top tube was shorter; so she would've gone down an additional size had she been able to test the frame.

SPECS

$3,500 / Colossi 4130 Columbus Butted Steel 46cm Frame / SRAM Red Drivetrain and Brakes / Mavic Ksyrium SLR limited edition 125 / 16.4lbs including pedals and computer mount (now actually lighter with some upgrades)

THE BIKE: