Six months ago, my trusty red, ten year old Serotta Ti road bike was stolen. Come on, dumbass thief — what you gonna do with a 66.5cm frame? Well, answer, nothing, probably, just rip the parts off.
It was a sad, sad day, make even depressing because I also had plans to strip it for parts for the luscious and awesome carbon Manta frame that Craig Calfee was building for me. I had hoped to pull the carbon handlebars, bottle cages and seat post and high end Look KEO blade pedals.
I also had pretty much brand new Knog front and rear lights and perhaps worse of all, the Mavic Ksyrium wheel set was going to be used as my backup Winter rims. It was a huge lose compounded by a dozen big loses, not to mention a large hole in my pocket.
I should add, finally, zero money back from insurance. Basically my son had two bikes stolen and my wife one stolen from our garage in the past and so our agent said, you can make a claim but you’re going to get dropped after.
But all that, happily, is behind me now.
I have in my possession the frame of my dreams for an artisan in carbon design and fabrication, Craig Calfee. The Manta is one of their top frames and I chose it specifically because the oversize carbon tubes fit the scale of my 6’4″ body. Esthetically, the Manta is the ideal frame of us big guys. In fact, Calfee makes a strong case for their expertise in big bike frames.
Google photos of the Manta and you will see the pure artistry of Calfee in action. As a college kid he studied sculpture and that artistic sensibility informs his design work, whether it’s a Manta, Dragonfly, Luna, bamboo bike or any of his Renaissance Man one-off frames that he builds for a wide cast of characters. (Here’s Calfee Designs webpage on the Manta.)
I am now two weeks from totally built up, ready to roll Manta. It’s been a long process of hunting industry deals for parts and I have to say Shimano has been generous and so has Rolf Prima. I’m going Ultegra Di2 with disc brakes and Rolf Prima’s do-it-all Ares 4 wheel set.
I’m excited, full-body goosebumps and over the next few months, I’ll let you know how the Manta, the Shimano DI2 and Rolf Prima Ares 4 feels. Kid in candy shop. I’ve gained ten pounds since my Serotta was stolen and the Manta and I are embarking on an immediate return to my previous weight. I can’t wait to crank up that first mountain climb.
I will share lots of photos when the Manta is built up and the Ares4 wheel set arrive. That will be a magic day indeed.