From time to time Andy or I will build a bike for ourselves. And invariably, we will "lose" that bike to some good cause, be it a customer who urgently needs a new bike, a journalist who wants to test one, or it will get pilfered because we need the parts for something else.
When I decided to build a new MIN.D. for myself and spec it with all my favorite goodies, I was determined for that not to happen. In the end, indeed no parts were ever taken off to use on other bikes - the parts simply never arrived or were already diverted before they could be assembled. And so my bike could very well have won an entry into the Guinness book of world records for the slowest assembly ever, as the fine people at Bicycle Workshop in Weil am Rhein had it there for almost a year. Alas, that record didn't stand long, as I was also building a bike for my wife, and some of her parts took even longer to arrive. But more on that bike some other time.
For my MIN.D., I decided to go with the stock color and not an RTP. I love RTP as a way to make a frame exactly as you want it but when you think about it, I chose the design of the stock MIN.D. so that is already exactly as I want it. And I still love that simple but colorful paint scheme every time I look at it.
For the drivetrain, I decided early on to go with Campagnolo Ekar. With 13 cogs, it's all you need in almost all situations, and with the very logical cog spacings, the range is divided into perfect steps so you never feel you're missing anything. Plus since we offer the MIN.D. in a dedicated 1x version, you get a very clean and simple setup.
Wheels were a no-brainer. I didn't want to put aero wheels on this bike, so my own 3T wheels were out. And since not a week goes by that I don't think of the late Steve Hed, it had to be HED. I went with the HED Emporia (a little wider inner width than the pure road wheels, so perfect to combine with my slightly wider tire choice). Alloy Emporias would have been absolutely fine for me, but Anne and Andrew Hed (Steve's wife and son) sent me the Carbon version. Of course I did not object loudly.
For the tires, I wanted to try the new Continental GP5000 S TR tubeless tires, but after 6 months of getting a "ships next week" update, I gave up. So I went with the Schwalbe, a tested and true (although not always true to size) option.
Another no-brainer for me was the cockpit from 3T with the bar being an old Rotundo. For the last two decades, I have always ridden with a round drop instead of an anatomic grip. Some guy once told he it was "better", I tried it expecting to hate it but I liked it and I've used it ever since. I know I am in a very, very small minority with this, in fact the only I know who still use this style bar are pros (which may explain, as the guy who told me was Bjarne Riis) and it becomes harder and harder to find them.
Continuing the list of no-brainers is the saddle. I've ridden a lot of different saddles in my life, and one of my favorites is a super light saddle that would have been perfect on this bike: the Selle Italia Flite Evolution Titanium Carbon. Looks uncomfortable but it really worked well as the shape was great, matching the normal Flite which was the gold standard for a long time (maybe still). Only disadvantage was that the deck easily cracked, but I have had one for 15 years that's still intact. It may also explain the hilarious caution statement it came with:
Caution should be observed in using this saddle while involved in riding that will produce outrageously severe impacts on landing, as a catastrophic failure will compromise delicate human anatomy.
But the Flite became my second-most favorite saddle when I rode my first Eroica on an early 1980's steel bike (with top of the line Campagnolo of course). I just loved how comfortable the Brooks saddle on that bike was. And so I bought one for my first U.P., and I decided to get a new one for this MIN.D. It's just an amazing piece of gear, and it is the only saddle that has a bonus feature when it gets very windy: It is so heavy your bike will never fly away. I mean it weighs 4x what my Flite Evolution weighs. But who cares.
Anyway, full specs on the next blog, here is the gallery. Thanks to Marc Gasch for shooting the photos, he does most of our photography and I really love the background in these photos.