While we build our fair share of carbon and titanium frames, this one holds a special place in our heart. The story starts with the lugs. When Colnago stopped production on the original Arabesque in the mid 1980's, the leftover lugs were stored in the warehouse basement and forgotten about. Two years ago they were uncovered and Ernesto decided to reintroduce the Arabesque. There are only 400 sets of lugs, and once they are all built, that’s it for the Arabesque. This is one of those final 400 frames.
We built up the frame with a mix of modern Campagnolo 11 speed parts, Fulcrum wheels, Vittoria clincher tires and a Ritchey bar, stem and seatpost. It is a bit of what the kids are calling a 'Restomod'. We just like to think of it as a classic bike built to ride instead of just be on display.
The front end is set up with a modern threadless design, but with classic look Ritchey bar and stem. There is nothing like a touch of tricolor finishing tape to accent white bartape, hoods and housing.
It is all about the little details.
Note the fork detail and Campagnolo Record dual pivot brakes.
With this bike being ridden frequently, function mattered as much of form to the owner. Vittoria Corsa tires with tan sidewalls add a classic touch and super supple road feel. For wheels we used Fulcrum 5's with their decals removed to match the look of the bike. The red spoke nipples might be changed out for a Tricolor pattern in the near future.
While the lugs on this bike are absolutely gorgeous, the paint is phenomenal as well.
Ernesto's signature adorns the back of the top tube.
A Record 11 Crankset adds a modern touch to the drivetrain of the bike, tieing in the carbon on the rear derailleur as well as shift levers. Since half of the parts on this bike came of a previous bike, this is something that might change to all silver Veloce or Potenza in the near future.
Here is a look at the non-drive side. External cable routing, a threaded bottom bracket and a smaller BB lug bring us back to another time when things were simpler and easier to adjust. It was almost too easy building up this frame. You can see the Velo Orange bottle cage at the top of the shot.
Even the rear brake bridge has intricate finishing details. The chrome on this frame truly pops and adds another dimension to this already stunning bike. The tan sidewalls accent the blue perfectly.
This will probably the the cleanest the tape and hoods end will ever be, but we love that the bike's owner is going to get out there and ride it. There are still more frames available, but not much more than a few. So if you are interested, we recommend contacting us sooner than later to build up your bike.