This Ellis very nearly won Best of Show. I spent so much time looking at it that I told David he should keep a towel nearby to wipe off all the drool. In our considerations I remember comparing this bike to Greg Louganis’ final, gold-medal-winning dive at the 1988 Seoul Summer Olympics. He executed a flawless reverse swan dive; a well-performed swan dive is simple enough, but for a reverse swan dive, the diver is blind to the water for nearly the entire dive. This bike had a similar, confident grace to it. I don’t really want to dissect the reason why this bike didn’t win. There isn’t one. Another bike simply won.
But that’s the rub. Other than Best of Show, the President’s Award and People’s Choice, you must enter a bike in a specific category, and you can only enter one bike per category. We do that because it forces a builder to have a sense of what other people think is their best work.
I think that’s a good system; it asks the builders to look at their own work through the eyes of others. If they listen, if they take the opportunity, it becomes a service. When I’ve entered my own work in competitions, the act of selection has forced me to think about just how good I think a piece is, to ask myself whether the piece is really that good, or if I just like it more than other pieces I’ve written.
This bike sports exquisite lug work, but what makes this bike truly special are the other touches that often get overlooked. This bike has an attention to detail that comes through in the Di2 braze-ons, the polished spacer and the Di2 junction box attached under the stem.
The rounded points on the bottle bosses to leave room for derailleur adjustment was yet another killer touch.
This Moots was built as a retirement present to Peter Chisholm of Vecchio’s in Boulder. We were considering it for Best of Show, at least until we found out that this bike was truly a one-off.
The engraved and polished seat caps showing the old Moots logo and the Campagnolo logo and the engraved seat tube are truly stunning touches.
Because of the way the seatstays attached to the seat tube (at the sides rather than at the back), Mark Norstad at Paragon had to make this custom brake bridge because standard Moots brake bridges aren’t wide enough.
You want old-school? How about tied and soldered spokes?
How many companies will make a seat tube decal for you?
Mosaic took an extra step with the bikes they displayed and had select retailers build the bike up to their spec, making each bike a collaboration between builder and dealer. It seemed such an obvious thing to do once I saw it, but this was definitely the first time I’d seen this done.
This ti bike was built by Velosmith Bicycle Studio’s Tony Bustamante. You might better recall him as Radio Freddy of Belgium Knee Warmers. No detail was too small for him to address. Case in point: Tony took Scotchbrite and scuffed the cable housing to give it a matte finish more in keeping with that of the frame. And that housing ran continuously from the lever to the brake through a guide in the top tube.
It used to be that you only saw welds of this quality coming out of Seven Cycles and a few other places.