1991 Coors Light Team Serotta Colorado

Retro-fabulous fluorescent paint but still way ahead of its time

Words by James Huang, Bike Radar // Photos by The Pro’s Closet

1991 Coors Light team Serotta Colorado

-Serotta custom-built these Colorado II steel road bikes for the Coors Light team in the early 1990s

Few US-based road cycling teams drum up as much nostalgia as the old Coors Light squad with its stacked roster of American talent in what was then a sport utterly dominated by Europeans. Naturally, it would only have been right for such a team to ride a similarly American bike, and here we present to you the Serotta Colorado II of team rider Scott Moninger, still resplendent in its neon yellow livery that doesn’t seem to have lost even a bit of glow after more than two decades.

Some pro racers end up with a mountain of old race bikes at the end of their careers – rolling symbols of where they’ve been. Moninger has kept his collection much more sparse, keeping just the last bike he was issued as a pro, a couple in the middle of his illustrious 17-year career, and this one.

1991 Coors Light team Serotta Colorado

The Kansas native was just 23 years old when he started his first season with Coors Light and as is often the case with neo-pros, he was usually forced to sell his race bikes as the end of the year. This one was obviously quite special, though, and he’s certainly happy that he kept it.

“For me to even be on that team was definitely a dream come true, being surrounded by guys like Davis Phinney, Alexi Grewal and Roy Knickman – guys that I grew up reading about and aspiring to be like,” Moninger told BikeRadar. “It was the only place I wanted to be at that time. So that bike brings back very fond memories and certainly the four years that I was part of that Coors Light team was one of the highlights of my career for sure.”

1991 Coors Light team Serotta Colorado with Dura Ace Rear  1991 Coors Light team Serotta Colorado with Dura Ace

While low weight wasn’t among the bike’s list of virtues – even Moninger remembers it for its heft – the Serotta Colorado II was nevertheless far ahead of its time in many design aspects. Whereas most steel frames of its day carried on with smaller-diameter tubes of constant size, the Colorado II’s down tube and seat tube flared to a comparatively gargantuan 36mm as they approached the bottom bracket to boost drivetrain stiffness without adversely affecting the classically high-quality ride that good steel frames are known for. And although the top tube appears from the side to use a constant shape from end to end – and it does in fact use a constant height throughout – it’s actually ovalized at the head tube to improve front-end torsional stiffness.

“Rather than just using standard tubesets and assuming that what [the tubing manufacturers] were producing were the best that we can do, we started playing with diameters and wall thicknesses and shaping,” Ben Serotta told BikeRadar from his home in Saratoga Springs, New York. “The key people [at Columbus] have always had an engineering background, and good engineers thrive on trying stuff and testing ideas. It was a pain in the ass from a business standpoint because we wanted something different but on the other hand, they were excited by it and were very willing to work with us on some of the harder bridges we had to cross with that.”

1991 Coors Light team Serotta Colorado

Such tube shaping seems commonplace now but was revolutionary back then. Note how the seat tube and down tubes increase in diameter at the bottom bracket

Likewise, the tight rear end sported sub-410mm chain stays with then-radical S-bend geometry – a feature originally developed when Serotta was building the US Olympic team’s pursuit bikes, which used 24in wheels and ultra-short wheelbases. As it turns out, riders reported better responsiveness under power, too.

“It took us a while to figure this out,” said Serotta, “but putting the bends in actually work hardened the material just a little bit. We also found that we didn’t need to ovalize or indent the tube by putting the second bend in.”

S-bend chain stays not only provided more heel clearance for riders but apparently stiffened up the back end, too

“We also went to great pains to bending our fork blades,” he continued. “I was really adamant that we had a very fluid bend to the fork blades, which made the performance very predictable, and they were just elegant – the bend goes all the way to the dropout. Most of the pre-formed bent fork blades had this straight section at the end.”

Every Coors Light team member was treated to custom geometry and Moninger says his preferences included a top tube that was roughly 1cm longer than what Serotta considered standard for the time.

 1991 Coors Light team Serotta Colorado   1991 Coors Light team Serotta Colorado

One of American Classic’s earliest products were these lightweight aluminum bottle cages

While most of the pictures would suggest otherwise, Moninger’s Serotta isn’t a perfect time capsule of how it was at the end of his first season on the team. Some of the original components were scattered to parts unknown at the time, and the bike also spent a few years being ridden by Moninger’s father before it eventually came back to him. Moninger says that most of the bike is original but certain bits such as the stem and bar were sourced later to make the bike complete and period correct.

Regardless, it’s a beautiful specimen what with its 7400-series Shimano Dura-Ace group (with down tube shifters because they were lighter than the then-new STI Dual Control ones), lightweight hard anodized Mavic aluminum tubular rims, and white Selle San Marco saddle whose finish has been worn down by too many miles in the rain. Accenting the red stays and fork are matching red decals, cable housing and aluminum bottles cages from American Classic – one of the first products that the company ever made.

Time has been kind to the bike’s fluorescent yellow finish, too, which seemingly shimmers just as brightly as it once did – the benefit, Moninger says, of being stored in a dark cellar for much of its life.

That said, we’re awfully happy that this machine has come back out into the light of day because it’s simply too pretty to be hidden away.

Scott Moninger 1991 Coors Light team Serotta Colorado   1991 Coors Light team Serotta Colorado

Complete bike specifications

  • Frame: 1991 Serotta Colorado II, custom geometry
  • Fork: 1991 Serotta Colorado II
  • Headset: Shimano Dura-Ace HP-7400, 1in threaded
  • Stem: Shimano Dura-Ace HS-7400
  • Handlebars: Cinelli 64
  • Tape/grips: Cinelli cork
  • Front brake: Shimano Dura-Ace BR-7403
  • Rear brake: Shimano Dura-Ace BR-7403
  • Brake levers: Shimano Dura-Ace SLR BL-7402
  • Front derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace FD-7403
  • Rear derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace RD-7402
  • Shift levers: Shimano Dura-Ace SL-7402
  • Cassette: Shimano Dura-Ace Uniglide 8-speed, FH-7402
  • Chain: Shimano Dura-Ace CN-7401
  • Crankset: Shimano Dura-Ace FC-7400, 53/40T
  • Bottom bracket: Shimano Dura-Ace BB-7400
  • Pedals: Shimano Dura-Ace PD-7401
  • Rims: Mavic CX-18 tubular, 28h
  • Front hub: Shimano Dura-Ace HB-7402
  • Rear hub: Shimano Dura-Ace FH-7402
  • Spokes: Wheelsmith 14/15 double butted, alloy nipples
  • Front tire: Vittoria Corsa CX tubular
  • Rear tire: Vittoria Corsa CG tubular
  • Saddle: Selle San Marco Strada
  • Seatpost: Shimano Dura-Ace SP-7400
  • Other accessories: Avocet 30 computer, American Classic bottle cages

Special thanks to the folks at The Pro’s Closet, who will soon open up a museum of noteworthy vintage bikes at their headquarters in Boulder, Colorado

 

Colorado Vintage Mountain Bike Ride 2014

Vintage Mountain Bike Ride 2014-1

This past Labor Day Weekend marked the 2nd Annual Colorado Summer Vintage Mountain Bike Ride. We had a great turnout with over 20 diverse bikes and riders. It was great to see everyone’s vintage rides out of the garage and on the trail!

This year’s course pushed the outdated geometry, rigid frames, and coaster brakes through 7 miles of scenic Rocky Mountain trails through the Betasso Preserve.

We want to thank everyone who came out to enjoy the day with us! It was a huge success and we look forward to riding with you again next year!

Vintage Mountain Bike Ride 2014-2

The Pro’s Closet photographer, Emily, was all smiles on her Kona Klunker!

Vintage Mountain Bike Ride 2014-22

What a collection!

Juli Furtado's Yeti

Some last minute adjustments to Juli Furtado’s 1990 Yeti FRO race bike before taking off.

Vintage Mountain Bike Ride 2014-4

The first pit-stop. Those vintage mountain bikes sure looked good back on the trail!

Vintage Mountain Bike Ride 2014-15

Action shot!

Vintage Mountain Bike Ride 2014-5

One last breather before the downhill!

 

 

 

 

 

The Pro's Closet, Nick Martin, owner rallied "his" / Chris Herting's Yeti FR

The Pro’s Closet, Nick Martin, owner rallied “his” / Chris Herting’s Yeti FRO!

Vintage Mountain Bike Ride 2014-6

An awesome shot from Mike Wilk as we began the final descent back into Boulder.

Vintage Mountain Bike Ride 2014 // The Klunkerz crew!

The Klunker crew!

Vintage Mountain Bike Ride 2014-20

All the riders got a sweet reward after the ride with food from Yellowbelly Chicken and beverages from Upslope Brewery!

 

Manitou! The Slingshot was a crowd favorite!


Klunk'n ain't easy! The Pro's Closet

The Top 15 Items For Your Mountain Bike First-Aid Kit

It’s becoming that time of the year when we all start planning the last big mountain bike trip of the season. Many of us head to the desert to catch the autumn weather, others head to the hills to catch the fall foliage. Regardless of where you’re going don’t skimp on the details! A properly planned mountain bike first-aid trail kit can make or break your trip!

Regardless of how long or short your ride is, you want to have a proper mountain bike First-Aid Kit.

The Basics

Your trail pack should have the ability to carry your life source, water! Any Camelbak or hydration backpack with a minimum 70 oz. reservoir will work (think 20 oz. per hour of riding). Be sure to choose a pack that has additional storage to carry your bike tools and first aid supplies. Regardless of how long your ride is, you need to carry these essentials:

  • 1. Food! Trail mix, Clif products, or energy bars. Try to consume about 200 calories per hour.
  • 2. Multi Tool: 4, 5, 6 mm allen keys, screw drivers, and a chain tool are necessities. A Torx set and Swiss Army Knife give even more versatility.
  • 3. Extra Parts: An inner tube, patch kit, tire levers, hand pump or CO2, master link, derailleur hanger, zip ties, and a little duct tape will go a long way!

First Aid

The items listed above will get your bike out of the woods but what if something goes wrong with you or a riding buddy? A little extra weight in your pack will pay dividends if an unfortunate situation arises. As you gear-up, keep the following items on hand:

  • 4. Band Aids
  • 5. Gauze Pads
  • 6. Waterproof Tape
  • 7. Butterfly Closures
  • 8. Antibiotic Cream
  • 9. Gloves
  • 10. Tegaderm
  • 11. SAM Splints

Emergency Supplies

If you’re heading out into the backcountry or on a trail less traveled, a few extra emergency items will help keep you alive in the worst situations.

  • 12. Emergency Space Blanket
  • 13. Water Purification Tablets
  • 14. Lighter
  • 15. GPS

The initial investment of an MTB First-Aid Kit might seem excessive, but it is always better to have too much than too little!