My Precious

I have been wanting a handmade lugged steel road bike from an American master builder for many years now. You know a Bruce Gordon, Goodrich, Tesch, Sachs, Bohm, Belinky, Oulette, Rodriguez, Weigle, whatever.. I am not picky.

Well, recently I scored a Tom Kellogg Spectrum. Used, but gently.  And, most importantly, in my size!   I feel lucky to have picked it up. I got it for a very reasonable price. I had to drive 2.5 hours just to see it, but obviously that all worked out.

Rides like a dream. I am STOKED!

The frame is believed to be mid 80’s. Seller had trouble putting a specific year on it.  At some point, I will email T. Kellogg with the S/N and find out how old it is and what tubing it uses, as there is no sticker.

My first ride on the bike was to do the 1250 foot climb behind my neighborhood.  It involves a section of sustained 16-20% grade for about 500 feet.  I had to zig zag on the road in order to not walk.  Was a bit rough.  Low gear is 42-24.  Prolly going to have to arrange a 39-28, which should help.

I was asked if I was going to do a brevet on this bike.  Well, while I like my uprights, after about 3 hours, truth is that I am happier on one of my recumbents so why bother?  I’ll save the Spectrum for more routine, everyday rides which rarely go past 2.5 hours or so.

Some pics:

Prolly can’t see this in these pictures, but the lugs are very thin. It’s one of the first things I noticed. The lugs don’t stand out in the pictures very well, but they are nice. They are also pretty compact. I guess they could be called ‘short point’ lugs?

The stem and bars are from my parts bin.  As is the saddle.  The stem is a Nitto Technomic, which has an unusually long quill. I am very nearly at the limit line, but not above.  My back is not as flexible as it used to be, so the position I have set up on this bike is quite comfy.

The bike came with a pair of 20mm wide Michelins and I don’t like tires that skinny. I had a 25mm Durano available that I stuck on there as a temporary measure. I am probably going to get a set of either 26mm or 28mm wide Compass or Grand Bois tires. In tan-wall, of course!

FWIW, the components run down as follows:

Dura Ace front changer
Shimano 600 Ult. rear changer
Shimano 105 indexing shifters
Dura Ace 7 spd freewheel (13-24T)
Campag Nuovo Record crank 53-42T, 170mm arms
Campag Record Brakes and Aero Brake Levers. Levers are mid-80’s Calipers might be older. Levers are the convertible type, I think.
Campag headset and BB (not sure of model)
Specialized hubs
Mavic Open 4 CD rims
Dura Ace seatpost
SA Titanio X saddle
Nitto Technomic stem, 110 mm
Nitto Handlebars (forget the number…), 46cm wide.
Bennotto Ribbon


About rothrockcyrcle

I am an endurance cyclist always looking for new ways to maximize fun and minimize BS.
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6 Responses to My Precious

  1. MG says:

    Gorgeous! Congratulations on the new bike. I am a recent admirer of Tom Kellogg’s bikes. Beautiful and well made, and I hear they ride well.

  2. Thanks MG! Spectrums are generally known for their great handling. T. Kellogg even used to consult on such things, with the original line of Somerville Merlins having geometry designed by him. On this bike, I haven’t been disappointed so far. Based on my first couple short rides, I’d say the geometry seems very well sorted out, with that magic combination of stability and maneuverability. It really does meet that old cliched saying of ‘going where you look’, without much effort on the part of the rider. And I think it will corner even better when I get some wider tires on it.

  3. Update: I’ve got some Clement Strada LGG 28mm tires on it now (actual width 27.3 mm). A nice change all around. Better cornering. And a smooth ride got smoother.

  4. I emailed TK with a few questions about the frame, and his response included.. “…yes, it was built in ’83. And it was my 242nd frame outside of the few hundred I made while at Ross. The tubing (except for the fork blades) is all Ishiwata 022 which is essentially what Columbus SL was but with a few little tweaks that I had them make to the chain stays.”

    One of these days I will get TK to re-space the rear triangle to 130mm (presently 126mm).

  5. Pingback: Spectrum Gets a Granny | The Rothrock Cyrcle of Hell

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