2019 celebrates the one-hundredth anniversary of the founding of Columbus Tubi. It’s a reason for all lovers of beautiful bicycles to celebrate, as Columbus has supplied — and continues to supply — the materials for quality bikes and the frame building industry.
Australia’s Chimera Frameworks almost exclusively uses tubes from the Italian concern and wanted to wish them a happy birthday in a significant way. An idea was struck for a frame that was a celebration of the expertise of both Columbus and Chimera.
The frame is an evolution of Chimera’s Zenith frameset, an already slick, tough, and highly rideable design, which was given a racier profile thanks to a sloping top tube, adjusted geometry, and a heady blend of some of Columbus’ high-end tube sets.
The top tube is from the legendary Mini Max range, the down tube is a Life Megatube, the stays are Max and SL, and the 44mm head tube is Zona. That spellbinding paint, applied by Peter at Star Enamel, is Nissan’s Midnight Purple, used on the Skyline.
The use of Mini Max, Eddy Merckx’s preferred range that led to the MXL set, was the result of convincing Columbus to bring it back into production by Chimera, and demonstrates their appreciation of the Italian brand of steel.
The 50mm down tube and T47 bottom bracket shell contribute to a strong and responsive ride, which is in turn balanced by a slimmer top tube and a 27.2mm seat tube. You could call it an endurance racer, designed for comfortable long distance riding.
The 55㎠ Columbus tribute bike is now for sale and can be viewed at St Ives Cyclery, Sydney’s exclusive Chimera dealer. While it’s a ‘limited’ Zenith LTD model, the RR and disc-equipped RD are production models — so there’s more where that came from.
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