The story began in 2011 when I registered for a one-week cycling tour in the Dolomites with Lake Como Cycling (whose proprietor Pietro Zendali is one of Italy’s best kept secret in the bike touring industry). This would culminate in a 140 km climb fest, which is affectionately known as Italy’s grandest Gran Fondo, the Maratona dles Dolomites. At around the same time I wanted a custom bike that would incorporate all the best characteristics of my current and previous bikes, yet be comfortable for long Gran Fondos and sportive rides. My search took me across numerous brands, some well known and others obscure.

In my search I chanced upon Legend, a relatively new Italian company (established in 2009) headed by Marco Bertoletti. Marco has more than 20 years experience hand-building frames, especially another famous Italian brand whose top Titanium-carbon frame the Legend Queen resembles. Apparently many of todays pros turn to Marco when they are unhappy with the supplied stock frame, and there have been instances when Marco has hand-built custom frames for entire Pro teams (always with the original sponsors name stickered on).

My brief was simple; build me a relatively light, racy yet comfortable frame that incorporated titanium lugs with a full carbon seat tube. I opted for an ISP mainly for aesthetic reasons, understanding that the relatively small frame can easily fit into a hard case for overseas travel (which I do once/twice per year). The whole setup with carbon Dura Ace pedals weighs 6.5 kg.

Handlebar:                    Deda 100 aluminium 420 mm c-c

Stem:                            Deda 100, custom painted by Legend 120 mm

Groupset:                      Super Record 11-speed

Crankset:                      THM Clavicula 172.5 mm with Superlight chainrings (50-34).

Bottom bracket:            BSA

Wheelset:                      Lightweight Obermayer

Quick release:              Carbon-Ti

Tyres:                           Continental GP 4000 (preferred setup Veloflex Extreme)

Saddle:                         Selle Italia Kit Carbonio

Handlebar tape:            Sartori

Bottle cage:                   Elite Patao carbon