A new era

24 09 2017

Kana on the Port Mann.

It took all of 12 pedal strokes to reignite my love for the bike.

Franco is on the road.

When Lapierre broke earlier this summer, so did my heart. Every time I lifted a leg over her gently curved top tube my spirits soared. Replacing her wasn’t easy.

I scoured the websites of bike companies and shops near and far searching for a brand, a bike, that spoke to me. I visited bike shops to eyeball possible suitors.

There were false hopes; bikes that caught my eye but aren’t easily obtainable in Canada.

There were false starts; bikes that showed promise on their websites but ultimately couldn’t get me to unleash my credit card.

But as the weeks turned to months, my mouse kept leading me back to Franco, a small,  boutique bike company out of California.

It was started by a former motorcycle racer who migrated to getting around on two wheels under his own power. They’ve been around for 10 years and their stable is comprised of four frames; a high-end racer of Italian heritage, a mid-range speedster and distance bikes, and a very funky steel cross bike. They’re named after renowned cycling routes in their ‘hood. That’s a story I can get behind.

I couldn’t take my eyes off the Kanan, the distance bike. She’s a looker, indeed.

She has a similar silhouette to the Lapierre; a gently curved top tube and a taller head tube. But her stays are slightly shorter, her downtube is more boxy, angled.


Franco arrives home!

She’s like an angry, aggressive Lapierre.

So, of course, she must be black, and anthracite. With fiery red accents.


Bike build day is like brining home baby.

After collecting her at the border on Saturday, Guy at Velofix built her up on Tuesday with the components stripped off Lapierre. A minor glitch with the derailleur hanger was rectified on Friday, and my Franco was ready to ride.


Franco is built up by Guy at Velofix. Even he had to take a photo of the bike when he was done.

So I did.

Just a short shakedown spin of about 25 flat kilometres.

The leap from Lapierre to Franco was more subtle than when I transitioned from my aluminum Orbea to Lapierre’s carbon suppleness. But even on a flat route into a headwind, I could sense Franco’s friskiness. I set six PB’s on a course I’ve ridden dozens of times. She wants to go quick.


A second look.

I’ll only be too happy to oblige.