Alan Carbonio Frame 1986
At the time, this was the lightest frame on the market; I want to say 3.1 pounds, but I don’t recall anymore. It was really light by the standards of the day. Nishiki was the importer then, so I sent them a sponsorship proposal in 1986. I eventually got the decision-maker on the phone, Bob Margevicius, and he was surprised I was only after a free frame, but no money. He said “come on down” so I did and went to their HQ in the LA area. I gave them my name upon arrival and waited in the lobby. A bit later, Bob came out to the lobby with the frame and fork in his hand, ready to just hand it to me and send me on my way. We chatted for a few minutes and we “hit it off.” Soon he said, “let’s go in the warehouse and see if there’s anything else we might have that you could use.” Less than an hour after arrival I left with not only the Alan Carbonio, but also a variety of bike clothes, some cranks, handlebars, a stack of tires and more. Bob said “just send me feedback about these products and do what you can to promote Nishiki and Cyclepro” (their tire brand). I couldn’t believe it! “Ask and ye shall receive,” as the saying goes. I maintained a great relationship with the company for a few years, even after Bob left for Specialized, where he became the VP of the whole company. As for the Alan Carbonio, I will say that I never loved riding it. I just could never get in synch with the frame (a concept called “planing” by Jan Heine) and always felt like I couldn’t ride to my potential on it. It looked neat, though, and was super light. I raced it in the 550-mile RAAM Qualifier in the Fall of 1986 and it was one of three bikes I raced in the 1987 Race Across America. I also raced it in Ironman Canada in 1991, but then quit riding it shortly thereafter, finally acknowledging that I just couldn’t “get it moving.” I’ve only had one other frame about which I felt the same way, and it was a very stout and stiff touring frame, which leads me to believe that there’s a sweet spot somewhere between really flexible (like the Alan) and really stiff (like the Woodrup touring frame). The Alan is now a wall-hanger, a piece of art which recalls a fond period of time in my life.
This is the personal bike of Chris Kostman.