After my 1984 SF to LA record was broken by Scott Fortner (who would turn pro, race in Europe, and win the US Pro Championship a few years later), I planned a massive campaign to get that record back. My SF-LA time had been 31 hours, 13 minutes and Fortner (who had my time as a benchmark) did it in 26 hours, 55 minutes. I was determined to do everything I could to break his record time by as much as he had broken mine. Of course, part of that effort included getting a “better” bike. Back then, there were two big annual bike industry trade shows and I met Ron Stout, a custom builder from Salt Lake City, in the fall of 1984. I pitched him on sponsorship and he agreed to build me my first custom frame. This was the result. He displayed it in his booth at the following January 1985 bike show, then gave it to me at the end of the show. At the time, my name was lettered on the top tube, and that had been seen by all his booth visitors during the show. I really felt special. Three months later, I raced that Ron Stout bike from SF to LA in 22 hours, 38 minutes with an average speed of 18.95 mph over the 429 mile route. Of course, the 24-spoke wheels which Wheelsmith had custom-built for me played a significant role in my riding faster (not to mention a nutrition program which was light years better than what I had used the year before, plus the inspiration of “getting MY record back.”) In 1985, all bike wheels had 36 spokes; using less than that was unheard of. I was a guinea pig and proved that 24-spoke wheels could withstand a lot of abuse, and definitely rolled faster. This Stout frame has had several paint jobs over the years, and has seen a lot of action in a lot of races, including both my Races Across America and much more. Recently I had it repainted in the same color as it was in 1985 and set it up with nearly all the original, or identical, components as I used back then, which is what you see here today. I ride it a few times a month and use it at some centuries and other events. It’s a time machine for me, taking me back to 1985 every time I ride it!
This is the personal bike of Chris Kostman.