Welcome to BenSerotta.com.
In one way or another, I have been dreaming about, talking about, designing and building bicycles since I was a pre-teen back in the early 1960s.
This site is my vehicle for letting you know some of what I’m up to and thinking about today. Like me, it’s a continuing work in progress.
If you’d like to know about my new line of bicycles, please visit Serotta Design Studio where you also sign up for notifications to stay up to date.
Thank you for visiting and I hope to see you out on a city street, country road or trail soon!
Here’s a brief work history.
After opening up a small retail and repair shop as an off-school activity in the late 1960’s I traveled to London, England where I apprenticed in building steel bicycle frames. First represented in the 1976 Olympics, Serotta bicycles bore witness to America’s rise as a modern cycling power. Contracted by US powerhouse teams 7- Eleven (1984-1988) and Coors Light (1991-1994), along with numerous smaller national and international programs, Serotta became the dominant US builder of high performance racing bicycles. By 1990 our bicycles had been raced to National, European and World Championship titles in road, time-trial, track, mountain and triathlon events.
Ever driven to raise performance standards, I worked directly with hundreds of elite athletes while developing a unique approach to the human/machine interface, resulting in the company’s two-pronged approach to elevating cycling performance: personalized engineering and a paradigm change in bicycle fitting methodology.
These revolutionary paths inspired the development of a proprietary range of shaped, “size-specific” bicycle frame tubing, dubbed the “Colorado Concept” and the first SizeCycle (an infinitely adjustable stationary bicycle). Like dual cornerstones, these advances became the foundation for the next 25 years of my company’s work. In 1998, Serotta launched a hands-on teaching program for bicycle fitting, which later became knows as SICI (Serotta International Cycling Institute). In turn, SICI graduates have gone on to become integral to the development of more than a dozen other bicycle-fitting organizations. To date, more than 1,500 fitting technicians, coaches and medical practitioners have come from around the world to attend SICI programs and seminars.
In August 2013, in a hostile restructuring by new investors, I was forced to part ways with Serotta Competition Bicycles, and in an instant I’d become separated from many of my friends, business associates and fans. In the time since, discovering silver linings from my unexpected disconnect, I’ve had the great pleasure of working with a broad range of organizations from across a wide spectrum of the bicycle industry- from highly customized hand-crafted bicycles made in North America, to the one-size-fits-all world of public bike share bikes produced in Asia. Better still, I’ve had the gift of the opportunity to meet, ideate and create with some incredible people with whom I might never had the chance to work.
In January 2018, I formally and publicly re-entered the bicycle business with the opening of the Serotta Design Studio. It’s not a 3-click to purchase company, nor will you find my new bicycles mixed in with a line-up in general retailers. With this new endeavor, I wanted to establish a direct relationship with each cyclist who places her/his trust in us to deliver an exceptionally wonderful product. It’s not that I have anything against retailers as a whole, not at all. It’s just that I’d rather not dilute the information flow, so that I really know we are delivering the best product for each client. Besides, it’s more fun and more informative getting the direct feedback.
In a way, ‘The Studio” is both a continuum and a new beginning, building on a great legacy that’s fed by a fresh and almost limitless stream of new ideas and opportunities.
I remain as dedicated as ever to improving life experiences through cycling.
Ben – you have nothing to worry about as you are with illustrious company when it come to what happened. You, Gary Klein, Gerg LeMond as well as many great Italian builders have similar stories. I for one am very proud to ride my Ottrott – smooth as glass and a total joy. I thank you and your team every time I ride it.
I am quite sure my humble opinion is shared by many!
I’ve been riding for 50 years (since I was a midget with Kissena in New York). All told I have about 80,000 miles over the years. The Ottrott is my favorite – and that’s saying a lot since I’ve ridden Cinnelli Supercorsas (1964 vintage), Masi’s, RIH’s, a Klein QPro and a couple of others.
Can’t thank you enough for your commitment to cycling. The rude ones may take over things, but I can’t remember one example where they even matched the qualities that made the original great. I’m looking forward to what you do next – even if it’s just great riding!
Thanks so much for your kind response! Lot’s of projects in motion now… hopefully something I’ll be able to publicly share in 2014.
I compete in road races and triathlons with my disabled son Blake. We are in desperate need of a new wheelchair frame for Blake. I have reached out to many people and have yet to find anyone interested in the project. I guy in my office has one of your bikes and said you can design and build anything. I know what we want, I just need someone to design and build it. I push his chair while running and tow his chair while biking. I can send you pictures of our current Eagle racer if you need and some sketches of what we are looking for.. Would you or anyone you know have an interest in helping us?
First please accept my sincere apologies for not replying sooner. I took a winter break from the blog page….
While I no longer have a workshop, I’d be very happy to have a look at your photos or drawings and try to direct you in the right direction…
and maybe someone else who sees this will have a contact too.
I can imagine the heartache of losing what you built. I treasure my two Serottas and look forward to your return.
It’s taking a bit longer than I’d like… but soon I’ll start to reveal the next act…
Thanks so much,
I owned one of your criterion race frames, number 160 or 190. The best bike I have ever owned. I put thousands of miles on it, averaging 300-500 miles a week.
I am older in in poor health now, still want to ride a Serotta before my time is up.
It just wont be a 72 degree head and seat tube with one inch of fork rake..lol
So good to hear from you! I remember you… that was a little way back…Wishing you all good things ahead,
Ben, after riding a lot of bikes over the past 50 years, I finally found one of your Ti frames (concours) that is as close to custom as I could find without going custom. I rode it in the Triple Bypass last year and it was great (and The two previous times I rode it were on a Spectrum and a Lynskey).
I’d like to thank you for making such a great (authentic) bike. I had Richard Gangl bead blast it (To get rid of the scratches) then put on new iridescent blue decals (like the sun’s reflection on the wing of a magpie). Beautiful.
To finish the upgrades on the bike, I’d like to get a metal headbadge (the 1972 one) and a F3 fork (43 rake, probably an 8.5 or 10.5 since I weigh 240 Lbs).
Since suits have taken over Serotta bikes, what is the best way to proceed? Do I have to go through Saratoga Bikeworks? Is there an alternative (my preference)? Do you still have parts or did all of that go with the company?
For what it is worth, I think you should start the Ben Serotta Bicycle Company (they can’t prevent you from using your name). I’d be glad to refinish my “authentic” Ben Serotta bike anyway that recognizes that it was a product of the master!
Looking forward to your next venture…
I apologize for the delay in responding to you….that time of year. Thank you for the very kind and supportive words…
Regarding the headbadge and F3 fork, I’m afraid your information is probably better than mine. Their choice, not mine. Specialty parts aside, there are numerous quality shops who can handle your needs. I know Joe Bell and Peter Weigle well and they do fabulous work,but like I said there are others too.. or you can try Saratoga Frameworks.
I’m looking forward…there are good projects ahead! Best wishes of the season,
In 1992 you presented a bicycle fit seminar at Champion Cyclery (Tom Lonzi’s old shop) in Buffalo NY. A few weeks earlier, I had purchased a Davis Phinney frame and as luck would have it you packed it up in Saratoga and personally delivered it – no extra charge. Thanks for many miles and years of great riding. That bike is still in good shape but ridden a lot less since I purchased a Legend Ti in 2004 (damn, you did not deliver that one). I admit to having kicked the tires on other bikes, but could not bring myself to buy anything but a Serotta. The authenticity of the best ride and the expert set up of my original steel frame have made me a true believer. Best of luck in your future endeavors. If you ever decide to go into the delivery business, I’ll give you a great recommendation.
I apologize for the long delay… I took a couple months break from blogging…
Thanks for the memory and I’ll keep that delivery service idea in mind…
Hey there Ben, wanted to say that I wish you all the best going forward, and know that you will receive all the good you have put forth reciprocated back to you.
I would also like to gain more knowledge from you about a bicycle you made some years ago, a red Murray track frame that was made for the 1984 olympics. Have been trying to track down info for it. Anything would be appreciated!!
Hi Josh! Thanks for your kind note… I apologize for the delay in getting back to you. Regarding the red Murray track bike…. that’s a part of a long story that I’ll save for another time…. but…. we built about 70 Murray tack bikes for the 7/Eleven and Murray track cyclists in the months leading up to the ’84 Olympics as well as track (kilo, pursuit, sprint), TT and road bikes under a variety of other brands for athletes who hoped to race in Olympic events.
Just a quick note of thanks: I have a Ti Concours that I bought sometime around Y2K. Tens of thousands of miles together later, she’s still a dream. I’m happy every time I see her resting on her rack and I’m happy every time we head out. Nothing else I own provides as much sheer joy as my Serotta. Many thanks to you and the team that built her.
Every best wish for your next adventure(s).
I love my two Serottas. I ride the steel Fierte on the rollers in the basement room when it’s too hot or too cold or too many cars outside, and the carbon Fierte (exactly the same dimensions) on the road most other days. I bought them both new about 5 or 6 years ago, when the local shop was divesting and moving toward carrying one brand only, so these two were affordable for me.
Thank you and your team for these beautiful, wonderful bikes. Every day they bring me joy, true, pure joy.
Thanks for the kind words Scott. You are welcome!
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Ben, I am not sure how to proceed, but I was hoping for your recommendation of where I could have my Club Classic Serotta with Columbus SLX tubing refinished? It is a keepsake of my early race days in the 80’s and I was hoping to have it restored in a single speed…Any thoughts? Would I even be able to get the stickers?
Hello Geoffrey, First please accept my apologies for such a long delay in getting back to you…. as you may have noticed, I let the site go dormant for a while… now I’m firing it back up…. for the work you need done I’d recommend someone like Bilenky Cycle Works in Philadelphia…
Hi Ben I jumped in this thread cause I am just trying to find you. I purchased a pre owned Fierte locally here in Rochester NY and am glad I did. It is a great bike. I had been trying to locate you for some time. How to I fine your blog ?
I am planning on putting the Fierte on the road this spring. Going to alter a bit for a commuter and light local touring. I love the feel of the bike. Fit me like a glove. It originally came from a dealer in Buffalo.
Apologies for the very late reply…. I kind just turned the lights back on, on this blog site. Enjoy your spring cycling to come!
Ben, when can we expect new Serotta bike offerings hitting the road? I have had a CSI since 1995 and it’s still a joy to ride.
Ben- can you get in contact with me? I’m wondering if I can create a fan site/archive of the old serotta.com. Need your help. ted at timmons . me
Hello Ted, First let me apologize for the very long delay in responding to you! For reasons I won’t even try to explain, I kind of left this blog site go dormant… but I’m firing it up again. I’d be happy to hear what you have in mind…you can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ben, I purchased one of your legend ti….hopefully..real….but there is no serial number under the bb…..curious if this is real…tanks…..johnny
Hi Johnny, I apologize for such a long delay in responding to your inquiry. I’m firing the site up again…. in any case, the answer would be no, it’s not genuine. There was a time that some rejected tubing was stolen and built into frames…. probably was more than 20…. sorry, Ben
I manage a shop in Florida, but am originally from Saratoga, as is my family. My father was telling me about how he believed his cousin Alton was a partner with you in your first shop.
I remember as a kid going into your shop, (behind the City Hall/Police station) and thinking this was the coolest place. Frames hanging from the ceiling, (I think). Was just wondering if you recall any of this.
Mark J. Coleman
Hi Mark, your father’s cousin Al was a partner in the Bike Shop (my original business) after I sold it to him and John Vanderhorn ….
Dear Ben Serotta,
I want to thank you for what you have given the World. I thoroughly enjoy riding your Legendary bikes in the mountains of Colorado. I have two Fierté bikes. One is a Ti with the Premium Select tubing and the other is an IT with the C2IT tubing. I consider the latter my Ottrott. I am a younger cyclist and found out about you too late. I hope to see both yours and Mr. Bedford’s designs active in the cycling World again.
I’ve been riding one of your custom Ti beauties for 18 years. It’s like one of my children. I estimate I have about 80,000 miles on it. I’ve replaced the fork, the wheels, the groupo, and the saddle but the frame is as supple and smooth as the day it left your shop. The bike is legendary at my local bike shop.
I purchased a Colorado Legend CSL # 89000 78070 I believe. I’d like to have repainted and a dent taken out. Who would you recommend for an overhaul? Im in California, Thomas
If you are looking for someone in CA, there is none better than Joe Bell…..good luck, Ben
Many are glad you are back with your blog.
I had been trading email with Adam Newman , Editor in Chief for Bicycle Times Magazine.
He would like to have a interview with you. You may reach him at Bicycle Times Magazine website. Would you so kindly contact Adam. The interview would be your choice.
Marty C in Rochester NY
I for one think if the bike industry had a hall of fame you should be one of the top five inductees. You revolutionized bike fitting before the industry even understood what bike bit was all about. You trained many of us who are your deciples and continue to forge on your teachings today. And yes Ben steel is Real today as it was when the CSI reigned supreme. Thank you again for allowing me to be a dry sponge soaking up your knowledge. http://www.bikefitbysmiley.com.
Rumours are (well Cyclefit say!) you might be back in the game. We have 3 of your bikes in our house (Nove/Ottrott/Meivici) and despite the years and the advances in technology those bikes are as good as anything out there.
Hello Mark! Yes, not a rumor/rumour. Four is a more comfortable number don’t you think? 😉 Thank you very much for the support and compliment!
Ben, send this to you in an email then thought that maybe other folks might have the same question given this new trend toward wider rims.
With my three older Serotta’s, two Ti and one steel, do you have thoughts on minimum frame/wheel clearance. As I purchase new wheels (especially the carbon clinchers) there is so little room, especially with the chain stays.
As I mentioned in the email, again thank you so much for all the years of pleasure my wife and I have enjoyed riding your bikes.
Thanks for your kind and thoughtful note. The minimum distance on either side of the tire should be about 3MM or about 1/8 inch. More if you are planning on riding in mud, more if you are riding wheels prove to breaking spokes. I just put some new Michelin 25MM tires on my MeiVici which just barely provide enough clearance….
Ben. I have an Atlantis that was built for me and painted bright green-my 10 yr old’s choice at the time:). 18 years later it is still my favorite go to bike n is admired by all that see it. Just rode a century in Door county n can’t tell u the number of riders commenting on. Living in IN family in Wi n moving to Boulder next year-its in need of a paint job n some TLC-any recommendations?
Best to you n thanks for an awesome ride!
Just bought a Serotta Ti St /carbon (circa 2006) from the original owner near S.F. CA. Looks like an awesome bike. Looking forward to riding it.
The former owner was pleased to learn you are offering custom frames again. She is working with her bicycle fitter in Marin County, CA & may well be in touch with you to order a new bike.
(near) Berkeley, CA
Ben, I feel like I know you having ridden your bikes since 1986. Still enjoying a lugged Colorado from pre 90’ original yellow and magenta, best bike ever made,and a later Ottrott, plus many more. 73 this year, slower but still out there.
I met one of your investors a few years ago, nice enough chap but not into bicycling as we know it.
You are an American treasure. Keep the faith and keep bringing such pleasure tothose of us that understand your artistry and craftsmanship.
How about a new bike for me?
Thanks so much for the kind words Ed! Yes, how about a new bike for you? You can write me directly at email@example.com
I’m sticking with my 1984 Nova Special that Keith Bontrager repaired for me after a car took me out. He said the braze joints in the rear triangle were still perfect.
I was guided to order a custom CSI in 2001 by Rick Woy in Fort Collins CO. At 6’5″ tall it was the first bike I ever had that fit me. I fell in love. Many other bikes have come and gone but the CSI was my old friend. In October 2018 I noticed a Serotta in a Facebook ad with a huge head tube. It was Meivici ser# C-MV-71-00110. It had been purchased and ridden for a summer then stored un-ridden for 10+ years, I bought it on the spot, I’m in love all over again. I’m so glad you have recovered from your business drama and are making incredible machines for cyclists again. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Hi Ben. Question: Did you company ever build a prototype fixie for the bike messenger market in the early 2000’s? There was one for sale on Ebay stating such and was curious if you remember a program to create a messenger bike.
Hi Ben, I raced BMX in the 70’s(StateChamp National #8) US Army Road Race and Biathlon National Champ in 1985. I rode Andy Hampsten’s old Raleigh 753. Raced in Germany from 86-89 and quit in 1990 for “Not getting with the Program”. I started racing again in 2007 as a Senior Master and made the Podium in 2016,17, 18,19 and Finally winning 2021 USAT National Championship in Swim Bike Biathlon. I never had the pleasure of owning one of your bikes(nor could I afford it) until his year. Eric Gerbrands(who I worked with) from Boston, who in college sold a lot of your bikes, spoke so highly of them, that I bought 1988 Custom TSX and a Colorado III. I am getting ready to retire from Federal Law Enforcement (DEC 22) and look forward to see what you have in store for the future. Take Care and God Bless
I met you and bought my first bicycle from you (Custom Road Racer) in the Summer of 1978 at your little shop in Saratoga Springs, NY. I was living and working in Lake George for the Summer before going off to USMC Officer training in Quantico, VA.
The bike is in my living room as I write this, and I still ride it all these years later.
San Diego, CA.