About

Welcome to my blog.

In August 2013, I parted ways with Serotta Competition Bicycles, the company I started in 1972. It wasn’t pretty and in an instant I’d become separated from many of my friends, business associates and fans. This blog is meant to help fill in the gaps.

A brief work history.

I have been designing and building racing bicycles for more than forty years. 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). To date, more than 1,500 fitting technicians, coaches and medical practitioners have come from around the world to attend SICI programs and seminars.

Today, well, I’m as dedicated as ever to improving life experiences through cycling.

Please stay tuned, and hope to see you on the road,

Ben

 

 

 

 

42 thoughts on “About

  1. 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!

      • Ben,
        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?

      • David,
        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.
        Kind regards,Ben

      • Mr. Serotta,
        I can imagine the heartache of losing what you built. I treasure my two Serottas and look forward to your return.

  2. 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

  3. 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…

    Dean Nelson
    303-882-3874

    • Hi Dean;
      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,
      Ben

  4. Ben,
    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.

    • Hi Carl;
      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…
      Ben

  5. 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!!

    Best,
    Josh

    • 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.

  6. Ben,

    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).

    Blaine Collison

  7. 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.
    Scott Denham
    Davidson, NC

  8. Pingback: The Outspoken Cyclist – 01/03/2015 « WJCU

  9. 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.

        Marty C.

      • Marty,
        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

  10. 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.

  11. 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 ben.serotta@gmail.com

  12. 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

  13. Morning 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.
    Thanks,
    Mark J. Coleman

  14. 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.

    Respectfully,
    Eli Cashman

  15. Hi Ben,

    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.

    Thanks
    Terry Hutt

  16. Hi 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

  17. 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.
    Smiley

  18. 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!
      Kindly, Ben

  19. 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.

    Rickey Wray

    • Hi Rickey,
      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….
      Best regards,
      Ben

  20. 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!
    Lisa

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