Casati 2001 Gold Line SLX Older Racing Bike


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[Apr 25, 2008]
Recreational Rider


Comfort, Price, handling (If you like a steady handling frame...with this frame I now understand how riders used to be able to sit up in the middle of the peleton put on their rain capes whle riding inches from others with no hands on the bar), classic geometry, roomy cockpit, good build quality, strength of the frame. You'll feel like your flying when you get on a light frame with aggressive geometry (but you will miss the comfort of the Casati). I forgot to mention that it is a good looking frame with timeless appeal. My frame is from the mid 90's, and other than the 1 inch tubes and steel fork, it does not look all that dated. The paint job is great, although not the most robust I've seen.


It's old technology. SPX is heavy as hell, and I'm sure that SLX is not far behind it. Unless you make it a point to go with light components, your looking at a bike that will easily be more than 20 pounds. No big deal for the right type of use, but don't try and compare it to bikes of today. It is reluctant to lots of quick bursts and darting. It does it, but the weight and being seated well behind the bottom bracket will make you pay for your efforts...wind-up efforts are where its at with this frame.

This review is for the Casati Gold Line made out of SPX, not SLX. However, I would imagine that other than weight, there are no differences of any consequence. If you like the feel of a plush steel ride, the Gold Line offers that. The SPX is nice and strong and provides good stiffness for a steel frame. The handling is crisp, very stable and determined. The handling would be good for a century, etape, or a road race/ride, but is not that well suited for crits and darty rides. It has a relatively long wheelbase with a low bottom bracket, which rewards steady efforts and resists dartiness. It is not a slow handling frame by any means, but it travels straight very easily and holds a line well...the line is simply not going to be as tight as a frame with steeper more aggressive angles, but it is not sloppy.

The seat angle is somewhat slack, which contributes to the comfort and smoothness of the ride. I really like the roomy feel that the frame offers. I ride a 61 cm Gold Line that has a top tube of 58.5 cm, which is shorter than I typically like, but offers a more roomy feel than I'm used to on my bikes with longer top tubes. It must be the slack seat tube angle that creates the spacious feel of the frame.

Climbing is best done seated. Standing is not an enrgy sapper or anything, but the geometry places you far enough behind the BB that there is no real reward for expending the extra energy required when standing. It is not really the ideal climbing bike, but what steel frame is today? When it comes to sprinting, again, stay seated and get the RPMs up.

I bought the frame as NOS from RA Cycles via the internet. Given that steel, especially old heavy steel, is no longer envogue, the price was right. I use it as a winter trainer and fun bike for cruising. Even though it is now May, I still prefer to do my long rides (4+ hours)on this bike instead of my modern, stiff, light Eddy Merckx Premium. It is a frame more suited to enjoying a ride, not partaking in a hammerfest. Not that the frame is bad or lacking, it is simply yesterday's technology and is heavier and more flat footed than bikes of today (2008). I like it for base miles, long steady rides, or when I simply want to smell the roses, but I'd choose my other bike for serious group rides, or high-end training.

Due to the price,the fact that the frame will last forever, and the overall quality, I gave it a value rating of 5. But, given that it is now a rather specefic type of bike given it's inability to match the characteristics of modern bikes, I gave it an overall rating of 3. I like it, but it is best suited for certain type of efforts.

Similar Products Used:

Trek 400, Pinarello Stelvio, Cannondale R-800, Eddy Merckx Premium, Olmo Gara Pista

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