Some do say this is the greatest racing bicycle ever made.
There were only a handful (3?) dealers in the U.S. to sell these things. This beauty came from
Yellow Jersey in Madison WI. Yellow Jersey has a good bit of
info about 3Rensho history online.
Is it the greatest bike ever made? Not sure. It is the greatest bike I've ever had. This one
has seen me from dough boy to ironman. I moved to Madison in 1995 and shared a bachelor pad
with four other guys. One of them was a fairly serious bicycle racer with a few top-end bikes.
Out of convenience, I was a bicycle commuter on the whopping 1.2 mile trip to work. About 3 years
later, I decided to get into a little road riding and light touring: RAGBRAI! (bar to bar is plenty far)
My Huffy mountain bike was no longer the best ride for the job.
In an act of charity (perhaps because at 55cm it was just a hair too small for him), the bike racer
sold me this beauty at an affordable-to-grad-student price. It had been sitting idle, wheel-less
in the basement for several years. He bought it new and had it built with top-of-the-line Dura Ace
group; I knew nothing about bikes. He assured me, "You're getting a good deal." That was comforting.
The first season (1998) was RAGBRAI. That was a fun, easy ride. Starting the next year I got into challenging
centuries, particularly the Suicide Century in surprisingly hilly Prairie du Chien, WI.
This 12 speed, high quality steel bike climbs like a billy goat, is smooth as silk at
50mph on descents
and for the next 9 years was one of the classiest bikes to be seen on the rural roads. In 2006 (and
repeated in 2007) this pair of wheels carried me on the Ridge and Valley Ramble-- a 200+ mile daylong
ride through scenic southwest Wisconsin. And that requires a nice comfortable bike. This is it.
Toward the end of the 2006 season I started jogging, and winter/spring of '07 brought swim lessons,
and this beauty took me through Ironman WI 2007. Awesome ride. I was one of two bikes with shifters
on the downtube. Great day, great bike.
Decided to repeat the Ironman in 2008, only this time to race as opposed to just finish. Couldn't
bear to put classless aerobars on the 3Rensho, so a new bike was needed. Found one that's ok.
The San Rensho was completely restored and hung on the wall. Now its art.
Update: New titanium bike, aerobars, and a little more training. Bike time in 2008 was
insignificantly faster than 2007. Knee problems lingering. I blame the new bike.
|3Rensho following a 212 mile ride. It claims to have had a sore saddle by the end. |
|3Rensho celebrating after completing its first Ironman.|
|3Rensho at Jonny Cycles, immediately following a complete restoration. |
|3Rensho in retirement. Living the high life. |