Today, Michael Ball and his Rock Racing Team announced the termination of their relationship with their current bike supplier–the legendary De Rosa Bicycles. Ball and his band of misfits have decided to drop De Rosa in favor of 1978 Lime Green Schwinn Sportabouts. Ball’s permanent residence at the precipice of fashion lead to the early season change. Ball credited his recent discovery of the Old Ten Speed Gallery for his realization of what he described as, “…the biggest thing to hit modern cycling since the founding of Primal Wear.” Ball went on to say, “My goal when I started Rock Racing was not only to build a world class, highly competitive cycling team, but also to lead all these color blind, fashion challenged, cycling dorks to fashionable, trendy enlightenment.”
This equipment change has not been an easy one for Ball and the boys. Since the Sportabouts they chose have not been manufactured in nearly 30 years, Ball and three of his most trusted assistants set out to find all the Lime Green ’78 Sportabouts they could. Ball and his bunch managed to round up only nine Lime Green Sportabouts from various thrift stores, craigslist, ebay and a few select bike co-ops. Four of the nine are womens frames, and the team has decided, in the interest of fairness, to draw straws before each race to determine who gets to ride the girls bikes. Obviously, nine bikes are not enough to support a professional cycling team, so Ball has decided to expand his search to all ’78 Sportabouts, regardless of color or gender. Ball contracted with Waterford Cycles on Monday to take on the task of repainting all his non-Lime Green 78s. Some have suggested that Ball would be better off to hire Waterford to dust off the old Electro-Forger make him some brand new Sportabouts. Ball quickly dismissed this suggestion citing his team’s desire for a more compliant bottom-bracket and their insistence on true vintage 10-speeds.
This unprecedented move will also make the history books. The 1978 Sportabouts complete with rear rack and clamp-on bottle bosses will tip the scales at over 38 pounds. This will make them the heaviest road bike to ever be used in professional road racing. When asked if he thought the additional weight would handicap his riders chance at the podium, Ball pointed out that according to his calculations, the time they lose going up the hills will be easily made up on the way down. Since his bikes are over twice the weight of other bikes in the pro ranks, they will obviously travel twice as fast downhill. The Rock Racing Team is understandably excited to debut they new(to them) bone-stock Schwinns.
Good luck boys, I’m proud to say I provided the inspiration.