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I feel certain that this frame will become a collector's piece in the next 10 years: it was the last Made in Italy, handcrafted Pinarello. It was the model that ushered in the current stylistic direction of wavy (onda) forms - not only style direction, but more importantly Business Direction where all manufacturing has shifted to China. This is a logical decision, since most Pinarello's are moncocque carbon frames and Asian know-how is second to none. Therefore, the aluminum Paris represents a watershed moment for Italian craftsmanship and history.

This is really what it's all about: Fatta in Italia. Their new models can no longer claim this, instead they claim Adrenalina Italiana

For sale is the frame, fork, headset, Pinarello branded Deda stem and matching aluminum handlebar. Also included is the oversized bottom bracket and FSA SLK Compact carbon crankset (54 x 30). So here's what you don't get: the 3T handlebar, the seat post and saddle, the Record 10v gruppo and the wheels. The frame measures 54cm seat tube, measured center to center, the top tube is 54.5cm. The condition is immaculate - no scratches or other imperfections. It has been carefully ridden for 5,532 kilometers or 3,437 miles.

Again on the downtube, they remind you that this is Handmade in Italy

Four years ago, this frameset retailed for over $3,500 - now it's selling for less than half. I am the original owner and will most certainly miss this one. The Paris is a fast, agile bike. It excells in tricky descents; a real confidence builder. It accelerates with ease. And it isn't as bone jarringly stiff as one imagines (maybe it's the carbon seat stays or maybe it's the 32 spoked wheels and a good saddle). The Paris is light at 7.5kg, lighter wheels would easily get this at the UCI limit.

Other notable features: Pinarello was one of the firsts to emply an oversized bottom bracket for greater stiffness and more real estate for the welds. Also the hydroformed aluminum tubes feature ripples in areas that require more bracing - they have also been airbrushed a darker red to highlight this fact. Another Italian-ness is that the visible welds at the headtube and seat tube areas have been filed, for aesthetic reasons. Whereas the bottom bracket welds have been left structurally intact. Just another one of those details that are no longer necessary, or rather permitted nowadays.

Despite all the wonderfulness, when it's time to ride, I usually pick another bike - I don't know why. Maybe because if I want soft and comfy, I've got one... or if I want light and stiff, I got one lighter and stiffer. Maybe because I don't want to mess this one up (my other rides have more nicks and scatches that ease my nerves about getting more). Or maybe I've got too many - so it's time to narrow the choices.

The Paris represents all of the good, the flamboyant, the innovative, design driven, anarchistic, anachronistic Italy that is dear to me. It upsets me that Asian bicycle innovation and manufacturing has pretty much relegated Italian companies to the role of marketing and sales. There are a few holdouts getting by, but Pinarello chose the "modern" path and has been completely rewarded for it. This Alu Paris represents the last of the old way of doing things - the way that a grumpy traditionalist like myself appreciates and finds valuable.

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