1987 Kestrel 4000
This Kestrel 4000 was the road bike star of 1987, gracing the covers of every cycling magazine (and quite a few technology magazines) that hit the newstands.
Kestrel was really the first company to take full advantage of the carbon fiber material. Carbon had been used previously, but in the traditional round tubing shapes and lugged style contruction familiar to bike brands that were used to steel and aluminum bike building. Kestrel designer Brent Trimble started with a clean sheet of paper. The graceful, flowing lines of the carbon monocoque construction looked cutting edge. Cables were routed inside the frame for a smooth finish. The aerodynamic cutout for the rear wheel was ahead of the curve (so to speak), and it just seemed so fast.
The parts show off some other great fads and innovations from the era. There’s a Selle San Marco Concor saddle in the perforated white leather (can’t remember if the perforation was awesome because it made the saddle lighter or if it was a comfort thing). We have the bike equipped with first generation Look pedals, which I think were the PP65 model, sometimes called “sport” pedals and really the first commercially successful ski-binding type pedals. The Matrix rims are “aero” shaped instead of box-shaped, a design style that is evident on so many racing wheels today. On the front end we have the leather-wrapped Modolo handlebars, which were the first bars to have the flat “anatomical” section in the drops.
With futuristic style to spare, you would have looked like you just pulled this bike off of the roof of your Delorean time machine as you lined up at your local category four road race. The only items needed to complete the effect would be a lycra-covered Giro Prolight and some neon green Oakley sunglasses…