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"1987" is a handmade steel frame bringing back on the road the most iconic steel race bike of the 80s, the object of desire of an entire generation of cyclists.


Villach, Austria. September 6th, 1987. Last moments of the World Championships of Road Cycling.

After nearly 7 hours of racing, the rain that had been falling steadily on the circuit since the morning stopped.

The crowd of spectators that had gathered to witness the event now had the chance to see clearly the most talented riders in the world engaging in the battle for the rainbow jersey.

The stakes were high, but until that moment the race hadn't been so exciting. Just a few attacks, none of them decisive enough to mark a turning point.  

Going into the climb at the beginning of the last lap, the Irish rider Stephen Roche attacked. Sean Kelly, the other star wearing the green jersey, stayed on his wheel. Their team had performed an excellent work.

The action split the group. The riders in the front got rid of most of the competitors, and only 14 racers were left. At this point, there was no other choice to chase the victory but trying to escape.

The Dutch Van Vliet got away. The German Golz followed him. Roche closed the break, and so did Sorensen and Winterberg.

The group of 5 established a small gap, while the riders behind didn't react. It seemed like they were expecting for Moreno Argentin, the defending World Champion, to chase them down.

Italy was the peloton's strongest team, and everyone considered Argentin the race favorite.

But the gap widened.

Four hundred meters from the finish line, Roche launched his attack. There was a narrow space between Sorensen and the barriers on the left side of the road. Roche daringly threw himself right there.

While he was approaching, Sorensen inadvertently moved to the left, shutting down that space Roche had chosen to be his way to the finish line.  

The chances for the Irish to pass between Sorensen and the barriers were reducing at every pedal stroke.

But when Sorensen and Roche seemed so close that the action could a massive crash, the Danish moved to the right and Roche was out into the open.  

He pedaled as hard as he could. This time Argentin responded, but it was too late.  

Sprinting certainly wasn't Roche's secret weapon. He would have probably lost every time he'd found himself in a sprint with Golz and Van Vliet. Not that day.

Stephen Roche won the 1987 World Championships.

Why Stephen Roche's victory at the World Championships was the greatest achievement in road cycling of the last 30 years

If you're a passionate cyclist who started out in the 1980s, there's a good chance you remember 1987 as Stephen Roche's magic year.

In 1987, the Irish rider won the Giro d'Italia, a tough edition of the Tour de France, and the World Championships.

Before Stephen Roche, only Eddy Merckx had managed to win the "Triple Crown" of professional cycling. After Roche, nobody was able to do it again.

By winning the world's most coveted Grand-Tours, he had shown that he felt at ease riding the major stage races. But what happened in Villach on 6th September was far from everyone's expectations.

A legend built in Northern Italy

In 1987, Roche was riding a Battaglin bike, which quickly became the icon of professional cycling's greatest success.

Custom built at Giovanni Battaglin's workshop in Marostica, North-East of Italy, the bike was developed by the same ex-rider who had achieved the Giro-Vuelta double six years before.

It was probably the most advanced racing machine on the market, featuring the best equipment available at the time.

At Officina Battaglin, we have gone back to building exclusive steel frames using the same process and tooling of 30 years ago. That's why we've decided to mark the 30th anniversary of Stephen Roche's Triple Crown with 1987.

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Frame highlights

Columbus SLX tubing - Exclusively available at Officina Battaglin

We'll build every 1987 frame from Columbus SLX tubing, the legendary tube set that marked professional cycling in the 80s. Columbus engineered SLX for racers: all the Carrera Team's Battaglin bikes were made from Columbus SLX.  

Then, after giving life to gorgeous racing bicycles for more than 15 years, the SLX went out of production.

As a replica, the "1987" frame couldn't have been different in the tubing. That's why we've partnered with Columbus to bring back to life the SLX, with the same specifications as 30 years ago.

The "1987" will be the only new-construction 1987 frame in the world.

What are the SLX's main features?

High-end Columbus tubing is double butted, meaning that each tube is thicker at the ends than in the middle. This way the parts where stresses concentrate (joints) are reinforced and stronger, but the weight is kept low by the thinner wall in the middle.

In the 1980s, the double-butted SLX were professional cyclists' preferred choice because of an innovative solution to make the bike stiffer without adding weight.

The parts of the SLX down tube and seat tube that join to the bottom bracket shell have helical reinforcements inside to increase local stiffness, so the frame deflects less when the rider pushes down hard on the pedals.  

This maximizes power transfer while keeping thinner and (therefore lighter) tube ends.

Suitable for vintage-inspired cycling events

If you love taking part in retro bike races with 6-speed steel bicycles, thanks to the "1987" frame you'll be able to assemble a vintage-style bike made to order for you and ride it at the world's best vintage-inspired cycling events.

Rules are usually strict, and authenticity is not an option. Unless all the features of your new-production steel bike match the style of racing bikes made not later than 1987 you won't be allowed to start the race.

As the replica of Stephen Roche's frame, it will be very easy to deck out the "1987" frame with vintage and classic parts and be sure that the complete bicycle meets the event's guidelines.

Top Features

  • Lugged Frame

  • Chromed Fork

  • Chromed Chainstay

  • Classic looking dropouts

  • 1” headtube

  • Italian Threaded Bottom Bracket

  • Externally routed rear barke cable

Size chart and frame geometry


Have a look at the other Special Edition > COLLEZIONE SPECIALE > ROCHE