Category Archives: Terraferma

Bikes to Like: Christian M.’s Terraferma

This year I had the pleasure of meeting Christian, who completed his first Super Randonneur series in 2011. I came to know Christian through his bicycle. There was something about the creamy orange paint that caught my eye; it looked like a delicious orange pushup. Intrigued by the bike’s careful setup as well as the 650B tires, I asked to feature Christian’s bike and he kindly agreed. Here’s what he had to say about his bike.

1. What kind of bike do you have?

I have a Molteni Orange Terraferma 650B.

Christian and the Terraferma (c) Bill Beck

2. Why 650B?

I like to ride on dirt, gravel, and pavement all in the same ride. The wide but fast tire options and handling of a 650B make switching between all road surfaces really easy.

3. Where do you ride it?

I live in Charlottesville, Virginia and ride all around the area. We have a huge network of small county roads, both paved and unpaved. One ride I especially like leaves from my house and heads north and west into Albermarle County and then climbs up Simmons Gap, via rarely used dirt roads and then a short singletrack, to Skyline Drive.

4. What do you like about your bike?

Just about everything! It’s very stable at low and high speeds; the tires (42 red Hetres) really do seem to float along but also withstand a lot of punishment; the color; I love my Berthoud bag and homemade wingnut decaleur.

The Terraferma was made for this road!

5. If you had to describe your bike in one word, what would it be?


6. Fenders or no fenders?

Fenders: 50mm Berthoud stainless steel.

7. What is one of your favorite memories with this bicycle?

Being more than 200 miles into the Frederick 400k and realizing that this bike is really comfortable! It was the middle of the night somewhere and for whatever reason I thought to myself: “I’ve been on this bike for something like 20 hours and I still feel good and the bike wants to keep going.” At that moment I realized I had the right bike for me.

The Terraferma looks out onto the reservoir and the Blue Ridge (c) Christian M.

8. Does your bike have a name? If so, what is it?

Nope, no name.

9. What is your favorite accessory on your bike and why?

Hmmm? It would have to be my front rack/Berthoud bag/wingnut decaleur combo. The bag is more or less always on and is so convenient. I keep everything I need right up front. It holds everything I need and serves as a feed bag on long rides. It’s super stable on rough roads too.

10. What did I forget to ask that you want to tell me about your bike?

Mike Terraferma was great to work with; his bikes are still reasonably priced relative to other custom builders.

One last look at the beautiful Terraferma (c) Christian M.

11. If your bike could talk, what is one thing it would say to you?

Thank you for bringing me to life.

Thank you for bringing your bike to life, Christian, and for sharing a little bit about it on Chasing Mailboxes. See you on the road soon.