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Davis Phinney 1984 Olympic Murray Serotta
Davis Phinney 1984 Olympic Murray Serotta Slide
Davis Phinney 1984 Olympic Murray Serotta Slide
Davis Phinney 1984 Olympic Murray Serotta Slide
Davis Phinney 1984 Olympic Murray Serotta Slide
Davis Phinney 1984 Olympic Murray Serotta Slide
Davis Phinney 1984 Olympic Murray Serotta Slide
Davis Phinney 1984 Olympic Murray Serotta Slide
Davis Phinney 1984 Olympic Murray Serotta Slide
Davis Phinney 1984 Olympic Murray Serotta Slide

Davis Phinney 1984 Olympic Murray Serotta

Before the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics American manufacturer Murray signed on to sponsor the US Cycling team as well as the legendary 7-Eleven Team. There was one major problem though. As a producer of low-cost bicycles and lawn equipment, Murray didn’t have a clue what sorts of equipment real bike racers used or needed. So they brought in an up-and-coming American frame builder, Ben Serotta, to build their bikes for them. Serotta started building frames in 1972, at just 14 years old, and by the early 80s he was building bikes for some of America’s top amateur riders, as well as the technical support bikes for Campagnolo. It was Bill Woodull of Campagnolo who recommended Serotta to 7-Eleven team manager Jim Ochowicz, and the rest is history.

These early red Campagnolo equipped bikes were understated compared to the later tricolor Huffys (also Serotta-built) that the team would sport. Built with Columbus SLX tubing, they mostly reflected the fashion of the time: stiff, steep, and high off the ground for short distance criterium style racing. Perfect for a hard hitting sprinter like Davis Phinney.

This early partnership spawned an on-going relationship between Phinney and Serotta, with Phinney able to ask Serotta to tweak the frame and test different configurations, changing various handling characteristics, resulting in discoveries that fueled the bike development for the 7-Eleven team throughout the 80s. Phinney raced on this particular bike in the 1984 Olympic Individual Road Race, finishing 5th. It sports a special chainring engraved with Olympic logos and an Olympic decal on the head badge. It’s also interesting to note that Phinney rode with his brakes in the “Italian” style (or “Moto” as some refer to it), with the right hand controlling the front brake. This runs against the grain for most American riders but he remains known as one of the peloton’s best bike handlers.


7 comments


  • Anyone know what wheelset is on Davis’s bike? Thanks

    John Sladek on

  • I had a Serotta Coeur d’Acier built in 2005 and was able to have both Ben and Davis sign the frame at a charity ride. Still my best fitting bike ever.

    Thomas deHoop on

  • Davis always rode bikes built by Ben. I found a frame in a local bike shop with Davis’s name all over it and some Serotta decals. The frame is about 25 years old. It is all SLX. I called Serotta (they were still in business) and through the serial number I was told it was built for Davis as a Crit frame. I have since had it repainted. The bike has great acceleration and climbs really well. It may not be as cushy a ride as a carbon frame but it sure does get the job done.

    Ken Hablow on

  • Beautiful bike. I still ride my Serotta Colorado II. My best time up Mt Lemmon is on that bike as compared to a couple of modern titanium and CF bikes.

    Conrad on

  • Better get those water boatel cages re-installed properly.

    Anthony Zahn on


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