Thursday, November 17, 2005

Road bike discussion time.

As a mountain bike racer, my road bike gets the short end of the stick. Pretty much like being married with children. I rank right up there above the cat. The mountain bikes get adjusted after almost EVERY ride. Constant tinkerng, upgrading. While the road bike is pulled down, ridden and put away, often times wet. Gears skip, hubs knock, and I just never get around to working too much on it.

Yet from a pure hours in the saddle, the road bike is probably where I spend the majority of the time.

I'm actually quite enamored by road bikes. They are like hardtails in their simple elegance and functionality of design. Even though the double triangle design has changed little over the years there is still so much going on in road bikes that it's mind boggling.

And how am I treating my road bike now?
Well I'm probably going to sell it. How's that for some love. On one hand though I've had that bike longer than any bike I've ever owned and for a bike geek that is always moving on and changing out that says a lot. But I'm ready for something new. And after the bike fitting I was never totally pleased at the kludged method for getting the right fight out of the frame. It's like it wasn't fair to degrade such a nice bike with such a fugly stem, and it wasn't right to have a custom bike that wasn't fitting like a custom should. Yeah I can make it look better with a high rise Nitto or similar -17degree stem

I can't blame the builder at all. We designed it around static measurements and some fairly tried/true formulas for seat tube length and top tube length. but my Fit showed that I need a tall bar, but don't require the short top tube as previously thought.

Besides, with the upcoming long rides in cold weather maybe a that new bike euphoria will help motivate me to get out there. I put a bid on a bike on ebay with the intention of getting out bided. I mean all it would have taken was another dollar to outbid me and I was the first bid. I just really liked this bike. But wasn't totally positive about the fitting. But as with ebay often times you lose what you want and win what you sort of wanted but were hoping to get out bid on.

So I'm parting the bike out and transfering almost all the parts to the new frame. And we'll see if it passes muster. If it doesn't, well... just resell it. I know I can get my $ out of it, and you always make more $ parting a bike out then when it is sold as a package. Plus I know how to list something with good pictures and info. See the guy forgot to talk about some pertinent information, such as the fact that the welder used to weld for Moots and Dean. He might have been shitting me, but my gosh do these welds look nice. I'll be posting lots of pics when it is done. Oh, did I mention it is titanium!!

Going the custom route is always fun. Part of the excitement is getting to talk to someone about what you are looking for what you don't like and do like about your current bike, etc. So I will do that again sometime. As a bike geek one should never say " This is the last bike I will buy" because it is never true.

But I took the frame apart and cleaned all the parts. Though I am torn a little between what parts to keep from the old bike and what to sell from the new one. I've got some 1999 Campy stuff. Yes Campagnolo the stuff of legend. For example there are some Tektro Rx40 brakes on the new bike.


Now these are actually some hell-a-nice brakes. Put some Koolstop salmon pads and these are probably as good as Dura Ace and other high end brakes. If you are building a road bike on the cheap consider these. These are one of those jewel items for blue collar cyclists highly functional, light, and cheap.

AND they are 60 grams lighter for the pair than my Campy Chorus brakes. Yeah yeah I'm counting grams. It's a habit. But 60g here, 60g at the cranks, 60g at the BB, 60g at the stem, 60g at the seatpost, and it can add up. 450g or so to the pound so you can shed some weight fast.

But in cleaning up the Campy parts on the bench I was just polishing them up over and over. These are just some nice parts. There is definitely some soul in these.


So yeah I am going to keep my Campy stuff.

But I want to move to compact cranks sometime. And this is going to mean a new crankset/BB, and front der. And if I'm going to be getting some new stuff I've got feeling I'll be going for the value and weight over the soul. Such as an IRD front der, and a Ritchey WCS crankset as you can get those for very good value any day of the week. Or maybe some carbon cranks...

But then again, maybe not. It will depend what my current obsession is at the time.

But then again slogging in a hard gear is good training. So maybe sticking with the double 53/39 will be what happens. I'll be on to some other obsession soon enough until next winter when the road bike gets cleaned for the next time.


At 9:25 AM, Blogger Carl Buchanan said...

I feel pretty much the same way about my road bike too. It gets more than half of my miles for the year and still doesn't get serviced as much as the mountain bikes do. Maybe it's because the roadie doesn't get the same level of abuse that the mountaiun bikes do. Anyway, nice write up and I look forward to the pics of the new frame.


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