Sunday, May 24, 2009

New Bike, Part 3.....

Well, I have two rides now on this thing, and each ride it gets better.

Climbing is excellent on this bike. No bottom bracket flex at all, and I gotta say that I think I can tell that the chainstays are absolutely huge on the bike. It just does not have any give.

Same thing goes for sprinting on it. When I stand up, there is no flex in the frame, its smooth and accelerates well. Makes me want to stand up on it more often.

Seated riding is excellent as well because of how muted the frame is regarding frame buzz. There just isn't any. I can actually stay seated more often over rough stuff that I might have stood up on before. I finished both rides on it so far feeling like I was not as shaken or stirred.....

Weight wise, I'm slightly dissappointed in it right now, but that will change soon. The frame is lighter than my previous ride, however the headset, frt der clamp and seatpost clamp are all much heavier than my previous, so it is heavier overall. I'll change that over the next few months with a few careful purchases.

Like I said earlier. I'm loving this thing!!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

New Bike, Part 2

Finished bike is just over 15lbs ready to ride. : )

I'm really happy with the ride itself. The bottom bracket is absolutely huge, so there is no flex at all in it. However, the ride is genuinely vertically compliant, resulting in a less than beaten back end (my previous road ride was a scandium alu frame). It climbs extremely well either sitting or standing. It also sprints very well with that stiff bottom bracket. I think the oversized front end contributes to the good sprinting characteristics.

I need to ride it some more to get it completely dialed in, but I'm very happy!

New Bike!

No time to write about it now. Time to go ride it!!!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Damn Good Cross Ride

Well, yesterday issues conspired against me doing my usual Tuesday night road ride with the group.

After the wife and daughter headed off to dinner with Papa, I managed to sneak out to Shelby Farms for a ride on my cross bike. I could not believe the difference in my riding.... Last time I hit SF with the SSCX bike, I barely made it up the hills. It was really pretty embarassing.

Yesterday however, I was absolutely flying on the thing. I could not believe what a difference there was. I was flying up the hills and rolling on the flats. Frankly, I think I'm at the point that if I improve any more, I'll likely have to change my rear cog size on the bike......

While I was out there, I also ran into a racing buddy of mine from 10yrs ago. I had not seen him probably since the last Memphis race I did, but I recognized him immediately. It was very cool finding an old friend again and remembering the 'old days'.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Waiting Begins

This is going to be a painful week for me. I'm waiting for a shipment of my new frame/fork for my roadbike. It will look a lot like the bike in the pic below when I'm done (same frame/fork)

Looks like it will deliver sometime late in the week. I have to be there to sign for it, so I'll have to be there when it delivers.

In the meantime, I'll have to just sit and wait. Ok, I guess its a good/ frustrating thing : )

Hopefully, with a little luck, I'll have the thing built for the ride Monday in La Grange!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Great Ride / Team Journeyman Racing

This weekend was wild. I finally decided to join Facebook. In doing so, I found friends that I had lost touch with as many as 10-15yrs ago. It was really pretty cool hearing from so many people.

While doing this, I also 'friended' my riding friend Brad. Amazingly enough, I found out that we know all the same people. I'd never met Brad before a year ago, but there in his friend's page were a whole slough of people I grew up with.

Brad and I got his new bike out (a Gorgeous Scott Addict) and put in 42 miles. I bonked hard during the ride. Got to the point of feeling sleepy on the bike. Took me wayyyyy too long to get back up and running again. We finished well though. I gotta remember to eat better next ride.

While we were out riding, Brad told me about his informal team he's putting together. He calls it Journeyman Racing. He plans for it to be something of an all inclusive group without some of the elitest attitudes found on some teams. Should be a lot of fun. I may not be fast, but at least I participate!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A Cycling Fan In America......

OK, I'm an American cycling fan. I admit it. Probably need to enter a twelve step program for it too.....

I'm an 'active' fan as well. I ride and even race occasionally. I'm no where near competitive, but I like to get out there and do it. I follow pro-cycling and watch every race I can. I know all the riders stats and their successes and failures.

Years ago, at the beginning of the 'Lance Era', I got satellite TV and the Versus channel. I did so just so I could watch the tour. I paid all year, just so I could hear Paul and Phil calling out the moves as the Tour wound its way through the French countryside. Since then, of course, I've tried to watch Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Paris-Roubaix, etc. I was a huge fan before that, but only followed the sport through print pubs like Velonews. The occasional coverage on the major stations was pretty weak, but I devoured it when I could.

I can't get enough of the stuff.

Baseball, Football (American) and Basketball don't capture my interest at all. At parties, I'm useless to talk with because I don't follow any leagues or any teams. If it involves a ball, I can't keep up. My Wife floats all the conversations there as she is not only a fan, but was also a great player of any sport involving a ball that a girl could have played.

Our Euro friends have it so easy. Click the TV Remote and watch a race. No thought, no effort involved. Just click and watch. No need to troll internet forums looking for where the next race will be broadcast. Yes, I'm green with envy!

So as I type this, the kilos are ticking away in the Giro D'Italia. Sivstov is in the lead and praying he can stay away to the finish (with about 10k's to go). Universal Sports is broadcasting the event, and really its pretty good coverage. As they rip across the cobbles in Bergamo, I'm smiling, because for now, I've found a way to get my 'fix'.

Tomorrow, I'll miss the coverage, as I'll be out on a 50-60 mile road ride. Trade one 'fix' for the other 'fix'.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Well, after 2+years and over 3k miles, I managed to bend my beloved Quattro Assi somehow. I love this bike. I paid next to nothing for the frame, and I've really taken my time getting it dialed in and really comfortable to ride.

I'm simply not sure how I bent the thing, but on a Thursday night ride a couple weeks ago, I heard some rubbing going on. I stopped at a park to check it out. I actually found two rubs. The first was my computer cable rubbing on the front tire. No big issue and nothing to fix that problem.

The other problem was the rear wheel. The tire was rubbing the left side chainstay. I checked the quick release to find out if the wheel had shifted. It had shifted slightly, but when I pulled it back straight, the wheel was still significantly cocked to the left side.

Back at home, I checked the dish on the wheel and found it to be within .75mm of dished correctly.... :( That meant the frame was wonky. A few measurements on the frame found the whole rear triangle bent to the right about 7.5mm's.

In the end, I decided to build a new roadbike. I searched high and low for a new frame. A Cannondale from a local rider looked promising, as did a Bianchi from a local shop, but in the end, I opted for a full carbon frame bought from the US distributor. I picked up a 'Vellum Equilibrium' from the Vellum distributor.
Hopefully, I'll get to build it over the Memorial day weekend. I'll post pics when I'm done.....