Monday, March 31, 2008

The 'Cross Steed and BSV Clothing

I know pictures have been floating around in the blogosphere, but I thought it was time to post here.



Note the custom "Blue Sky Velo" paint job. This is a bike worthy of Belgium cyclocross, but I guess it'll have to make do with dusty old Colorado. I was thinking a pilgrimage to Portland or Gloucester might be nice, but something tells me not this year...

In other news I'm currently mobilizing forces to crank out the Blue Sky Velo custom order. Some items have arrived already, but I've been playing the "maybe today is the day" game for last 10 days on the rest of the stuff. At this point if I post a "the clothing is here" email to the club I bet they all would think it an April Fools joke.

End of an Era?

Today Jenna and I finally sealed the deal on the Toyota Highlander.  Jenna lamented the purchase of a second car as, "the end of the era."  Right!  The only era we're ending is the "Isaac perpetually stuck at work and having to ride his bike all over the place holding tight on little plastic baggies era."  Some things were meant to end.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

A Two-Car Garage

Today I put a halt to hostilities during my training ride as I needed to leave something in the tank to make a big push in the garage. What was formerly a 1-car-and-6-bike garage now must fit all that plus 1 more car. Jennifer loaned us her car for the weekend to test-drive, and obviously that includes test-parking.


OK, the car is in but now there's all this crap on the lawn.


VIP parking for the finest steeds.


The moon shot.

The Other Side of Jenna





Aside from her unnatural cravings for grapefruit, this is pretty much par for the course these days. This was Jenna's proposed alternative to the idea of her doing some cardio today.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Trek Puts a Price Tag on Mass



This is as scathing a review as you'll ever see at cyclingnews.com:

Given the OCLV Red Series frame's high modulus fiber additions we expected our Madone 6.9 to deliver a somewhat stiffer ride and snappier response. However, once we swapped out the wheels to our reference Mavic R-SYS set, we actually couldn't tell much of a difference which wasn't exactly a bad thing. The same comfy ride, neutral handling and snappy response were all still there just as we'd remembered them.

As it turns out, that similarity was by design and this ironically turns out to be both the Madone 6.9's best and most disappointing quality. According to Trek road brand manager Scott Daubert, Trek intentionally kept the frame stiffness and ride quality consistent across the entire Madone range. That is no small feat, but it reduces the primary difference between the two solely to reduced mass.

Don't get us wrong; 0.6kg (1.3lb) is a fair amount of weight to shed and is noticeable in most situations, especially during extended climbs, and we'll take a Shimano Dura-Ace package and full carbon clinchers any day. But consider this: of the roughly 600g total weight difference, 360g comes purely from the upgrade to the Race XXX Lite wheels. Those wheels carry a retail price of US$2,000, yet the total difference in cost between the Madone 5.2 and 6.9 is US$4,000.

As such, one could purchase the Madone 5.2 and a set of Race XXX Lite wheels outright and make up more than half of the weight gap in the process (more if you went with the tubular variety). The end product would deliver nearly identical performance as the full-on Madone 6.9 thanks to the nigh Dura-Ace quality of the new Ultegra SL. What's more, you'd then also end up with a perfectly usable set of training wheels as a bonus and still have about US$1800 left over (forgot about the race-worthy tubular tires at US$100 a pop, didn't you?) for additional upgrades, clothing, gas, dinners out, a vacation… you get the point.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Just Me and Doodad

OK, so maybe I got a little carried away and stayed up too late, but damn
if this isn't a rocket ship on wheels.



I even justified my long-running, dust-collecting, junk-inhabiting doodad drawer. Interference from the derailleur braze-on required me to scrounge up some Continental valve nuts to serve as spacers. Later, another doodad that has been sitting around for years came in handy, the braze-on washer (which, up to this point, I never knew its purpose). And finally, a 1am crisis was averted when the doodad drawer again produced a much-needed 10-speed master pin when another broke during installation.



Many thanks to Dave for the cables and housings and encouragement, Ryan for buying a bike that didn't quite fit, Steve for the cheerleading, and Jenna for not waking up after I repeatedly dropped 4mm and 5mm allen wrenches in the kitchen at midnight on a Monday. And by the way, maybe I was just delirious but that Craig Ferguson is hilarious.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Long May You Run



We've been through some things together
With trunks of memories still to come
We found things to do in stormy weather
Long may you run.


Chorus:
Long may you run.
Long may you run.
Although these changes have come
With your chrome heart shining in the sun
Long may you run.


Well, it was back in blind river in 1962
When I last saw you alive
But we missed that shift on the long decline
Long may you run.


Chorus

Maybe the beach boys have got you now
With those waves singing caroline no
Rollin down that empty ocean road
Gettin to the surf on time.


Chorus




Isaac's Newest Toy

Isaac got a sweet new frame today! He's finally retiring his 8-year-old Trek, stripping it down and putting all the components on his new Felt F2.

I don't even know quite how it all happened, except than on Friday I heard about how Ryan had ordered the team bike but it didn't fit him, and maybe, just maybe, it would fit Isaac and would be worth getting since it was such an awesome carbon fiber frame and he could use it for every race and could replace his Trek and it wouldn't even cost that much since he could take all the parts of his old bike and they keep his Cyfac at work to ride....

Needless to say, he tried out the same bike for size at the shop yesterday, and had his new frame dropped off today. Wow, it's amazing how fast Isaac can justify something and get it! :-)

But, it is a pretty crazy frame, it's got a super cool carbon monocoque frame. The top tube changes from wide at the front to skinny and tall at the back - I love what they can do with carbon fiber. I guess the whole bike built up only weighs 15 pounds?? Anyway, here it is at home now:





Sunday, March 2, 2008

Lazy Sunday

So in classic Colorado fashion yesterday was a high of 75, then I spent the night thinking the house would be swept into the sky like "Wizard of Oz," and today is cloudy with a high of 35.  I haven't checked, but I don't think we've crushed any wicked witches.  There was some swirling snow overnight, but no, none of it stuck to the pavement as Colorado air is dry dry dry.
 
Some Blog-keeping:
1. Got to test-ride the new team 'cross bike (Ridley X-Fire) on Friday for sizing.  Boy, that thing is light!  I think the road bikes will revolt when that featherweight enters the stable.
2. Hit Jamestown on the team ride Saturday.  Jamestown was an absolute mad-house.  Even in the depths of summer you'll never see that many cyclists up there.  And therein lies the problem, everyone rides during the winter and spring and disappears in summertime when the weather is actually nice!
3. Of course I went too hard on Saturday's ride and my legs are completely trashed.  I've got to figure out how to behave on group rides.  On the plus side, I was able to blast passed Jenna uphill in the big ring, and crushing the spirits of random cyclists is always good fun.  "Is that a car?", "Yikes" and "Whoa" were all comments I heard, but of course, the real goal is to leave a trail of tears in an actual bike race.  One of these days I hope to be the guy with the smallest butt and the biggest quads.  That is the name of the game!
4. Since I wasn't feeling the motivation today, I actually hunkered down and did some of the bike maintenance I've been procrastinating on.  I disassembled, cleaned, and reassembled 2 bottom brackets, uninstalled 3 cranksets, installed 2 cranksets, adjusted 2 front derailleurs and spent about 3 hours crouched down like a kindergarten kid wishing Jenna hadn't hid the stepstool upstairs.