Sunday, 2 August 2009

Is it all about the bike

It seems to come in waves.

There is a lull for a month or two and then whamo, I get a rush of grief about my bike.

When are you upgrading?
Why are you still riding that old thing?
I see your riding your training bike today........
And from the bike shop, there are not many of these still going around.

However, I admit I am giving it some serious thought.

I have always said that I see no reason to upgrade until I get the impression or feeling that my current equipment is restricting me in some way - or it wears out.

Perhaps it is doing a little of both.

I booked a service with the bike shop last week. I was aware it was some time since my last chain change and felt my cassette might also have fulfilled its life. I also had an increasingly annoying "thump, thump, thump" going downhill under brakes.

Initial Outcome - new chain, new cassette, front wheel re-build and news that rear wheel has about 1000 k's before it also needs a re-build (or about a month)

Plus, 2 days later, new 39 chain ring.

This lead to discussion about the relative cost/benefit of re-building the wheels versus replacing the wheels.

I was surprised to learn what performance benefits I could obtain by purchasing new wheels rather than re-building the ones I have. And for a not much greater cost too. So I decided to do both. Re-build my wheels and keep them as a spare set and buy a new set that will be suitable also when I eventually upgrade the frame.

The wheel discussion then followed a logical progression and we were discussing frames.

My problem is that I simply do not like the aesthetics of sloping geometry and to the extent that I am not interested in hearing about any of the benefits such geometry has (or has not) to offer.

And right now, there are very, very few bikes available out there that do not have sloping geometry.

Yes, Pinnarello is an option but I don't like the look of their forks.

So, in the meantime I will stick with the frame I have, upgrade the wheels and wait for the fashion trend to change - and keep my eyes open for viable traditional frames in the market. And I do like the work of the Melbourne based Baum factory and the Colnago Master X-Light has always had a certain appeal. Shimano, Campag or SRAM to go with the frame. Lets wait and see.

In the meantime, I will continue working on improving the legs and the power to weight equation.

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