One of the funniest moments of my day was during the discussion when I turned to Daniel and asked (very much jokingly), "is it ok if I blog this?" You could hear the crickets chirping, the wind blowing and the tumbleweeds rolling along... it was dead quiet and the expressions were priceless. Daniel knew I was joking, but it was a funny moment. I get a lot of teasing for the blogging, but there are a few folks who "get it" and think it's pretty entertaining- like Daniel. He understood the humor and also understands why I blog in the first place. Anyway, it was funny. Trust me.
So it has been raining here pretty much all day, so even without spending a few hours with Shimano today, riding was out of the question- hey, I'm in California after all and we don't ride the 4-5 days a year that it rains here. Instead, I have taken pictures for your enterainment and slobberfest. As I mentioned in a previous post, I am finally riding one of our carbon 3VC bikes... and I like it... a lot.
I built up the frame with all the parts off of the bike I had been riding for the past several months- an '05 Gran Criterium frame- which I loved. It was hard to get me off of it. I built up the carbon frame and the complete bike (without accessories- but with pedals) comes to just a little over 17 lbs for a 61cm bike, making it the lightest bike I've ever had.
As you can see from the parts mix, it is mostly Dura Ace (lucky me), but not anything terribly lightweight. At 215+ lbs, light parts = I'm replacing it soon. In short, I break crap. This bike is, for me, scary light and it rides great. The back end is stiff enough that it doesn't noodle all over the road when I stand up to sprint or climb.
The front end is very stable and predictable through turns. The Ritchey fork has now been on three different frames because I like it a lot. I don't spec the fork on any of our bikes, but not because I don't like the fork. The bars I've had for a few years too- Easton EC90 Equippe. The stem is a Thomson- the same one ridden by our A&F/ Inferno team... and it is pretty danged cool! These three work together to give me a good sprinting perch with very little flex/ twist. I feel pretty solid pulling on them.
I park my keester on the best saddle I've ever ridden. The Arione is the saddle of saddles for me. Probably the next best thing would be the Aliante, also by fizik. Then maybe an old Concor. I have to admit though that the Masi branded saddles we have are surprisingly comfortable- I've been very happy with them. The post is a Thomson Elite, again the same thing our pro guys ride (a little sponsor love going on here...). With the frame having a shorter seat tube, I just felt like having a little more strength in the post, again because I am a big fat tub of goo. Please also note the saddle bag; Banjo Brothers. This is one kickass seat bag. I am long overdue in posting about these guys and I will do a separate post on them, but they sent me some products to use and test and I am here to tell you that you need to go buy some of their products... right now! I'll post again about the other Banjo Bros goods that I am using... I promise (thanks again Eric).
The best carbon bottle cages ever made belong to Arundel. These are the very best cages I've ever used... hands down. These things are light, stiff, reliable and hold your danged bottles in place. All I ask from a cage is that it not drop my bottles and these things are vise-like and still light. If you are going to buy a carbon cage, buy these... NOW!
It's a pretty bike, isn't it? You know you want one, so go to your local retailer and hand them your money and say, "please get me a Masi 3VC carbon bike. I know they are the best ever made and are certainly the most pretty." That'd be great. I'd like that!