Saturday, February 02, 2008

Saturday Edition of Friday Bike Porn!

I was going to do this last night, but didn't have any good lighting... since it was night time... so I shot a few pic's of my most recent Dream Bike project.

1st- I have to say thank you to the very generous folks who contributed to this project bike- knowingly or unknowingly to them; Ritchey (stem), SRAM (Red group), Velo (saddle and bar tape), Caribou (frame), Matrix (wheels) and Challenge (sew-up tires). Without the knowing and unknowing help of these folks, this bike would not have happened.

2nd- Background; this frame is painted and decaled like our new Gran Criterium. But... the frame is built using a new and under-development Scandium tubeset that I am testing for the manufacturer. It is a new and proprietary alloy that I am very excited to be testing. Sadly, the tubing developer only had enough of the alloy remaining to produce the front triangle out of the tubes, so I won't have a 100% accurate test platform, but once more tubing is produced, a full alloy frame will be built for me to test the characteristics of the tubeset. I'm a big guy and tend to break stuff, so I'm ideally suited for tubing testing. That said, I am really delighted to have this bike built because I really wanted one of the new Gran Criterium frames anyway- this frame uses the standard Gran Crit geometry, which is my favorite.

3rd- The SRAM Red group has been on my slobber-worthy list since it was leaked to me last year at the Taipei Cycle show last March. I love my Shimano bikes and my Campagnolo bike, but I've been freaking out to try the new Red group in real world, Average Joe conditions. As a product tester at heart, I love to put products through their paces and see what happens. So I'm delighted to be riding this new and ultra performance product and will be reporting back on my experiences.

4th- The saddle is a custom version of our new saddles being used on our lower priced bikes. The shape is so comfortable it has quickly become one of my all-time favorite saddles. Our saddle maker is Velo and they produce more high-end and OEM saddles than probably anybody in the industry. This saddle uses a lighter weight racing foam and titanium rails to be lighter than the standard version. Stella, the owner and genius behind Velo saddles was kind enough to produce this race version of the saddle for me and I am very thankful- it's an amazing saddle.

5th- The wheels are by a small Taiwan vendor who makes a little bit of everything and was kind enough to provide me with the wheels to give them some feedback. So far, having not actually ridden them other than to get the shifting adjusted and saddle height correct, I have nothing but praise for them. There's nothing like the sound of tall carbon wheels with sew-ups inflated to 180psi! (NOTE; fellow team sponsor Spinergy is currently in the process of providing me with a custom set of wheels that should be simply stunning... so stay tuned for more)

6th- Speaking of sew-ups... I haven't ridden sew-ups on the road in more than a decade... yes, I've been riding and racing on the road since about 1990 on clinchers only. I race sew-ups on the track, but these wheels are the first road wheels with sew-ups in many years for me. Needless to say, I'm really excited to have this set of Challenge Criterium tires mounted to the wheels. I took the easy way out and used the Tufo glue tape to mount the tires too. Sadly, it's been so long since I've glued a set of tires that I did a fairly crappy job- even with the tape. I have a ton of tread squirm going on, so I may rip them off the rims and re-glue them with a little glue to bolster the grip of the tape. Plus, I need to put a layer of glue on my spare tire that I'll need to start carrying under my seat... just like I did so many years ago.

7th- Totally out of order here, based on my excitement, is the white Ritchey 4 -Axis WCS stem. This thing is so amazingly sexy and beautiful! I simply fell in love with it the second I saw it. I am super excited to possess this stem, thanks to the awesome generosity of Steve Parke at Ritchey. I urge you to send Ritchey an email or contact them through the website and beg them to produce this stem as a regular option and ask them for other colors as well. It is my sincere hope that more people will feel like me and want to see more of these stems around. If enough people ask for such a product, the more likely it will exist... please don't hate me Steve...

8th- The remaining parts are all parts that I've had on other bikes over the past few years. The Easton bars I've had at least 4 years. I should probably replace them, just because of their age and because they are carbon, but they were the nicest bars I had at the time of this build. The Reynolds fork is an "antique" by today's standards, but is rock solid and reliable after all these years. It, too, has been on multiple bikes of mine and should maybe be replaced, but it sure is a great fork- especially for its age. The bottle cages have been on multiple bikes of mine and are the VERY BEST carbon cages I've ever used- Arundel makes awesome cages. These things grip no matter what- wet conditions, bumpy roads, full bottles... it just doesn't matter. You put the bottle in the cage, it stays in the cage... period. Plus, they are light and beautiful. On top of it all, the owners of Arundel are people I know well and are some of my favorite folks in the bid-nits! The seatpost is just one of our OE posts that we use on many of our bikes. It isn't the lightest carbon post out there, but it is the one I had that wasn't already in another bike (I hate taking one bike apart to build another).

All together, the bike weighs in at an even 16 lbs (without pedals)- and that's for a 60cm bike with a heavy-ish build with the fork, saddle and post. That's darned good!

So that's it for the spec... let's look at the bike already!

The graphics were painstakingly reproduced from the 70-80's era Gran Criteriums. The color is copied from the Team 3V bikes of the late 80's- early 90's- it was called "the Purple People Eater" by many folks.

A little fun with color- white brake housing, red shift housing and yellow bar tape. I might put on a set of red hoods and white tape when we get more of the tape.

Look at the shapes of those beautiful stays... yummy!

Nice, clean lines.

The business end- with the shape of these stays, I'm pretty optimistic I can get good power to the rear wheel and hopefully make this view the most common one folks will see at the races!

This stem is beyond sexy! The folks at Ritchey have a homerun on their hands.

Challenge makes some of the nicest sew-up tires around and these are among my favorites. The tread pattern is awesome- lots-o-grip in the corners. The Matrix wheels are pretty nice and I'm looking forward to giving them a good punishment. They sure sound pretty when they roll!


Ok, go get your napkins and wipe the drool off.

Tim

8 comments:

wrw said...

Tim,
"In the day this color was termed 'Plum Crazy Purple' by Dodge."
Check out my page for a 'revised' MASI for this season!
Sorry, it doesn't depict the efficiency modification. (+12% actual)

Fritz said...

It's good to see you guys are doing development on new stuff like this. This bike is laterally stiff and vertically compliant, I'm sure, right? :-)

hydroz1 said...

I'm not too fond of the color but the lines do look great.

Jbucky1 said...

Thanks one hell of a bike - nice. Curious to know how it rides. Also a 60! guess you have a super long torso or you love the superman position.
I wish manufacturers would go away from the integrated headset though, upsets me to see nice frames with integrated, bearings on aluminium...hum... guess i'm from the Chris King school of thought.
Nice ride though!

Bret Moss said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bret Moss said...

Showing us product we can't have is cruel and unusual punishment ;)

I want a Masi saddle! make that two, one black and one white please.

Does the Ritchey stem have the new "wet" paint treatment?

Thanks,
Bret

Captain said...

That bike looks like a whole lotta fun.

Torgsten said...

Is there any way to get a brown saddle like the one on the new commuter bike etc.? Would love to have one! airportforshadows@gmail.com

Thanks!