Monday, March 05, 2007

My latest bike... (and last one for a while?)

Q: If I have n bikes, how many bikes do I need?

A: n + 1

I ride often enough that it's a real pain when a bike is down for maintenance--as in the case of my bent chainring after the crash in the first lap of my race a couple of weeks ago--so I decided to buy another bike so that I wouldn't have to be without. Plus, I'll be going to Utah this summer and it will be nice to have a backup bike I can send out there.

So here's the latest bike in my stable:

I already had the following stuff lying around: a fork/frame which a group of about 100 bike forum members ordered way back in October in bulk at the low low price of $550, a pair of wheels (American Classic 420s), a seatpost, stem, pedals, and a saddle so I basically just had to buy a Dura Ace gruppo and build up the bike. How cool is that?!

The frame is an 58cm Pedal Force RS with matching fork. It's a lightweight but stiff racing frame with a nude carbon finish that looks great. It makes for the ultimate stealth bike.

Today I put in about 35 minutes of spirited riding on rolling hills without computer, headphones, or any other electronic device. Just me and the bike. I did some high-intensity climbing both in and out of the saddle, road hard in the drops, spun out my 53-12 several times going down hills, tucked into a nose-to-the-stem aero position to get up above 40mph, and finished the ride by laying down a few quad-buster sprints. I really like the frame so far and find it to be stiff in a good way. I would not use the word "rattle" to describe it at all, especially compared to my Motobecane Le Champion SL aluminum bike. It's going to be a great race bike until the day I wreck it.


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