Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Out of the Jig

It seems like such a long process, but it's most likely just because the cross season is lurking right around the corner... and I'm impatient. Especially when it comes time for a new bike! Anyway, the new cross frame is all tacked-up, out of the jig and yesterday I picked it up, so I could transport it to the fine gentleman that is going to weld it up for me.

These are quick, shoddy pictures that I took. But it's starting to look more and more like a "real" bike! Once it's all welded, then it's off for it's powder coat, then I will finally be able to build it, and try it out!

Speaking of bikes and bike parts... last night I stumbled into a (semi) local bike shop, and was able to lay my hands on the new 2009 7900 series Dura Ace!

I wish I could say it wasn't awesome… but it really is some SWEET stuff! I thought it looked pretty cool in pictures, but in person, on a bike, it looks even better. It has that somewhat stealthy, very purpose-driven look about it. Very cool. Even if it doesn't work any different at all, I like it just for the looks! I didn't get a chance to ride it, but sitting on the showroom floor, the shifter action seems really nice... slightly more "mechanical" than the current stuff. Having my small elfin hands, I was a bit sad that they increased the size of the brake hoods. But they are still quite comfortable, and easy to grip. As has been the case with all the new groupos coming out the last couple years, I wish it wasn't so nice, I wish I was more disappointed once I saw it in person, so that I wouldn't find myself lusting after it. Especially with the way prices are going in the cycling world!

Well, at least it isn't nearly as expensive as Super Record! With the new Campy stuff, I really want to hear from all the Campy guys, that always talk about how beautiful the campy stuff is, especially compared to Shimano stuff. I mean, it is typically gorgeous stuff, but have you taken a good look at those new Campy shifters!? It's pretty likely that they are comfy for your hands, but wow are they ugly! They look like some Campy shifter grew a tumor, and then the whole thing melted in the hot summer sun. At least, that's my current impression, and I haven't gotten to see them in person.

Beyond the new Dura Ace, and the stratospherically-priced Super Record, I think the real group that is the most eye-popping is the new Rival stuff!

It's not the most "gee-whiz" or eye-catching group. But it uses nearly all the technology and mechanics of the top o' the line Red group, but with cheaper materials. Sure, the crank is still a turd, so you'd want to swap that out for something a good deal lighter and sexier, and the black finish kind of reminds me of the Shimano 105 9-speed group, but the new carbon brake levers help clean things up. It's like HALF the price of the top groupos, but with nearly all the performance, and all of 100-some grams heavier!

Anyway... all this talk about multi-gear systems... I want to get back to focusing on that single speed of mine!

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