January 12, 2006

Why do I mess with success?

Sometimes, I swear - I'm my own worst enemy.

With this recent bike frame swap, I'm learning that many times it's best NOT to try and incorporate ancient junk onto a brand new frameset. In this case, cantilevers.
In an effort to get rolling, save a little dough, I swapped over these old Dia Compe XCM canti's from a late-80's/early-90's mtn. bike. They are pretty nice, basic black - and in the vein of cantilever brakes in general, there is very little there that can go wrong, or wear out.

In this case, however, they look a little nasty, and kind bring down the feel of the entire bike. They've got these massive aluminum yokes, with big pinch-bolt arrangements, and just look sloppy. As simple as this brake type is, it's amazing how many advances they've made in cleaning up the installation, design, and performance of cantilevers.

I've got the rest of the bike pretty much "done" - even though, lately, as I've tried and tried and TRIED to get these brakes slop-free, toed-in, and self-centering I feel like tearing the entire bike down again, and going back to the Bianchi, *JUST* so I can use my now home-less Dura-Ace calipers. One bolt, one cable - DONE. Of center? Use the centering adjustment.
They are light, small, sexy, and stop the bike on a dime. And the new frame won't take 'em.

Sure, this new frame solves a lot of problems the Bianchi suffered from - really tight clearances, tight geometry, no room for anything bigger than 23c tires, etc..... BUT, it was tight, sexy - a real head-turner at the club rides. But, buidling it back up will only reveal the same problems I was trying to avoid by getting a new frame in the FIRST place.

DANG IT -- I should have just sold it, because now, every time I look at it hanging over the work-bench in the garage, I start to think that fussing with goofy things like threadless headsets and cantilever brakes JUST ISN'T WORTH THE HASSLE. Especially since I've swapped back to 23c tires and have a new goal for more speed and more success in 2006, did I jump too soon with getting this Crosscheck frameset? It's starting to look like an awfully attractive replacement for the Steamroller -- after all, where else are big tires and fender clearances more appropriate than on a commuter bike?

Or maybe I should just drop $80 on a pair of Avid Shorty6 cantis and call it good.


Being "me" is such a freakin' chore sometimes.

UPDATE: Avid Shorty6 picked up this afternoon. Too much invested to scrap this project, and once this is done I have no other complaints about the bike -- START THE SEASON!