July 13, 2007

Devolution, and Little surprises

Ok, maybe ONE last post on equipment stuff....
The 10-speed stuff is a little touchy on the road with bar-ends in friction mode. In STI, it's great, but a little hard to adjust perfectly. Still, an impressive advance in technology. However, I figured that it would work, because it was pretty nice in the workstand, but on the road it was hard to fine-tune the rear shifting because the cogs are so close together - small movements on the lever translate into complete gear changes, not just trimming. So, I figured I'd take the hit on weight and take the 'Dale back a step to 9-speed, which is what I've run on the Kogs for so long with great success. I pulled out the old Dura-Ace 9-speed rear-D, and swaped cassettes. As I was performing these tasks, I kinda noticed "hey, the old derailluer feels lighter...how's THAT possible?" The Ultegra 10-speed set-up was supposed to be lighter than the 9-speed stuff in nearly every respect. Luckily, I am a bit of a tweak, and had an old Weight Watchers digital scale with gram graduation on it. Hmmm.... and that confirmed my initial reactions. The old Dura-Ace rear-D that I bought back in 2002 is indeed lighter than 2006 Ultegra 10-speed. Weird, and unexpected. Further, the stock 10-speed Ultegra cassette seemed a little chunky, too, when I removed it from the rear wheel -- oh, and thanks to whoever torqued this to like 600 NM. Good lord that was a pain to get off the hub. Anyways, stock Shimano to stock Shimano, the 10-speed stuff was supposed to add a whole other cog, and still be lighter than the old Shimano 9-speed stuff for cassettes. That may be the case, but the aftermarket SRAM 9-speed cassettes apparently are WAY lighter, like by nearly 110 grams. That's a lot to a former weight weenie. The only thing between 9 and 10 speed that appeared to be an improvement with regards to weight was the chain. The Ultegra 10-speed chain was FOUR grams lighter. Yeesh. Ok, lighter, but I can sneeze four grams. Yikes.
Not that ANY of this matters a twidge as I still battle my own bulge, but I was really expecting to put the old stuff on this bike and have it be heavier, which I was totally okay with. Surprise!

The minimialism thing is kinda cool, too -- finally got the seat bag stocked with pretty much everything I'd EVER need for anything that would cause a problem for me or the bike. Let's take a look in the magic bag, eh?

1) two tubes
2) two CO2 inflators
3) presta to schrader adapter
4) 9-speed SRAM powerlink
5) four zip ties
6) FiberFix spoke
7) extra spoke nipple
8) safety pin
9) two spare Lumotec bulbs
10) small "swiss" pocket knife
11) two spare AAA batteries
12) Park SuperPatch kit
13) Innovations Air Chuck (for CO2)
14) Crank Bros Chain tool
15) 5mm Allen wrench
16) 4mm Allen wrench
17) three small "lucky rocks" that kids and I picked up on bike trail once
18) tin of Lantiseptic
19) tin of Tiger Balm
20) tube of lip balm
21) three Park Tire Boots
22) Quik Stik tire lever
23) emergency space blanket

All of this fits into a 30 cu in. Pearl Izumi Tailgate seatbag. Minimialist indeed.
Also, on the bike is a Specialized AirTool frame pump. I'm using Ort's proven method of a small air pump to get tires started and most of the way to full pressure, and then the CO2 cartridges will take them up to maximum pressure without wearing me out, or wasting too much time. If worse comes to worst and I run out of inflators I can always get the tires to rideable, if not optimum, pressure with the pump itself, but I should never be without air. The inflators are simply for help.

On the seatpost, I have added a Minoura SwingGrip - normally used on handlebars for computers and spare lights, I've employed this nice mount to have two taillights nicely balanced and aimed, without having to fuss with clamps on the weird-shaped stays of the frame itself. Also doubles as a handy seatpost height minder, if I should need to pulling the seatpost for something.

Up front, the Dinotte light will serve as primary for racing and ultra in the summer months, and I'll switch to the Lumotec on the fork crown for brevets, when I can swap on the Mavic Cosmos rear wheel with the other 9-speed cassette, and the Schmidt hubbed front wheel, both with larger tires. I found out that 28's *DO* actually fit, another surprise - but the clearance is REALLY tight, so I'll probably opt for 25s to prevent any issues. It was kinda like runnign 25s on the old Bianchi -- THAT was tight clearance! This is actually really practical, compared to the notion that most modern road bikes can't handle anything larger than a 23c.

So, I'm ready to roll! The first longish test ride will be on the Cidermill Run tomorrow AM - I'm ready to enjoy this ride!


Anonymous said...

LOL - What is it with you Cannondale guys!? I do my single 24 Hour race every year with my 3 Canondale friends and they analyze everything to death as well! :-)

Seriously, though. Awesome blog. I discovered it in a roundabout fashion when I saw your picture on BicycleJournal.com (you were one of the 3 featured members) The picture made me laugh and one link led to another....

How on earth are you fitting all that gear in an Izumi Tailgate bag!!!? (ROFL) I'm a minimalist as well and use the same bag, but apparently I need to go back to packing school. You have some good stuff in there (and a LOT of stuff), I'll have to rethink my supplies.

Good luck on your ride.

O. T. said...

Soooooooo. You are keeping the C'dale?
I am confused.