July 11, 2007

Flightly Bastards and Minimialism

Ok -- I've decided to save my money. That's right, save for the glory frame, like I'd originally planned. I know -- GEEZ, I wish this clown would make up his mind.
But, all of the consipracy theories, tales of exploding frames and ranting forum posts from disgruntled crit racers that expect their frames to survive four or five Cat.5 stupidity pileups have lead me to one conclusion: I need to make up my OWN mind. On one side are all of the upset people with broken frames. On the other side is a lifetime warranty for frame replacement, one such case involving someone who's frame failed after 40,000 miles. Ok, I might be bored with the setup by THEN. There is the Cannondale stress testing and unbiased third party testing, and the solid results. Of the problems Cannondale HAS had, very little of them have actualy had to do with the FRAMES. Usually it's their proprietary components, suspension, and the like, and usually it's with mountain bikes... so I've heard.
In typical Jeckyl and Hyde fashion, I have once again come full circle and decided the BEST thing to do right now is NOTHING. If my goal is speed for Tejas, this is the RIGHT bike. I don't plan on crashing -- and if I ever do someday it'll probably be a doozey that would trash a STEEL frame, too. Yeah, I'm all about steel -- but I'm all about BIKES FIRST. I'm not gonna be that much of a snob.

There are, however a few things I DO want to change about it before I get too crazy. The ten-speed rear end is a little touchy on the road, so I'm half considering converting it to 9-speed - a little devolution. Throw on one of my older 9-speed D/A rear D's, a new chain, and the shifting will improve from a standpoint of touchiness, with a small weight penalty. Plus, the 9-speed makes more sense from a brevet standpoint - the SRAM powerlinks are easier to work with, considering the ten-speed powerlinks don't come apart again once engaged, by design. Also, the chain is more substantial and may last longer. The front chainrings won't care if it's a 9 or 10 speed chain, but another thing I enjoyed on the Kogswell was the compact drive. The 'Dale has 53/29 road standard rings, and I'm really thinking that a smaller crankset would better suit my riding style, but I'm not 100% sure on that yet. Again, I could just put the cash in the hopper towards the glory frame of five-years-from-now. I'll sleep on it again.

But, this blog is getting a little tedious from a gear standpoint. Even *I* am getting tired of listening to me talk about what frame material is best for what, and floating back and forth on the issue like some crazed politician. This Saturday is the C'Dude Cidermill Run (hey, there's that CCR reference again!), so I'll ride it, and assess it, and see what I want to change, if anything. Personally, I think I need new tires before Tejas, more than I need a complete drivetrain re-tool, even if I DO have most of the components I need already.

So, let's put this silliness behind us, and talk about RIDES again, eh? Novel idea.

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