If you came here today to hear about this mornings ride and how it was a vast improvement from the other days back to back bonk fest….your going to be disappointed. Well, perhaps only slightly disappointed, I bonked but it was well into the ride and it was after I switched bikes. When I bonked I was ready for it with a steady dose of old school punk and sheer unadulterated anger. I started out as usual this morning on the Giant aka Mc Stealthy and was going at a pretty good pace despite the rain, and fog, and as added insult…. it was cold. Not horrid cold but lay on the Under Armor kind of cold. I got to about mile 11 and started feeling claustrophobic. I have eluded in the past to how Mc Stealthy is too small for me, how I am uncomfortably crunched up whist riding it. Today I had enough of it, turned around headed back to my garage for a bike change. I opened the garage and fought every desire to slam that damn bike up against the wall and stomp it until parts flew off of it. After a quick shoe change and a zero of the computer El’ Chupacraba was pressed into service.
Back down the road I head, the exact way I had come from, only this time I am lumbering along on the much heavier mountain bike. I really could care less right now to tell you the truth whether I am on a road bike or a mountain bike, I have no illusions of racing or competing and I have resigned myself to the fact that I am probably doing more harm that good by stuffing myself atop that road bike that is too small for me. I do however like…no I love, the feeling of sliding down the road on a smooth rolling machine designed to glide over the concrete. I continue on my ride and get to the point that I initially turned around for the bike change and I am not feeling even out of breath yet. I log it in as a personal victory having now tripled the distance from “Bonk-Fest 2009” I almost feel a grin come to my face. I am thinking the whole way about what I am going to do about this road bike problem. Do I buy a whole new set up, and start all fresh and new? Do I just buy a larger frame and transfer all of the components? I have had problems with the components though should I just go the frame route and transfer the viable components and replace the ones I already have problems with? Should I go with a cycle-cross bike? Can I use a cycle-cross bike for really long distances on the road or am I going to kill myself trying? I am torn, I have questions and no one I meet face to face with is willing to give me the answers. I go into the shop near my house and I am met with a combination of contempt and disgust, I think because I am somehow perverting their purist spandex culture. I don’t mean to I am just a normal dude who found cycling as a way to get into shape; I have no desire to ride in the pelotons of the local races or join the local clubs.
I make the turn in my ride that sets me back toward my house and am feeling really good. I approach the mark where I know I have about another mile to go and I am still tortured with the whole bike problem and I know the fact of the matter is I have outgrown the road bike. Months ago it was uncomfortable but I think any bike at the weight I was at back then would have been. Now I am much thinner, my body has changed dramatically and I am a better rider (I think)? Its time to step it up I tell myself, because next year I am going to do something that could possibly make your head explode. Something so radical so insane it very nearly defies logic and reason and in order to do so I am going to need a perfectly operating machine that fits me perfectly…I just don’t know how to go about that just yet. I think the first step is finding a shop that gives a shit about what questions I have.
3 thoughts on “Since We Can’t Be Friends, Lets Just Be Enemies”
Excellent ruminations, if I may say so.
IMHO, I would go for a new bike, with components and all. Sounds like Mc Stealthy is knackered. Attempting to replace things bit by bit will end up costing you much more than going with the complete package.
Why the fascination with cyclocross bikes? I would go road.
However, should you consider cyclocross, do consider the Kona Jake the Snake (but you already know I have one!) or something similar – off the top of my head Fuji and Redline have similar bikes in about the same price range.
The Specialized Tricross is not in the same league components wise.
Then just swap your clinchers for some smooth road rubber and you will be happy again…
I’m with Pete on this one. Get a complete bike, and sell McStealthy (or put him on the trainer). Replacing the frame and transferring components will leave you with a great frame carrying tired components.
You’ve been riding long enough now to know what you do and don’t like in a bike. My thoughts are that you might be happiest with a road bike rather than a cyclo-cross one (since it seems the bulk of your McStealthy rides are done on a smooth surface).
When I went shopping for The Beast, the best thing I did was to get a formal fitting done by a guy who does it for a living. At the time, he did the fitting on The Noble Steed, but predictably his findings were that The Noble Steed was too big for me, and he could only do a band-aid fix to make it as comfortable as possible. I asked him to give me measurements to take to the local bike shop, to be sure that when I bought The Beast, I’d buy the right size frame.
Coincidentally, I bought The Beast from the same LBS that sponsors this guy in racing (I didn’t know this at the time that I first visited the LBS). When they got The Beast into stock for me, they set it up with the measurements the guy had specced, and did some very minor tweaks. Lo and behold, the fit is perfect. I’ve never felt as good on a bike as I do on The Beast. So.. long story short – be sure to get a bike fit done by a professional (not necessarily the LBS, which might have a vested interest in selling you the wrong size bike to get rid of floor stock).
Your experience with the elitist snobby bike stores is unfortunately a common one. I visited many LBS before finding one that listened to my needs.
Now. Tell me – what is this head-exploding thing you have planned???
Pete and Max,
I am leaning toward a whole new machine, I have taken an inventory of the sketchy pieces of the Giant and the sketchy far outweighs the solid bits. I have found a not so “L” LBS that my best friend does all of his business at who also happens to be a super evil barely human Triathalon type dude who was not born but assembled from spare parts at Paris Island. Only problem is its over an hour away from my front porch. Small price to pay I think? I plan on the full on treatment from pro bike fit to saddle fit etc. I am going for the full spa treatment. I was promised that this place will bend over backwards to spoil me and I will shun all other bike shops the world over after I walk into this place.
I initially thought a cyclo-cross bike might (and I only say might) be a better fit given the horrid roads I ride on which make cobblestone look glassy smooth. I have no doubt that the bulk of my mechanical problems surrounding that bike was because the parts were being beaten to death on the roads the other fact could have been you just cant sit a 300 pound guy on a wee little bike and expect it to function to perfection day after day. Of course I could be totally wrong? Anyway, as far as the head exploding plan I have rolling around in my head…..give me just a few more days to button up the final details and I will release the full monty.