Looked At Bikes Yesterday

I had a bunch of time to kill yesterday afternoon so I went to a local bike shop and looked at some bikes. I’ve gone in several times up until now to casually look at bikes but since I’m kinda in the market for one I went in looking for specific price points and component setups. Here’s what I found at one particular shop. $500-$850 These were clearly your beginner level bikes with all of them featuring 8-speed Shimano Sora and Tiagra component groups. I have a 7-speed now so moving up to a 8-speed doesn’t seem like that much of an improvement. All of them had no-name brakes and the shifting mechanisms aren’t nearly as functional as something with Shimano 105 or above shifters. Bikes in this range included the Trek 1.1 or 1.2 and some of the low-end Specialized Allez. Like I said, these looked to be beginner level bikes and not something I wanted to get. $1000-$1500 I would classify these as intermediate level bikes and most likely the price point I’ll be targeting if I have to buy brand new. Most of these bikes came with at least 105 components with some variances here and there in shifters, brakes, or derailleurs and were all aluminum frames with carbon fiber forks. For instance, you may see a bike with 105 shifters, derailleurs, and cranks but no-name brakes. Or 105 everywhere except perhaps an Ultegra front or rear derailleur. The hard part was finding the combination of components I liked on a bike that was the right size and color. I found what I thought was a...

Status of My Bike

Today I managed to head down to the local bike shop to talk with them about my busted bike. In truth, I had been putting this off because I just had a feeling it wouldn’t be good news and I was right. I began explaining to the two mechanics the problems with trusty ride (rims coming apart, cracked derailleur hangar, it needs a full tune up, chain, new cassette, and new cables, etc.) (by this time I felt like a hypochondriac). Their first suggestion was to take the set of pink rims they had hanging from the ceiling and convert it to a fixie. For some reason I just can’t imagine myself as a fixed-gear hipster riding around on a pimped out pink pista (say that ten times fast). Pimped out pink pista, Pimped out pink pista, Pimped out pink pista…… They called around and couldn’t find ready-made rims that fit my rear spacing which meant we had to try and make another size work or try and find some old 7-speed hubs and lace up new rims. Whichever method I chose a new set of rims was going to be a couple hundred bucks (pretty cheap considering wheel set prices these days but still a lot). Throw on top of that everything else that needed to be done (plus labor) and we were quickly approaching several hundred dollars. I don’t believe I paid more than $500 for this bike brand new so I wasn’t to keen on dropping several benjamins on it when that could be put towards something newer that didn’t have down tube shifters. You know,...

The Bike is OOC

I drove up to my mom’s house for the holiday weekend and as I always do when I’m up there I use my dad’s shop to give my bike a thorough cleaning and tune up. It’s been a month since I’ve done it and I could really tell on my last couple of rides that things felt a little out of sorts. Little did I know how out of sorts they were. The first thing I always do is give the bike a good cleaning to get all the road grime and build up off. While doing it this time I went ahead and took apart the chain rings and rear derailleur to clean them well. With the rear derailleur off I discovered my first problem. The derailleur hangar has a crack in it. Luckily, my hangar is the replaceable type so it’s done it’s job in not letting the frame crack. The bad part is that it needs to be replaced. I had actually broken my first hangar after only having my bike a few months because of a bad shift. It looks like this crack was a product of age and/or fatigue. I know I’d probably crack under the pressure of carrying an elephant around. One of the last things I do is clean my rims and the front rim was the last one to get cleaned this morning and it held the last surprise. One of the spokes looks like it’s pulling through the rim and on the break surface side the rim is splitting apart. Not good and actually very dangerous should the rim have...

Had To Take a Break; Back Now

For my regular readers you’ll notice that I haven’t posted in about a week and have been scarce on Twitter (@farsided). I had a really rough week last week dealing with the family separation and the job search, and felt really tired of being on the bike so much. I did ride a few times but they were slower endurance pace rides instead of hard intervals. Most of you know that I’m working in Dallas while my family still lives in Jacksonville, FL. I’ve been trying to get back to Jacksonville but the job market there has been a tough nut to crack. I put a lot of effort into the job search over the last couple of weeks and reached out to some old acquaintances of mine that were able to stir up some leads for me. Up until a couple of weeks ago I had had a good lead in my back pocket and was just waiting for the job to be posted. Turns out the the job was canceled and I was back to square one. I found out yesterday that the job was back on and I applied for it today. I won’t elaborate now but I’m very excited about this opportunity and have high hopes that it will be what gets me back to Jacksonville with my family. I’ll update as I know more. It had been four months since I’d seen my family so this past weekend I flew home to be with them. It was a planned trip so I could attend my wife’s parent’s 50th Wedding Anniversary Party, see my youngest...
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