Browse Month by October 2011
Bicycle, bikes, Cyclocross

New bike day…

I’m giddy for tomorrows MFG Cyclocross race.  I’ll be racing on a new CX bike.  You may remember the SSCXWC as it was in Seattle last year?  Well I’ll be on one of the frame sets which are now no longer available- you snooze you lose…  Anyhow- it sat in the basement for 6 months waiting to be built- me wondering a little if it would ever happen.  Through the support of Gates Carbon Drive and one of our Soft Like Kitten sponsors- Recycled Cycles as well as the master mechanic-ing of Mr. Blaise Curry, I’ll be rolling up to the start on a bike that is by far the nicest I’ve owned to date.  It weighs in at 16lbs and change and is built super solid for a Clydesdale such as myself.  If I wanted to knock off a little more weight- it would be in the wheelset- but carbon wheels are a big expense.  One that I don’t have in the budget at this time.  These wheels are still lighter that my old Surly 1×1/Velocity A23 combo with clinchers.  This will be my first real go with the Gates Carbon Drive which I’ve been raving about purely on the theory of it.  I hope that it performs well in our (typically) muddy conditions here in the Northwest- and I’ll be reporting back with thoughts on it’s performance in different conditions.  You may notice that as with the Traitor that I’ve been riding- the steerer is uncut.  I’m looking for some guidance on bike fit for cyclocross (any shops I should talk to?)- and am leary to cut the steerer at the moment.  I want to be sure that it’s right.  If you can forgive that, then enjoy the photos.

I went with V-brakes in order to both reduce the possibility of brake shudder as well as getting solid braking power.  They are mini-v’s so they don’t require the long pull that v-brakes normally do.  We’ll see how they do with mud clearance.  Coupled with v-brake specific drop bar levers- they feel solid (at least dry).  The cranks were a trade out- because the FSA Gossamers that I ordered- I ordered with an incorrect BCD.  So Blaise took care of me with some stuff he had around.  Dura-Ace is what is on now.  Boo-yah.  The Chris King hubs will be my first- and I’m looking forward to seeing what all the hullaballo is about.  They are brown- because they will be muddy soon enough.  I like the Major Tom rims- built wider and as a cross specific rim from Velocity.  I’ve been running their clincher version- the A23 on the Traitor.  The Challenge Grifo tires are pretty popular in the NW and the rear tire is switched around the other way for more traction in muddy conditions.

I’m not typically a weight-weenie as it were; mainly because when a fella weighs over 220lbs and starts getting carbon levers to shave 15 grams here and there, they have too much money.  Like Donna Summer, I work hard for my money- and my goal with this build was a balance of weight, strength and cost.  If only allowed 2 of the 3- I chose my usual cocktail composed of strength and value.

The bike gets lots of comments and though I’m not one that typically likes the flashy side of things- I’m hoping I can get a shirt for the bike that says “don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.”

This was the original idea for the bike.  It came out pretty spot on huh?

Build details:

  • frame: 2010 Raleigh carbon SSCXWC frame with ENVE carbon fork and integrated FSA headset
  • wheels: 32H Chris King classic road hubs laced to Velocity Major Tom rims
  • tires: Challenge Grifo 32’s
  • handlebars: Salsa cowbells 44cm wide
  • tape:  Fizik glossy black
  • levers:  Cane Creek Drop bar V levers
  • brakes:  TRP CX-9 mini V brakes
  • stem:  PRO
  • saddle:  Fizik Arione
  • seatpost: FSA carbon SL-K (soft like kitten?)
  • cranks: Dura Ace
  • drivetrain: Gates Centertrack CDX belt drive 55T chainring 24T cog
  • pedals: Crank Brothers egg beaters

You can see a few more photos over on the Flickr.

Once again- a big ol’ wet sloppy kiss to Blaise for helping me out.  To Raleigh as a sponsor of SSCXWC without which I wouldn’t have the bike to begin with, to Recycled Cycles for being a rad sponsor of an amazing team, and of course to Gates Carbon Drive for doing what they do.  As a parting shot- here is Blaise doing what he does and one of the reasons that he’s so bad ass.  Your cheater bar is weak sauce.  His is a gun.  A fucking gun.

(not sure who took this photo- I’ve had it on the computer forever and this feels like a proper time to use it)


*Update 10/30/11

Yesterday was a great course for me out at Magnuson Park.  MFG rarely (ok, never) dissapoints.  As I was in the line waiting to start- I got a few comments on my bike to which I replied:

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Bicycle, Gear

Meet the Fitzroy.

At Interbike Billy walked me through the Fitzroy and I got what seemed like it was going to be a fantastic little video.  Well… It wasn’t.  My new camera didn’t have a fast enough card in it and the video is chopped up and dumb.  Blogging is hard enough for me- to make a video was an undertaking that I should have known was out of my league.  That doesn’t change the fact that the Fitzroy is a solid looking pack.

Though I currently don’t own any Mission Workshop gear- I’ve been wondering more and more why.  I’ve inspected them at shops and love the packs.  This one especially.  It’s made in the USA and has a lifetime warranty.  It’s sexy, it’s got the cargo capacity (2200 cubic inches,) I really don’t know why I haven’t bit the bullet.  Sure, $219 seems like a lot of cash- but it’s not much more than other offerings out there.  When you look at how long a quality pack like this will last and the value of the things we sometimes carry in our bags (hello zippered pocket for your laptop!)- it’s really not much at all. 
I’m not really sure why they call it The Fitzroy- but I’m going with them naming it after Robert FitzRoy- the captain of the HMS Beagle, on Charles Darwin’s famous voyage.
So here it is- The Fitzroy:

You can (and should) check it out over at Mission Workshop.  It’s available online now and in the San Francisco Store tomorrow.



Fitzroy Rucksack as used by Bicycle Coffee Co. from Mission Workshop on Vimeo.

Bicycle, Events, Rides, Seattle

Seattle Halloween Midnight Mystery Ride

Hey Seattle. So I would first like to say thanks to Messman for his decade of organizing the Messquerade. Life has changed and he is now able to enjoy Halloween with his family as proper trick-or-treaters, leaving the rest of us degenerates to fend for ourselves. Thanks for your efforts over the years and I hope you enjoy the time doing whatever “proper trick-or-treaters” do.

That does leave a bunch of people wondering what the hell they’ll be doing come Halloween time. Maile decided to put something together the Friday prior to Halloween in order to get people out on bikes. There will likely be alcohol and debauchery, as it does parallel a Point83 event- the midnight races at Greenlake.

So mark your calendars- get your costume ready, your lights affixed- and get awesome.

This is from Maile:
Facebook invite HERE

Friday, October 28!

Kick off your awesome Halloween weekend in five easy steps:

1. Put on a super-sweet costume
2. Ride your bike to the Greenlake bleachers at 11:30 PM
3. Cheer on the Midnight Greenlake race – join in if you want to!
4. Ride about five easy miles to a super-secret location
5. Go crazy!