Sunday, July 27, 2014

Three Bikes On and Off the Bubble

I'm up to six bikes now, which is about twice my comfort zone. Of course, this has me thinking and scheming about how to rearrange my bike fleet. I'll explain this through three rides on three different bikes:

1) Last weekend, I took my spare parts build Cross Check for a quick spin to the library. I actually had the CC posted for sale, but I set my price on the high side, perhaps subconsciously knowing I didn't really want to sell it. That, and I'm really enjoying the way it rolls on the supple Racing Ralph tires. Those supple tires, though, didn't help when I couldn't bunny hop over the sharp edge where the road had been ground down, pinch flatting my rear tire (I can't bunny hop worth a darn if I'm not clipped in). I got a little nervous when I opened my tool bag to only find a 26 x 2" tube. Luckily, I also had my patch kit, AND the glue hadn't dried, so I successfully patched the tube and carried on.

With only a mini pump to use, my tire didn't have as much air as I normally like. Finally, I had a legitimate use for the public bike work stand near the rec center. I started to pump, only to realize there was no resistance. Maybe this was why:

I carried on, soft tire and all, and had a nice afternoon ride.

So with my Camargue having a solid grip on the utility duties, the CC and ye Olde Trek are left to duke it out for sporty bike duties.

My project this weekend is to put drop bars back on the Trek. That will make some differences between them, with an idea to justify both... but it also moves the Trek closer to stock configuration, and thus how I would like to sell it.

2) I mentioned at the bottom of my Razzo post that I was casting admiring glances over at my newly built up (again) Breezer. I finally got some new brake pads, which, along with a fresh bleed, have seemed to get my new hydraulic brakes operable (still, I don't really see any benefit in modulation or power compared to my mechanical brakes, but that's another post)

I loaded up the Breezer and headed to P2 on Friday. The trail was in perfect shape, just right for testing a new bike build:

Hey, these brakes finally work!

Sporting my usual 1x9 drivetrain (carried over directly from the Krampus, hence the full length cable housing and zip ties), and one of the worst tires I've ever used:

Unfortunately, the Breezer couldn't match its model looks with performance. It was OK, but I missed the extra stability of the 29er wheel. The frame rides nicely enough, but it's nothing special. Ride #3 sealed the deal for the Breezer...

3) The next day, I took the Razzo to Dillon SP. Dillon is the most technically demanding trail in Ohio, with two optional rock sections that usually stop me in several places, and have me nervously thinking about all the dental work I've had done in my life:

Originally, I had planned to use the FSR for this trip, but decided on the Razzo at the last minute. In the event, I had a good ride on the Razzo, able to power up the hills and through many of the rocks. I even think the stiffness of the carbon might have helped at some point, when I was able to point myself successfully through a particularly sketchy corner. I was able to lift the front wheel well enough, and I was at least as comfortable on this rigid single speed as I was on the hardtail Breezer.

Dillon is a tough trail. I always park at the beach and head towards the marina, and it's always a relief to see this sign:

Then it's an uphill road slog to the camp store, where they have the best (and best value) ice cream I've found at a state park:

Just $2 for this alleged "single scoop" (at 10:30 in the morning, don't tell my mom) From the store, I rode road back to the sled hill, then a few more miles of rocky, rooty downhill to the car. A good ride!

So to help you keep track at home, here's my fleet and their current status:

1) Velo Orange Camargue: solid keeper as a utility bike

2) Sette Razzo SC: pretty solid as my single speed mountain bike, but I did come across a pretty good deal on a Foundry Broadaxe. Hopefully, the guy will get back to me and tell me it's sold!

3) Surly CC: back to life as a sport bike

4) Specialized FSR: in some danger of being sold cheap to my buddy so I can divest myself of 26" wheels, and possibly pick up a used Jet9 or other FS 29er.

5) Trek 620: in some danger of being put back to stock and sold

6) Breezer Lightning Pro: stripped down for sale

As always, subject to change at any shift of the wind or whim.

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