Sunday, December 31, 2006

year end bikes

everybody has year end stuff, so maybe i should too.
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BIKE PARTS I'VE USED THIS YEAR AND MY OPINIONS
(notice i say opinions, because i'm not one of those people who believe that my own experience is the only experience)
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1. Rock Shox Sid. plain and simple, these things are not great forks for people over 150lbs. out of the box, that is. they are flexy, stiff-legged over sharp edges, and generally only get 60mm of travel, whether they state 60mm or 80mm. that is, until the kaiser get's to them. they may still be flexy, but after he works his majic, they're worth a second hard look. plus, at less than 3 pounds, any weight weenie has to take a second look.
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2. Industry Nine wheels. expensive. light. devastatingly good looking. if they prove to be durable, i'd say spend the money and damn the torpedos.
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3. Avid Juicy disc brakes. my first set was a set of carbons. mushy straight out of the box. ended up returning the right one because it was hopeless. sold them. got ulitmates, mushy out of the box. bled them, WOW. NOW i'm impressed. no excuse for needing to be blead straight away, but do it, you'll love them.
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4. Cannondale Lefty fork. simply the best fork for bump absorption there is. small bumps. bigger hits. and stiff, too. pain in the ass to mount on a rack, pain in the ass to get it repaired (and it WILL need to be repaired, just like the sun comes up and bears crap in the woods) and it only works on Cannondales. if you have to have the feel of the Lefty, it's worth it.
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5. Carbon road bikes. i've been fighting technology for a while. i don't have an ipod (wife does), i don't have much electronic stuff, i drive a car derived from a '79 fairmont. but i made the plunge to a carbon road frame and I LIKE IT! there is a reason why it's all the rage, boys and girls.
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6. Tires. Maxxis detonator road, cross mark ust mtn. WTB NanoRaptor mtn. Continental Gran Prix 4-seasons road. good. good. good. Specialized anything. Tioga anything. not bad, but not so good.
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7. Pedals. if you're going for an spd type pedal, just get Shimano. period. don't pass go, don't go with some expensive lightweight ti whatever. just say no. get Shimano. road stuff i can tolerate deviation, as i am a speedplay fan.
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8. Sram. off-road, good. great, actually. i love me some twist shifters. i love me some XO derailleurs, too. Sram road? best brakes there are. nice quality stuff, love the cranks. didn't like the shifters. call me crazy.
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9. Thomson. love the seatposts. simple, not expensive, light. used to hate the old elite stem, but love the new X2 and X4's. nice looking, too.
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10. Full suspension. c'mon. if you've ever read this blog, you know i'm a huge fan. do it. quit being retro. get a good one, call it a day.
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11. Cranks. i've tried a lot. i like cranks. Shimano's are the best, no doubt. but they bore me to tears. i like the new Sram stuff, it's the only piece of the Force group i kept. i like the Race Face stuff, too, but the customer service there is like a government office. i'd swear them off, but i love the looks.
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12. Flight saddles. how retro. but i can't help myself. i have placed my sorry butt on a lot of saddles, and none keeps me going like a flight. so sue me.
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13. Titanium. don't like it. feels flexy to me. a rep for a popular titanium company told me i just wasn't riding it right. true story.
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14. Cyclocross. love it. i'm really, really bad at it. i don't understand how i can be so bad. but, i'll do it again next year, and i'll buy a bike just for the races and sell it right after they're done, just like always!
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15. Wheels. Mavic. they bore me to death, but they are light and nearly bombproof. i guess i've just seen too many. i love the look of Shimano's new wheels, and they have finally worked out their durability issues. Zipp. let's face it, if i could afford to buy and use Zipp wheels, i don't suppose i would be talking about Mavic or Shimano. They aren't everyday wheels, which is where people go wrong. they're race day wheels. that's ok. if you have the money for Zipps, you probably have the money for a set of Ksyriums or 7801's as every day wheels.
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i'm sure there is more. i try a lot of stuff. lots of times i just change for no good reason but to change. but, i stay with things that work and i don't use things that don't. i have precious little time to ride, and i don't want a ride ruined by a crappy part.

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