Monday, June 23, 2014

what i learned about my bike

I'm still not done about that new crank. When I was looking for a crankset to replace the one I broke, one of my choices was that IRD crankset over which I'd been drooling back in April. I thought of going with that one, but I didn't, partly because the small ring was two teeth larger than the compact I have (I don't give a d-mn that the big ring was two teeth smaller)...

... but mostly because it's a pretty thing. I love pretty things. I love pretty bikes, but I don't ride one. My bike is an efficient bike that fits me well. It's done everything I've asked it to do, except keep the front wheel on the ground on a grade over about 25%. And almost every time I've tried to do something pretty with or to it, instead of something efficient, I've been disappointed, or worse.

The most recent offense was the purchase of a Brooks Cambium Saddle. I've had Brooks saddles rattling around in my head for years. But I've also been perfectly happy with the last Specialized BG2 saddles I found in new old stock at the red-headed-stepchild Knapps Cyclery outpost in Cranbury.

Still, I had some money burning a hole in my pocket, and bought a Specialized Cambium (the new "Vegan Brooks") through my favorite cycle shop, Kim's in New Brunswick. I put it on, measured for height, angle (I like my saddle to point 4° left; my right thigh is thicker than my left), level, and setback, and took it on a few rides. And after 230 miles, I can say that, while it wasn't painful every second I was on it (although it was uncomfortable enough), there was never a moment I wasn't aware it was there.

So I took it off, and put my BG2 back on. As I write this, the Cambium is on auction on Ebay.

I rode the BG2 this weekend on Tom's ride, and on my D ride. I had some problems on each... but the saddle was not among them.

Besides... if I had a real pretty bike, I'd be afraid to ride it. Much better to put my efforts into keeping my bike clean and tuned (but especially clean) rather than pretty.

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