Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Vacation: Republic of Boulder

For those of you who don't get the reference, Boulder, CO is one of those towns that has an "atmosphere." Simply, it's an ultra-left-wing type of place, with a lot of hippies, a vast number of free spirits, and a lot of people in the main town market with clipboards and petitions asking, "Are you a registered voter of the State of Colorado?"

Oh, they got bikes, too. Boulder is perennially listed as one of, if not the best bicycle-friendly city in the U.S. for its population (source, Bicycling Magazine). The evidence is everywhere, not the least of which is at Vecciho's Bicycles.

For those of you not in on the story, I've been pining for a Moots road bike for about a year or so. I'm out-growing the capabilities of my aluminum Trek and am looking for a sleek Titanium frame. Why not carbon-fiber, you ask? Simply stated: Ti is more durable and a smoother ride, for all that it's a bit heavy. But then again, I'm more than a bit heavy, so the few extra grams on the frame will go unnoticed. I'm the one who needs to lose the weight, not the bike.

Vecchio's is an official Moots dealer, so as long as I was in town, I stopped in to quiz the main guy there with a few questions. The paraphrased questions and answers are listed as follows:

Q: Should I get a standard frame, or a compact? Is there any real difference in characteristics?

A: The only reason to go for a compact is if you have problems standing over the top tube of a conventional bike. Giant did the compact frames a few years ago because they said a single frame could accommodate a wider-range of rider sizes, and therefore they could get away with producing fewer frames, saving themselves money.

Q: Moots offers custom geometry for an upcharge. Is it worth it?

A: Again, only if you're shaped funny. If you get yourself measured at your local bike shop, Moots will be able to make a frame size recommendation. And they DO take your size into account when determining what tube sizes/diameters you need. They don't just grab one off the assembly line, they build the bike once they get the order from you, so there is some customization that takes place, even if the geometry is stock.

Q: Do you have one I could test ride?

A: Sorry, no.

They DID, however, have one on the showroom floor that was either a demo or an employee's bike. You can't appreciate how beautiful Titanium is unless you've seen it and touched it up close. Luscious.

Joe Lindsey of Boulder Report noted a few posts back that the price of bikes will likely jump next year.

"You will definitely deal with some pricing increases from 2008 to 2009, many of which are uncontrolled by the bikemakers - labor costs are rising, commodities costs are rising and so are transportation costs."
With that in mind, I might make this my birthday present to myself (October) rather than wait a year. We'll see.

One thing else I know: when I get that bike, I want to take it home to Colorado. There are some mountain roads that are just incredible. Now about that weight loss...

Spin easy, friends. And dream of brushed Ti.

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