Tuesday, October 14, 2008

New Bike City: I HAZ BYK!!!!!

Ladies and gentlemen, I present the Invincible...

Final tally: $3300 for the frame, $5900 for the complete bike. Parts list:
I got the frame Monday, October 6th, started building it that night, and promptly found that Moots had built the seat tube to a larger diameter than I had planned on. Therefore the only real snag (other than my own inexperience in building bikes) was in getting a front derailleur from Bike World with the proper clamp diameter. That took a couple days to sort out, but once I got everything together, the bike weighed 19.25 pounds without bottles, but with everything else listed above. In other words, real-world weight, not trumped up claims of the lightest frame around before it's useful (are you listening, bike manufacturers?)

Once everything worked its way out, I rode the bike home Wednesday night in street clothes, and took it out for its first ride in "real" clothes that Friday with my friend Kim. Simply, it lives up to expectations. It's a phenomenal piece of craftsmanship and it's worth every penny.

And like I've been saying, I defy anyone to take a look at any single piece of that bike and say it looks out of place. I'd wanted to go for a classic-looking bike made out of the best modern materials, and I scored a grand slam.

Thanks go out to the following:

Jon Cariveau from Moots, who did an excellent job putting together the proposed design and serving as my contact. Praise goes to all the employees there involved in the fabrication process...you are true artisans.

Kim Topp and Marc Seeman, for reminding me that above all, this is a fun sport.

Tom Healy, chief mechanic at Bike World Ames, for putting up with my snowstorm of questions and for doing a damned fine job of both building my wheels and not throwing me out of the shop when I became a pest.

Eric Grootveld of Bike World, for reminding me that this isn't supposed to be cheap or easy. Thanks, Grote; taking that advice to heart was well worth it. But I still dispute that perfection can't come in 700 x 23 :-)

And above all, Steve and Leann Lauber of BW. You guys have gone from being good business acquaintances to being better friends, and I thank you for everything.

Spin easy, friends.

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