Friday, March 21, 2008

Carbon Dreams 1

Not finding or not being able to afford what I would like to ride, I find myself imagining the bike of my dreams. It’s a lucid dream, white on black as a negative image of my current rides, usually punctuated by many a kick in the ass from my current aluminum frame. My lovely bike, companion of so many miles it’s all but a lightweight. I think it could be a solid tourer, and indeed that’s probably what it was designed for. It sports a comfortable riding position, lending itself to upright sitting. It can easily fit 25mm tires and perhaps larger ones and has all the granny gears needed to go up long inclines with a moderate load.

What my bike definitely does not do is high speed. And, it’s not very maneuverable even compared with my commuter bike, a mid-nineties Giant Perigee: heavy chromoly steel, downtube shifters, but a wiser size choice than my current behemoth. I need a nimbler bike, possibly lighter and definitely more apt at soaking up the killer bumps that rock and sock me like an opening act pugilist.

After looking around and not finding anything I would really be interested in spending the little money I have in, I am quite inclined in having a bicycle built to spec. For me only, exactly the way I want it, the color I like it, with the parts I'd love to have and the custom fitting I need to be comfortable. I don’t want overly expensive or super light components, but I do want them to be of the kind I want (and need). Shallow drops that allow me to tuck down even with my limited flexibility. Light wheels to get even minimal (psychological?) help I need climbing without pushing my heart rate monitor into self-destruct mode. A compact crankset that will actually shift when I want and to the ring I want (beware of triples unless you are into touring and not really in a rush). And what a handlebar I can actually reach, resting comfortably on the brake hoods? That would be nice.

So I dream, and plan, and look around. A bike like the one below would be nice, if it did not break the bank (and I did not fear hearing the cheesy soundtrack for all my future rides).

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