Sunday, August 30, 2009
Best Out of A Bad Situation
The Zvirman situation was over a month ago. As distasteful as it was to have someone threaten to shoot me and then run over my bike, my goal was to make the best of it and then put it behind me. The old bike was my commuter. Also, I originally got it to ride to DC in the Summer of 2007. It served that purpose and then served as a great commuter bike for 2 years. During that period I made many upgrades. Also my needs changed.
After buying the cyclocross, I upgraded to a nicer road bike which I use for long rides almost every weekend and for charity rides. The cyclocross was reduced to bad weather rides and going to work and back.
We also got a second home out of state. So after the cyclocross was destroyed I thought it would be nice to have a bike that was specifically designed for commuting, and a second quality road bike that I could leave at the vacation home so I wouldn't have to worry about bringing my road bike back and forth. I settled with the insurance company for a little less than $1600, which I decided to use as my budget for the two bikes.
As described in the last post, I bought a single speed Raleigh One Way for a little over $600. I had a pair of old clipless pedals to throw on and now I have a great commuter that should make me a stronger climber.
As for the second goal - the road bike: I found a two season old Orbea Onix carbon fiber frame on Ebay for a little over $400. I had always admired i.e. drooled over..Orbeas, which are hand-made in Spain and a favorite of professional riders. From the old bike I was able to salvage the Ultegra rear drive train, chain and cassette, the Specialized Body Geometry seat, the stem, handlebars and Tiagra brake lever/shifters. I purchased off of Ebay a nice set of Ultegra a brakes and a Felt carbon fiber seat post, total cost for these parts: about $90. I then found a very nice new wheel set made by Vuelta and under 1600 grams for $220. Vuelta is a lesser known brand, but I had a set on my cross bike. They held up great, never had to be trued, almost withstood a 6000 lb Armada, and always spun free. From my parts bin I had an Ultegra bottom bracket and crankset that had been on my Madone before I upgraded to a carbon compact, and a Dura ace front derailleur. I also bought a pair of Shimano pedals and tires at REI for $100 (with my spouse discount), bringing my total for the frame and parts to @ $800. Pittsburgh's best mechanics, Jordan and Ted at REI put it together for me. Today I took it for a nice ride up Mt. Troy, down Spring Garden and around town. The frame is very stable and supple. It tracks great. Overall the bike is probably a little heavier than my Madone, but still quite light. I'm extremely pleased. If there is one weakness it may be that the handlebar and stem are heavy since they were specked for the cyclocross bike. I've found the same bars as I have on my Madone and a stem from a complete Onix that I will eventually use to solve that problem. I also may look to upgrade from the Tiagra levers and shifters, although they shift crisp.
The accident and confrontation with Zvirman was quite distasteful on many levels. I learned that no matter how unsafe and rude a driver can be, ignore them and keep riding by. I also was able to replace a beloved bike with two that I think I will learn to like even more.