Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Upgrading the stable with a new steed.

Last Thursday I stopped by Capital Hill Bikes down on 8th St SE to say hello to a friend who works there and check to make sure they would still honor a gift card belonging to another friend. While I was there I started looking at their road bikes and the next thing I knew I was hopping on the Bianchi 1885 Veloce for a test ride. I’ve got to say, to this point in my life that is by far the nicest bike I have ever ridden. Campy parts have always just been sort of a wet dream and I never thought I’d actually be considering anything other then Shimano equipped bikes.

The difference in the shifting would take some getting used to since I automatically try to push the brake lever and shift the wrong direction at first but the parts seemed flawless the comfort on that bike was fantastic. I also rode a Cannondale CAAD9 I believe which felt a bit bulky and clumsy, though that may have just been the bars which will be switched out. Later that night Scott was able to talk me out of any immediate and drastic decisions on a new bike, over the weekend however, I spent some serious time looking into my financial situation and the options I’d have were I to make a purchase in the near future. At this point it looks like I should be making a decision sometime in the next two months, assuming nothing comes up that messes up my monies.

While I certainly don’t expect the bike to make a huge difference, I am to the point where it is becoming noticeable in my eyes that I would be better suited with a bike without DT shifters. Coming down on the quick descents and needing to take my hands off the bars to shift is an unnecessary burden and with higher speeds a shaking wheel is inevitable. Causing a crash because I was shifting would not really be my cup of tea. Also while hammering on the pedals, most notably during sprints I don’t really have the option without introducing serious risk to everyone involved of shifting and therefore my overall sprinting speed could be improved with a more modern bike with sti shifters.

Since I’d like to keep the Specialized as it is my natural conclusion is that another bike must be added to the stable. While I would still like to get a cross bike as well, I think the most useful purchase at this point will be to go with a new road bike first and then in a year or so if possible, then I can go for the cross bike. Now to narrow it down from the 13 + models I’m eyeing since I don't know if I can justify the campy equipped Bianchi; I mean it doesn't match my kit at all...


Freewheel said...

I'm also a Campy fan. Check out campyonly.com.

randy>>circularlife.com said...

I was considering a Bianchi a little while back but now I have my heart set on a Felt F3. That is, of course, assuming I finish May Training as planned.

And on that note...thanks for the comments.

josh said...

Good call on the downtube shifters and the need for a more modern bike. Although I love the Specialized (I rode it for 15 years before I sold it to you!), something with brifters may be more in order.

If you're not crazy about the Celeste green, I believe that the 1885 frame also comes in Black. There's also a nice review of this bike in the current issue of Cycling Plus magazine (from the UK, availoable at better newsstands around town...), and they liked it a lot.

Also, if you want to get more of a feel for a Cannondale with all the mdern stuff, you can borrow my 2006 CAAD8 if you like (just don't race it, please!)

Beakerz said...

Was in REI today. God, they have some beautiful bikes there.

KMAX said...

That Felt pretty amazing Randy though I've got to say that's a bit out of my range. I'm getting some pretty great discounts through the shop here so I'll be staying well below the $2K range. Good luck with that ride though!

Josh, yeah I really love the specialized and it seems to fit me like a dream, but I want to keep it as is but also really need to upgrade to some more race friendly components. As for the Bianchi, I sort of really like the bianchi green and sort of hate it. I'll have to figure out which route to go but that black is pretty sweet as well. I'll need to check out that article, thanks for the info (oh and for the public humiliation... :)

I need to stop going to bike shops when I don't need/can't buy a new bike. It is too hard to walk out without one. They're all just so sweet!