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My ‘new’ bike is built – all the details

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Despite a recent bike sale, N+1 has once again become 5. I don’t think that 5 is being especially greedy on the bike front but free space (S) in my garage is diminishing and S is now S-1 and rapidly approaching zero. Naturally, in the eyes of those I live with, S went negative a loooong time ago.

BIKE 2018

Hampton Court Palace

The goals of my 2018 bike are centred around freeing up either this new 2018 bike or my previous road bike to use as a dedicated bike for my own personal cycling efforts. One of the bikes will become some sort of test bed for occasional pieces of new kit while I can just get on the other one and ride like a normal person without having to change some errant component or charge yet another battery.

 

Another of my personal, bike-related goals is to scale various hills, mountains and passes in Europe in 2018. Bike weight is a factor I’m acutely aware of.

Yet another goal was to buy a powertap hub of some description as well as getting some form of improved crankset changeability. Currently everything bike-related is a bit of a nightmare and I often spend an hour faffing around changing bits before curtailing the planned ride to a further hour and then my free time is gone for the day.

At least the rationalisation went something along those lines. In reality the powertap hub didn’t rank highly enough on the ‘interesting’ scale and I haven’t (yet) got one because of that. Really all I wanted to do was:

  1. Play ! – Try out Shimano’s Di2 – but that non-trivial exercise seemed to spiral out of control and morph it acquiring various bits of new and second-hand components. Then, finally, I just bit the bullet and bought a second-hand frame.
  2. Modernise ! – Make my first, tentative move towards 11-speed
  3. Waste ! – I mean invest, some money.

I also wanted to find some uses for various bits of kit that I’d been squirreling away for a rainy day. My sixth sense is knowing that ‘stuff will come in handy one day‘. Ce jour est arrivé (yeah, I googled it too).

Limiting Factors

The overall thrust is for a ‘half-decent Performance Road Bike’ but, in some respects, accomplishing that thrust a little on the cheap.

  1. Electronic Shifting – I confess to previously knowing little about this other than what I had enviously learnt from watching most of my cycling friends shift effortlessly through their gears each weekend. Shimano’s Di2 or SRAM’s eTAP seemed sensible choices. Other than the odd ROTOR and CANONDALE crank most of my components are Shimano, even on my MTBs. So there we go. Shimano Di2 it was. Did I research: the relative battery lives; speeds of shifting; and X, Y and Z? nope. Although I do tend to trust wired stuff a bit more than wireless stuff.
  2. Cost – wasn’t really a factor in the sense that I did not have a specific budget in mind. I just wanted to get cheap stuff where I could and then buy nice, expensive stuff where I thought it was either interesting or needed. I guess a couple of grand was a figure I had in the back of my mind.
  3. Altitude & Distance – I want it to be fairly light. I really have no idea how much any of my bikes weigh. I know my current road bike has a carbon frame and is quite light in the grand scheme of things. If it were 100g lighter or heavier I would be none the wiser. It all becomes rather moot when you are carrying a couple of litres of water (ie 2kg) of extra weight in your bottles. Especially if, like me, you don’t always drink all of what you carry. So for my 2018 bike, it needs to be a carbon framed road bike that’s going to be comfortable to ride.
  4. I don’t especially like the hydraulic brakes on my MTB. They’re ok but quite an old model in any case. So I’ll stick with normal brakes to go with my existing rimmed road wheels which I will, no doubt, swap round from time-to-time.

Component Choices

Here are the final choices with the main driving reason(s) in brackets afterwards for each component ie COST, PERFORMANCE, TOY, EASE-OF-USE, ALREADY HAVE

 

Cost

I haven’t totted up the receipts and depreciated the value of re-used components. Maybe a fair value for insurance purposes would be £3000? To replace on a like-for-like basis must be over £5k. Shame I’m not that good really.

Summary

It’s super sweet and super quiet and fairly light. It has gadgets.

What more could I ask for?

I’ve not really used it yet so I’ve no idea how it rides. Maybe this Sunday? Or maybe Mr KICKR beckons instead 🙁

I think the overall look is a bit too monochromatic. I’m not entirely sure what to do about that. The frame is a 2-tone black, even though it looks pure black. Maybe I’ll get some coloured tyres or handlebar tape or put the bottle cages on that I don’t think will look too good. Maybe.

Here is a slideshow of some of the other images I took at Hampton Court Palace; probably at the exact same spot where King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn once walked hand-in-hand. A lot of good that did her.

 

 

 

 

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