N-1 = Specialized

Breaking all the rules of cycling mathematics

A sad day today as I say goodbye to my aging Specialized Tarmac.

Love these pictures off http://www.extrememarathonguide.com/kona-ironman-world-championship-race-profile/
Not me, similar TT bike to the one I still have: Image Source: http://www.extrememarathonguide.com/kona-ironman-world-championship-race-profile/

I’ve just handed over my Speccy Tarmac to ‘random guy’ on ebay for a decent price (to him) and, after eBay extracted their coin, I was left with a little over £400/$500 to spend on something new.

I’m still not sure exactly why I sold it. I liked it. I wouldn’t say ‘I loved it’ but I certainly liked it. Even with the crappy wheels I left on, and once the pedals were taken off, it felt REALLY light and perhaps that explains why my segment PBs up nearby hills were mostly on this bike? Indeed, as I handed it over to ‘random guy’, naturally observing social distancing rules, I said that “you could probably spend over $6000/£5000 on a new bike that was only marginally better,” and he agreed.

There’s a lesson there somewhere if I care to look.

N = N – 1

Oh well, it’s gone now and there’s no use crying over spilt milk.

Why I sold it

  • I now have a Cervelo R5 – let’s face it, it meets the exact-same lightness characteristics as the Tarmac and totally superseded the Tarmac in both 11-speed glory and the ability to have Di2 cabling (Yes, my Tarmac really was quite old!)
  • It had 10 speed SRAM RED components and I’m pretty much heading for Shimano 11-speed all round. It just makes changing stuff over MUCH easier.
  • It looked alright but wasn’t ‘a looker’ by any stretch of the imagination.
  • I got rid of an old pair of wheels and a slightly worn ISM Adamo saddle as part of the sale.
  • An ethical sale. If there was anything wrong with it I would have felt bad. But there wasn’t. It had recently been ‘serviced’ with new cables and bar tape and a good, general greasing up all over. Everyone likes a good greasing up all over…my bike was no exception.
  • Of course, the real reason is that my partner wanted the space that my bike occupied for some other pointless, non-cycling reason. Actually, the space is now being used for a yoga mat and something to do with Les Mills, so I’m not going to complain there at all. At least not yet.
  • But, of course, the real-real reason is that N+1 ALWAYS triumphs over N-1. I have a plan to make N + 1 happen, although perhaps not a good plan if I am honest.

My 2020 Bike – a Cervelo R5 review of sorts

The Plan

I had 6 bikes and I now have 5 (2xMTB, 1xTT, 1xHill, 1xRoad Race). Here’s what I thought I was aiming for moving forwards

Low Importance – Low Priority: My MTB bikes are both old and aluminium framed and pretty heavy. One is ancient and the other is almost ancient. The ancient one has damaged bits that can’t easily be fixed and it’s all falling to bits. I just need to give it away. But it’s hard to do that, it was my first-ever brand new bike. If I can just muster the courage to get rid of both then there will be PLENTY of space for a properly modern trail bike with big wheels, carbon and all. Of course, I’ll never use it but it will be there ‘just in case’.

But surely that means N= N – 1 ? and now N has become  N – 2 hmmm. Maybe I could buy an e-bike?

Medium Importance – Medium Priority: My Road ‘race’ bike is my Cervelo S3. I didn’t think I’d done any road races on it when I last looked so I’ve decided to swap off all the good components and sell it. Regardless, it looks a bit old but it is fast and handles well. Actually it’s fast uphill too, so I’m not entirely sure why I needed the R5 in the first place, other than that the R5 looks super-cool. Anyway…the S3 currently has 11-speed Ultegra all over it with a few Dura-Ace bits #PrimeKit. They have to come off whatever I decide to do and find their way into a box in the attic or to a grateful friend. Indeed the 11-speed stuff could well go on to my TT bike which leads me nicely on to…

Wait a minute, surely that again means N= N – 1 ? and now N has become  N – 3 hmmm. Maybe I should keep the S3?

High Importance – Medium Priority: My TT bike is Specialized too. It’s a bit old and a bit heavy and doesn’t have enough gears. It does the TT job WELL on flat courses but it NEEDS 11 gears on the back so that I can switch a wheel over to it on a windy day without faffing about with cassettes. I’m actually still a bit hacked off that, when I bought this bike, the flat TT bars were ‘all the rage’ so I just had to get a new bike with those on to replace my ski-bar type TT bars. But, you guessed it, as soon as I switched over, the ski-type TT bars became scientifically faster. #Sigh #MiracleOfScience. Plus my older/original TT bike was comfy and my times on it were always notably faster, I think it was made of lead and certainly NOT carbon but once I got it up to terminal velocity it just seemed to stay there. Or I was younger. One of the two 😉  I digress. I was going to just sell my current TT bike and buy a new(er) TT for this season but this season appears not to exist any more, so I’m on a bit of a holding strategy here and not sure what to do. It does have sweet Mavic CXR wheels and DOES have a new present of Dura-Ace 11-speed bar-end shifters (£50/$60 from Wiggle…eesh…arrived this morning). That 11-speed upgrade should make it last until Christmas.

Wait a minute. Now, what do I put on my turbo trainer (that I normally rarely use)?

I definitely need a new bike for that.

What about a spare in case of damage?

I might need a new bike for that.

What about a bike for inclement weather?

I might need a new bike for that.

And so it goes on. Advice welcomed.



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