Anywho, after reading the adventures of Mr. Cronin with these guys, I decided to build up a gravel monster ride(this frame, but roadish parts) for the Shabbos +1 we did last Sunday. I figured it'd be nice on gravel to have a more upright position, so I used a short, steep stem. After some tinkering at the beginning of the ride, I had a real comfy position. Mr, Miles, who was in attendance, mentioned that I was riding rather strong. I don't know if it was the fact that I hadn't done a long ride in quite a while so I had fresh legs, but I did feel quite plucky during the ride. I rode the gravel monster to work Monday and Tuesday, but then switched back over to my race machine yesterday. The aggressive lowered-stem position of the roadie just didn't feel right, especially standing up to sprint/climb. So I real quick switched the stem to the upright position for the ride between UNMC and High Gear in the afternoon. I WAS FLYING!! I felt more comfortable and stronger on that bike than I had for a long time. Granted, a couple hours before I had just downed an Italiano from the local Charbucks kiosk (espresso shot mixed with coffee), and I had a decent cross/tail wind.... But man I felt good.
Well it must have been the coffee and tailwind. Cause on the ride home into a slight headwind, I was nowhere near as strong. I felt comfy... until my rib muscles did a weird spasm thing a half mile from home. It was kinda like a side-ache like you get when you swim right after eating, but more like only when I breathed all the air out of my lungs. It reminded me of the crash I had in Norfolk a few years ago. Very weird.
So I like the more upright position cause I think I'm not as flexible as I used to be. And I surely don't have the core strength needed to comfortably lean over in an aero/aggressive position for hours on end. I also have been contemplating a near complete cleaning out of my bike stable. I've been working for a few years on finding the "perfect" commuter bike. Guess what I figured out? Any bike can be a perfect commuter bike. And it only took me 3 bikes to figure that out. I've said to myself after each one was done, "I've made a huge mistake." But yet I went back for more....such is the life of a bike tinkerer.
Bikes are meant to be ridden in all kinds of weather, on all kinds of terrain. If the Lincoln/Rapha guys can ride road bikes for 150 miles on gravel, so should I. Sure, some bikes are better suited to certain conditions than others. Being that the majority of my riding is on road, that's probably what my bike should tailor to. So I think I'm going to sell my commuters and just have one roadish and one mtb bike. Once parts fail on my roadie, then I'll replace with parts that are more geared toward my current riding needs. I'll run my current Bonty Race X-lite wheels into the ground and replace with something similar to these. Simple, strong, lightweight. I have no idea how long my Lemond Frame is going to last, but I do really like the Rapha guys take on bikes. A well built lightweight steel frame will replace the aluminum Lemond I current use. That's probably not going to happen for quite a few years since Lemonds are/were good bikes. So hopefully I'll be way more out of debt by the time that happens and I can actually "afford" to go for a custom hand build steel ride. Hey, maybe by then, War Axe bikes will be up and running and I can support some great local guys.
And that's enough rambling and linking for today, campers. Have a good one!