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Old 10-20-11, 10:09 AM   #1
eddubal
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Am I Insane?

Well, we all know that answer...

I have a Van Dessel G&T on order that's supposed to hit my hot little hands tomorrow (Friday). If it doesn't arrive in time, this is a non-issue, however there is a good possibility that I'll have it in time to race Saturday, and if I'm lucky I'll get to ride it some Friday night to get acquainted with it. Saturday, I can use the preriding times and warm-up for more experience with it, however I know one of the major tips is to have at least 50 miles on a new bike before racing.

The question is: Should I race the new G&T or stay with my 25 yr old, 5-10 lb heavier Peugeot MTB? My gut says to go with the G&T for a few reasons:

-It's only my second race ever, therefore not critical. I consider it almost a training race.
-It's lighter weight will be a huge asset even if I never shift gears, or end up misshifting occasionally.
-I've been going between the different boy positions of flat bars vs drop bars so often these days that I'm not concerned about being in a "different" body position.
-I get to play hard with my new toy right away

What would you do?
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Old 10-20-11, 10:14 AM   #2
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Do it! Try to squeeze a little ride time on Friday for fit purposes and go for broke on Saturday.
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Old 10-20-11, 10:23 AM   #3
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If you've got time to go for a little ride and adjust the derailleurs, go for it. If not, maybe. Missing a shift isn't that big of a deal, but throwing a chain sucks even when you're not in a race.
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Old 10-20-11, 10:59 AM   #4
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I'd ride it.
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Old 10-20-11, 01:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddubal View Post
My gut says to go with the G&T for a few reasons:

-It's only my second race ever, therefore not critical. I consider it almost a training race.
-It's lighter weight will be a huge asset even if I never shift gears, or end up misshifting occasionally.
-I've been going between the different boy positions of flat bars vs drop bars so often these days that I'm not concerned about being in a "different" body position.
-I get to play hard with my new toy right away
Your reasoning is very sound, but that's not necessarily proof of sanity. In any event, I wouldn't even hesitate to race the G&T.
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Old 10-20-11, 04:58 PM   #6
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Race it, while not as tight of a time limit I was racing my new bike less than two weeks after I built it. Granted I'm a bicycle mechanic and I work in a shop so I was constantly tuning it during that time, I don't think things should go too out of whack during one race. Just make sure you get a ride in the night before and adjust the shifting accordingly if needed.
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Old 10-20-11, 07:15 PM   #7
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You know, once you see it you're going to have no choice but to ride it
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Old 10-21-11, 07:34 AM   #8
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Okay, So twist may arm.. (OK! Ok! Uncle!)

The shop is picking it up from Van Dessel today, and finishing the build this afternoon. I'll pick it up and get fitted when I get off from work and get there about 4:30. It'll be dark by 5:30ish, so hopefully there's a lighted field nearby to do some laps and shake it down. Tomorrow, I'm racing about 2:15, plenty of time!

Drummer, if I had it two weeks ago, this wouldn't be a problem. Heck, If I had it a week ago, I'd be fine. I guess I'm a bit anxious about the bike. Excited too. It sounds like it's going to be a fun ride.

Thanks for the support!
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Old 10-21-11, 04:04 PM   #9
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Ride it!!! Have a good race tomorrow
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Old 10-21-11, 09:20 PM   #10
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I picked it up and it's totally cool! I had a great ride on it tonight. I got comfortable with the SRAM Doubletap shifting really quickly. And really like the 10 gear cluster in back. It's very different than the 6 gear cluster I've been working with.

The bike is very comfortable and stable. It's the only bike that I own that I can ride handless off-road. I can't pedal as much in the corners as I can on my Peugeot, but that's not necessarily bad. Because it is so much lighter than my Pug, It's that much peppier coming out of corners.

I got the disc brake option, and that is proving very nice. I'll let you know more later once they wear in more. Suffice it to say that I'm going to need to be gentle with the brakes to avoid endos and unnecessary slowing.

I'm really looking forward to tomorrow's race. It's gonna be be fun.
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Old 10-22-11, 08:55 AM   #11
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Pictures or it didn't happen.
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Old 10-22-11, 09:20 AM   #12
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Pictures or it didn't happen.
And, obviously, race report by 8:00pm...
If you got as much rain as we have 400miles further west, I don't know if you'll be needing brakes anyway...
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Old 10-22-11, 07:28 PM   #13
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OKay, the race report is late, but better late than never....

No pictures (that I know of) but I'll try to get some bike porn up for you tomorrow. I got 15th out of 28 (mid-pack). Third lap I blew up, but fourth lap I started feeling better and did better. I still couldn't catch the guy in front of me, but I didn't lose any spots. It's probably a race-day nutrition problem. I'll be working on it in the next few races. The G&T performed wonderfully. I fell once when I hit a root at a bad angle, but during another close call, was able to recover from what I thought was a certain crash.

We haven't had any rain for a couple of days, so the race was pretty dry except for one section of very wet grass that was like riding through molasses, Several of the turns in the tree-covered area were slightly muddy and a bit slick, but navigable. That's where I hit the root that took me down.

The course was full of hairpin off-camber turns and I felt fairly technical. The G&T and it's steep geometry was great for turning, but I need to work on my end of the deal. Shifting was spot-on, but again I need to get used to SRAM shifting. I had several mis-shifts, but that's the price you pay for not having time to get used to the bike. I remember at one point I thought about moving my hand to use thumb-shifters and had to laugh since that is what I would have to do with my other bike.

Shouldering the bike was easy and a joy, At 20lbs 1oz, it must weigh 10 lbs lighter than my Peugeot.

The disc brakes were fabulous. No matter where I was on the course, braking (what little I did) was precise and repeatable. It was very easy to feather the brakes for the turns. I'd heard that once you go to disc brakes, you don't go back. It's true. They are about a lb heavier, but well worth the weight penalty.

I couldn't believe how stable the bike was and how easy it was to get out of problems. I had a couple of times that I thought that I was going down, but a quick correction, and I was tread down again.

I can't really say anything bad about the bike. It can be twitchy at times, but once you ride it for a while, that is all correctable. Edwin Bull, the owner of Van Dessel rode the exact same setup (probably with tubulars though) and came in second in the Men's A class 1/2/3 race. I'm planning on working on the motor and its fuel, and hopefully hit the top 10 within the next few races. Friends said that I was in the top 7 for about the first lap, but lost time after that.

With a little work, I'll have the motor up to spec and hopefully in line with the quality of the bike. It was a fun and exciting day, and I'm looking forward to the HPCX next weekend.

Now go out and ride!
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Old 10-22-11, 09:37 PM   #14
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Nice seeing you again and heck of a job out there today! You looked really strong and comfortable with the setup. See you at the next one!
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Old 10-23-11, 08:37 AM   #15
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CX = Insanity.

That's why we love it so!
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