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  1. #1
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    Cyclocross a total loss - is this bike next?

    . . . because, about a week and a half ago, I took a turn (at my normal cruising speed) on rain-wet pavement, was surprised by a car across my path, "touched" my disc brakes, laid her down and went sliding under the front wheels of the car.

    Blame here would be almost totally mine (that car should not have been there - if it hadn't been sitting at nearly a dead stop, perhaps it would have been gone before I came on the scene).

    It's funny, I seem to have had my share of crashes in the last year - this is my second serious crash - a right hook in June of '06, and now this.

    Anyhow, although I was wearing my helmet, it never came into play. Additionally, no part of my body seems to have more than brushed the pavement or (thank God) contacted the car.

    My clipless pedals probably worked to keep me centered on the bike, and my full rainsuit showed a slick spot where my trousers would have been shredded otherwise.

    No other personal symptoms of this little incident.

    My Cannondale Cyclocross Disc did not fare so well. The top tube (I guess that's what you call it) and the diagonal tube (downtube?) were both folded at 45 degree angles. The bike looked as though it had been modded to be a high-rider.

    The lady in the car seemed almost shocked and definitely shaken. My mood seemed to me very detached. I just casually, while still laying on my side clipped in, reached out and retrieved my glasses that were about 6-inches away on the pavement. Put them back on before attempting to get to my feet.

    Observers were ready to call the ambulance, but I refused, apologized to the lady driving (or sitting still in) the car, and walked the rest of the way home where I immediately called my favorite LBS (he's the best).

    Anyhow, I dropped off the fatally wounded C'dale the next day, and two days later, he had salvaged what could be used and installed it along with some slick new components onto what I imagine is about an '04 Giant T-mobile TCR all carbon frame.

    . . . even reused my little auxilary brake levers 'cause he knew I'd like that.

    Drive train is Dura-ace. Large ring is a 56 (the fixed dérailleur setup on this frame will not permit the use of my beloved 63 - boo-hoo). I don't recall off hand what the small ring is - probably 45 or so. Cassette is a 9-speed. small cog is 11 - I don't recall the count for the large ring - but the short gear combo combined with the overall lightness of this bike combine to make it an effortless climber (I keep reminding myself that my C'dale was set up with a 63-52 combo, so the new bike is bound to be a better climber).

    Anyhow, I took my first extended ride yesterday. There is no question that, on downhills, I really have to spin to keep up with the bike, but, I'm not certain if I actually give up any speed or not. Top speed on my favorite downhill was 47 mph. I remember making 48 on the c'dale and a cool 50 on my old Schwinn LeTour (I'll have to check out the gearing on that bike - only know that we modded it long, but never bothered to count the teeth). I'm guessing that variables like wind, my physical state on a given day, what I have/don't have in my bag/on my person, etc would make those kind of variances insignificant. So, my main objection to this bike (that we could not retain the use of my long gears and 185 mm cranks) is probably not valid in terms of the performance.

    What make me want to love this machine is the effortlessness with which I made 50 miles over varying terrain. Climbing those long uphill stretches was almost effortless - none of the uphill leg burn at the end of the day to which I am accustomed. Downhill speeds were plenty brisk, and, when I didn't fell like spinning up to the downhill velocity, I could just tuck and coast.

    We mounted my Arione saddle, so that part of me felt right at home.

    Discs are gone in favor of regular rim type brakes - no huge loss. The only time the extra stopping power ever came into play was in situations where I was going to wreck no matter what. Besides, these brakes never squeak or need constant tweaking to keep them from rubbing.

    So, I guess, if you can forgive my meandering, I'd like some input as to what folks on this forum think of my possible "new" bike.

    LBS has loaned it to me in hopes that I'll like/keep it. I'm not wild about the T-Mobile badge or the pink frame parts, but I wasn't that happy with the C'dale label branded all over my previous steed, either.

    So far, I like/am inclined to do just that.

    I am told that the bike new would sell for more than I would be willing to spend, so, this might be a good step up for me.

    Opinions (Up or Down) welcome.

    BTW: If you are ever in the Reading, PA area, the name of the LBS is Technocycle, and the name of the proprietor is Brad (sorry, don't know that I've ever been told his last name, but, he's the only Brad there!). BDCMITL (B=Best, CM=Cycle Mechanic, ITL=in the land, D=(well, you know).

    Caruso

  2. #2
    Happy old man al-wagner's Avatar
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    You posted this twice.....
    http://www.thegmbc.com/
    http://www.gmaa.net/

    In New England we have nine months of winter and three months of damned poor sledding.

  3. #3
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by al-wagner
    You posted this twice.....
    You posted that twice.
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  4. #4
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Carusoswi,

    I can't comment on the bike, I haven't enough knowledge. I can tell you I'm amazed that you can have a major accident like that, have it be your second in a very short time, and be as calm as you appear to be -- and ready / able / willing to get right back out there and ride again.

    I think I'd be taking up knitting if this had happened to me! Good luck, buddy!
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  5. #5
    Happy old man al-wagner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee
    You posted that twice.
    Are you sure?
    Last edited by al-wagner; 05-06-07 at 04:40 PM.
    http://www.thegmbc.com/
    http://www.gmaa.net/

    In New England we have nine months of winter and three months of damned poor sledding.

  6. #6
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    Hmm: I do believe I posted that twice. Well, it's a good story and deserves the exposure. Let me see if I can get rid of the duplicate.

    Caruso

  7. #7
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    Is a double response to a double posting excessively redundant

  8. #8
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    MaddMaxx wrote: 63? You must have legs the size of my waist. (well maybe not quite so) Who makes such a gear?

    (and, I don't know that I can do anything about the double post - don't know how it happened, pardon me, please)

    MM: If you had ridden my 63-11, you would have been amazed at how effortless it was, really. You won't do any mashing in that long gear, but, on level ground or slight downhills, it was truly a relaxing pleasure to catch your breath and rest your legs as you sailed along at 18 - 20 mph. On long downhills, you could cruise and maintain 40 mph easily (I once had a guy honk as he passed me doing 40 - he pulled over up ahead and signaled for me to stop just to tell me that he had never seen a bike cruising at that speed - and that I looked like I wasn't even sweating).

    In reality, however, the 56 will probably do me just fine. I won't be able to pedal through a 40 mph decent, but I'll just coast, instead. 52 or whatever that small ring was was probably a bit too long, even though the extra long crank arms reduced the climbing effort some, the C'dale did not climb as effortlessly as this bike. I only wish I could try that long setup on this light bike - might be something truly amazing.

    You asked who made those big rings - TA Specialties - a French manufacturer, I believe. They are discontinued but can be purchased if you do a search for them. The technology is old by today's standards. This new setup shifts very smoothly. My TA setup was a bit like shifting an automobile with non-synchronized gears. Not smooth at all, and it took a very long stroke of the lever to push the FD over that big ring. Also, if you lost your chain to the outside, you had to get off to reset, as the setup was held together with square-headed bolts. More modern equipment is designed so that when the chain falls of to the outside, you just shift to the inside and it jumps back onto the rings.

    The new bearings on the new drive train are external (make 'em stronger I'm told). Both cranks turn smooth as silk - far smoother than the C'dale's OEM setup (not sure what you call it, but it's a one piece, self-contained deal that had a rough feel from day one - and you could never just give the crank a spin and have it keep going on its own). My modded TA setup and this "new" bike are both so smooth that the crank spins as smoothly and, it seems, almost for as long as a wheel does.

    DG, I guess one just gets used to crashing. I think my most recent crash sounds more life-threatening than it really was. The car was pretty much sitting still. I was probably doing about 12 mph and just lost the bike on the wet pavement. I keep running through my mind what I might have done differently. Other than riding at a snail's pace whenever the roads are wet, I don't know that I would have done anything differently.

    Sorry for the double post, and thanks for the replies.

    Caruso

  9. #9
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    a 63? My poor roadbike just had an anxiety attack. I had to reassure it that it was ok and I still loved it. I see that you have a 185 crank so I assume that you must be sort of tall. I could not pull that gear going straight down! More power to you.

  10. #10
    Hypoxic Member head_wind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maddmaxx
    Is a double response to a double posting excessively redundant
    I'm not so sure. Help me with the sequence:
    1) Where exactly was it dundant??
    2) Where did it become redundant and
    3) What drove it over the line??
    Enquiring (enquirying??) minds are confused.

  11. #11
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Carusoswi

    What make me want to love this machine is the effortlessness with which I made 50 miles over varying terrain. Climbing those long uphill stretches was almost effortless - none of the uphill leg burn at the end of the day to which I am accustomed. Downhill speeds were plenty brisk, and, when I didn't fell like spinning up to the downhill velocity, I could just tuck and coast.

    LBS has loaned it to me in hopes that I'll like/keep it. I'm not wild about the T-Mobile badge or the pink frame parts, but I wasn't that happy with the C'dale label branded all over my previous steed, either.

    So far, I like/am inclined to do just that.


    Caruso[/QUOTE]

    Think you have answered your own question. In fact I would question the wisdom of having the bike set up as you previously had.

    There is a good reason why bikes have evolved as they have. Terrain on a ride varies a lot and if you set yourself up with high gearing for high downhill speed- then you are going to pay somewhere else on the ride. It sounds as though this new set up with a TOP rate frame and somewhere near normal gearing is going to work for you. Providing the price is right- Get it and increase your riding if you really want to have that Shattered feeling at the end of the day. As to the Colour of the bike- Don't worry. Just don't clean it for a couple of months and it will blend into something more subtle.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  12. #12
    Banned. The Weak Link's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by head_wind
    I'm not so sure. Help me with the sequence:
    1) Where exactly was it dundant??
    2) Where did it become redundant and
    3) What drove it over the line??
    Enquiring (enquirying??) minds are confused.
    This thread has been reported to the Office of Redundancy Office.

  13. #13
    Ride Daddy Ride Jet Travis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Weak Link
    This thread has been reported to the Office of Redundancy Office.
    You can say that again.
    "Light it up, Popo." --Levi Leipheimer

  14. #14
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    I always thought it was the Department of Redundancy Dept.
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  15. #15
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    That's another department.

  16. #16
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    This thread has me confused

  17. #17
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    This thread has me confused.

  18. #18
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil
    This thread has me confused
    Please report all confusion to the Department of Redundancy Office, or the Office of Redundancy Department, whichever is closer, using Form 3041 C, in triplicate, unless you are reporting a general confusion, rather than a specific confusion. In that instance, reverse these instructions.
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  19. #19
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    Could you repeat that?

  20. #20
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    Oh my!
    Caruso

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam
    Think you have answered your own question. In fact I would question the wisdom of having the bike set up as you previously had.

    There is a good reason why bikes have evolved as they have. Terrain on a ride varies a lot and if you set yourself up with high gearing for high downhill speed- then you are going to pay somewhere else on the ride. It sounds as though this new set up with a TOP rate frame and somewhere near normal gearing is going to work for you. Providing the price is right- Get it and increase your riding if you really want to have that Shattered feeling at the end of the day. As to the Colour of the bike- Don't worry. Just don't clean it for a couple of months and it will blend into something more subtle.
    Well, I can agree . . . and I can disagree. Unless you have tried riding a 63/11 on level or downhill terrain, well, all I can say is that it is a special feeling . . . catching stares from motorists as you descend a long incline at 40+ mph without breaking a sweat (and without coming close to spinning out).

    I would have retained that gearing even on this very light frame except that the frame design requires a fixed FD mount that would not allow for such a large ring. OTOH, 56/11 is still plenty fast, and, as I have pretty much proven to myself, the difference in speed on a truly steep downhill is not helped that much by one's pedalling, no matter how long the gear. If I worked really hard, I might make a difference of 1 mph on a decent by pedalling as opposed to just tucking and coasting down (but pedalling is far more impressive (or at least feels that way)).

    I think the main difference between the two bikes is the better geometry of the T-Mobile frame, my lower, more aero position on the new bike, shorter climbing gear, and a much lighter frame.

    Of course, I have probably just summarized in 1000 words the point that you made in three sentences.

    Anyhow, I'm keeping the bike - would suffer from non-curable non-buyer's remorse if I gave it back at this point. I'll never know if it was the best choice. As I do in most purchases, I pick what looks good, buy it, and then grow into it by using it to death.

    I did that with my last bike, and, while I had it, it was, for me, the very best of bikes. This one is quickly taking over that very personal top spot.

    Caruso

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