I did a semi climbing ride out of town today. Traffic was stopped on the interstate so I got off on an exit that has a Bike Shop I've frequented before and is well respected in the area. In fact the shop owner is on my Board of Directors for the Time Trials. The guys doing maintenance are about as good as you'll find.
The shop carries the model of bikes I've been studying for over a year. I stopped by just to see if they had any good deals and to also have them look at my Prince. The Prince was making an awful popping noise with every pedal stroke........extremely annoying on today's ride. That bike is a real pleasure to ride when everything works well but that has been less frequent than desired.
They generously looked over the Prince very thoroughly and very quickly.
The exact model and color of bike I've been looking for was on a very decent sale today. I need a 58 frame and it's unusual to find my frame size but they even had one on the sales floor and it was greatly marked down. They asked if I wanted to test ride it........even after riding for 5 hours earlier in the day I jumped at the chance and did a quick 15 miles. It passes the test.
I got them to put it on their scales to see how much it weighed. I want to greatly cut the weight on the bike by changing the grouppo and the wheels and I also need to reduce the bars from a 44 to a 42 (just as a personal preference). I also want to change the RD so I can run a 11-32 cassette for the steeper stuff. I learned that SRAM is now making a RD Red that will accommodate up to a 32 gear. I bought the wheels earlier this year thinking I'd find a frame and would build up the bike to suit my needs. They are going to price those changes over the weekend and give me a call early next week. My birthday is just a couple weeks off so I can save my wife the hassle of looking for something if we're able to close the deal.
If this works out I'll have Shimano DuraAce on the Trek 5900, Campy Super Record 11 speed on the Prince and now SRAM Red. It was my first time riding SRAM. My initial impression is SRAM is "serviceable". It's clunky and loud but if it will get the weight down and shift to the correct gear when needed I'll give it a try. Shimano is really hard to beat. The LBS guys begged me to ride a bike fitted with DIA but I declined as I know once I rode it I'd probably be hooked.
Oh yeah. The skunk. That was a first. I've had all types of critters cross in front of me on the road but never a skunk. I've seen them as road kill many times but never a live one. This particular one didn't mind me and I was extremely happy about that.