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  1. #1
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    Evolution from Newbie to BikeForum member

    So back in January when I got here I had NO CLUE what I was doing... Now I still don't have a clue but I have a nice bike. Here's a short story:

    It all started with my desire to do Triathlons. And being that I'm VERY competitive my 15 year old Mountain bike just wasn't gonna cut it. I needed a road bike, but I didn't want to spend much, so I picked up this:



    And figuring I'm mechanically inclined I could rebuild this thing, how much could it cost, how hard could it be??? I came here and learned quickly that I was insane. Not only was the bike way too small for me (48cm) but to build it would cost me more than a new bike. So at the recommendation of this place I checked out Bikesdirect and got myself a road bike there:



    As you can see I still have no clue, my seat is way low, and I took a picture of the non drive side! But I was happy, I had my fast road bike and I went with it, I soon installed a VDO Computer, some aerobars and Kool Stop pads (at the recommendation from here since I realized I was likely to die riding in traffic with the stock Tektro pads). PS Though I offset the cost by selling that Bianchi on eBay as it sat for $250, I had paid $50 for it a couple months earlier!!!



    (I still have no clue, but I changed some handlebars!)

    SO I rode and I rode, harder and harder, got myself some clip in shoes and pedals eventually, figured out I was sitting all wrong and made some big adjustments to my seat. I also realized my cassette wasn't really aggressive enough for the riding i was doing and where I was doing it, so i changed that too. All this was thanks to advice here, just asking questions and reading others questions.

    I got towards the end of the season, my friends had gotten road bikes, both spent quite a bit more than I did and it showed when i took their bikes for a ride. Where at the beginning of the season I just wanted anything with thin tires, after riding a bike with good components I saw why people spend big money on this. Not only that I started having problems, I kept knocking the wheel out of true, the shifters weren't particularly responsive, and I realized they felt like I was going to rip them off the bike one day. I adjusted using tips here and a book I bought, but no matter what I did this bike never felt like my friend's ultegra equipped bikes. I needed a solution!

    Should I buy a new bike? I really like how my bike looks though, this is the coolest paintjob I've ever seen! Plus do I want to dump $1000+ after I've already spent $500+? Plus its pretty light, so its not like its an old heavy frame or anything. After some searching, thinking, and looking I realized I could get a real sick deal on some closeout groupsets, and so a new Campagnolo Veloce group arrived at my door, after some questions and advice here. Another BF member hooked me up with a set of Fulcrum Racing 5 wheels. Now here I am, no clue at all and I'm going to replace my Groupset? Well I DID!

    How she looked just beforehand:



    Stripped down:



    Building up (note my ghetto work stand, I would have bought one but my LBS only had some realllly expensive ones, and usually I do my bike maintenance in my garage where I have a wall hanger, this actually worked very well!)



    Getting closer:



    Almost done, took it for a test ride like this, too dark to finish!



    Finished:





    Man it rides like a DREAM. I can't believe what a difference, and I have this place to thank for the help and answers. Its light, the gearing is aggressive, I can't believe the difference. I weighed it at 21lbs, which means I need to lose 3 lbs off my fat ass to equal my friend's bike, but I was just about keeping up with him with the Sora parts before, so now I think I will toss him! I even taped the bars myself, they came out decent for someone who has never done it before (except my aerobars that look like hell, gotta redo them). While I had it apart I threw a coat of Eagle One Nanowax on the frame and forks.

    I still have a lot to learn, such as why even though i adjusted the rear derailleur as per the instructions it shifts itself occasionally (anyone know?) but I'm really excited and proud that next season I will be racing my own creation. Plus I have never seen a bike that looked like this, I think the whole combo looks awesome.

    So thanks again everyone, couldn't have done it without you!
    Last edited by Rogue Leader; 09-14-08 at 09:14 PM.
    2009 BD Mercier Galaxy AL/Campy Veloce/PZ Aero Bars/Fulcrum 5's
    2008 Argon 18 Mercury/Dura Ace/Vision base Zipp Aero/Fulcrum 5's/Wheelbuilder Disc
    1992 Trek Antelope 800/Shimano 100/Some Cheap 26"wheel

  2. #2
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    You can use a ghetto stand when you live in Freeport. Where do you ride around there?

  3. #3
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    Washington, DC
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    Some bikes. Hell, they're all the same, ain't they?
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    Sucker!



    It's fun, ain't it? Starting off with a box-stock bike, then swapping parts onto it that you chose, putting your personal effort into it and making it YOUR bike. To me, that's always cooler than a multi-thousand-dollar bike that looks like it fell off the brochure.

    BTW, is it mere coincidence that the thread title says "Evolution" -- and so do the wheels?

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadeInItaly View Post
    You can use a ghetto stand when you live in Freeport. Where do you ride around there?
    Hehe, The ghetto stand was actually at my folks house in Merrick, all my good tools are there, not here in Freeport at my apartment. I live on the Nautical Mile, so I usually ride up South Ocean Ave to Sunrise Highway and then to Wantagh to ride down to the beach, or up to Massapequa on to the Bethpage state park route. I also sometimes take Atlantic ave to Long Beach Rd and down to Long Beach. The roads are too crappy otherwise in most parts of Freeport so I just stick to the main routes...
    2009 BD Mercier Galaxy AL/Campy Veloce/PZ Aero Bars/Fulcrum 5's
    2008 Argon 18 Mercury/Dura Ace/Vision base Zipp Aero/Fulcrum 5's/Wheelbuilder Disc
    1992 Trek Antelope 800/Shimano 100/Some Cheap 26"wheel

  5. #5
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    Go to Hewlett Harbor. Drive to lynbrook or east rockaway. You can't park in HH on the streets. There is great riding there. No cars and glass like roads that go on and on.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadeInItaly View Post
    Go to Hewlett Harbor. Drive to lynbrook or east rockaway. You can't park in HH on the streets. There is great riding there. No cars and glass like roads that go on and on.
    Cool I'll have to check it out.
    2009 BD Mercier Galaxy AL/Campy Veloce/PZ Aero Bars/Fulcrum 5's
    2008 Argon 18 Mercury/Dura Ace/Vision base Zipp Aero/Fulcrum 5's/Wheelbuilder Disc
    1992 Trek Antelope 800/Shimano 100/Some Cheap 26"wheel

  7. #7
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    I used to live in Rockville Centre, so I know your predicament with the roads. On days I just wanted an unfettered ride without having to deal with cars, I'd ride over to Cedar Creek park in Wantagh and then just ride circles on the loop road going around the park. There's hardly anyone there most of the time, so you have a 1-way road all to yourself. Sometimes for variety I'd go onto the Wantagh Parkway bike path, but it's really hard to ride at a decent speed there what with the tons of cyclists and rollerbladers on that path on some days.

    One ride I used to do quite a bit was to ride Sunrise Highway out to where it forks onto 27A, and ride that all the way down to the end of the babylon line, and follow montauk highway for a while till I was tired. The plus side was if I got hurt or had a mechanical problem which I couldn't fix (only once, but the added security is nice) I could just take the train home. There's a few nice county parks on the way where I'd stop and eat my sandwich, rest and then turn around.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crast View Post
    I used to live in Rockville Centre, so I know your predicament with the roads. On days I just wanted an unfettered ride without having to deal with cars, I'd ride over to Cedar Creek park in Wantagh and then just ride circles on the loop road going around the park. There's hardly anyone there most of the time, so you have a 1-way road all to yourself. Sometimes for variety I'd go onto the Wantagh Parkway bike path, but it's really hard to ride at a decent speed there what with the tons of cyclists and rollerbladers on that path on some days.

    One ride I used to do quite a bit was to ride Sunrise Highway out to where it forks onto 27A, and ride that all the way down to the end of the babylon line, and follow montauk highway for a while till I was tired. The plus side was if I got hurt or had a mechanical problem which I couldn't fix (only once, but the added security is nice) I could just take the train home. There's a few nice county parks on the way where I'd stop and eat my sandwich, rest and then turn around.
    Yeah I've done the loop around cedar creek quite a few times, I do that a lot when I want to just get down on my aero bars and hammer it, also when I'm testng things out like adjustments. Go there on a wednesday night during the summer, the tri-clubs pack that place out.

    The Bike path I often take too, but aside from as couple sections its tough to really get on it cause of the traffic of other riders and skaters (who are obvlious to the world around as they skate down with headphones on, UGH!).

    27A sounds good, I usually stop in Massapequa to take the bethpage path which is fun and nice and shady too.
    2009 BD Mercier Galaxy AL/Campy Veloce/PZ Aero Bars/Fulcrum 5's
    2008 Argon 18 Mercury/Dura Ace/Vision base Zipp Aero/Fulcrum 5's/Wheelbuilder Disc
    1992 Trek Antelope 800/Shimano 100/Some Cheap 26"wheel

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