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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 08-29-06, 08:38 AM   #1
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IF Ti Club Racer - bmike's new bike!

My custom Independent Fabrications Ti Club Racer showed up at my LBS - the West Hill Shop Friday.
I went down to the shop and built the bike (my first build!) with the oversight of one of the mechanics, and after having to wait on several misordered parts (not IF's fault, but a miscommunication between me and the LBS - I finished the build and brought the bike home yesterday.

I've only ridden it around the parking lot
I hope to get out on it today for a longer ride.

The frame is Ti. It's shotpeened - so it is matte and has a beautiful texture and color to it. I asked IF to keep the down tube decal off, and they gladly said "It's your bike, whatever you want!" - I may eventually have a graphic I designed for it cut.
The front fork is steel, painted black, it has eyelettes for my generator lights and mounts for a rack and fenders. (I'll use the fender mounts, but probably no rack on the front...)

The craftsmanship is incredible. I was impressed when I first saw it... absolutely stunning. A rideable work of art.

Components:

Campagnolo Record Ergolevers - 10 sp
Shimano Long Reach Brakes (with the "Shimano" graphics cleverly removed by the mech with some steel wool and tri-flow)
Campagnolo Chorus Front Derailluer
Campagnolo Chorus Rear Derailluer
Look CX Carbon Pedals
Ritchey Pro Compact Cranks (these are old and will go)
Salsa Bell Lap bars, 46cm wide - (wow, I really was cramped on my old ride!)
Forgie TT Stem (this is old and will get swapped to a Thompson road)
Thompson seat post with setback
King Cage water bottle cages, stainless (the LBS was out of the Ti version, plus they SS ones use thinner tubing)
Computer (not mounted yet) VDO MC 1.0+
Brooks Swallow Saddle (I may use a Swift if I find the extra skirt and lack of "tying" is more comfy)

Wheels: (in these photos)
Front - Mavic Open Pro Rim with 32 hole Schmidt SON dyno hub
Rear - Mavic Open Pro rim with Campagnolo Chorus 32 hole hub, 13-29 cassette (low gears for the Green Mountains!)
Continental 4 Season GP tires, 25mm front and rear (these will get replaced with Schwalbe 28's for longer brevets)

I'm debating on crank length - and what cranks to use. I've thought about going with a Specialites TA Carmina double in 94mm bcd. This will allow me to run my typical compact (34-50) chainrings as well as have a ton of options for other rings - (a smallest ring of 30 is possible - so I could do a 30-44 combo for some of the climbing brevets and light touring I hope to do) I'm currently running 175 cranks which some people have told me are long for my height (5-8") and "visual" leg length. I'll be discussing this (and hopefully getting a good answer) at my fit this Friday.

The bike as pictured without the tool bag weighs 20.75 pounds. The lightest bike I've ridden!
When I swap to my lighter wheels it will hopefully be under 20 pounds. (The SON hub alone is 610 grams!)


Some pics: (bike is not quite finished yet - I've got old parts on it and am waiting for a fitting with these folks at FitWerx) The photos look a bit goofy as I have the bars really high, and the steer tube needs to be cut down. I didn't want to cut anything too short until I had the fittin and rode it for at least 500 miles...

I'll have it rigged with typical brevet gear (lights, bags, etc.) later this week as I've got some long rides planned for the holiday weekend. I'll post better pics when I get it tuned in.






The headbadge is sterling silver!










I know, I know - Flip it!
The bar position and stem are there just to get me out the door. On my quick test ride I found I'm way way too tall on the bars. I've already dropped and started looking at positioning - but will leave everything till my fitting. I'll post "proper" BF pics with the stem flipped for all you OCP'rs later.

IF was great to work with. I hated the "waiting" - but they are swamped with work.
I took a tour back when I started the process and was impressed. I went ti after debating steel, maintenance, and how much I ride in the rain and slop.
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Last edited by bmike; 08-29-06 at 10:58 AM.
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Old 08-29-06, 08:58 AM   #2
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Nice one, Mike! Personally, I think the bike looks fine without the downtube decal; but then I've never been fond IF's large decal design. The head tube badge I like, though.

btw, last I checked the OCP population on Long Distance Cycling seems rather low

and yeah, that new handlebar sure looks roomy.

God, I totally want my Club Racer now, too.
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Old 08-29-06, 09:06 AM   #3
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Nice one, Mike! Personally, I think the bike looks fine without the downtube decal; but then I've never been fond IF's large decal design. The head tube badge I like, though.
Yeah, the IF DT decal is kind of messy. I wanted a stealthy bike, and didn't really like how the graphic looked on naked Ti frames.

The head badge is kind of cool, and was "included" with the cost of the ti frame. I don't think I would have chosen silver - but it does look sharp.

Quote:
Originally Posted by spokenword
btw, last I checked the OCP population on Long Distance Cycling seems rather low
I know, but I'm waiting for the "flip it" response I see in so many "pic" threads. I'll position it however and wherever I work out it is comfy for the long haul.

Quote:
Originally Posted by spokenword
and yeah, that new handlebar sure looks roomy.

God, I totally want my Club Racer now, too.
I always thought I was "pinched" on my current ride. I upsized the width on this bike - and wow - so far it feels like a huge difference in comfort. I'll see how I like it on a longer ride - but my arms just feel more natural - and I really like the flair on the drop ends - I can spread out a bit more if I ride the ends.

When is your ANT due?

Sorry to hear you bailed on the DRR. Sounds like you had a good time while you were moving.
I'm doing this in a few weeks with a friend. Should be fun - it runs right past my old residence in WNY.
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Old 08-29-06, 09:09 AM   #4
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WOW!!! She's a beaut.... Ride her proudly (don't know if that came out right).... Looks like it was worth the wait....

Are you sure you want to ride her today.....the roads are still pretty wet up here in Townshend. The amount of time I would be spending cleaning her after her madien voyage would be as long as the voyage.

I like the idea of 50 - 34 chainring and 13 - 29 cassette. I was working combos last night but the new SRAM derailleur seems to only allow up to 27 in the back.

I am 5' 7'' and ride 170 mm cranks. My bike came with 175 mm and when I switched...Holy Spinning Batman...my cadence went way up.....

Tell me how the fit up at FitWerx goes. I have been eyeing a fitting with them for some time.

Again enjoy the new ride.....
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Old 08-29-06, 09:22 AM   #5
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WOW!!! She's a beaut.... Ride her proudly (don't know if that came out right).... Looks like it was worth the wait....

Are you sure you want to ride her today.....the roads are still pretty wet up here in Townshend. The amount of time I would be spending cleaning her after her madien voyage would be as long as the voyage.
I'm in Burlington today, and the bike is covered in squashed bugs from the trip up 91 and 89 last night - so I'll be cleaning her anyways. Nothing like getting it dirty right out of the box!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammertoe
I like the idea of 50 - 34 chainring and 13 - 29 cassette. I was working combos last night but the new SRAM derailleur seems to only allow up to 27 in the back.
I rode the 50-34 and 12-27 for most of this season. Worked great, until I went to do Lincoln Gap - then I ran out of gears. On my 600k I did wish I had a slightly lower gear - but the compact worked well and I think the 13-29 Campy cassette will be just right for most of my riding.

Prior to me deciding on Campy I was going to use an XTR rear with a SRAM mountain cassette - as far as I understand Shimano type rear hubs are interchangeable from mt to road. You could have a 34x34 gear then if you wanted!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammertoe
I am 5' 7'' and ride 170 mm cranks. My bike came with 175 mm and when I switched...Holy Spinning Batman...my cadence went way up.....
I tend to mash now. It's tough for me to stay in the high 90's to 100's on the flats, so I'm thinking that the shorter lengths will be better... but I have nothing to compare with - and I don't want to spend $$ on several cranks - so I think we'll play with this at the fitting - and if the weather is nice Friday I'll be able to take a given setup out on the road a bit... and FitWerx is just down the road from App Gap - so after the initial set up I plan to get a nice ride in!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammertoe
Tell me how the fit up at FitWerx goes. I have been eyeing a fitting with them for some time.

Again enjoy the new ride.....

Will, do - they seem like great folks - I've already talked to them in person - and stressed I'm no racer / tri guy - but a slowish LD guy - and they mentioned a few things they would look for to help me out - especially cleat placement / othortics and such - as I've just winged it up to now.

... and thanks.
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Old 08-29-06, 09:38 AM   #6
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When is your ANT due?
maybe March. I have an ironclad guarantee from Mike Flanigan that it will be delivered before the brevet season starts. How soon before it starts is an open question, though.

Quote:
Sorry to hear you bailed on the DRR. Sounds like you had a good time while you were moving.
I'm doing this in a few weeks with a friend. Should be fun - it runs right past my old residence in WNY.
yeah, my basic rule of thumb was to bail after it stopped being fun. Walking up two hills in a row qualified for that. No injury besides pride, there. I just wasn't ready for it.

Good luck with the Highlander. Are you doing the full century route?
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Old 08-29-06, 10:16 AM   #7
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duder, yer livin' the dream!!! i should be gettin' mine on 3 october or therebouts!!

NICE!!!!!
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Old 08-29-06, 10:19 AM   #8
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Good luck with the Highlander. Are you doing the full century route?
Thanks. Doing the full century route - but I'm riding this with a friend who has only done 2 other centuries, and he is riding the VT 50 the weekend after - he wants to do the lowlander so he doesn't cook himself for the 50. I promised to ride with him and keep it fun - but I'm hoping we go for the Highlander on ride day.
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Old 08-29-06, 10:30 AM   #9
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Absolutely gorgeous!
I've always thought of ordering an IF fixed ti road frame for myself. That day will be soon.....
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Old 08-29-06, 04:55 PM   #10
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That's one nice looking bike.....

As far as the whole stem thing....I had mine flipped up for quite awhile thinking that was the way to go for comfort....that is, until I flipped it down. Now I'm looking into removing some spacers as well.
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Old 08-29-06, 05:58 PM   #11
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That's one nice looking bike.....

As far as the whole stem thing....I had mine flipped up for quite awhile thinking that was the way to go for comfort....that is, until I flipped it down. Now I'm looking into removing some spacers as well.
The drop on the LeMond was significant. Way too much for comfort beyond 80 miles or so, and the steerer was cut short so my only solution was an adjustable stem pointed up - and I still had an inch to the saddle - which worked pretty well.
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Old 08-29-06, 06:19 PM   #12
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I think I'm around 3 inches of drop currently....and while I spend most of my time in the hoods, I still don't really feel hunched way over. Been having issues with a nerve in my hip that's preventing me from riding a lot in the drops.
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Old 08-29-06, 07:26 PM   #13
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I like your bike.
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Old 08-30-06, 07:30 AM   #14
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those curved chainstays are SEX!
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Old 08-30-06, 10:45 PM   #15
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nice bike mike... be interested to hear how it rides on 100+ miles rides versus the carbon... I had my bike built this past winter/spring and went with carbon... frame, fork, seatpost... I'm real happy with it.... glides over the ruff pavement.... last year I rode an assortment of aluminum bikes and by the end of long rides I would be dreading every little pebble and crack in the road... just couldn't take the pounding anymore
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Old 08-31-06, 05:48 AM   #16
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nice bike mike... be interested to hear how it rides on 100+ miles rides versus the carbon... I had my bike built this past winter/spring and went with carbon... frame, fork, seatpost... I'm real happy with it.... glides over the ruff pavement.... last year I rode an assortment of aluminum bikes and by the end of long rides I would be dreading every little pebble and crack in the road... just couldn't take the pounding anymore
Getting out this weekend. Hoping to do back to back centuries.
Sat over in NY (ferry and a trip to Placid and maybe Saranac)
Sun or Mon (depending on body) somewhere in the Green Mountains, with lots of climbing.


So far the Ti is riding nice. I'll post more after this weekend...
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Old 08-31-06, 06:21 PM   #17
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Soooooo Nice !
Wow !
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Old 09-01-06, 02:30 AM   #18
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Congrats, great bike

Complete package from the frame to the gearing, everything really.

I want a club racer...

Fixed gear and club racers is where the party is right now...
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Old 09-01-06, 06:31 AM   #19
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Fixed gear and club racers is where the party is right now...
fo' sho'! i rode my fixed yesterday 65 miles just ridin' around before and after work!
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Old 09-02-06, 02:33 PM   #20
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I've had my steel club racer for 3 years now, it's such a great ride. I agree about the downtube decals, those things are hideous, so I asked them not to put it on either. Those guys are artisans with metal, the welding job is unbelievable. You'd think they'd come up with a decal that was more tasteful. I wouldn't mind giving them the free advertising, but UGH.

I've done touring, commuting, and long rides on mine, truly a bomb proof jack of all trades.

Congrats and get after it!
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Old 09-03-06, 09:11 AM   #21
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great looking bike.

you mentioned you're thinking about the TA Carmina crankset. even though they are labeled as 10spd chainrings we had a big problem at my shop using the carmina in a shimano 10 speed setup. the chain tends to drop in between the middle and outer ring. it may work better with campy 10 setup, just wanted to throw that out there.
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Old 09-03-06, 10:14 AM   #22
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great looking bike.

you mentioned you're thinking about the TA Carmina crankset. even though they are labeled as 10spd chainrings we had a big problem at my shop using the carmina in a shimano 10 speed setup. the chain tends to drop in between the middle and outer ring. it may work better with campy 10 setup, just wanted to throw that out there.
thanks...

i'm having dropped and chain suck issues with the ritchey pro (supposed to be 10 sp!) that i'm currently riding.

i've asked peter white about the carmina didn't get much of a response.

i may just go chorus compact, but i really like the carmina's options for chainrings!
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Old 09-04-06, 11:07 AM   #23
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how'd the weekend ride(s) go?
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Old 09-04-06, 11:43 AM   #24
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how'd the weekend ride(s) go?
Did an Adirondack Century Saturday. Took the ferry to Port Kent and did the Lake Placid loop - down to Keen, up the valley on 73 (great climb!!!), got chilly into Lake Placid, lunch on main street, the around Mirror Lake and back to the ferry via Rt. 86. Wonderful ride. 102 miles with 6:30 in ride time. Topo says 6,000+ in climbing, my altimeter claims 4,200 - but it jumped all over the place as the weather changed. Was really cold in LP - had to put on the extra layers and wish I brought more.

Left the digicam battery in the charger, so the camera was useless. Picked up a disposable and I'll post or blog em when I get em back.


Today (Monday) got out for 45. Wanted to do another century+ was thinking the Charlotte crossing to the Grand Isle crossing and back - but wasn't feeling it. Rode to Charlotte, crossed Champlain, had breakfast in Essex, NY and chatted with some folks touring on a tandem. Rode north past Ausable Chasm and decided on the ferry at Port Kent back to Burlington. Had I to do it over I'd have kept on moving and just taken my time to finishe the ride. Chatted with some great folks on the ferry though. Will probably go out tonight and get another 20 in with the fiancee.







I had a fitting (nearly all day!) last Friday with FitWerx. Absolutely fantastic folks - and I feel so good on the bike. We did custom insoles and I upgraded to slightly larger (and a new model) SIDI shoes, as well as dial in my position on the IF. We started with the basics of how I had the bike set up (just to get out the LBS door) - then moved to the Serrotta fit cycle which was running through a Computrainer. We looked at my spin and efficiency, as well as a side video camera view of me. Iain sketched on the video monitor and we adjusted to get me in a more comfortable (and powerful) position. We ended up dropping my saddle almost a centimeter from how I was riding the LeMond, played with fore aft to call on my glutes more, and got the bars pretty close to where I had them on the LeMond (which I always thought was low) - but seem so much more comfortable with the proper top tube length and stem reach. We also aligned cleats and talked through what I can do to continue improving efficiency and comfort (more core work, some 1 legged pedalling to recruit more muscles through my cycle, etc...) I was pleasantly surprised at how the computrainer's spin #'s looked. I was worried I'd be lopsided from leg to leg and be choppy - but I was told I have some good numbers for the type of riding I do - and that improvement will be incremental and I'll need to put more mental focus on it than actual physical drills.

My feet love the insoles - I thought I was comfortable in my old shoes - but these are so much nicer - arch support built in, as well as taking care of my "LeWedges" internally - no more knee wobble through my pedal stroke.

The final position was great for the century I did on Saturday. I admit to being a bit skeptical - especially during my test ride as I developed some numbness in my right hand - but after swapping gloves and rewrapping my bars with my preferred tape - that disappeared and the century was some of the most comfortable riding I've done this year. Felt good, actually was able to slide fore and aft on the saddle while climbing and keep my cadence and pace and not cramp - and get into the drops for extended periods.

The only thing I'm debatin on changing is the 46cm Salsa Bell Laps. FitWerx thinks they are too wide... I feel good on them - but I have noticed some minor pain between my shoulder blades - I'm not sure if its the fit or the renovating I did at the house this weekend. If it is the fit I'll drop to a 44cm wide. I always felt cramped on the LeMond - so I ordered larger this time - and so far they've been comfy... exp when climbing.

Well worth the $$$, IMHO.
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Last edited by bmike; 09-04-06 at 11:49 AM.
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Old 09-04-06, 01:08 PM   #25
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I have a 2003 IF titanium crown jewel. I have been pondering a club rider or planet cross for use as a commuter. What I am waiting for is IF to continue their development work with the new Reynolds stainless tubing. Up here in the very wet part of the Pacific NW, a stainless Planet Cross would be a very interesting bike indeed, and at a much more affordable price point than titanium.
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