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The Huffy VS The Italian Guerciotti: The Ultimate C&V Prize Fight!

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The Huffy VS The Italian Guerciotti: The Ultimate C&V Prize Fight!

Old 12-09-23, 04:22 PM
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The Huffy VS The Italian Guerciotti: The Ultimate C&V Prize Fight!

Welcome ladies and gents to the very unnatural and unplanned installment of the original Huffy Super Record thread!

Unpack your bags and stay awhile...as long as you don't mind the bed bugs, moldy walls and hair in the shower drain, that is! While it hardly needs to be said or explained - if you are new here, just pretend nothing in the world is supposed to make sense and a large part of our purpose in life is to waste our time on pointless endeavors. Then this thread will fit right in with your new mindset and you'll be able to fully participate, or berate, heckle and complain (all are encouraged).

Ever since doing the Super Record Huffy, it was sort of on my mind to see how the bike would stack up against a REAL Italian, of real Italian pedigree. Could it hold its own? Would it have a fighting chance? What would the ride quality be like? Nearly ever time I ride a bike, I roll it (whatever it is) back in the garage and grab the Huffente, just to see if it is still as awesome and it initially was when it was finally built. It always impresses me. Now, maybe that impression is real, or maybe it is due to rock-bottom expectations associated with...a Huffy. Initially, the 2nd installment of that thread, known as the 2nd Arc, was going to be about turning the Huffy into an Ultralight Weight Weenie race bike. However, getting my hands on a real Italian has afforded me (and by extension, unfortunately all of you too) the opportunity for an intermission, or a slight distraction, for what will inevitably come. Sort of like the distraction of seeing a pretty girl and then subsequently running your face right into a pole.

Many of you have a nice Italian road bike. Some (maybe many more than reported) have some sort of Huffy/BSO. Very few have both. Any nobody has a top-of-the-line upgraded Huffy, AND an Italian.


Until now.


Thank to the generosity of Mad Honk , he was amiable to a little horse trading. He got an American-made Columbus-tubed frame more in his size, and he traded me an Italian-made Columbus-tubed frame in my size.

An Italian stallion and a Huffy garbage pile living harmoniously? Them's fighting' words. Prize fighting' words! Why'a fightin'? In the immortal words of Andy Tanner -




We got ourselves a bonafide Battle Royale!


Now, I guess you could say that with this being a continuation of the original Huffy thread, shouldn't we just keep posting to that thread?

Trust me, I'd love to. Nothing gets me all warm and fuzzy inside like curling up in front of a nice fireplace with a good book, a cup of hot chocolate, and needlessly and shamelessly driving up the post count on the Huffy thread. However, after getting some good advice that to continue that thread would be akin to...









I'd like to just let that thread die (or rather, be preserved in the most perfect state of cryostasis for the benefit of future generations). I would have loved to have seen it get to 2000 posts, and while some errant, off topic rant about the history of chainring bolts or something could have easily netted us a buck n' change worth of posts to push us over the threshold, I realize its not about me. It's about all of you. I have seen the light. So, I will put aside my own selfish ambitions, let the other thread out to pasture, and start a brand new thread about the Huffy for the sake of all of you.

I know I know. I'm kind, generous, handsome and humble. You're welcome.
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Last edited by AdventureManCO; 12-12-23 at 12:41 AM.
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Old 12-09-23, 04:23 PM
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The Ground Rules

Before we fully begin, we are going to need to establish some ground rules. While I'm usually all about cutting corners, bending the rules, etc., I feel like it would only benefit the bikes and all parties involved if we, in good faith, try to make it as fair as possible.

I'll probably need some help establishing the rules, and the parameters for any points scoring. A couple thoughts come to mind.

1. Era

The timeline of vintage road bikes is a storied and romantic one, filled with much art and innovation. Each decade of bikes is known for certain standards and technical aspects. If possible, the contenders should be from the same era. I think we should be okay here, as the Le Grande is c.1980, and the Guerciotti, from research, is from around 1987. Same decade, about 7 years apart. You could make an argument that 7 years is quite a bit of time, especially in such a formative time for road bike technology, to be comparative. I think we'll be okay. It gives the nod to the 'Guac' (formerly known as the Guerciotti) which is fine because the Huffy is the underdog anyway. Besides, whatever minuscule differences with that timespan is insignificant compared to the orders-of-magnitude difference between the Columbus tubing and the seamed gas pipe. Which brings us to our next rule...

2. Frame material

Steel. Plain and simple. In order to get any sort of equitable test/fight going, we'd need to have the same material. Now, one might argue that having gas pipe and Columbus SL/SLX under the same umbrella might be akin to comparing jumping into a warm pool of water on earth and a nice hot pool of lava on the surface of the sun because they are found in the same galaxy. But I'm fine with that. It would be harder to compare if it was steel vs aluminum, or steel vs carbon. This is the sort of test we need.

3. Shifting

Since the Huffy uses downtube shifting, maybe we should say that the Guac should also use downtube shifters. I had thought it would be fun to throw some STIs on the Guac, but it would have other implications for the freewheel/cassette setup, rear axle spacing, etc. I don't care too much about index vs non-index. Thoughts?

4. Wheels

Right now, the Huffente makes use of tubular wheels and tires. I do have a set of tubular wheels that could possibly be used for the Guac, but it is a free hub and would necessitate the use of a cassette, and likely spacing the rear to 130mm. I do also have a very nice set of wheels I can use on the Guac, but they are clincher. Decisions need to be made. Things can be changed along the way. This is an important consideration, since most people talk about the benefits of tubulars over clinchers when discussing ride quality, so I don't want the Huffente to have an unfair advantage here.

5. Overall gruppo

Right now, the Huffente is sporting a mix of Record/Super Record. If I didn't burn so much of my money in a giant pit called 'I just have to like Huffys', I'd probably have enough for an identical group for the Guac. Now, please note that this is NOT some hidden attempt to illicit parts from anyone (usually, I'm far more shameless in this regard), but just sort of an acknowledgment that an ideal battle would be between bikes where the only real difference was the frame. All the parts being the same.

That isn't quite reality, but I'm thinking that I'll be able to snag a full 105 group from a too-small bike I have that I don't really ride, and it should be perfect for the Guac. So perfect, in fact, because back in 1987 the catalog for the Guac actually listed a 105 group as an option for this exact frame:




And trust me, 105 is no slouch. One of my current favorite rides is Clang find '83 Trek 600 that was upgraded to a slightly later 105 group, and the bike just sings on the road. I've been very impressed, so I know it should at least be the equal to the NR/SR mix on the Huffente.


6. Color

I know this shouldn't matter much, but it is worth noting that the Huffente is white, while the Guac is both white AND red, and the red gives the Guac a slight speed advantage. So, once again, the Huffente is the underdog.

7. Weight

Last time I weighed the Huffente, it came in around 23.4lbs, and that is with all the boat-anchor Campy stuff like the QRs, the BB spindle and cups, and steel headset, not to mention a Brooks saddle. I have no doubt I could get into 21lb territory easily, and really that was going to be the focus of the 2nd Arc of the Huffy build (more on that later), but I think it won't be a challenge for the Guac to close to weight of the Huffente. It will likely be slightly lower. I'm thinking we'll probably see somewhere around 22-23lbs. Maybe a slightly lighter weight would compensate for the use of clinchers on the Guac? More things to think about.

I'm sure we can come up with more parameters and flesh that out in more detail. I'll need your help for that.


What we'll also need to do is come up with some actual testing parameters.

The two that come to my mind are: timed routes and multiple riders.

I haven't yet found anyone else willing to ride the Huffente, but there is something to be said about 'rider impressions'. Of course, it is subjective and biased. I know that most people think that I would be brainwashed biased into thinking the Huffente more of a great bike than it actually is, since I spent countless hours of the days in pain and suffering, and most nights crying, while it was being built. I'm emotionally invested, and we know that this colors one's perspective. Not to mention the money bonfires. Fun times. But, if I'm being honest, if the bike didn't ride great, I'd probably be so angry after all I gave, that I would have chucked it into the dumpster (WITH the Super Record, btw) and have just been done with it. But that didn't happen. It honestly surprised me. Yes, it is slack. But I'm planning to address some of that. It is a smooth ride, with good acceleration. Every time I ride it, I come away still impressed. The pedal platforms could be a little more sure-footed, but most complaints are minor.

I'll need some assistance and suggestions from members here on how to best administer this so that the results are both fair and interesting.


And finally, predictions! I'm really interested to see what people are going to think about the results. It is going to be a blowout one way or the other? Will it come close?

Finally, once the bikes are built, there is an open invitation, for anyone interested, to ride either bike, or both. If you ever come through central Colorado, and want to go for a ride, I'm happy to bring both these bikes and add more data points to this experiment.


Finally...the why. Why are you doing this?

It all started with the question of just how different or similar could one of these 'dept store throwaway specials' come to the bikes we normally reserve for our affections. Was it the parts? Was it the frame? The interaction of the two? It was great to build one up and all, but what good is that if it isn't put to the test? I will say this. The results so far have been inspirational to me, so much so that I've got other things in store to come that involve this same tier of bikes. What I have found is that the worst, junkiest garbage bikes are better than our perceptions designating them so, and massively benefit from actual quality parts. And the 'best' bikes I've been on...most have actually come short of what I expected from them. This is the primary reason why I find these cheaper bikes so much fun. Our expectations are so low that when they actually provide a decent ride, we are ecstatic. Its a great ratio to experience.

But. We are not here to experience 'decent'. We are here to experience 'incredible'. We are expecting the Guac to provide that, no question. And I'm hopeful it will. Will the Huffente be able to come from below and shatter our expectations and provide a similar, or *gasp* even better, riding experience, backed up by data?


Join me and we'll find out!
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Last edited by AdventureManCO; 12-09-23 at 05:14 PM.
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Old 12-09-23, 04:24 PM
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The Bikes

Meet the contenders. Both have interesting stories to tell. Both have strengths and weaknesses. Some may or may not induce more tears than others. But, the one thing I can guarantee is that you've never seen a matchup like this before!


Fighter #1: 1980 Huffy Le Grande aka 'The Huffente'







This one grew up in the working class neighborhoods, scrapping in the gutters for its next meal and earning every battle scar, in the cold winter nights. Midnight brawls in the junkyard and alleys were common. Its strength (and overwhelming planetary mass) helped it survive. The only rules this one knew were the streets - a relentless and unforgiving teacher. Having no formal instruction, but with a keen intuition and razor sharp instinct, it rose to the top in a cruel world dominated by blood sport. Cold hard experience has made this one a winner. With a strict diet and expert training regiment, the fat was trimmed and it became a lean, mean fighter. It now has pride of place in the 'Le Grande HQ'.

Here are the specs:

Wheelset: Campagnolo low flange Record w/ Champion du Monde tubular rims
Tires: Kenya Domestique (aka Home Depot) tubular tires
Skewers: Campagnolo Record
Headset: Campagnolo Record
BB: Campagnolo Record
Cranks: Campagnolo Record
Rear Derailleur: Campagnolo Super Record
Front Derailleur: Campagnolo Super Record
Shifters: Campagnolo Super Record downtube friction
Stem: Jun .833
Bars: Cinelli 64/38
Brake Calipers: Campagnolo Record
Brake Levers: Campagnolo Super Record
Pedals: Ultralight titanium/aluminum platform
Cages: ALE alloy
Seatpost: custom alloy
Saddle: Brooks
Weight: 23.4lbs
Color: White
Country of Origin: USA
Custom work from Jeff aka DrilliumDude and leather hoods by Rootboy.





Fighter #2: 1987 Guerciotti GL Sante AKA 'The Guac'



Born and raised in Italy, this one has lived a privileged life, and told from a young age that it was special. It is, too, growing up in the training circuits, having professional personal tutors, learning the special arts of combat from a place of wealth and status. An elite pedigree, with the best background in science and training, has helped shaped 'The Guac' into a formidable opponent. Successful in every professional ring. But...it has never been in a street fight, where the only rule is - 'there are no rules'. What will happen when it meets the Huffente?


Here are the specs:

Wheelset: N/A
Tires: N/A
Skewers: N/A
Headset: N/A
BB: N/A
Cranks: N/A
Rear Derailleur: N/A
Front Derailleur: N/A
Shifters: N/A
Stem: N/A
Bars: N/A
Brake Calipers: N/A
Brake Levers: N/A
Pedals: N/A
Cages: N/A
Seatpost: N/A
Saddle: N/A
Weight: Frame: 2000g
Color: White/Red
Country of Origin: Italy
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Old 12-09-23, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by AdventureManCO
Reserved
The suspense is killing me!
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Old 12-09-23, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by SoCaled
The suspense is killing me!

Don't worry, I guarantee disappointment.



Now, since most of the Guac specs are missing in action, the next logical step would be to fill in the blanks.

Enter the Trek Pro Series 560. Also, from 1987, so the 105 group on here should be a PERFECT match for the Guac.







How ironic that both Huffente and Guac end up having poor old Treks cannibalized as parts donors?

And I even like Treks!
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Old 12-09-23, 06:03 PM
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Kind, Generous, and Humble! Who are you trying to kid? Unless it is yourself that you are using these words toward! Ha! Let the prizefight begin. I have my microwave corn popper in hand and am ready to watch the blow by blow commentary. Where is Howard Cosell when we need him? Smiles, MH
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Old 12-09-23, 06:49 PM
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Booyah.










Fodder for the Guac -


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Old 12-09-23, 07:20 PM
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We await with baited bated breath.

In the locker room under the packed stands: "Now youse knows who is gonna win dis fight, right? And if it don't work out dat way, wheel truin's gonna be da least of youse problems. Chain whips is called dat name for more than one reason, ya knows."
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Old 12-09-23, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by AdventureManCO
Booyah.
So... you ritually disemboweled a Trek Pro Series for good luck? That's hardcore.
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Old 12-09-23, 07:22 PM
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If you can put a stem that's even 1mm longer on the Gueciotti, it'll handle like a dream compared to the Huffy.

-Gregory
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Old 12-09-23, 07:40 PM
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You have a nice door decoration in the bike disassembly area of your home.
Also, kudos on your writing skills.
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Old 12-09-23, 07:51 PM
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It starts tonight.


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Old 12-09-23, 09:55 PM
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I don't know where to begin, but I'm awed by the genu'wine' gaspipe display stand.

As for the Gurky (or is it 'Gurchee' Gucci for you Swiss Italians?), there would be a Japanese slant in the build. I'm thinking about some real vintage Shimano beer tap shifters I have. And they also were leading in factory produced drillium components.
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Old 12-09-23, 10:34 PM
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AdventureManCO, you are a truly deranged human being. Not that there's anything wrong with that . . . .
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Old 12-09-23, 10:39 PM
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Originally Posted by bikingshearer
AdventureManCO, you are a truly deranged human being. Not that there's anything wrong with that . . . .

It's so refreshing, despite all the angsty threads of late, to actually hear a compliment in a thread!
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Old 12-09-23, 10:44 PM
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Originally Posted by chain_whipped
I don't know where to begin
Me either. Don't even know how we ended up here.


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Old 12-09-23, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by rccardr
You have a nice door decoration in the bike disassembly area of your home.
Also, kudos on your writing skills.

My wife really appreciates it as well.
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Originally Posted by AdventureManCO
It's so refreshing, despite all the angsty threads of late, to actually hear a compliment in a thread!


And back at'cha.
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Old 12-09-23, 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Kilroy1988
If you can put a stem that's even 1mm longer on the Gueciotti, it'll handle like a dream compared to the Huffy.

-Gregory

Out of the box o' crap I found around a 90mm stem for the Huffente. I agree its current stem is too short. Looks nice, but I need something longer. Its actually pretty tough to find .833 stems in anything longer than about 50-60mm. But, some of those older stems are really thick in the neck section, but I'd like to try this one I found before I go messing around w/ thinning down stems. I might also try modifying the rake. We'll see how that goes. Just little tweaks here and there after about 6 mo of wringing things out w/ the Huffy. I'm going to remove the leather bar wrap, and I think go w/ some shellac'd Newbaums (keeping Rootboy's leather hoods, though). Longer stem, less fork rake, and I also want to compare some of the geometry stuff between the Huffy and the Guac just so I might be able to get them a little closer to each other. You know, like seeing how great oil and water mix together.
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Old 12-09-23, 10:52 PM
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Originally Posted by rccardr
You have a nice door decoration in the bike disassembly area of your home.
Also, kudos on your writing skills.
Originally Posted by AdventureManCO
My wife really appreciates it as well.
The door decoration, the bike disassembly area, or the writing? Inquiring minds want to know.
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Old 12-09-23, 10:52 PM
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Here is where we are at currently -






Two small issues, that will be fairly simple to solve, I just don't know if I have enough spacers, and I can't find my files!



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Old 12-09-23, 10:55 PM
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Originally Posted by AdventureManCO
The Ground Rules
3. Shifting

Since the Huffy uses downtube shifting, maybe we should say that the Guac should also use downtube shifters. I had thought it would be fun to throw some STIs on the Guac, but it would have other implications for the freewheel/cassette setup, rear axle spacing, etc. I don't care too much about index vs non-index. Thoughts?
To give a similar impression, I think both bikes should have downtube friction shifting. Friction mode on the 105 shifters if fine, but a set of shifters that are friction only would be even better.


4. Wheels

Right now, the Huffente makes use of tubular wheels and tires. I do have a set of tubular wheels that could possibly be used for the Guac, but it is a free hub and would necessitate the use of a cassette, and likely spacing the rear to 130mm. I do also have a very nice set of wheels I can use on the Guac, but they are clincher. Decisions need to be made. Things can be changed along the way. This is an important consideration, since most people talk about the benefits of tubulars over clinchers when discussing ride quality, so I don't want the Huffente to have an unfair advantage here.
I think for it to be a fair comparison between the two, the most important thing would be to have the wheels and tires to be as similar as is practical. I'd go with tubulars, and even grab the same Home Depot tires for the Guac.


5. Overall gruppo

Right now, the Huffente is sporting a mix of Record/Super Record. If I didn't burn so much of my money in a giant pit called 'I just have to like Huffys', I'd probably have enough for an identical group for the Guac. Now, please note that this is NOT some hidden attempt to illicit parts from anyone (usually, I'm far more shameless in this regard), but just sort of an acknowledgment that an ideal battle would be between bikes where the only real difference was the frame. All the parts being the same.

That isn't quite reality, but I'm thinking that I'll be able to snag a full 105 group from a too-small bike I have that I don't really ride, and it should be perfect for the Guac. So perfect, in fact, because back in 1987 the catalog for the Guac actually listed a 105 group as an option for this exact frame:

And trust me, 105 is no slouch. One of my current favorite rides is Clang find '83 Trek 600 that was upgraded to a slightly later 105 group, and the bike just sings on the road. I've been very impressed, so I know it should at least be the equal to the NR/SR mix on the Huffente.
105 is fine.


7. Weight

Last time I weighed the Huffente, it came in around 23.4lbs, and that is with all the boat-anchor Campy stuff like the QRs, the BB spindle and cups, and steel headset, not to mention a Brooks saddle. I have no doubt I could get into 21lb territory easily, and really that was going to be the focus of the 2nd Arc of the Huffy build (more on that later), but I think it won't be a challenge for the Guac to close to weight of the Huffente. It will likely be slightly lower. I'm thinking we'll probably see somewhere around 22-23lbs. Maybe a slightly lighter weight would compensate for the use of clinchers on the Guac? More things to think about.
If the goal is to get as good of comparison between the frames as possible, then having the parts from the bikes be roughly the same weight, and letting the lighter weight of the Guac frame shine makes sense to me. But I also don't think weight is as important as getting the wheels and tires right.
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Old 12-09-23, 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Arrowana
To give a similar impression, I think both bikes should have downtube friction shifting. Friction mode on the 105 shifters if fine, but a set of shifters that are friction only would be even better.



I think for it to be a fair comparison between the two, the most important thing would be to have the wheels and tires to be as similar as is practical. I'd go with tubulars, and even grab the same Home Depot tires for the Guac.



105 is fine.



If the goal is to get as good of comparison between the frames as possible, then having the parts from the bikes be roughly the same weight, and letting the lighter weight of the Guac frame shine makes sense to me. But I also don't think weight is as important as getting the wheels and tires right.

Huffy frame is 2877g. Guac is 2k and change -




What is that, about 1 and 2/3 of a lb lighter? Depending on where we end up, shifting around saddles will help with getting weights where they should be.

Other points you make are good.
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Old 12-10-23, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by RCMoeur
So... you ritually disemboweled a Trek Pro Series for good luck? That's hardcore.
I sinfully enjoyed that part! The 560 Pro Series I had was one of the few "much celebrated" bikes that left me feeling meh. I don't miss that one at all.
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Old 12-10-23, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by rccardr
...Also, kudos on your writing skills.
Jeeesh... I was going to say, AdventureManCO your writing "reminds me of a long-winded evangelist," (I once knew). Brevity and succinctness are traits which are always appreciated by the people sitting in the pews. Jus' sayin'

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