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Grail Cannondale ST1000 but what is that adjustable touring post under the Brooks?

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Grail Cannondale ST1000 but what is that adjustable touring post under the Brooks?

Old 07-24-15, 08:44 AM
  #101  
TimmyT
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Originally Posted by fender1 View Post
I love you .
Wow! I knew I felt something unusual in this thread.

Philly Jesus would be proud.
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Old 07-24-15, 08:57 AM
  #102  
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Originally Posted by TimmyT View Post
Wow! I knew I felt something unusual in this thread.

Philly Jesus would be proud.
True 'dat. I am all about breaking down barriers and building bridges.
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Old 07-24-15, 03:53 PM
  #103  
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
You are talking $$$$ I'd rather not spend.

I actually spotted on CL a number of years ago an older Litespeed road bike (made by the original Lynskey family) which was equipped with a Headshok and had the flexible rear chain stays with a small shock between the seat stays and the seat tube. IIRC the asking price was $2000+ and the frame was too small.

BTW, my nephew works for Lynskey and can get me a fantastic deal on a new titanium frame (something on the order of a 60-70% discount), but I keep waving him off.

In getting back to the Cannondale comparison, I picked up my '96 SR500 2.8 for $200 and sunk another $300 to upgrade to the 105 groupset. Since I also own a '93 R600 2.8 (aluminum fork), I can easily compare the ride difference from the weight savings. There's not much. The R600 is lighter and stiffer for out of the saddle climbing. But over the same 25 mile ride the time is about the same. My guess is what I loose in climbing with the Headshok I make up in descents.

I suppose if I wanted full suspension for the SR500 I could add a special seatpost.
I've always felt like the best frame material for building a bike was magnesium. It builds a bike that is functionally stiffer than carbon, aluminum, or titanium and does it while building a faster bike for lighter. To build a stiff enough carbon bike requires a lot more material than ultralight builders like to use. Weight ends up being the goal not stiffness and efficiency. The magical thing about magnesium is that it effectively "silences" vibration. They just disappear.

In precision medical, scientific, and aviation applications magnesium is commonly used to mount sensitive electronic instruments because of the vibration dampening properties.

I'm a HUGE fan of the pure rocket bike characteristics of oversize aluminum, and as much as I love my large C'dale touring frames (69cm c-c & 73cm c-t) I think I'd absolutely love a magnesium bike. Lighter, stiffer and with better ride quality than ANY steel, titanium or carbon bike?

A lot of high end racing forks and some frames used to be made from magnesium due to the ride characteristics in the 70s/80s. I guess I can't comprehend why more high end forks and frames aren't being made from magnesium. The only builder I can find making Magnesium frames these days is Paketa. They have a strong market in the high-end tandem world where stiffness can not be compromised without building a crappy riding tandem. However, I almost never see their singles. The really weird thing is they are such a niche builder that no one ever recognizes what they are.

A Paketa tandem sold on Craigslist or eBay usually returns strong value, but I see Paketa singles that have sold for stupid low prices. I've never understood why.

If you ever decide to go custom, my recommendation wouldn't be the titanium bike. There is a reason that the best performance bikes in the world aren't titanium. It makes for a comfortable enough bike, but a titanium bike suffers from the same efficiency losses as a steel bike. In the really tall bicycle world (over 63cm) there are a hundred stories of people who ordered a custom titanium Serotta or Seven only to immediate hate their new bike. The funny thing is Zinn specializes in making custom titanium bikes for really tall & big cyclists but his brand has never had the cache of Seven or Serotta. It used to be passé for a cyclist to order a Serotta or Seven titanium bike custom only to receive a "normalized" bike that wasn't per their specs, or the bike just so wiggly and suffered from so much bottom bracket flex as to make it essentially useless as a performance race bike. A 5' 9" builder who weighs 145lbs and rides on 170mm cranks has no frame of reference for how a bike feels for a powerful cyclist on longer cranks (190mm and up). The leverage of the longer legs multiplied through longer cranks will reveal a flexy bottom bracket instantly. There used to be a custom Seven or Serotta that was available in a tall custom size available "brand new" almost every six months. I always wondered why they just didn't go to Zinn in the first place. I guess I know the answer. In cycling cache matters, even when it creates a compromise in terms of performance.

So why do all of us know someone with a Calfee custom, a Merlin or a Moots bike, someone with a stable full of Campagnolo equipped bikes and expensive esoteric frames and components but none of us know anyone with a magnesium bike?

I've seen them, but I've never ridden one. They seem like the perfect bike frame material. I would think a magnesium bike on your roads would be heaven.

Paketa Custom Magnesium Bicycles :: Stronger Than Carbon Fiber and Aluminum

If I actually knew what my ideal custom size and geometry would be I'd have my sights set on a Paketa single, with the intent of experimenting before having a tandem built. I know the Paketa would be more comfortable to ride than a Calfee or Landshark, and I know it would be more efficient. However, there is something exotic about the carbon bikes or something beautiful about a Black Sheep titanium bike that just seems out of reach. I've always wanted a Paketa because of how it would ride, but it isn't a bike I look at and think "wow that's a beautiful bike" like the carbon custom stuff or the Black Sheep stuff.

If you ever get a chance to ride a Paketa on your bad roads, do me a favor and PM me your thoughts.
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Old 07-24-15, 07:47 PM
  #104  
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Regarding Magnesium custom frames, I thought I'd seen that Zinn makes them - Materials | Zinn Cycles website so I guess Paketa and Zinn. He also makes steel, but not aluminum.

Mtnbke, would you post a picture of your ST with moustache bars? I'm thinking about trying it and curious how you set up your shifters.
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Old 07-25-15, 02:33 PM
  #105  
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
Understanding you from this bicycle "faith" perspective makes a great deal of sense. It is similar to a Presbyterian trying to have a conversation with a Jehovah's Witness. Both profess the same faith in Jesus, but both do not agree on his purpose (I'm not going into the details since this is a conversation about bikes and not faith).

We who are more "ecumenical" in our approach to bicycle brands and frame materials stand no chance when trying to engage a dogmatic individual (such as yourself) in a civil conversation about the merits of a variety of bicycles.
I've been actively trying to not offend people of late. I think a lot of people spent good money on steel bikes and don't like hearing or learning that what they own and were sold doesn't exactly match reality. However, you've made a very specific point and I'd like to respond with a clear coherent response in the analogous terms you characterized.

PastorBob - Your comment about Jehovah's Witnesses is interesting. Most people like to deride them but in reality know absolutely nothing about them, save assumptions. There is a great book called I think Crisis of Conscience, that I've been trying to find for years. I've seen copies offered for a thousand dollars. Its long since out of print. It was written by Raymond Franz, a member of their Governing Body, and whose family had considerable influence in the organization. I think I've even read that his father or uncle wrote their version of the bible. Interestingly, he helped write all of their materials while he was a member of their governing body. In the end, there was a doctrinal issue where their Watchtower society decreed that people could only "find Christ" through them. This turned off a great many of their internal Brooklyn members and many left the organization. The thing is a Presbyterian could have a conversation with a JW for hours but wouldn't ever get to any of the interesting issues that plague the organization. The interesting thing is the founders of the JW movement Russell and Rutherford wouldn't recognize the organization today. Rutherford has been credited with quotes that are ironic, about the danger of religious organizations and how they put themselves in a position of primacy over their faith or relationship with the god they believe in. Franz in the end was disfellowshipped and kicked out of the organization he was literally a head of. Similar to if the Catholic Church was run by a committee, not a single pope. In the end the idea that there was something sacred about the Watchtower organization in Brooklyn, instead of just finding a spiritual relationship on one's own became a point that the organization couldn't tolerate. I'm fascinated by religious cults and I've always wanted to read that book and his other one, In Search of Christian Freedom. The Jehovah's Witnesses are fascinating to me because of their contributions to the development of intellectual and religious freedoms and Supreme Court decisions. I don't think people have any clue how many Supreme Court decisions that defined our rights to political speech were involving cases directly involving JWs. In terms of the development of religious and political freedoms in the United States they have primacy. The point here is that the Presbyterian would have many preconceived notions about Christianity and probably couldn't have a conversation with the JW because of the assumptions, bias, and beliefs they bring to the table, that would reveal to them many of the fascinating things about the beliefs of the JW member.

For me bikes are a lot like this. So many people are so brainwashed with the Dogma of "steel is real" that they can't actually approach bicycles with any sense of intellectual honesty. In 1994 I saved about fifteen hundred dollars for a good mountain bike. Back then that would buy you a lot of bike. I wanted a Bontrager Race or a Race Lite as I was doing some Norba bicycle races (at the Beginner and Sport classifications). I had a cro-moly Trek to that point. Steel was all I knew. I had saved and saved to buy the Bontrager. The day I went to buy the bike I climbed on it. I was so attracted to the Bontrager because of the gussets and other intelligent features Bontrager had built into it. Most people don't know the history of Bontrager, thinking they are just the house brand of Trek components. I guess that's true now, anyway. When I threw a leg over that bike I couldn't believe how much frame flex there was just standing over the bike in the shop. I could visibly deflect the bottom bracket to the point that the frame was essentially bike frame spaghetti. Now I'm 6'7" and at the time I was a competitive basketball player with a 36" vertical. I'm old an fat now, but that seems so long ago it doesn't even "feel true" anymore. I was crushed that day. I really had wanted that Bontrager for so long. Anyway I test rode pretty much everything else at that point. Two things emerged, everything I rode that was Steel and high end just sucked. It was flexy, didn't accelerate crisply, and in the end just felt like garbage to me. Two bike manufactures emerged from how the bikes felt when riding them: Klein and Cannondale. I couldn't afford the Klein I wanted at the time, and I ended up with an old stock '92 Cannondale M2000. One of the last of the super lightweight rigid aluminum racing XC mountain bikes. This was before the silly all-mountain nonsense. I used to love to ride in Norba events (Big Bear, Cactus Cup, and the events in Colorado as well). When riding the XC race course at Vail or Big Bear the ability of the bike to actually climb is so critically important (especially at altitude). I learned on my own that a great many things about the dogma of steel have a lot more to do with the fact that steel is easy and cheap to fabricate, and a lot less to do with how the bikes actually ride. The aluminum revolution in cycling displaced a lot of builders and an entire paradigm of bicycle frame building. Necessarily, that threatened the livelihood and sensibilities of many frame builders, shops that had distribution agreements for those bikes, and for people who were fanboys of those brands. There is a reason you don't see competitive riders in the gran tours on steel bikes. There is a reason you don't see competitive riders in the XC scene that were riding steel bikes anymore. For everything that mattered in the performance of the bikes (acceleration, climbing, precision handling, ability to sprint) the aluminum bike did it better. Anyone who couldn't recognize that either wasn't being honest and was invested in the "steel is real" cult or was an outlier on the small/lightweight side of things.

Still, I was willing to give steel another chance when I went to buy my first tandem. I had been pouring over the Santana catalogs for a some time. I absorbed everything in the Santana marketing rhetoric. To this day I think the old Santana catalog is the best piece of marketing I've ever encountered. I was so convinced that Santana frames were better and everything else was inferior. The irony being that I couldn't have named a single other manufacture of tandems. Not one. When my ex and I went to buy our first tandem we chose the bike shop by first contacting Santana and finding which dealerships were the top tier Santana ones (more bikes, specialized fitment, etc.). We knew which Santana model we could afford and I could rattle off all the frame features that were going to make my Santana tandem "better." We went to the dealer and they set up the Santana. I didn't know then what I know now about bike fit. Santana claimed to be able to fit 90% of all cyclists on essentially three/four overlapping sizes. Their size chart is laughable to any road cyclist. The fitment of the Captain's compartment is almost exactly the fitment of a cyclist to their road bike. If I told hardcore roadies that I could fit them on a Small, Medium, Large or Extra-Large frames equally well they'd laugh me out of the room. That's a claim Santana makes to this day, but I digress. We finally had them build up the Santana to something that would approximate fitting me. We took the Steel Santana Arriva out for a ride. I hated it immediately. The entire frame was twisting and torquing and it felt like the rear of the bike was constantly fighting with the front. It was just a miserable first ride experience. Keep in mind I had NEVER ridden a tandem before and had nothing else to compare it to. We kept being told that this was just what riding a tandem felt like. Then in a weird bit of synchronicity, we found a very old new old stock Jumbo/Large Cannondale tandem. This was back when the seat collar was 66cm on the Jumbo/Large. Now a little bit of extra seat collar doesn't change the fit of the bike, but I didn't know that then. It seemed "bigger" to start with.

The first time we took the Cannondale out for a test ride it was like the scene in Blues Brothers where the music cues, the sunlight shines through the church window, and you here the heavenly Ahhhh sound. We kept going back to test ride different tandems, and it took me a long time to actually reconcile how flexible and how ineffective the Santana steel frame was, especially considering all the marketing rhetoric I still "owned" from their catalog: That a Santana steel tandem was stiffer than competitors aluminum tandems, etc. In the end it was very hard for me to buy the Cannondale but we did. I'm so glad I didn't follow my heart, which was completely sucked into the Santana dogma on their tandems, and particularly their steel tandems.

I have way too many bikes. In my garage right now are three tandems. A steel Santana, two Cannondales, and I've purchased tandems for friends and family. With singles I've owned bikes by Pinarello, Olmo, Lemond (Maillot Jaune), Gunnar Crosshairs, Tommasini, Klein, Trek, even a Viscount. All but the Cannondales and Kleins were epic steel bikes with components and builds that were more interesting than the stuff I've collected and the bent I took later as a cyclist (more towards touring/Randonneur builds). Every one of those bikes were beautiful to behold with components that I just loved. The bikes had cache and the components I had on them were epic. I once had a full titanium Campy Chorus 8-speed bike on a high end Trek. Not only did it have all the titanium bits, but it had a full titanium bolt upgrades. Every crank bolt, every seat binder, you name it had the MRP titanium upgraded bolt. It had a complete frame off restoration and respray at the Trek factory, and was a gorgeous bike (it had been a Trek show bike). Maybe what I should have done over the years is keep the components. However, usually when I sell a bike I sell the whole bike. I loved every single one of those bikes. There were reasons I bought all of them. In the end the reason I sold them is that as cool, or as epic as the builds were, they just weren't "good bikes." In the end a bicycle isn't what you want it to be, its what it really is.

Now cycling is a collecting hobby to me, much more so than its a riding hobby at this point in my life. That needs to change. I need to get back to hundreds of miles a week on the mountain, road, and tandems. I'm just not healthy at this point having gotten fat. However, I have changed in the sense that with bicycles I no longer need to validate what I want the bicycle to be, and I'm more honest with what it is. I've let all those great bicycles go, because they were a nameplate more than a good bicycle. The cult of cycling has been good to me, and I think I've was even or made a bit on every single bike I've sold off, so there weren't losses.

Do I think oversized aluminum bicycles are the end all and be all? Nope. I'd love it if there were a thousand C&V and modern magnesium frame manufacturers. I'm convinced that magnesium bicycles are better than aluminum in every fashion. Oscar Pereriro won the Tour in 2006 on a magnesium bike. They why don't we see them? For the same reason we don't see high-end aluminum being manufactured in the US. It requires so much fabrication skill to work with exotic materials and to weld aluminum and titanium, let alone magnesium, that it makes the production costs prohibitive. A skilled fabricator who can work with magnesium, titanium, and aluminum is worth so much money in the industrial market that its impossible to keep them welding up bicycle frames without making them ridiculously cost prohibitive. When you see companies like Black Sheep, trust me he makes bicycles because he loves making bicycles. Companies like Klein and Cannondale always had trouble holding onto their skilled welders.

This is where people get offended, but someone brazing a lug isn't a skilled craftsman in the sense of someone that can weld exotics like titanium or aluminum. The learning curve for titanium and aluminum are considerable. The learning curve for brazing steel and putting together lugs with silver is about an afternoon. Yamaguchi has a two week frame building course where you build your own frame/fork. Lots of community cycle organizations have a build your own bike course. Building a steel bike isn't the master frame builder notion we as cyclists perpetuate. Waltworks started as just a guy taking some industrial tech classes at CU. These days the world is full of instant-framebuilding shops as everyone and their brother are making hand built steel bikes these days, and everyone can. Laying up carbon exposes a frame builder to incredible toxic fumes. Carbon fiber bicycles are essentially epoxy bikes more so than carbon fiber, and there is a a HUGE learning curve there. However, anyone could and can build themselves a bamboo epoxy bike if they were so inclined and had the lugs. You'll mostly get it right after building a handful. If someone wanted to hang a shingle and start cranking out aluminum handmade bikes or titanium or magnesium bikes they'd better have thousands of hours of welding experience and a truly deep comprehension of the exotic materials welding theory and the right equipment. Any hack can build a lugged steel bike with really nothing more than a home made jig and a torch.

So am I in a cult of aluminum? Actually no! I'm more in the cult of not begin in a cult. I don't like the cultish adherence that people cling to their notions of steel bikes. They are like religious order members that can't comprehend anything outside their religious community or reference frame. They've never ridden anything else, they have no context for comparison but they are online posting to each other how great their Soma or their Surly bikes are.

Unlike the Santana tandem fit graphic, there really isn't overlap between different types of bikes. If it wasn't so ridiculously cost prohibitive to produce magnesium bicycle frames. Most hard core cyclists have never even heard of Litech or Paketa, or even Segal. Nobody knows that Specialize almost acquired Litech for their high end stuff to convert to Magnesium bikes. Does that mean their frames aren't any good and don't have good ride qualities? From some of the testimonials the ride qualities of the Mg bikes are the best of anything people have ever ridden. I'm talking people that have spent thirty grand on custom titanium tandems, custom Calfee carbon tandems, and now have a Paketa. Then again I see a lot of Paketa singles for sale cheap. Is that because no one knows what they are and they have no brand recognition? I don't know, but I just find it strange you can get a Paketa at times for one-third the cost of a boat anchor Surly. Magnesium has the best vibration dampening properties, and it can be built stiffer than oversized aluminum.

If there was any intellectual honesty in cycling you, me and everyone we know would be on the Magnesium bike cult. However, that wouldn't validate what we own and want to believe it good, because we have it, now would it?

A lugged Rivenell with a Joe Bell paint job is a beautiful bicycle, and I think one of the smartest looking urban bikes around. However, you can't really lock it up anywhere it will walk off, and they are so pretty you don't dare lean them against anything with thousand dollar paint. I still think a Mark Nobillette custom is a better steel bike than most people will ever ride, and I don't care what high zoot steel bikes they have.

However, I'm also smart enough to know a Windsor that's been repainted to be a Cinelli, and that fraud works because essentially no one EVER has been able to throw a leg over the Windsor and has been able to tell that it may have Cinelli paint/decals but it didn't start out that way.

At the end of the day there is a cult that loves Gunnar and Surly bikes, but really how are those any "better" thank bike boom Viscounts? A Viscount frame with a modern carbon fiber fork will tip the scales at about 3.25 lbs depending on the size. For all the talk of the aerospace tubing it wasn't as engineered as say modern cromoly. Viscounts don't have the cache, but they were steel and ride better than a lot of bikes that have soul and speak to us as pinnacle brands.

Like religion a lot of things in cycling we believe because either we need to believe it to validate our own existence (its what I can afford or already have) or just because we're sheep and that's what we were told. Campagnolo never ever wanted to move beyond 8-speed and used to editorialize why more cogs was actually fools gold. It creates a weaker more dished rear wheel and the effective range of the cogsets do NOT change. If you had a 13-28 cassette with six speed freewheel on a vintage C&V bike you can still have a 12-28 cassette with 10/11 speeds now. Other than having some extra cogs in the mix reducing the ratio jumps when shifting is more speeds better? Are disc brakes better on XC racing mountain bikes? Paradigm shifts in cycling happen because the bike industry needs to sell new bikes, and because cyclists aren't exactly deep critical thinkers. We believe what we are told and sold, for the most part.

My truth to the efficiency and effectiveness of steel frames puts a lot of people off. However, I think the disingenuous nature of the "steel is real" misinformation is the real problem, not me pointing out the emperor has no clothes.

Do I have a Cannondale tattoo? No. However, I don't believe everything I've been told, and I don't repeat cultish dogmatic group think about steel bikes. I've owned some of the best, ridden many others, and the truth is that a bicycle is as it rides and performs, and doesn't necessarily correlate to what we want to believe about steel being all "handcrafty" and more genuine or real. At the end of the day the true master frame builders are the one working with Magnesium, Aluminum, and Titanium which takes a higher order of magnitude of skill to fabricate with. Does that reconcile with what we believe in cycling, with what Rivendell preaches? Nope, and mostly because the rhetoric of steel is a function of the business model of building steel bikes. It is very very cheap to assemble the components need to build a steel frame, and the skill level can be mastered by anyone. Not so with Magnesium (only several sources worldwide of bicycle tubing) , Titanium, or high end thin wall Aluminum tubing.

If you are surrounded by everyone in a religious cult, and you speak against their dogmatic beliefs of course you're going to appear "crazy" to them. We always perceive anyone that doesn't drink our brand of Kool-Aid as crazy. However, who is more offensive Rivendel, Soma, Surly, Santana for perpetuating the myth of steel to profiteer on the marketing, or some passionate cyclist who is astounded at how many people are deceived and riding crappy bikes they overpaid for?

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Old 07-25-15, 02:45 PM
  #106  
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Originally Posted by mtnbke View Post
PastorBob - Your comment about Jehovah's Witnesses is interesting. Most people like to deride them but in reality know absolutely nothing about them, save assumptions. There is a great book called I think Crisis of Conscience, that I've been trying to find for years. I've seen copies offered for a thousand dollars. Its long since out of print. It was written by Raymond Franz, a member of their Governing Body, and whose family had considerable influence in the organization. I think I've even read that his father or uncle wrote their version of the bible. Interestingly, he helped write all of their materials while he was a member of their governing body. In the end, there was a doctrinal issue where their Watchtower society decreed that people could only "find Christ" through them. This turned off a great many of their internal Brooklyn members and many left the organization. The thing is a Presbyterian could have a conversation with a JW for hours but wouldn't ever get to any of the interesting issues that plague the organization. The interesting thing is the founders of the JW movement Russell and Rutherford wouldn't recognize the organization today. Rutherford has been credited with quotes that are ironic, about the danger of religious organizations and how they put themselves in a position of primacy over their faith or relationship with the god they believe in. Franz in the end was disfellowshipped and kicked out of the organization he was literally a head of. Similar to if the Catholic Church was run by a committee, not a single pope. In the end the idea that there was something sacred about the Watchtower organization in Brooklyn, instead of just finding a spiritual relationship on one's own became a point that the organization couldn't tolerate. I'm fascinated by religious cults and I've always wanted to read that book and his other one, In Search of Christian Freedom. The Jehovah's Witnesses are fascinating to me because of their contributions to the development of intellectual and religious freedoms and Supreme Court decisions. I don't think people have any clue how many Supreme Court decisions that defined our rights to political speech were involving cases directly involving JWs. In terms of the development of religious and political freedoms in the United States they have primacy. The point here is that the Presbyterian would have many preconceived notions about Christianity and probably couldn't have a conversation with the JW because of the assumptions, bias, and beliefs they bring to the table, that would reveal to them many of the fascinating things about the beliefs of the JW member.

For me bikes are a lot like this. So many people are so brainwashed with the Dogma of "steel is real" that they can't actually approach bicycles with any sense of intellectual honesty. In 1994 I saved about fifteen hundred dollars for a good mountain bike. Back then that would buy you a lot of bike. I wanted a Bontrager Race or a Race Lite as I was doing some Norba bicycle races (at the Beginner and Sport classifications). I had a cro-moly Trek to that point. Steel was all I knew. I had saved and saved to buy the Bontrager. The day I went to buy the bike I climbed on it. I was so attracted to the Bontrager because of the gussets and other intelligent features Bontrager had built into it. Most people don't know the history of Bontrager, thinking they are just the house brand of Trek components. I guess that's true now, anyway. When I threw a leg over that bike I couldn't believe how much frame flex there was just standing over the bike in the shop. I could visibly deflect the bottom bracket to the point that the frame was essentially bike frame spaghetti. Now I'm 6'7" and at the time I was a competitive basketball player with a 36" vertical. I'm old an fat now, but that seems so long ago it doesn't even "feel true" anymore. I was crushed that day. I really had wanted that Bontrager for so long. Anyway I test rode pretty much everything else at that point. Two things emerged, everything I rode that was Steel and high end just sucked. It was flexy, didn't accelerate crisply, and in the end just felt like garbage to me. Two bike manufactures emerged from how the bikes felt when riding them: Klein and Cannondale. I couldn't afford the Klein I wanted at the time, and I ended up with an old stock '92 Cannondale M2000. One of the last of the super lightweight rigid aluminum racing XC mountain bikes. This was before the silly all-mountain nonsense. I used to love to ride in Norba events (Big Bear, Cactus Cup, and the events in Colorado as well). When riding the XC race course at Vail or Big Bear the ability of the bike to actually climb is so critically important (especially at altitude). I learned on my own that a great many things about the dogma of steel have a lot more to do with the fact that steel is easy and cheap to fabricate, and a lot less to do with how the bikes actually ride. The aluminum revolution in cycling displaced a lot of builders and an entire paradigm of bicycle frame building. Necessarily, that threatened the livelihood and sensibilities of many frame builders, shops that had distribution agreements for those bikes, and for people who were fanboys of those brands. There is a reason you don't see competitive riders in the gran tours on steel bikes. There is a reason you don't see competitive riders in the XC scene that were riding steel bikes anymore. For everything that mattered in the performance of the bikes (acceleration, climbing, precision handling, ability to sprint) the aluminum bike did it better. Anyone who couldn't recognize that either wasn't being honest and was invested in the "steel is real" cult or was an outlier on the small/lightweight side of things.

Still, I was willing to give steel another chance when I went to buy my first tandem. I had been pouring over the Santana catalogs for a some time. I absorbed everything in the Santana marketing rhetoric. To this day I think the old Santana catalog is the best piece of marketing I've ever encountered. I was so convinced that Santana frames were better and everything else was inferior. The irony being that I couldn't have named a single other manufacture of tandems. Not one. When my ex and I went to buy our first tandem we chose the bike shop by first contacting Santana and finding which dealerships were the top tier Santana ones (more bikes, specialized fitment, etc.). We knew which Santana model we could afford and I could rattle off all the frame features that were going to make my Santana tandem "better." We went to the dealer and they set up the Santana. I didn't know then what I know now about bike fit. Santana claimed to be able to fit 90% of all cyclists on essentially three/four overlapping sizes. Their size chart is laughable to any road cyclist. The fitment of the Captain's compartment is almost exactly the fitment of a cyclist to their road bike. If I told hardcore roadies that I could fit them on a Small, Medium, Large or Extra-Large frames equally well they'd laugh me out of the room. That's a claim Santana makes to this day, but I digress. We finally had them build up the Santana to something that would approximate fitting me. We took the Steel Santana Arriva out for a ride. I hated it immediately. The entire frame was twisting and torquing and it felt like the rear of the bike was constantly fighting with the front. It was just a miserable first ride experience. Keep in mind I had NEVER ridden a tandem before and had nothing else to compare it to. We kept being told that this was just what riding a tandem felt like. Then in a weird bit of synchronicity, we found a very old new old stock Jumbo/Large Cannondale tandem. This was back when the seat collar was 66cm on the Jumbo/Large. Now a little bit of extra seat collar doesn't change the fit of the bike, but I didn't know that then. It seemed "bigger" to start with.

The first time we took the Cannondale out for a test ride it was like the scene in Blues Brothers where the music cues, the sunlight shines through the church window, and you here the heavenly Ahhhh sound. We kept going back to test ride different tandems, and it took me a long time to actually reconcile how flexible and how ineffective the Santana steel frame was, especially considering all the marketing rhetoric I still "owned" from their catalog: That a Santana steel tandem was stiffer than competitors aluminum tandems, etc. In the end it was very hard for me to buy the Cannondale but we did. I'm so glad I didn't follow my heart, which was completely sucked into the Santana dogma on their tandems, and particularly their steel tandems.

I have way too many bikes. In my garage right now are three tandems. A steel Santana, two Cannondales, and I've purchased tandems for friends and family. With singles I've owned bikes by Pinarello, Olmo, Lemond (Maillot Jaune), Gunnar Crosshairs, Tommasini, Klein, Trek, even a Viscount. All but the Cannondales and Kleins were epic steel bikes with components and builds that were more interesting than the stuff I've collected and the bent I took later as a cyclist (more towards touring/Randonneur builds). Every one of those bikes were beautiful to behold with components that I just loved. The bikes had cache and the components I had on them were epic. I once had a full titanium Campy Chorus 8-speed bike on a high end Trek. Not only did it have all the titanium bits, but it had a full titanium bolt upgrades. Every crank bolt, every seat binder, you name it had the MRP titanium upgraded bolt. It had a complete frame off restoration and respray at the Trek factory, and was a gorgeous bike (it had been a Trek show bike). Maybe what I should have done over the years is keep the components. However, usually when I sell a bike I sell the whole bike. I loved every single one of those bikes. There were reasons I bought all of them. In the end the reason I sold them is that as cool, or as epic as the builds were, they just weren't "good bikes." In the end a bicycle isn't what you want it to be, its what it really is.

Now cycling is a collecting hobby to me, much more so than its a riding hobby at this point in my life. That needs to change. I need to get back to hundreds of miles a week on the mountain, road, and tandems. I'm just not healthy at this point having gotten fat. However, I have changed in the sense that with bicycles I no longer need to validate what I want the bicycle to be, and I'm more honest with what it is. I've let all those great bicycles go, because they were a nameplate more than a good bicycle. The cult of cycling has been good to me, and I think I've was even or made a bit on every single bike I've sold off, so there weren't losses.

Do I think oversized aluminum bicycles are the end all and be all? Nope. I'd love it if there were a thousand C&V and modern magnesium frame manufacturers. I'm convinced that magnesium bicycles are better than aluminum in every fashion. Oscar Pereriro won the Tour in 2006 on a magnesium bike. They why don't we see them? For the same reason we don't see high-end aluminum being manufactured in the US. It requires so much fabrication skill to work with exotic materials and to weld aluminum and titanium, let alone magnesium, that it makes the production costs prohibitive. A skilled fabricator who can work with magnesium, titanium, and aluminum is worth so much money in the industrial market that its impossible to keep them welding up bicycle frames without making them ridiculously cost prohibitive. When you see companies like Black Sheep, trust me he makes bicycles because he loves making bicycles. Companies like Klein and Cannondale always had trouble holding onto their skilled welders.

This is where people get offended, but someone brazing a lug isn't a skilled craftsman in the sense of someone that can weld exotics like titanium or aluminum. The learning curve for titanium and aluminum are considerable. The learning curve for brazing steel and putting together lugs with silver is about an afternoon. Yamaguchi has a two week frame building course where you build your own frame/fork. Lots of community cycle organizations have a build your own bike course. Building a steel bike isn't the master frame builder notion we as cyclists perpetuate. Waltworks started as just a guy taking some industrial tech classes at CU. These days the world is full of instant-framebuilding shops as everyone and their brother are making hand built steel bikes these days, and everyone can. Laying up carbon exposes a frame builder to incredible toxic fumes. Carbon fiber bicycles are essentially epoxy bikes more so than carbon fiber, and there is a a HUGE learning curve there. However, anyone could and can build themselves a bamboo epoxy bike if they were so inclined and had the lugs. You'll mostly get it right after building a handful. If someone wanted to hang a shingle and start cranking out aluminum handmade bikes or titanium or magnesium bikes they'd better have thousands of hours of welding experience and a truly deep comprehension of the exotic materials welding theory and the right equipment. Any hack can build a lugged steel bike with really nothing more than a home made jig and a torch.

So am I in a cult of aluminum? Actually no! I'm more in the cult of not begin in a cult. I don't like the cultish adherence that people cling to their notions of steel bikes. They are like religious order members that can't comprehend anything outside their religious community or reference frame. They've never ridden anything else, they have no context for comparison but they are online posting to each other how great their Soma or their Surly bikes are.

Unlike the Santana tandem fit graphic, there really isn't overlap between different types of bikes. If it wasn't so ridiculously cost prohibitive to produce magnesium bicycle frames. Most hard core cyclists have never even heard of Litech or Paketa, or even Segal. Does that mean their frames aren't any good and don't have good ride qualities? From some of the testimonials the ride qualities of the Mg bikes are the best of anything people have ever ridden. I'm talking people that have spent thirty grand on custom titanium tandems, custom Calfee carbon tandems, and now have a Paketa. Then again I see a lot of Paketa singles for sale cheap. Is that because no one knows what they are and they have no brand recognition? I don't know, but I just find it strange you can get a Paketa at times for one-third the cost of a boat anchor Surly. Magnesium has the best vibration dampening properties, and it can be built stiffer than oversized aluminum.

If there was any intellectual honesty in cycling you, me and everyone we know would be on the Magnesium bike cult. However, that wouldn't validate what we own and want to believe it good, because we have it, now would it?
or....you could stop worrying about it all and go for a ride.
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Old 07-25-15, 02:52 PM
  #107  
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Time to try some different meds. Or maybe another layer of tin foil.
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Old 07-27-15, 05:20 AM
  #108  
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Originally Posted by Ronno6 View Post
Babe the Blue Ox was originally Blueberry and i sad shape.
I had the frame powdercoated, color is Blue Ice Explosion and is beautiful!
Your T1000 looks great!
I had a look at the '92 and '93 catalogues and you are right, mine is a '93, based on the seat collar clamp, even though it was made in Sept '92. Well spotted. What a bike geek (and I mean that as a compliment).
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Old 07-27-15, 01:20 PM
  #109  
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Originally Posted by investmentbiker View Post
I had a look at the '92 and '93 catalogues and you are right, mine is a '93, based on the seat collar clamp, even though it was made in Sept '92. Well spotted. What a bike geek (and I mean that as a compliment).
Thanks!
Cannondale, not unlike automobile manufacturers, starts producing next year's models in the last quarter of the prior year.
So most, if not all bikes manufactured in September of a given year are actually the next year's models.....
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Old 03-29-17, 01:57 PM
  #110  
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Would this be a "grail" bike? Can anyone ID the year? I can't tell what RD that is and I don't see one on the catalogs with Superbe brakes.

More pics in link

https://raleigh.craigslist.org/bik/6041309786.html

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Old 03-29-17, 02:39 PM
  #111  
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It is pre '89 or whenever they started the cantilever stays. The RD is a Simplex of some sort, I think.


If you have looking for that model, size and color for a long time it would be an grail bike.
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Old 03-29-17, 02:49 PM
  #112  
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That does appear to be an early ST. I think the metal top tube brake cable guides were only the first 3 years. Would seem unlikely for all the components to be original. 83-85??
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Old 03-29-17, 04:10 PM
  #113  
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Oh, that looks like a Huret Duopar RD, which would make it an '85 ST500 if it's original. Maybe the brakes got switched out.
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Old 03-29-17, 04:14 PM
  #114  
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Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
Oh, that looks like a Huret Duopar RD, which would make it an '85 ST500 if it's original. Maybe the brakes got switched out.
It is a huret duopar; pretty good pre indexing touring RD. At $250, I would have bought that bike by now. It fits you, right? That's a square price on the bike.
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