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Old 05-06-07, 04:02 PM   #1
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Cyclocross a total loss - is this bike next?

. . . because, about a week and a half ago, I took a turn (at my normal cruising speed) on rain-wet pavement, was surprised by a car across my path, "touched" my disc brakes, laid her down and went sliding under the front wheels of the car.

Blame here would be almost totally mine (that car should not have been there - if it hadn't been sitting at nearly a dead stop, perhaps it would have been gone before I came on the scene).

It's funny, I seem to have had my share of crashes in the last year - this is my second serious crash - a right hook in June of '06, and now this.

Anyhow, although I was wearing my helmet, it never came into play. Additionally, no part of my body seems to have more than brushed the pavement or (thank God) contacted the car.

My clipless pedals probably worked to keep me centered on the bike, and my full rainsuit showed a slick spot where my trousers would have been shredded otherwise.

No other personal symptoms of this little incident.

My Cannondale Cyclocross Disc did not fare so well. The top tube (I guess that's what you call it) and the diagonal tube (downtube?) were both folded at 45 degree angles. The bike looked as though it had been modded to be a high-rider.

The lady in the car seemed almost shocked and definitely shaken. My mood seemed to me very detached. I just casually, while still laying on my side clipped in, reached out and retrieved my glasses that were about 6-inches away on the pavement. Put them back on before attempting to get to my feet.

Observers were ready to call the ambulance, but I refused, apologized to the lady driving (or sitting still in) the car, and walked the rest of the way home where I immediately called my favorite LBS (he's the best).

Anyhow, I dropped off the fatally wounded C'dale the next day, and two days later, he had salvaged what could be used and installed it along with some slick new components onto what I imagine is about an '04 Giant T-mobile TCR all carbon frame.

. . . even reused my little auxilary brake levers 'cause he knew I'd like that.

Drive train is Dura-ace. Large ring is a 56 (the fixed dérailleur setup on this frame will not permit the use of my beloved 63 - boo-hoo). I don't recall off hand what the small ring is - probably 45 or so. Cassette is a 9-speed. small cog is 11 - I don't recall the count for the large ring - but the short gear combo combined with the overall lightness of this bike combine to make it an effortless climber (I keep reminding myself that my C'dale was set up with a 63-52 combo, so the new bike is bound to be a better climber).

Anyhow, I took my first extended ride yesterday. There is no question that, on downhills, I really have to spin to keep up with the bike, but, I'm not certain if I actually give up any speed or not. Top speed on my favorite downhill was 47 mph. I remember making 48 on the c'dale and a cool 50 on my old Schwinn LeTour (I'll have to check out the gearing on that bike - only know that we modded it long, but never bothered to count the teeth). I'm guessing that variables like wind, my physical state on a given day, what I have/don't have in my bag/on my person, etc would make those kind of variances insignificant. So, my main objection to this bike (that we could not retain the use of my long gears and 185 mm cranks) is probably not valid in terms of the performance.

What make me want to love this machine is the effortlessness with which I made 50 miles over varying terrain. Climbing those long uphill stretches was almost effortless - none of the uphill leg burn at the end of the day to which I am accustomed. Downhill speeds were plenty brisk, and, when I didn't fell like spinning up to the downhill velocity, I could just tuck and coast.

We mounted my Arione saddle, so that part of me felt right at home.

Discs are gone in favor of regular rim type brakes - no huge loss. The only time the extra stopping power ever came into play was in situations where I was going to wreck no matter what. Besides, these brakes never squeak or need constant tweaking to keep them from rubbing.

So, I guess, if you can forgive my meandering, I'd like some input as to what folks on this forum think of my possible "new" bike.

LBS has loaned it to me in hopes that I'll like/keep it. I'm not wild about the T-Mobile badge or the pink frame parts, but I wasn't that happy with the C'dale label branded all over my previous steed, either.

So far, I like/am inclined to do just that.

I am told that the bike new would sell for more than I would be willing to spend, so, this might be a good step up for me.

Opinions (Up or Down) welcome.

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Old 05-06-07, 04:18 PM   #2
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63? You must have legs the size of my waist. (well maybe not quite so) Who makes such a gear?
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