Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Whips and chains

Spring is just around the corner, so it's about time I got my whips built and dialed in. Semi-famously I haven't been on an MTB since November, mostly due to trail conditions, which has pushed MTB building to the back burner. I Finally got the one-ride-so-far Epic ass end rebuild with all the proper bearings, bushings, etc so it's good to go. Just need a good trail day to let 'er eat. Also got a new fork, and since I liked the Magura Durin Race from last year I decided to add another to the stable.
The trusty HT is a little worse for the wear since I still haven't pulled the cranks off my CX bike, but at least I finally got another saddle so that I could finish dialing my position in. It'll be interesting to see, but I'm guessing it'll be around 21.5 lbs which is not bad for a 19" bike!

As mentioned, the CX bike has some cobbled-together cranks/rings, but having power data is key, so a non-pinned (and thus SHITTY shifting) Salsa 46T outer with a generic 34t inner 94mm BCD is my compact CX gearing to match up with the ISIS Ergomo I have. The Q factor is noticeably wider but hey - the bike still moves forward when I pedal!

I have to do this because I had to send my SRM back to have a new battery installed (great time to die, BTW), which left me powerless (oh the humanity!) on my road bike. It's working out OK since I just ride my CX bike when I need power data and ride the road bike for endurance rides, like the 5 hour team ride last Sunday in steady 20 mph headwinds. awesome.
All that stuff was just a bunch of shuffling to pass the time until my newest whip arrived - an 09 Tarmac PRO SL. I thought it would be a little bunk using the C'dale SRM that I've had for 2 years, but my search for a sucker, er, sponsor to trade me a Specialized SRM for a Hollowgram SRM has thus far proved fruitless.I was actually a bit surprised to see it doesn't look too bad. It will make a bit more sense once I actually get the SRM back and install it, but there are no interference issues and even though they're fairly easily spotted as Cannondale (and we all know how much Cannondale and Specialized like each other!), I'll swear to my grave the cranks are prototype Campagnolo BB30.Being a new whip, and being a Campyphile, I decided it was time to see what asll the fuss over the new 11 speed was about. When I first heard they were going to 11 speeds, I said I wouldn't do it because I didn't want to deal with the incompatibility between cross and road equipment.
but then I went to InterBike.

Kee-ripes that stuff is awesome. I didn't think they could improve on the 10 speed Record I've been rolling the last several years but they sure did. Starting with the front derailleur shifting action is swift. I can cross chain both 39x11 and 53x25 without any chain rub. Not that I would, but I could... The rear derailleur shifting is ever so subtly different than the outgoing 10 speed action. Surprisingly lighter, but at the same time a bit more swift and crisp, and no where near Shimano mush.
Gripes? VERY cumbersome installation of the ergo levers as a result of another effing torx screw, which precludes the use of a ball end hex key for easy adjusting of lever position. Also, while the lack of cable housing bulge is appreciated, the installation is a bit silly - you can't slide the housing into the lever body without uninstalling the shifter - negating any position you just sweetly found.
Anyway, minor annoyances for some righteous gear. I dig.

I also got some sweet other gear, but it doesn't quite fall into the 'whips' category so you get to check back again later. I'd offer an apology but I wouldn't mean it, and - admit it - you like my prose and check daily for blog updates.


Now for the chains part of the post - I bought a KMC Gold 10 speed chain for my CX bike since the Ti-N coating is supposedly more durable. We'll see but the 9 speed chain sure looks sweet on my HT.
As luck would have it, the chain doubles as an old school grill, not like the platinum grills all the kids are getting these days.

The mean mug comes with the teef. You can't not cop a 'tude with fangs like those!


-the ATM


adamrodkey said...

ATM-New cable routing is a pain fo sho, but I found a way: I insert the cable, then use a tiny-ass (jewlers) flat head to push the cable down flat onto the white guide thing, then guide it w/ the screwdriver to the exit hole on the back of the body. I can generally do it the first try now.
And the chain pin system, while expensive, totally rocks, huh? Interesting how they have managed to make what has always been the weakest point probably the strongest. Take that (all) Shimano (groups except 7900)!

the ATM said...

I thought about that but just took out the loop in the middle of the section of cable that would not be in a housing in case I kinked it. I'll try it next time.
Yeah, the chain rocks... I might try to sell my 10 speed chain tool now that I have THE tool. Or maybe I am the tool??

Mike Sherer said...

Man you got a lot of Specialized bikes.

Isaac said...

Question: how in the world do you ride an 09' 58cm specialized tarmac SL pro with spacers under the stem? It doesn't look it in the picture but you must have the highest bars on the planet! I can't get low enough... and we run the same seat height.

Stable it looking pretty complete these days!