je ne sais quoi

Thursday, December 18, 2008


The CAAD7 is dead.

Not sure how it happened, really. This is actually the 3rd Caad7 Si frame i've cracked. Not necessarily 'cause they're prone to cracking, but each of the frames had in excess of 30,000 miles before letting go. The worst was when the dropout broke on one at the end of manhattan beach in '06. Oddly, not one of them broke as a [direct] result of a crash. One was broken in the chainstay, the aforementioned dropout, and this one a quarter of the way down the downtube. Weird. The first two I was able to warranty, but seeing how I'm not the original owner of this one, nor do I know who is, it looks unlikely. It was a good one. The 7s are special. The last to have a horizontal top tube. Dreamy. Back to this one...

Also dead, my training.....this week. The forecast has been nutso. I don't have a trainer, so I've just been doing my 6 mile commute (3 x 3) in the wet icy cold to work and back. I was supposed to get 25 hours in this week, not gonna happen. So...just going to "reboot" base and switch it to a 12 week programme. Going back to 15 hours, then 18, 22, 10, etc...Hopefully the weather will cooperate. I'm not unmotivated, but certainly not motivated enough to ride a trainer (which I don't's socal, man!) for hours like that or get in icy rain. Sucks.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Vintage Junking

These are the gems i've been training on:

I'm most aware of the bike when i'm training. There's not a whole lot else. I hear the annoying intermittent "clicks" and can feel if the tires are too bouncy or if the seat height is off. When the number's pinned on, none of that crosses my mind. Only everything else. There's the prelude. These wheels...the lust started back in France. The team shop's owner (Bruno at Velo7) trained on these amaaaaazing looking Mavic Classics Pro Ceramic Tubulars. I'd only ever remembered seeing them in mid-90s editions of Procycling. The pro guys would ride them, but they were never for sale anywhere. Saw a few sets....but SO few were ceramic + tubular. I'd incessantly bother Bruno to sell me the wheels, and I think I could've snatched them if I had a bit more time to hassle him. forward to now. Months ago i'd told their previous owner "hey, if you're gonna sell those, please....ME." Sure enough, a couple months later, I picked them up at a solid price. Mounted up some new tires. Glued them up with Conti glue. 100psi front, 105 rear.....


I can't run pressure that low with the clinchers (you can, but just doesn't feel safe). From the first ride, I railed these guys everywhere. I think the only hill in SoCal where I need brakes is the descent from Wilson to Redbox...and the braking....too good! I'm actually on the lookout for another set of rims like these one. GEMS. So if anyone sees a set dusting in the corner of a shop somewhere...Hi.


Rims: Mavic Reflex Tubular Ceramic 32
Hubs: Chris King (with the buzzzzz rear hub)
Spokes: Heavy Duty Wheelsmith 14g 3-crossed
Tires: Continental Sprinter Gatorskin 22
Weight: Lots