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Biked

I got a new bike. Not really because I wanted to1, but because it’s basically impossible to get replacement parts for the groupset on the old bike2, and replacing the groupset would require new wheels, and… for want of a nail, etc. At some point maybe it’s just better to put that money into a new rig. So the G&T said anyway late one night when I was surfing the intertubes and came across almost3 the bike I wanted for 20% off.

It’s a nice bike! I really enjoy riding it. Disk brakes are pretty awesome. As is a suspension on my old butt.

But the old bike is faster! I looked down today and saw that I was cranking up the hill at 90 rpm and 18.5 mph. Which is pretty fast for me and that hill. Usually I only hit 17 on a good day4. This is consistent. Me on old bike faster than me on new bike. It’s not double-blind but mostly I’m concentrating on not getting killed, and only marginally on how fast I’m going. Of course I’m always shooting for a new PR. But those are few and far between – it’s hard to beat that since it depends on traffic and lights.

I thought it was because the new bike with the big tires and the big wheels and the disk brakes and the monster wide frame5 are heavier. But data says the old bike is 8.13 kg. New bike is 8.30 kg. Not that much! Same amount of crap appended to both for the daily driver. The old bike has better tires than stock, and a carbon seat post and drops, so maybe it’s a pound less than spec. The new bike sure feels heavier in the hand. But I guess I’ll have to find a different reason why the old bike feels faster. Maybe is faster, except Garmin has decided to stop updating the old Mac app and now I gotta go to the cloud to compare data. Fuck that.

I mean, the old bike was a Nice Bike, BITD. Maybe only one level down equivalent from the new bike, which is a Really Nice Bike, but not the Nicest6. But even only Kinda Nice Bikes these days are the equivalent of the old bike. Bikes are one of those things that have gotten way better.

Footnotes

  1. The old bike was fine – really! Nothing wrong with it except it needed a new crankset. The old set had 40k documented miles on it. I thought it would see me out. If I were still racing, I might have been able to justify something else, but I’m not, and things aren’t going that way. I’m happy if I can get my daily commute in. I did not have gear lust for new bike gear. Well, a little. But at twice what a new camera costs, easy to quell.
  2. Long story – fuck the LBS.
  3. No DI2, in case you are interested.
  4. Why (and how) am I still riding the old bike? It’s still a nice bike. It’s faster than the new one! And after the failed LBS replacement (they couldn’t replace the cranksets properly after $350 and six visits), I went onto eBay and bought the best used crankset I could find. Seemed worth forty bucks. Not the (only) NIB set for $330 from the guy in the Ukraine. I found some forum posts from 2010 remarking on how it was getting difficult to find 9-speed cranksets Shimano. Not cassettes, oddly enough. Those are easy to find. The replacement might see me out, but it doesn’t seem a good long term strategy, to keep hoping I can find sets from parted out bikes on eBay. Reminder: buy an extra crankset for the new bike soon and put it in the garage… Even if I upgrade to DI2, that’ll still work. Though I don’t see getting 40k miles on this crankset. Or these knees.
  5. Seriously. 2x as wide.
  6. No DI2, which I really wanted as you might be able to tell, but the DI2 version was not on sale, so it would have added 50% to the price. Not even G&T me was ridiculous enough to think I needed an $8000 bike. I totally want the electronic shifting though. Not $1500 worth yet though.