walking around in tap shoes and pyjamas since 2010 - my cycling log (opens in new window)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Time to Build!

I brought the new frame into the shop to get the party started on the build. With the fork and headset, it weighs in at 4.09 lbs (around 1.86 kilos). Looks like a good starting point for a light, fast road bike. I've decided to name it 'Mercury.'

After a brief conference, Billy and I decided to build it up as a 9-speed touring bike, with a slightly more relaxed geometry than Quicksilver's and (OMG) bar-end shifters (they're a little less expensive than brifters, but won't look as wonky on the rather-more-modern-than-is-usually-my-style frame).

Billy is providing a pair of Mavic Aksium Race clinchers and an FSA carbon crankset, so the remaining parts for the build will probably run me around $300 - $400. That's a hair more than I was originally planning to spend (I was going to go with just the Mavic wheelset), but a really solid higher-end-than-I-was-expecting road machine for a total of about $500 - $600 (including the around $100 DD paid for the frame, after shipping) is actually a really good deal anyway. Next year, I'll probably stick some brifters on it and use it as my race bike.

We were planning to put a pair of older Shimano brifters (I forget the model number) on the new road bike, but scrapped that idea in favor of putting them on my old green GT, Swift -- which is becoming, in Billy's words, 'A legit 'cross bike.' I removed the old flat bar and the cables today, and Billy swapped in the drops and brifters from our spare parts bin. We'll need to order a crankset, since I'm planning on a 1x7 or 1x8 setup. The current crankset is a heavy -- and crappy -- triple.

As for wheels, I'll probably just roll with Swift's current wheelset for now. Lighter wheels wouldn't kill me, but the ones I've got aren't anchors, either. They're also bomb-proof, which is a good quality in a 'cross bike.

This process should significantly trim Swift's weight. I was amazed how much the flat bar alone weighed -- it was actually significantly heavier than the drops we've got on there now. The seatpost was also heavy. You could have used either to knock someone out (in fact, the flat bar was disturbingly well-balanced for use as a weapon -- eek!). I'm keeping the grips -- they might fit DD's mountain bike.

I think I'll see about a carbon seatpost and maybe -- if I stumble into some money, somehow -- a carbon fork (for now, I'm just sticking with the existing steel fork).

All of this couldn't be timelier, as we're seriously kicking around the idea of putting together a shop team (probably 'cross-oriented). Everyone actually seems pretty excited about it, which is awesome. The challenge, of course, will be organizing training rides, since most of the messengers (myself included) are also students -- but I'm sure we can figure something out. If nothing else, we can probably do 'cross practice on Friday after work. Fortunately, work just about two miles from the local 'cross course -- which happens to be where the 2013 Worlds will be happening, so we're all pretty excited about getting our wheels into it.

I'm pretty happy with how my life is kind of falling together right now, and pretty excited about getting more involved with 'cross racing. This means getting more serious about training, but I'm game for it.

Thus, I'm adding to my goals:
Drop 25 - 30 pounds by September (very doable)
Get the CBD Race Team rolling
Set up a weekly 'cross practice day (Friday?)

I'm thinking the 'cross practice should be combined with some kind of group outing involving significant others and beer afterwards, so nobody feels left out.


  1. Cool names, but isn't it a little confusing having one bike named Quicksilver and another named Mercury? They're two names for the same thing. At this rate, the next bike you get needs to be called Hg. Sounds like it's going to be an awesome build!

  2. Thanks! I'm itching to ride the new bike. Actually, I'm itching to ride just about any bike. Today was too nice a day to be bike-less, but I left QS at home so I couldn't ride (I don't want to risk overusing my shoulder, which is almost entirely better now).

    I chose 'Mercury' for the new road bike's name in part because they're two ways of saying the same thing :) 'Quicksilver,' to my ear, has a more old-fashioned flavor and feel (kind of like a classic steel road bike), while 'Mercury' sounds more modern and technical.

    On the other hand, if I'm going to take that route, maybe I should go with 'Hg' for the new road bike -- that would be kind of neat, actually! Also a bit mysterious. Now I'm going to have to think about it. Or maybe I'll just spell it 'Hg' and pronounce it 'Mercury' :D

    If I wanted to be *really* obscure, I could go with 'Hydrargyrum,' but that just kind of makes me sound like I've got a mouthful of marbles.

  3. I was going with Hydragyrum but you got there first. Say it a few times. It kind of flows off the tongue, then hits the floor and forms little silver balls that roll around and hide under the rocking chair.

  4. Hm ... perhaps 'Hydrargyrum' for 'long,' and 'Hg' for short?

    Hm. I'm going to have to think about this one a bit more ... perhaps while sitting in a rocking chair :)