Tuesday, December 7, 2010

new (snow) bike day

I'm making a move to a place that is not so suitable for a dialed Difisso; where climbing mountainous regions takes precedent and snow destroys beautiful bikes.  Thus, my empty wallet opted for the 2011 Specialed Allez.  It will make a nice snow bike, because I couldn't care less about it and the price is nice.  Off the floor, it weighed in over 25lbs (which is 9 pounds heavier than my Difisso), but I've brought down over a pound by trading out the cockpit, saddle and pedals.  Additionally, I'm going to be swapping out the Shimano 2300 drivetrain with Ultegra compact 6650 cranks and 6700 Ultegra Front & Rear Derailleur(s).  The far future is going to hold some Reynolds Solitude wheels & a SRAM 13-26 cassette.  For the snow, I'm embracing the studded tires, and debating on fenders.

I'm around 40 miles deep into this bike, and I can describe it in one word as MEH.  It doesn't do anything jaw dropping, and it probably performs at the pinnacle of average at best.  Granted, a good deal of this animosity is derived from weight and noodley cranks/ wheels, but this will all change soon.  The headset is a pile of garbage at the moment, but I'm swapping it out for my Cane Creek S1 - I still need to mill the crown race to 26.4mm and trim the steerer before I can do this.  The seat tube geo is a little too lax for me, and it propels the rear triangle to have little to no rigidity.  I can't really place any drive into the frame, but a good deal of this is probably to do with the wheels.

The worst part is my struggle to find a connection with this bike.  It behaves like a stranger, and we're still getting to know each other.  I'm finding its limits still, but I don't feel like its ever going to be more than just a bike to me.  I guess that custom builds have enabled me to find a problem with anything.  But, overall, its a good deal, and I would probably recommend it to someone who is entry level & isn't afraid of upgrading parts.  Just keep in mind that it will never be a performance build - only satisfactory at best.

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