Friday, April 25, 2008


Gas prices hit $3.54 in my neighborhood today, and it isn't even summer yet. All of a sudden the money I spent on my new bike seems like a good investment.

Listening to: Pet Politics- The Ghost Mary and Her Friends

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Since signing on to ride the PMC this coming August, I have been in the market for a new road bike. I searched high and low, but the bike I really wanted didn't seem to exist off the shelf. I was looking for a steel-framed bike, with less-aggressive touring geometry, quality components (Campagnolo or at least Shimano 105), and since this would also become my daily commuter bike, I wanted the ability to mount fenders and 32c tires if needed. Oh yeah, and I only had so much money to spend. I looked at Surly's Long Haul Trucker and Cross-Check (I dig the Surly ethos, plenty of tire clearance, but rode like a tank, and low end Shimano Tiagra kit), the Bianchi Volpe (great price, I love Bianchi, but this one just didn't fit, and same cheap Tiagra components as the Surly), and the Trek 520 (quality components, but too much of an all-out touring bike for my needs). Most off the shelf bikes that seemed to fit my needs were cyclocross bikes, but I was really looking for something with more relaxed geometry, longer chainstays, better suited for centuries and light touring. I considered a custom bike from Ira Ryan, Circle A, or Independent, but I knew it just wasn't in the cards this year, someday. The solution was a frame from the good folks at SOMA Fabrications in San Franciso, and handpicking the components from my local bike shop. I ended up going with the Soma Smoothie ES frameset, Campagnolo Mirage kit, Salsa Delgado wheels (bomb proof), and rounded out the ride with Bontrager Race-Lite bars, stem, and seatpost. All said and done, I spent a little more than I would have for the Trek, but I now have a bike that fits me and my needs. I have to thank George and Sam at my LBS for hooking me up with the Bonty carbon fork (for the same price as a steel fork), and for helping me pick everything out and making it fit like my favorite pair of jeans. I will post a real review after my first long ride this coming weekend, but for now I feel like an 8-year-old again, who just received his first BMX. Remember that feeling? Bikes rule.

Listening to: Tool- Undertow