Saturday, March 14, 2009

Independent Crown Jewel Finds A New Home

Not the best picture, the sun was in the wrong spot, but you get the idea. Click on it for a close up.

The sun was out this afternoon, so I was finally able to take out my new road bike (well, new to me) for it's maiden voyage. I've been lusting over Independent Fabrication's bikes since I got back into road riding three years ago, but I knew I would never be able to afford a 2 grand custom frame (worth every penny in my opinion, by the way). And if I did, I sure wouldn't want to be riding it to work. I ended up building up a SOMA Smoothie ES last winter, and it has been my do everything (commute to work, training rides, riding the PMC, errands around town, and the occasional race) bike. The Smoothie is a great bike, but it's relaxed geometry had me longing for something a little lighter and faster. Plus after riding it to work all week, it just wasn't as much fun to ride long distances on my commuter. My new IF Crown Jewel is a mix of old and new parts. The frame was made for my local bike shop 4 years ago, but it only has about 1100 miles on it, most of it's life has been spent hanging on the shop's wall. It's built up with a lightly used Campagnolo Record 10 speed groupo with similar mileage as the frame, I can't get over how smooth it shifts. We added a new Reynolds fork, bars, stem, Chris King head set, and Fulcrum 3 wheels. A big thanks to George at Corner Cycle, I think I owe you some home brew for everything. I like to call this my "Captain America" bike, the paint scheme would not have been my first choice, I probably would have gone with something a little more subdued, like a burnt orange, but the price was right and it was my size. After a quick 25 mile ride today, the only thing I might want to do is swap out the stem for something a little shorter, I felt a tad bit stretched out. Maybe a 120 cm, instead of the 130. I will do a more comprehensive review after I get a couple of hundred miles under my belt, but I can tell it is going to be so much fun to ride, it climbs like a sherpa, and loves to go fast. My average speed increased by almost 2 mph on today's ride, and that was with a Belgian headwind both ways. The SOMA will still be my go to bike Monday through Friday, but the Crown Jewel will see plenty of road miles this spring and summer, we've got plans to ride some classic routes out in the western part of the state, which means plenty of long mountain climbs.

I love Chris King head sets, and they are made in Portland!

Listening to: Fleet Foxes- "Fleet Foxes"


Sean said...

Sweet! Some of my first serious bike lusting(as an adult) was directed towards IF. It's a beautiful bike and I'm sure you'll get some good use out of it.

Keith Roussil said...

Well done!

Rambling Canuck said...

So fine. Definitely send some brew down to the boys at Corner Cycle.