Sunday, October 19, 2008
Yeah, I'm frustrated. After my illness (flu) in the early September things looked better as I raced in Tawast MTB Marathon and bike commuting routine seemed to work well. Well, on October 9th I was sick again, and to my astonishment it was flu, AGAIN! This time I was off work for two days in the end of the week and after the weekend two days more. I have been looking for longer rides during weekends but no, no, no... now I feel better and I was back in work and bike commuting routine but I was really tired yesterday and this morning, felt pretty crap. Some must-to-do household chores today, in the daytime. No riding today. And tomorrow's weather forecast: again freaking rain. We have had a lot of rain this summer and this autumn seems to be soaking wet. It has rained well over 70mm during the last two weeks and it means the local trails are really, REALLY wet.
At least something has happened in the gear department. I finally build my "multi-purpose bike" (secondary bike for 24-hour races, commuting bike, bad weather winter training bike etc.) with the old stuff from the primary race bike. There is a pretty long story behind my mountain bikes...
1998/1999: Rossario 7020 aluminum frame build partially with old parts of my first Wheeler mtb. It was soon updated with Mavic wheels/XTR hubs, SRAM Plasma shifters, Shimano Deore LX rear derailleur, ProMax V-brakes, SRAM 9.0 brake levers and Manitou Magnum 80mm fork. With this bike I rode my first Finlandia MTB in 1999. The geometry of the frame wasn't proper XC geometry, it had short top tube and short wheelbase. Difficult bike to ride in technical terrain.
2001: two Wheeler 3900zx bikes, the other for my wife. They came with Zokes (unknown manufacturer) forks and Shimano components: Deore rear derailleur, Acera front derailleur, Shimano crankset and Alivio gear shifters and brake levers, Wheeler V-brakes. My bike was soon updated with the Manitou Magnum fork from the old "race bike". This Wheeler has excellent geometry that really fits me well. Gear shifters and brake levers were soon changed from bike to bike. A rigid fork and full fenders for the old bike - a slush bike was born.
2004: After 2003 edition of Finlandia MTB I was done with V-brakes. Not enough braking power in the descents. Disc brake and UST Tubeless time: Hayes HFX-9 hydraulic brakes and Mavic Crossland wheelset. Fell in love with tubeless tires, my first were Michelin Comp S Light.
2005: more suspension! Manitou Skareb Elite 100mm fork.
2006: Deore LX front derailleur, Ergon grips.
2007: need for a proper secondary race bike. Brand-X frame from CRC, parts from the old slush bike, new FSA headset, flat handlebar, stem and seatpost. Fi'zi:k Arione saddle (a price from LEVI24) for the primary bike.
2007/2008: 25th Anniversary XT groupset for the primary bike, new Crossland wheelset and Ergon grips, later XT wheelset.
And now, the secondary bike has those SRAM Plasma shifters, Hayes HFX-9 disc brakes, Shimano Deore LX front derailleur and Mavic Crossland wheels. But there is something new in the mix also. I have wanted to try a riser handlebar and ordered FSA XC-280 riser bar from CRC. There is a really big difference as the flat bar of the primary bike is 58cm wide and this is 66cm! First reaction during the first ride: absolutely love it! It changed my position on the bike just as I wanted. When I ordered the bar I was thinking that I will cut at least 3cm from it but now I'm not so sure. But I'm pretty sure that I will install the old Ergon grips despite you are not supposed to use bar ends with riser bar.
There was one problem with the front brake. Hayes HFX-9 pistons has sometimes the problem to stuck, but it was quicly fixed with GT spray oil. Interesting to see how long these brakes lasts.
With fenders, for cleaner commuting.
From an another angle...
Wide riser bar for great leverage.
Offers stunning vistas...
Old but reliable Shimano square taper BB and LX drivetrain.