Monday, November 2, 2009

Ghetto Bike

So Cin pulls into the drive way and opens the garage door. There I am trying to breath a little more life into my bike. I replaced the rear derailleur hanger but then discovered the derailleur was bent like a pretzel. Bending back a derailleur is more difficult than one would think. I'm cold and greasy and quietly frustrated. Cindy says, with an air of disgust, "your bike is ghetto, just get a Superfly..."

Hum, interesting. Her argument can be broken down into two parts. "Your bike is ghetto." Yes it is old but not exactly vintage, and it has fresh bearings and weighs less than 21 lbs; hardly the reason for my lack luster season. And I'm not sure a bike can be ghetto anyway. Putting my bike down only strengthens my resolve to fix it.

But..."just buy a Superfly" does sound nice. I really like those bikes and there is something warmly satisfying with owning a bicycle that has a higher residual value than the truck that halls it around. And shops with '09 Gary Fisher Superflys left have been selling them for under $3,000. I transferred $3000 into my checking account and went to look at new bicycles. I couldn't do it. I really am ghetto. And Emilie needs braces.

In the process of sorting out the issues with my bike and shopping for a new one, I was thinking about the difference between good bike shops and bad ones. South Lyon Cycle is a bad one. I went there to check out my new local bike shop when I moved out here to Brighton 13 years ago. I was in the market for a new Yeti frame and I knew they carried them. Instead of just blurting out "I WANT TO SINK $1000 INTO A BIKE FRAME!", I tried to strike up a conversation, I asked about which barrel adjuster goes on which shifter on a road bike I was building. The guy at South Lyon Cycle didn't answer me but asked where I bought the shifters. I bought them from BikeSport, the LBS from my old neighborhood, if somehow this matters. I haven't gone back to South Lyon Cycle since.

Yesterday I called Wheels in Motion to see if the had a low-normal M770 Shimano rear derailleur. The problem with finding this derailleur is it is a rapid rise design for the integrated brake/shifter set up. I think it is a brilliant design but apparently no one agrees with me so it's a hard derailleur to find. I wanted the derailleur before Iceman so ordering one is out of the question. They had one, and gave it to me for 20% off, some type of Iceman special. This is exactly what a customer wants to hear. While I was at the shop picking up my derailleur I asked Matt about building up a rear wheel with my Chris King hub. He asked what rim I wanted. I sighed and said a NOS 32 hole Valiant ASYM rim. The problem with that is they haven't made this rim since around 2003. He said he thinks the Trek warehouse still has some laying around. I thought he was being sarcastic since I knew my choice would be a long shot; I couldn't even find them on ebay. He was serious, and he then explained they were clearancing them out. I won't have the rim before the Iceman but I will have a nice wheelset for next season. This is a good bike shop. And they carry Superflys.

Today is my last day of work this week. I am driving up to Traverse City with Kevin to pre-ride the course for a few days. Cindy will drive up Friday with Renee and Mike who are renting one of the cottages with us. Denny and Barb and Paul and Laura will rent cottages too. This will be a good week.