Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Cheap Good Stuff

I eased outta racing a few years ago do ya ever really leave it behind? but continued to volunteer with the club: coaching and communications, mainly. I finally cut the ties at the end of '05 after having decreased my involvement even more. It was time. I still like my racing connections, but over the years our largest-in-the-state women's team has splintered-off into indivudual directions: marriage, kids, doctoral programs, lifestyle commuters, recreational clubs, other teams. Time for me to move and shake as well.

As a thank you from the club, I'm getting-in on some steep discounts on the goods: framesets, builds, wheelsets, tires. Now, I'll be the first to admit I don't need another bike, but I've been keeping an eye open for some type of 'cross frame...something I can build up as a commuter for any season...a distance workhorse with fenders and a rear rack...equipped for disk brakes. I've got some cannibalized Ultegra and XT components, but would need stem/bars and seat/post. Essentially, the cross frame I'm looking for is just coming to market so there isn't a ton of choice yet. And, I rather like the idea of building up Herman Munster -- everyone around here has one. It's their spring and fall crud-roads ride. It's where our old components go when they die...and then they really die.

In the meantime I've got a nearly half-priced Bianchi Cross Concept waiting for me...full bike or frameset. It's a great deal on a nice bicycle, but it's not exactly what I want. Can a ride be too nice? I know I'll like the frame -- I ride a similar road bike. I'm not big enough to be tough on it. What's missing? Damned eyelets. I want a workhorse that will carry my pack. Not that I haul a ton of stuff on the commute (I leave most of it at work...maybe I need to leave more of it at work!), but I'm tired of it being on my back.

According to our sponsorship agreement, we can sell the bike after a year.


Do I jump on the full-meal-deal, ride it for a year and then consider my option of selling? with a good possibility of a profit? or maybe I'll like it enough to keep it?

Do I go cheap and get the framest, put all my old stuff on it (I think I've got wheels that will work) and then in a year exercise my option to sell it and get a disk-braked commuter (which would require a new wheel build)? Will I run the risk of needing new components? Am I putting out more $ in the long run? Again, maybe I'll like the Bianchi.

Do I skip it all, save my $ and build the Herman Munster?

Do I skip it all, including Herman, organize my commuting shtuff, and commute on the race bike just because it's so much fun....

- TOB needs some advice, here

9/03/06 Update


Pete said...

All of the above! (You can never have too many bikes)

Cyclist At Large said...

Full Meal Deal.

Of all my bikes, the one that I've appreciated having all built at once was my Cross bike. Cross bikes are allowed to be complete Frankenbikes -- and it's something that's even likely to happen over the course of the life of the bike -- but having such a perfect, rugged, fast machine come together all at once, even just for a while...well, that doesn't come along every day.

Even if you don't buy the full bike from Bianchi, consider buying the frameset and buying all new bits for it at the store to hang off of that frame.

George said...

Not knowing your finances....I'd say go for the cut rate Bianchi.

The above was the common sense answer.

Here's what I'd really do......

I'd buy what the hell I wanted including disc brakes, eyelets and anything else that I needed.

You know why, you're just gonna ride the Bianchi and wish you had bought what you *really* wanted.

It's not like we are talking thousands and thousands of dollars,maybe 1500 bucks would buy you a really nice cross bike(K2 makes a disc cross bike with eyelets).

You see, money *can* buy happiness:-)

budda43 said...

Okay, here's what you do. . .

now hear me out.

You buy everything that you want. Everything. Then you decide what you like and what you don't. Then . . .

you donate the items you don't care for to the budda43 foundation for the poor (the poor being me).

I think its a great idea! :)

C. P. said...

TOB, you don't need advice...you already answered your own question:

"...skip it all, including Herman, organize my commuting shtuff, and commute on the race bike just because IT'S SO MUCH FUN."

KM said...

If what you want is a commuter, have you seen this? http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/redline-925.html
Jim at Hiawatha Cyclery (http://www.hiawathacyclery.com/blog/)should have some in soon (if not already) and they are all set up for commuting.

Of course, they are not as pretty as the Bianchi. And Pete is right -- another bike is a good thing.



annie said...

You left too, huh? How many are there now, like 4? Where are you going next? New team or no team? Man, this is getting to be an exodus of biblical proportions....

Lunatic Biker said...

I think you know where I stand on the purchase of another bike.

Chico Gino said...

Try for a week, store it for a year, and ship that sucker to Chico in Feb. 2007!

the old bag said...

Pete, Budda, Lunatic, Chico -- NOT HELPING!!

At Large, CP, KM, George -- all good points to think about!

Annie -- not sure if I'll do team or no team. I'm not racing these days, although every season I think about it, and a fun group is key.

Seems the club hasn't had a cohesive women's team in awhile -- the women I raced closely with have been gone from the scene for a few years, and lately it's seemed racers cycle in and out.

annie said...

come to a Birchwood Tuesday night ride, starting April 4. You'll see where the fun is!

dave said...

We wanted to thank you for all you have done for the team. It was greatly appreciated. Good luck.

the old bag said...

Dave -- no, thank YOU. What a treat!