Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Wheel Destroyer Does it Again

Lets review my commute bikes and purchases:

On December 27, 2009, I dusted off my 15-year-old Craigslist Trek Mountain Bike and rode it to work for the first time.  I told myself that if I rode twice a week, every week, in January, February and March, I would buy a ‘real’ bike. 

Succeeding in my challenge, I was shocked at how much these machines actually cost.  And anyone who knows me knows that I have a tendency to, shall we say, cut corners when it comes to paying full retail.  I stumbled across and was seduced by the slashed prices.  In March 2010, I spent a whopping $550 and ended up with the Motobecane Fantom Cross.  A cheap Chinese/French all purpose bike with a Tiagra triple and crap components.  But it was a great bike to learn what I liked and didn’t like, needed and didn’t need, on ‘real bike’.

After 18 months, I had completely destroyed this bike.  I went through the original wheels, breaking a spoke once-a-month for the first few months, then once-a-week by month 12.  I had a great 36 spoke DT Swiss touring rear wheel built and bought a used Mavic Ksyrium front wheel on a day that I needed a replacement after a commute.  The front derailleur was stuck in the middle gear, so I was basically riding a 9 speed.  If I was lucky enough to get the bike to shift, I lost the chain either into the bottom bracket or over the top and completely off.  It was time for an upgrade.

This time, my requirements were 105 or better components and a full carbon bike.  After significant negotiation, in August 2011, I ended up with A Performance Bikes special – a Scattante road bike retailing for $2699, paying just over $1,ooo.  This was the nicest bike I had ever sat on.  The shifting was like butter, the fit was perfect and it weighed what felt like nothing.  Again, I destroyed the fancy race wheels that the bike came with.  But I put the DT Swiss and Mavic on this bike and I was good to go.

As detailed in my May 2012 posts, the Scattante met an untimely death on Camino Alto with snapped chain stay.  Performance hooked me up with a new Fuji carbon frame and it has smooth sailing ever since.
Heading into the rainy season, I decided to prep the old Motobecane with all new components, fenders and 28mm tires for the ultimate commuting machine.  My pal Tom donated a lightly used SRAM Force gruppo and I dropped the bike and parts off at the shop prior to my Yosemite trip.  The shop called today to tell me that I should come pick up my bike.  Note that ‘pick up’ does not necessarily mean that the bike was done or ready to ride.  It seems that this FatGuy did a little damage to the frame of the Moto.  Chalk it up to my massive torque, or just crappy welds, but I cracked another frame.  This time the down tube where it meets the bottom bracket.

I have emails and pictures into who confirmed the 10 year warranty on all Motobecane frames.  We shall see how this one turns out.  ButI am expecting a new frame at a minimum.  Stay tuned.

Anyone want to put an over under on the date of destruction for the Fuji frame?!?

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