The FatGuy Wheel Destroyer does it again. As well documented in my May 14, 2012 blog entry, I am a bit rough on cheap carbon frames. My fancy new Fuji 1.0 frame was a significant upgrade from the bottom-of-the-line Scattante which lasted me a whopping seven months and 3,500 miles. The new Fuji looked cooler, rode nicer and weighed a pound less. But in the end, carbon and plastic can not hold up to the power that is the Wheel Destroyer Torque Machine. The Fuji Stealth Bomber lasted a whopping four and a half months and 2,811 miles before surrendering to the Torque Monster that is this FatGuy.
On a seemingly slow ride home, I was begging my buddy Peter to ride up the incredibly steep Vineyard Avenue on our way home. It is a quick, maybe 25 yard pitch of north of 30 degrees. After a little prodding, Peter relented and we were off. We went up Lagunitas towards Natalie Coffin Greene, made a right on Glenwood and cruised up the hill. On the downhill, I picked up some speed and got ahead of Peter. I looked both ways at the Bolinas Avenue stop sign, not exactly stopping but slowing considerably. As I crossed the intersection onto Vineyard, I geared up into the big ring to do the normal power pull up the hill (high cadence/low gears is for long hauls). As I made it half way up the pitch, my pace slowed and the cranking began. I got about two revolutions of the cranks into the hill when SNAP right, SNAP left brought me to a complete stop. I didn’t fall off the bike but the rear wheel did its best not to completely rip off of the bike. I knew immediately what had happened. Another chain stay destroyed. I looked down to confirm the fatal flaw and Peter’s face told it all. He was laughing out loud and applauding my effort.
This frame destruction is a moment that Peter and I will share for the rest of our lives. I feel that it has brought us infinitely closer as friends and cycling compatriots. And it is always good to have a witness as to my destructive capabilities.
Now for the aftermath. Do I really have to go through this with performance again? They continue to take care of me but I am growing concerned that this is a representation of the manufacturers that they carry. Performance doesn’t really sell steel or titanium bikes. And I clearly need something that I cannot break. No more plastic BS for me. Ultra light is unnecessary and, frankly, a waste of money on the FatGuy. Do I hold out for a cash refund to buy something elsewhere? Do I go for the aluminum bike with high-end components? I do like the difference between Tiagra and SRAM Force. Will the jump to Ultegra, Dura Ace or SRAM Red be that much greater?
I offered the manager of Performance the following: Either give me $5,000 in store credit and I will spend it immediately or $3,000 in cash and I promise to never come into the store again. They may be better cutting their losses with the cash. We shall see.