Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Are you kidding me?!?!?

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.

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