Sunday, October 21, 2007

A bike for Mrs Surly

On one of the lists I subscribe to the other day someone was asking whether they should buy a steel or a carbon frame to replace a frame they'd damaged in a crash. I'm not dogmatic on the subject, but a something occurred to me while pottering in the shed over the course of the weekend.

I've been doing up a bike for Mrs Surly Dave, who says I never go riding with her. Currently her only bike is a fat-tyred 26' tourer, which is a lovely bike for long slow days with a load, but not so good for short speedy trips for fun and fitness' sake.

Now we're not exactly flush with cash at present. A new bike was out of the question and despite the fact that there seems to be a lot of good deals available around the place I thought we could do something better without spending too much money. Mrs S had an old steel road frame she'd hung onto from the days when she did triathlons. Although she'd ridden it from time to time, it was in need to a spruce up. I spend $80 having it powder-coated, and another $100 on a new front derailleur and swapped over some of the parts from my bike which I didn't need any more and viola - as good as new.

My point I guess, is that as lights and expensive and wonderful as carbon fibre and other exotic materials are, I can't see a carbon frame lasting 20 years, let alone surviving two decades being shifted from shed to shed and generally ignored. Steel frames on the other hand, aren't bothered by this sort of treatment and come up as good as gold after a lick of paint and a bit of TLC.

We'll probably go for a ride next weekend and see if the old bike rides as good as it looks.

4,954km so far this year.

No comments: