Saturday, November 01, 2008

The bike that ebay bought.

October wasn't a good month for me on the bike (or on the blog). I barely made the 400km mark for the month and my (revised) goal of 6000km for the year isn't looking flash. Without regular Audax riding like I had in Victoria, I have commute every day to keep my miles up. Fortunately I quite enjoy this.

I've been thinking about a new road bike for a while. I've put nearly 20,000km on the Surly and it's a fine bike, but it does have some annoying features - like the cantilever brakes which I grew sick of and a very long wheelbase. I was looking for something a tad lighter too, although it's a fool who thinks a new bike will make him a better rider.

I kicked around a huge range of options, from buying a new bike like one of the flash new Malvern Star carbon racers, to refurbishing an old steel frame, to buying something like a Richey Breakaway online. The collapse of the Aussie dollar made the latter too expensive, and while I was keen on the old steel frame idea, it was going to involve a fair bit of hassle for an uncertain result. And carbon? Well I just don't think I'm gentle enough for a carbon frame and I worry how well it would travel in a bike box in the guts of a plane. Another case in point: a week ago Mrs Surly Dave drove my car under a bottle shop awning with the steel bike on top. Luckily it survived with a couple of scratches, I'm scared to think what would have happened to a carbon bike.

Getting a new bike meant cleaning out the shed. After selling a while heap of vintage Campagnolo racing gear on ebay, I was ready to go shopping. I settled on a Bianchi Via Nirone frame in mid-life crisis red from a local bike shop. It's nothing flash, but it's designed to be comfortable for long rides as well as sporty for commutes and even racing if I feel like it. After a few rides ironing out the fit, I'm glad to say it rides like a dream and is a worthy successor to the much-loved Surly Cross Check.

4,867km so far this year.

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