Thursday, June 26, 2008

Bikes

The other day I was going through some of my old trail shoes, trying to decide which ones had some life left in them and which ones could be recycled. It got me thinking, I'm not really attached to a pair of shoes in the same way as I was to one of my bicycles. Even though I really value the protection and comfort that my shoes provide, I don't look at them and think of a particular race or training run. Nor do I have a problem getting rid of them when their time is up. Bikes on the other hand are a completely different story for me. As the Italian sprinter Mario Cipollini once said, "The bicycle has a soul. If you are able to love it as it deserves, it will give you emotions you will never forget".

That being said, this is the list of the bikes I own and have owned throughout my life.

** Fully functional and still ride.
* Still own but not functional.

  • **Schwinn Scrambler 36-36 BMX: 20 in. chrome frame, my first real bike I got at age 6. It had some of those steel waffle rims that made the bike weigh a ton. I did some racing at the 4th street dirt track in Ogden but never really took it serious. Eventually all the components were replaced except for the frame. I still own it and use it when my son and I go hit the dirt jumps in the neighborhood. Memory: Being afraid to leave it in the street after I broke my finger so I walked it home a good half mile, leaving a trail of blood.
  • Centurion Road: My first road bike when I was 14. It was red with white trim. Just as heavy as my bmx but of course it had gears. I put some cool downtube shifters on it along with toe clips and took it farther than I thought I was capable of going. I remember watching LeMond and the Hampster in the Tour and getting inspired to race, but that would have to wait for a few years...Memory: Riding it up North Ogden Divide from Sunset city and getting back at 9pm, no helmet, no food, no brain.
  • Cannondale Road: Age 22 I bought my second road bike from a soccer player trying to get enough money together to go to Europe. It was one of those oversized aluminum crit frames that was super stiff. Green with orange trim and to big for me at 56cm (I would normally ride a 52cm). I never really fell in love with this bike but I did race it a few times at the DMV and Utah Summer Games. Memory: Riding it up the old snowbasin road, dying in the heat.
  • *Ciocc Road: Age 24 I bought this steel Italian road frame from a consignment shop for $300. I dreamed of owning an Italian bike since I was 15 and finally had one. The frame was red with chrome chain stays, seat stays and fork. I raced this bike for 2 years and did quite well on it but it was on the heavy side and a little small for me. The frame now hangs as art in my shop area. Memory: Winning a DMV crit in the B group with downtube shifters and 52/42 front chainrings.
  • *Rogue Road: One of my true treasures. I met framebuilder Jeff Rogers when I joined the Utah Premier racing team. Jeff was building custom steel frames in his basement and offered a discount to team members for a frame. I think I paid $400 for a custom built frame (which is ridiculously inexpensive). Many local racers had a Rogue frame including Dave Zabriskie and Levi Leipheimer. Sadly Jeff passed away suddenly in 2003. I still have this frame but I will no longer ride it. Memory: No doubt about it, winning the 2001 Pro/1/2 Utah State road race on the only steel frame in the field.
  • *Bianchi Cyclocross: Classic green celeste color. This was an opportunity buy as I was at a warehouse of lost shipments. The frame was sitting there without a fork and a small dent in the downtube. I paid $20 for the frame and had Jeff build me a fork for $80. I cobbled together some parts and started 'cross racing later that year in '97. Memory: Funny enough it was watching my friend and super fast dirt racer, Gabriel Blanco use it during a 'cross race at wheeler farm. It hasn't gone that fast since then.
  • GT Time Trial: Another opportunity by from the warehouse. Four frames for $400. They were TT bikes developed for '96 Atlanta Olympics and used by the Montgomery Bell team (pre-US Postal). The bikes were ridden by Nate Reiss, Darren Baker, Tyler Hamilton, and Marty Jemison. I ended up with Darren Baker's. Memory: Taking 3rd in the Utah State 40k TT in 52:39, almost 5 mins behind 21 year-old Dave Z.
  • **Redline Cross bike: The Bianchi listed above was just a little to heavy to be competitive with so I opted for the cheapest aluminum frame I could find. I recently turned this one into a singlespeed with the intention of racing it in 'cross. Memory: Taking 5th place in the A+ category at trailside park. Small wonder, the course had a ton of climbing.
  • Rogue Time Trial bike: Jeff convinced me I could use a better TT bike than the one I had. For whatever reason I never really found my mojo on this bike and sold it after the season.
  • **Rocky Mountain Road: This was my first "pro-form" deal on a frameset. I think I paid somewhere around $800 for my first aluminum scandium road bike. Scandium was new material at the time and I thought I was taking a big risk. This is the bike I currently use as my commuter. Memory: Winning the prologue and 3rd stage of the 2002 Cache Classic (My one and only time trial win).
  • Fondriest Don Racer Road: This was a team bike that I fell in love with. I only owned it for about six weeks before I had to give it back because a dispute between the bike shop and distributor. It was flat black with white trim and had the stiffer, more responsive, compact geometry that I had been avoiding (because it wasn't the "traditional" horizontal top tube). Memory: Riding out to Hanksville and back with Flynn then going up Wall street leg breaker at the end.
  • DeRosa UD: This frame replaced the Fondriest. It was made with the same material as the Fondriest and the size was the same but there was something a little different about it. Maybe it was the geometry or the way it was put together I just never felt quite right on it. Our relationship ended later that year when I crashed on it and broke my femur. Memory: take a guess.
  • Orbea Lobular Road: This Spanish built bike looked good and felt really comfortable. However it wasn't as stiff as the full aluminum frames I had been riding because it had carbon seat stays and chain stays. I probably didn't give it a fair chance since I rode it the year I was bringing my leg back to life. Memory: Leading out Flynn at the Ecology Classic for the sprint bonus while he was wearing the sprint leaders jersey.
  • Giant XCR Carbon Road: My first an only full carbon frame. I promptly sold it when I was done racing because it was so nice. When I put my carbon wheels on, this bike tipped the scales just a shade over 16lbs. I was very hesitant because the bad reputation Giant had from their early aluminum frames but this bike was a dream to ride. Memory: Hard to say because I did a lot of racing on it, but winning the East Canyon road race (after Pardyjak kept me sheltered all day) is probably it.
  • **Cannondale F400 Mtn Bike: The latest edition to the family and my first mountain bike. Leo bestowed this upon me before he moved back east. One of my favorite features of this bike is the disc brakes. Finally my hands don't cramp on long descents from pulling so hard on the brakes.
I think I've had a few more bikes than shoes at this point, but not for to much longer...

2 comments:

Nick said...

torn popeliteus tendon dr. says take a year off and bike...brand new Moots really eases the pain, by the way christian I still have my steel framed Fondriest Status Carb $800 I paid on that $2700 frame...I will never sale it!
You are running strong keep it up.
Nick (wasatch trail work 07)

Erik said...

You've definitely gone through more bikes than I have shoes. By the end, they were all a blur. Aluminum this, steel frame that.....
Pretty fascinating to read from a non-biker's view. Makes me glad I've stuck to shoes, an occasional water bottle and a pair of shorts.