Sunday, August 23, 2009

My Journey to Titanium

As the saying goes, "now you've done it."

Having agonized over the choices involved with buying a new bike, I had the fitting done today. The die is cast, so to speak.

I decided on a Seven Alaris. This is a completely titanium frame, and Seven is going to make one to fit me. Yep; there's going to be One Bike: Mine.

I've gone to Zac Daab at Cascade Bicycle Studio here in Seattle.

I wish I could have told Zac "money's no object." Sadly, it is an object for me. This is something of a biggish step for me. Thanks to the Gateway program at Seven, I think I can afford the new Alaris, but I can't afford to deck it out in the most expensive gruppo from the start. Still, the SRAM Rival group will do nicely, and they make a 180mm compact crankset that should fit me even better than the 175mm cranks I run now. I decided I'd invest what I can afford into the frame.

Why a new bike? I've put almost 10,000 miles on my Trek 1000. It has been a great ride, and I can't complain about the fit. Still, anything over 40 miles or so, and I feel the fatigue in my shoulders and neck. We'll see if the Ti ride is what they claim. The Trek came from an eBay purchase for $450. The seller claimed it was new, and it appeared so. I made a few upgrades along the way, including a swap over to a Shimano 105 double. Cindy bought me new Neuvation wheels, and I really like them - I will probably opt for a set on the new bike. I've put about 4000 miles on them, and 200 pounds of me hasn't required truing of them yet.

And fairly I've spent more on bike clothes many times over than I did on my bike. The 1000 is a fine Al bike, but I worry I've worn it out.

The fitting session was quick and easy - Zac knew all the right questions to ask, and had ready answers to mine. It was 90% thrilling, and the other half a bit frightening. Maybe the most extravagant purchase I've made, but as I told Zac, "I'm not sure how many more years I have left where I can actually get up on a bike. Now will never come again."

Will let you know how it all turns out.

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