Saturday evening, raining, not much happening at work but I still had to be there until 19:15. The idea of having to get up at 3 am Sunday morning to drive to Byron Bay didn't make it any easier for me to be there.
The net helped me stay occupied for a while... I checked a few blogs, read Cyclingnews, searched for the morning's crit results and then decided to look at my current favourite bike. No, forgive me for creating a difference here but I was looking at my current favourite "bicycle".
What is the difference, it's just a word. Well, put it this way, I love my technically perfect carbon bike. It is well designed, well made, good looking, light and stiff. It is everything that a racing bike is suppose to be. More importantly, it allows me to do 120+ km rides without having to use a crane to get me off at the end. And it's fast up the hills. I like that!! But... I still think that a real bike, or a "bicycle", should be made of some type of metal. If it has something to do with the bikes I rode for most of my life, or something else, I am not sure.
What I know is that my old steel-frame bike, now retired to a life hanging under the house (here), provided a certain feel that I liked when taking it on the commute to work, or even up Nebo road, despite it's limited 7 speed cluster and 13.5 kg. I could try to explain this feel but it would be just a philosophical attempt to describe something that just feels good. So, let me leave it that way.
Now, that bike was purchased new in 1997/8 and cost me just over A$700. I didn't ride it for all these years but I did 8 months of training and racing on it before buying a real racing bike (light and stiff Starship aluminium frame). I also did lots of kms commuting to work in the last three and a half years and it always felt good. The only changes I made to this bike were a new stem (shorter, as the bike was the wrong size when I bought it) and saddles, as I broke a couple of them. And, up to the day I crashed it, this bike still felt good.
That makes me think that a "contemporary and high tech" steel, or titanium, frame must provide an even better "feel". And, as some of the builders advertise, without compromising on the ability of going fast, or being a racing bike. Is that possible?
A question often thrown in when discussing frame materials x racing is why don't we see them (steel or Ti frames) in the Pro peloton. My simple guess is that the cost of producing these "racing" metal frames is too high, being for the price of the tubing and the price of the labour to put them together. The price of carbon isn't that low, and getting higher too, but after making the moulds to make the frames, the cost per unit must go down dramatically.
Nevertheless, I like dreaming about them and the possibility of having one of them and have decided that a custom made Baum would do the job... Do the job? Now, that is funny. Specially the way this one in the photo has been built. I wonder if they would send me one to test ride or even better if they would sponsor me????
Does anyone else have a dream bike?
Things from the past
Having spoken of the past, there are many things or moments of the past that can't be really matched by the modern and new, can they? Having watched this video another day, and thanks Ron from Cozy Beehive for introducing me to so many interesting things, I couldn't think of a recent footage and commentary put together recently that could match the intensity and beauty of this production. Moments of Passion.
Enjoy the video!!!