"It never gets any easier. You just go faster." ---Greg Lemond
"Don't buy upgrades. Ride up grades." --- Eddy Merckx
"You drive like shit." ---The Car Whisperer

26.2.09

Thursday Hate

Either the bike gods are firmly aligned against me or I am enduring a test of will and if successful will be winning Proctor this year.

When the Max Lelli arrived back in December, my exuberance was tempered drastically by the fact that a certain, now-bankrupt, shop had put it together without a torque wrench, or any assembly paste. Even then, the steering tube was cracked and the fork had to be replaced immediately. I was lucky enough to get the bike out of the shop before the bank chained the doors.

Then about two weeks ago, I was giving the frame a routine check over and found a crack in the seat tube. Taking the seat post out, I found the crack to be about half an inch long coming down from the seat collar, through to the inside. The clamp was also quite ill fitting, too tight even when completely loose.

The only savior in this fiasco has been the willingness of Max Lelli Bikes and my teammate who set the deal up, Emanuele, to resolve the situation immediately. The new frame was shipped from Italy on Monday and arrived this afternoon.

However, when I called with the tracking number, they wouldn't release any other info to me as I was not the shipper or receiver. And when Emanuele called to see if a courior could come pick it up rather than wait for the slated Friday delivery, he was sneakily told no. He would have to pick it up himself.

Imagine his shock upon arriving at the Halsted and Division pick up station to find the box in at least three pieces.

Fedex Fail.

I of course got this news five minutes after walking into the apartment, soaking wet, to find the bike room trash can strewn all over the floor, the couch 45 degrees out of position, a puddle of piss on the carpet, and Kedzie lounging in the off-limits chair. Then the phone rang with Emanuele's news.

Finally, after all that, I had to get on the bike and endure Randy's spin drills - ending with 10 minutes at least 130 rpm. At least I had some motivation. Kicking a Fedex driver in the head over and over and over and over.

Again, Max Lelli and Emanuele have come through in the clutch. The upgraded frame, with an integrated seat post is on the way and will be here Saturday. One teammate says I should stick with my old model as the bottom bracket is stiffer. Any weight savings will be neutralized by the loss in power from the flex. I heard Chippo didn't like it when he tried it, but then again, I ain't putting no 1900 watts against any bottom bracket any time soon. When I talked to Randy about it, he said the bigger issue is the stiffness of the rear triangle, and that both should be frames should be equally stiff.

If anybody has any experience with a variety of stiffness in their bottom brackets I'd like to hear about it. I have above average power for a Cat 4, but nothing that would flex a frame like Chippo. My old aluminum bracket flexed quite a bit more than my current Lelli frame, and I imagine the new frame won't revert back to that.

Oh, sorry I got off track here. Fuck Fedex. And get a Lelli. Just ship it throught UPS. Or just ride in Italy.

Good night.

2 comments:

Jeff said...

I ride a 6 year-old Ti frame. I don't want to hear any whining about an oversized carbon BB being flexy. If you can make that thing flex, then you should be on a custom made aluminum frame that shake the teeth out of Chris Hoy's head.

That integrated seatmast frame is way cooler looking anyway.

The Car Whisperer said...

I just got the geometry charts on both frames...learning a lot from them. This could actually all be a blessing as the head tube on the Team 3K is 25mm shorter, which means I won't have to chop as much off the post as I had feared (Randy's got my seat really low cause of my compact legs and long torso). Plus I should be a lot more aero. I might have to go back to the shorter stem tho...D'oh!