Parts, parts, parts…

13 September 2009

As things start coming together, it’s about time for a components run-down for the cyclocross bike. A bunch of this came from a discount hook-up, which mean I bought several of the parts before there was a frame in sight. So, here’s what I have so far:

Frame/Fork: Gary Fisher Presidio/Bontrager Sattelite Carbon

This is the 2009 frame and fork from a Gary Fisher Presidio. It has definitely seen a few miles based on the wear on the paint, but the frame looks good (it’s steel, so why worry?) and the fork doesn’t have any obvious points of concern.

Stem: Bontranger

This came along with the frame. Not sure if I’ll keep it based on the reach and how things feel. It’ll be easier to tell once all the components are on the bike.

Headset: Aheadset

Another component that came along with the frame. Don’t see any reason to switch this out. I will replace the bearings before I reseat everything though.

Brake/shifter: Shimano Ultegra

This is acually the first component I got for this bike. Knowing that STI shifters can be pretty spendy, especially if you want ultegra or dura-ace quality stuff, I had my eye out on ebay early for these. They’re slightly beat up, but the shifting feels good so these should do the job.

Brakes: Crane Creek Canti’s

Nothing to fancy, but they’ll do the trick. It’s cross, so it’s got to be cantilevers. Mud, here I come.

Rear Derailleur: Shimano Ultegra

I already had the ultegra shifters, so I figured my best bet for compatibility would be an ultegra rear derailleur. Here it is.

A few components have been placed on order, but are not quite in my possession yet. They are:

Front Derailleur: Shimano Ultegra

This is a component that I really needed a frame to decide on. I figured it’d be Ultegra, but whether it was braze-on or clamp-on and all those sorts of details kept me from deciding on this until just recently.

Front/Rear Hub: Shimano Ultegra

I waffled back and forth on what to do here. I considered Phil Wood for a front hub, but defnitely can’t afford it for the rear: I may not have a mortgage, car payments or any kids (that I know of), I’m still a relatively poor postdoc. I should find cheaper hobbies. I considered using a Surly front hub I had, but I’d prefer quick-release hubs. So this combo seemed like the best option.

Rims: Mavic Open Pros

Didn’t put a ton of thought into this one. I’ve had one on the rear wheel of my single speed commuter and it has taken a beating without any problems. These are the rims on the G-star. Solid rims, well made, easy choice.

There are a few things that I’m assuming I’ll have, but still need to actually get them in my possession.

Spokes: Double Butted 14g/15g

These should be some combination of Wheelsmith, DT Swiss and Phil Wood double-butted spokes, depending on what I manage to grab locally.

Crankset: White Industries 175 mm

A friend has a slightly older 175 White Industries crank off an Hunter cross bike that is simply too long for him. It should make sense for me, so I think we’re making a deal on this, it simply has yet to happen (if I weren’t sick this weekend, it would’ve happened today probably). Not sure what bottom bracket is going to make sense with this.

Still need to figure out what gearing makes the most sense for me on a cross bike. So cassette is yet to be determined.

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“Cross” Promotion

13 September 2009

I cannot pass up a good pun… apologies all around.

Amazing things are happening:

Months ago, I was reunited with a friend from undergrad at a wedding. At that point, I realized he had been brewing, something that was a bit tricky for me since all my equipment was about 600 miles to the north. Anyway, we start brewing, getting our supplies from SF Brewcraft and biking them to our luxurious brewing facilities. At some point in there, we decided it would be a good idea to race cyclocross, drink homebrew, and watch the good riders after we raced. Hence the birth of the California Cross Carboys (feel free to join the team, just ask). Some cycling, lots of brewing and drinking, but really mostly good times.

Shortly after that we started labeling our bottled homebrew. With some collaboration, our brewery was eventually christened Van der Dans Brewery — poorly translated from Dutch to mean “From the Dans” (we are in fact both named Dan – convenient). For instance, some Belgian Style Dubbel:

We were supposed to brew a tasty porter this weekend, but instead i’ve been sitting on the couch all weekend sick, writing blog entries.

So now you understand my need for a cross bike, and if you live in the bay area, join our cyclocross team. But seriously, relax, have a homebrew.


So many bikes, so little time…

8 September 2009

So it’s all a big lie. When I said that the Gary Fisher necessitated the blog’s renaming, that’s not exactly true. For bikes that I’ve built, it will be my second, but it is actually the 4th bike in my current ownership… So the obvious question: why so many bikes? The truth is, they’re all quite necessary. Trust me…

Bike #1

It all came to be this past sunday of Labor Day weekend. Sunday was of course the semi-monthly SF Sunday Streets, an extravaganza/cluster of people wandering, biking erratically, and generally enjoying a complete lack of cars. This time around was Golden Gate Park and the Great Highway down to the SF Zoo. Normally half the park is shutdown on sunday’s anyway, so this just extended it to the ocean. So of course, this means it’s time to show off the G-star with a leisurely ride, at one point barely avoiding one kid and hearing the beautiful sound of delta brakes functioning to their fullest (i.e. banshee scream). Bike #1, complete.

Bike #2

I hadn’t eaten much of anything for breakfast and the barbecue that afternoon was too far off for my grumbling stomach. That meant it was time to hit Andronico’s to buy some fancy beers (brewed at Ommegang, Allagash, and Rogue) and then onto Arizmendi for a snack. For zipping around town, my single speed is the bike of choice. Introducing the Masi:

This bike came to fruition after riding the Green Monster (first mentioned here and to be featured in a future post, surely) for several months. Basically, the idea is a) ride a bike that constantly has issues, b) buy something fantastic and never ride the first bike again. Currently this bike is not quite stock anymore, but not too far from it. I’ll say more in a later post, but it is an awesome bike, Masi builds great ones, and I can highly recommend their stuff (also, I love their philosophy on steel, see the top of this page – fantastic). Anyway, in a quick mile jont around my neighborhood — Success:

Bike #2, complete.

Bike #3

This bike is my workhorse and has probably seen more miles in its lifetime than I have in mine. Purchased for pretty cheap (beer was part of the payment plan) from a friend who had just ridden it from Alaska to SF, this bike was originally a nice backup in case anything happened to the Masi (the origin story is a bit more complicated, but that’ll come later). Nothing too fancy, just your standard Bianchi road bike that’s seen a few years:

Truth be told, this bike was built for touring, and touring is just what it’ll do:

With a pair of awesome Ortlieb saddle bags on there, carrying ~30 pounds of beer, fish, bike locks and misc tools is no problem and it means I don’t have end up with a sore shoulder and covered in sweat. With all that to carry, this bike is it, even if the ride is only a short hop north of the park.

Bike #3, complete.

What a fantastic (bike-filled) day.


Lacing Wheels, part II

6 September 2009

So it’s time to build up a bike, which means it’s time for some wheel design. For the rear, strength is still top priority, but I’ve heard some good things about a 3-cross drive side, 2-cross on the opposite. Supposedly it might minimize the tension difference between the two sides of the wheel. May as well give it a try…

Rear Wheel:

For the front wheel, I’m not as concerned with strength, so a 32 spoke wheel is in order. Unfortunately the symmetry options aren’t quite as nice (no 3 fold symmetries and so on), but if I’m going to build it, it better be something unique. So I did a variation of the front wheel from the Gstar. Giddy up.

Front Wheel:

Still haven’t quite figured out the rim-hub combinations yet, but I’m thinking the front hub might be a 32h Surly that I bought with the intention of build it up for another bike (more on my other bikes to follow soon).


Cross Season is A-comin’

2 September 2009

After weeks and weeks of watching, pondering, consulting about the upcoming cyclocross season and our strange desire to compete, I finally pulled the trigger on a frame (a Gary Fisher Presidio):

Which brings up a sticky question: isn’t this the Guerciotti blog? Well, yes technically, but it is really more about a man (me) and his bike. Which with the addition of the Gary Fisher is now technically “bikes”. So all of my biking exploits worthy of a mention will start to appear here. I’m still debating whether to change the blog name… maintain the blog’s humble origins or fast track it to the future.