Ever heard the old adage, "Bad News Comes in Threes?"
Well I was recently inspired by a recent Fat Cyclist posting: Fatty's post. Click here to read. Anyway in his blog he talks about a common remark to people who have recently experienced bad news is, "It could be worse." Well again read his blog to understand his feelings, but I for one really hate that response. A few examples below, I build in intensity to show that it can ALWAYS be worse.
- I broke my leg, could be worse: you could have broken both your legs
- My bike was stolen, could be worse: well you still have your house.
- I am very sick, and might not recover, could be worse: you could be dead.
- I am dead, could be worse, all your Strava KOMs have been beaten.
Keep the above in mind before commenting on this next entry: Thanks !
Okay onto the bad news.
Story #1 (Glacier National Park: Road to the Sun)Wow, this alone warrants its own blog entry as "THE BEST PLACE I HAVE EVER RIDDEN"
So there I was climbing up what has to be one of the most breathtaking rides in America, when all of a sudden all the tension in the pedal goes off. My immediate thought was I busted another chain. I stop to examine, and to my surprise realize the chain is intact and still on the gears. I change gears a few times while spinning the pedals and all seems okay. I mount up and keep ascending.
As the grade of climb increases I gear down and boom, the same thing happens. I look down and see everything is fine, but when I pedal there isn't any resistance. (You gear head types should already know what the issue is). I switch gears and go a few more pedal strokes and it happens again.
I have stripped the splines on the free hub body. Unfortunately I didn't take a picture of that one. But it was similar to this photo except it was stripped all the way through each spline.
Now the waiting game, I called my LBS (Local Bike Shop) and tell them that I don't think I should pay for this as the wheels and hubs are less than a year old. They put me in touch with Reynolds directly and I explain my frustration to them. Between Reynolds and the LBS they get me back on the road in a week with a new and improved aluminum free hub body. This is where I want you the reader to keep score (Issue #1 = 7 days of no riding.)
Please note: One missed day of riding for Rodzilla at the same calorie intake equals a pound. Sure I coulda, shoulda, woulda, adjusted the intake level, but that isn't any fun.
Story #2 (Sky View KOM Strava inspired sprint)I have been back riding for about a week solid. Roll back into the blog entries and you will see I am battling for my life on Strava, (see entry here) everything is 100 times more effort now, even little training rides around the neighborhood become all out sprints. I am flying up a very short, but very steep hill when I blow another free hub body. This time I am not so fortunate. I blow this one up and with all the momentum I fly over the front handle bars, trying to tuck and cradle the frame from hitting the ground I somehow land on top of the bike with one shoe still locked into the pedal. I remember the other pedal firmly poking into my back (ouch!@#@!) As I layed there contorted into a human Rodzilla pretzel I realize that in my attempt to protect the bike I think I actually crushed it. I pull myself and bike off the asphalt and limp/ride/coast home. I am pretty banged up on this one, but nothing that won't heal in a week. This time I skip the LBS and go straight to Reynolds. They are surprised that I chew threw yet another free hub so quickly, and this time I explain, "Hey I am Rodzilla" I am putting 1000 plus watts of pure power on that hub. There is no other way to get this mass up the hill. This time they say lets get a metal free hub body. Blah blah blah, another week off the bike... now we are two weeks down. What's the score? Oh yea two weeks off the bike and plus 14 pounds....seriously!
Story #2.5 (Sky View KOM Strava inspired sprint)After the part is ordered delivered and remounted on the bike I get, "THE CALL" Your wheels are unsafe to ride, the breaking material has delaminated and you are at risk. I clarify risk. They re-clarify if you are going down a canyon you will die. Okay not really but they are very direct to say these things are unsafe to ride.
After throwing a fit and calming down (over the course of the last few weeks) I realize that sometimes you save money by buying second hand on KSL, but other times you miss out on the warranty options. So after speaking to a couple managers at Reynolds we strike a deal, not the deal I was after but not starting from scratch. Blah blah blah...nice people at Reynolds, I am now the owner of a new pair of Reynolds, with new breaking surface, cross laced spokes for added stiffness, and a steel free hub body, with a set of decals I picked out. (This is important for later in the story)
Story # 3 (Commute to work crushed spirits)
Okay, new wheels and I am all set time to get back that 14 pounds I added. I head out the door ready to ride. I am still a little sore still from the accident so I decide to take this ride easy. I do my normal 30 mile ride and I am ghost shifting all over the place. I do some on the fly barrel adjustments, and keep thinking I fixed it, then at the next stoplight I accelerate and it shifts again. Almost eerie how a ghost shift feels like a stripped free hub body. By this time I am beat down mentally and just then, fittingly, it starts to rain. I am about 5 miles from work, and I am just coasting. Oh yea it keeps getting worse. A 55 year old man on a Mountain bike passes me. He doesn't even look at me. I catch him at the light (only cause it is red) and we chat about the rain. Nice guy, but time to drop this old-timer, I stand to accelerate and again ghost shift. I am skipping gears all over the place and he pedals past me....I couldn't tell for sure, but I think he called me a chump......
I coast into work, and as I am putting my super six away I see "IT."
My frame is cracked, game over. I go into work completely wet and dejected. The frame is the most expensive component to fix. In-between meetings I am trying to research my options. JUST LIKE MY WHEELS, I am not the original owner so no warranty.You know that feeling when I kid comes up below your line of sight and tags you below the belt...yeah times 10.
I start to consider giving up cycling, to expensive to keep up with. Again with a few minutes here and there I am scouring the net for a 63-64cm frame. Nothing on KSL, nothing on Ebay..this is looking bad. This is where being a big guy isn't that great. Sure I can find 56-58cm and even a couple of 60cm all day long, but nothing in my size.
I call the LBS and they have an older model frame for sale in my size, but in a really crappy color.
Red Rider steps in: She is on the ball for me. She calls a few places and talks about repairing the frame, she gets some options and says she is "on THE way". We head to Contender Bikes to chat about options and pricing. She also asked about different options in frames. She spent some time with a guy talking about the CAAD 10 aluminum version of the Super Six. Turns out they can get me into this frame for about the same as it would cost to repair the CF version I am currently riding.
I don't know about you, but I just don't think I could ever trust flying down the canyon on a frame knowing that it has been cracked and repaired. I think it would always be in my mind and would affect my confidence descending. Lets chat more about this CAAD 10.
You gotta know that I was never a huge fan of the "WHITE" Super Six. I bought it because it was the only Carbon Fiber in my price range, that was big enough to contain the Rodzilla. So suddenly the thought of down-grading into something that looks flashy like the rig above didn't seem so bad. I have always liked the look of naked aluminum. "With the new Reynolds wheelset this might look pretty good, I think to myself."
Then when Red Rider was distracted looking at helmets he shows me the 2013 Cannondale Catalog. BIG MISTAKE, as I am flipping through the pages I discover my dream bike. If I could design a bike, and paint it they way I wanted, it would be this bike. This bike right here on this page. Unbelievable!!! Okay, time to roll up the sleeves and put on the "haggle hat." Okay bike shop guy, "Help me spend my money here", I think to myself be strong, ask for and absurd deal. Cannondale owes me for my mental anguish, but don't go too hard here Miller. “Is there any flexibility in the price?” this sound much nicer than “I need you to give me a better deal.” Also I know I need to be discreet, no way I am going to get my deal with an audience watching. I talk low but directly, I remind him about my frame and ask for some leniency. He mentions a frame replacement plan for those with proof of purchase. That's it, that is my hook. We do the dance and I get the deal I was after. Sure it was more than the repair, and it was more than the CAAD 10, but not by much. Plus it was my dream bike. THANK YOU Contender, you guys are the BEST ! Please everyone, know that I called four other local bike shops that sell Cannondale and Contender gave the best deal HANDS DOWN.
Behold the beauty....
For whatever reason this clip came to mind.
Old Busted....New Hotness
Okay, it's ordered! Thanks Red, you're the best wife EVER ! Next thing is to strip the parts off so I can do the frame exchange for a small fee the LBS will do this for me, but I decide to solicit the help of one Pickle Juice, who also happens to be the best bike mechanic I know. Lickadee split we strip that frame down and we are waiting for the new "Dark Knight" to come in. Oh wait , what? I get to keep my Old and busted and the new hotness, BONUS!
I wait for a week, (Are we still keeping score? I wasn't... I am getting a new bike and new wheels, who the heck cares now? But okay 3 weeks out, 21 pounds...whatever) I call the shop almost every day and finally it came in yesterday. I don't even make it to the car before I get the camera out.
I would like to point out that indeed that is a warranty sticker. Now I am covered for any future cracked carbon fiber, both frame and wheels.
|Oh wait, did those new decals I picked match up perfectly with the bike? I think yes.|
Final step: Off to Pickle's house for some wrench time. Did I mention he is a Stud? It takes a few hours, but I appreciate every step he takes to make sure every detail no matter how small is taken into consideration. It's done, the whole time I am thinking about the script from, "Days of Thunder" movie. Which he hasn't seen and thinks I am crazy. (Pickle: Watch the clip)
You gotta watch the first 50 Secs. (PS Days of Thunder in my top 20 Movies)
Pickle gives everything one last tighten and it is time for the test ride. No Joke, this thing leaped out of his driveway and in no time I am in my top gear. I am telling myself it is all in my head, but I gotta say this beast really packs some punch. I cycle the gears, which never have shifted this well..EVER and bring it in for a landing. I go on and on with Pickle about how incredible it is and he takes it out. (Now I gotta be careful here, Pickle J is a bit of a Giant brand bike rider. He isn't going to go crazy on a Cannondale) Pickle agrees that it is race ready, stiff and clean machine. I am all right with his summary. Imagine talking about another women in front of your wife.....yeah it's like that. P.J. You're the best. Thanks for the assembly !!!!!
|Okay, I know. I need all black Handle bar tape, and some new water bottle cages.|