Minggu, 24 Agustus 2008

Rapha Bike …A Tribute Project

Here she is looking out over Puget Sound
I can’t say the bike is done, as there are still some component upgrades that are waiting on the trickle down economics, but it is riding condition and I took her for a spin today. I had built this up as a single speed last fall and it felt amazingly secure in that mode. Then to my great amazement, I won a race and got some SRAM swag and so I was well on my way to making it a geared cross or commuter bike.
Feinte is French. Look it up.

I ended up commuting on the geared version and it proved worthy of the road and I have come to like the SRAM shifting. This summer, I decided to repaint my cross racing bike (pictures will come later, and it looks SWEET !) when that was done, I decided to tackle this as well. I wanted to do something different and I was unsure of the bike’s future. It could be a commuter bike again, my son might race ‘cross on it this season, or I might sell it. The bike still has an uncertain future, but I swiped the tires of my older son’s commuter bike (he has moved out of state, and with an uncertain return date, I thought I could take the liberty…).
I cut the bars. Note the subtle use of Pink from the front..

I wanted something dramatic, (if you are going to go to the trouble to strip, sand, and paint a bike you should do something bold) and settled on the Rapha idea. I thought the bike and Rapha represented the right mix of class, and the fine line between respecting the sport and not taking yourself too seriously.
Here is a close up of the downtube paint......

Rapha makes some great stuff. Wool is underutilized as a fabric in cycling and Rapha leverages this wonderful fabric (hey, I hear wool is the next polypropylene!) and their classic understated designs are beautiful. I also subscribe to the gentlemen’s ride philosophy. Riding should be challenging, enjoyable, but does not need to be flashy or loud and chest beating or constantly looking in the mirror or smelling your own breath is unnecessary. This seems to be the Rapha way. However, saying all that, $170 for a jersey; what is THAT? That dichotomy still isn’t reconciled in my head…..
Oh my, look at what happens when veen from the rear !!

This custom built ride is fully functional, and isn’t that what it is REALLY all about? Getting out there and riding should be the goal. All the bling on the bike, or wrapping your butt in European fabric only makes a fractional difference. I am sure that if I was decked out in my best kit riding my blinged-out Seven there are dozens of fast locals who could blow me off the road riding a Townie. The bike is a factor, but it pales in comparison to the person on the saddle.
I wanted this to appear black from almost every angle except from behind.

I did enjoy blowing past an uberfit fellow riding a Lemond on the climb up from Edmonds this morning. He eyed my bike and wondered what it was. Mission accomplished. By the way FEINTE is French.

Here is the build:
IBEX Cyclocross frame, size XL painted a dramatic black with custom decals
This frame has 135mm rear spacing for those of you playing along at home
Integrated FSA 1 1/8” headset
Steel fork of unknown heritage
Mavic CXP 33 hubs that I laced to XT hubs with DT Swiss DB 14/15 spokes. I love riding wheels I built myself
Easton 140mm stem
Cut Zepp 44ctc bars
Lots of bar tape
Carbon Fetish 27.2 Seatpost
Specialized Body Geometry saddle
SRAM Rival doubletap shifters
Rival RD
No FD at this time 38t in front
SRAM Chain
SRAM Cassette 11-26
Weird re-threaded 175mm Tandem cranks and cheap Shim.. BB (these will be upgraded)
Candy Pedals

If this ends up back in a commuter role, I’ll ugly it up with fenders and lights, but for now, it is happy just being in the stable.

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