Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Salsa Pro Road bars...

File this under "things I like."  Been quite a while since I applied that tag.  Not that there haven't been things I like, but I've been neglect in blog duties.  

I needed new bars.  Not because the old ones were damaged or in need of replacement due to structural issues.  I needed new bars because I couldn't come to terms with the shape.  It's not like I didn't give them a proper chance.  My current bike is probably the third or forth bike they've been on over the past 8 years or so.  I simply never felt comfortable in the drops and I spend a lot of time riding in the drops trying to stay as aero as possible riding into headwinds or descending (why do so many riders descend on the hoods?).  

Finding new bars, however, turned out to be a bit of a challenge.  I only had a few key parameters that needed to be met:

1.  The bars needed to be 46cm, center-to-center.  
2.  The bars needed to be aluminum.
3.  The bars needed to have a compatible shape with integrated brake/shift levers.
4.  And, not that I'm a weight weenie, but they need to be light-ish.

There are several bars that tick some, but not all the boxes.  There was one that did get a check mark in all of them.  So, I ordered a Salsa Pro Road bar in the optional Large drop.  It's also available in a small and medium drop.  It's only available in a 31.8 clamp size, so I did also need to order a new stem.  I'm partial to Ritchey components so a new WCS 120mm stem was ordered at the same time.

New bar, stem, cables, and bar tape (a new favorite and more on that later) were installed and I was ready to take it out.  After a bunch of rides, both on and off road, I dig these bars:  the right shape, the right amount of drop, and a surprise twist, the drop section angles out 4 degrees while the sides are vertical instead of flared like the Cowbell bar.  The 4 degree angle puts your hands in a comfortable, neutral position when in the drops.  So much more comfortable for motoring across the San Geronimo Valley or descending Bo-Fax Road.  I like the larger drop since it makes more room for my hands.  With widths between 34cm and 46cm (in 2cm increments) and three drops, there is surely a bar for everyone.   

Salsa Pro Road Large

Salsa Pro Road Large

Salsa Pro Road Large

The old bar shape.

(What's playing:  KWMR Musical Variete)

Saturday, October 12, 2013

One more with all the parts...

The light blue looks even better built up.  Something to think about.  Do I need to build a new bike?  Hmmm...

Rival build

(What's playing:  The Black Keys I'll Be Your Man)

Frame updates...

Dang.  Been a while since the last post.  Too much going on.  Thought a frame update would be an ideal way to start a Saturday.  New road frames arrived this past Tuesday.  Colors are orange and light blue.  I always dig the orange color, but the new light blue is pretty smoking hot.  It turned out great.  And thanks to six folks out there, I am lighter on light blue by 6 frames.  There are still plenty of all sizes, though.  On previous production runs of frames, I ordered fewer of the "new" color which was one of the reasons the new color sold out quickly.  However, this time, I ordered more of the light blue and fewer orange.  Price is unchanged for the past three years at $595 + shipping.  I may have to bump up the shipping, though since that has been going up.  But for now, shipping is unchanged as well:  $25, $30, $35, $40 to Pacific, Central, Mountain, Eastern time zones.

As of yesterday, I am out of stock of the champagne color road frames.  The last 62cm champagne frame was snapped up and will soon be seen patrolling the avenues along the front range in Colorado.  

On the cross frame side, there are a couple of 56cm orange and a handful of 59cm orange available.  I also have two each of the 65cm orange and gray frames.  All other sizes are sold out.  Initially, I had an estimated arrival date of end of November for the new cross frames in green and gray.  However, the frame maker in Taiwan is pushing that back citing they want more time to address the increased quality I am asking for.  I'm okay with that.  It looks like the new arrival date will be soon after the first of the year.  There are quite a few pre-ordered frames and deposits.  So far, with one exception, everyone wants to keep their spot for a frame.  I understand about the extra time and having deposits out during the holiday season so I offered to refund any deposits to buyers.  

If you are looking at one of the new green frames and you are a 59cm size, I would highly recommend getting a deposit down on one as there are only 2 available.  All others have been spoken for.  

There are also a couple of 56cm and one 62cm USA made cross framesets available.  Those are $1500 + shipping.  

Okay, that's about it.  Now go ride your bike.  But first, here's a couple shots of the new light blue frame.

New Light Blue Road

New Light Blue Road

(What's playing:  Neko Case Mood To Burn Bridges)