New Sport = New Bike!

20 08 2007

In a previous post I’d committed to racing cyclocross this season, which would of course require a new bike built specifically for the sport. ‘Cross is part road biking, part mountain biking, and part running… usually held in muddy, snowy, and wintry conditions during the fall months. It is huge in Europe and has a semi-cult following in the States, but appears to be growing.

Races are about 45-60 minutes long, held “criterium” style with many laps ridden on a spectator-friendly venue like a local park or school. Barriers (and often sand pits) are placed throughout the course in order to force riders to dismount, run, and remount with speed and rhythm. It is quite common for bike parts to break and/or fall off, and as such it is legal to have a spare bike handy in your “pit area”, as well as pit crew/ friend to help fix things when they go wrong…

Some pro and amateur racers have chosen to use single speed bikes in order to minimize the moving parts and potential for stuff to break. Having ridden and enjoyed a single speed mountain bike in the early 2000’s, I decided this would be just the ticket for me. Then, as luck would have it, I discussed this with Sports Garage co-owner Nick Howe, who had just recently taken the reins at Spot Bikes in Golden, CO; a company well known for their single speed ‘cross and mountain bikes.

What made the decision a slam dunk was that Nick told me they were getting ready to introduce their proprietary belt-drive system, which has been a collaboration with Gates Rubber of Denver. Of course, the allure of a drive train that would require zero maintenance or grease, was completely silent, and weighed next to nothing was too much to pass up, so we ordered up a bike that day with a custom F4 paint job, silly-light wheels, and assorted other cool parts, and settled in for about a one month turn-around period.

I picked it up at Spot on Friday and was blown away by how it looked and especially how smooth and powerful it rode!  On the scale, it weighed in at a feathery light 16.93 pounds, including drool:)

Yesterday I convinced Dan Miller to join me for the maiden voyage and he gladly obliged and showed up at my house at 10 with his ‘cross bike.  We rode up the Boulder Creek Path to 4-mile Rd., which turned from pavement to dirt, then tilted up quite painfully on its way to Gold Hill, where we enjoyed a break and a Coke, then descended via Switzerland trail, then back over Poorman’s Rd., then down Sunshine Canyon.

Despite the single gear (42×17), I had a total blast putting the bike through all kinds of terrain, and enjoyed several curious onlookers at the Gold Hill Store who seemed anxious to get their hands on a belt-driven bike someday soon…

Here it is!





Hope to see ya at the races… I’ll be the rookie with the pimpin’ ride!!!




5 responses

24 08 2007

total pimped out ride! you need to add a shot of the f4’ish Fliegs decal — that was off the hook baybee!!

almost makes me want to do a cross race, or at least watch you do one…

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