Tuesday, August 26, 2008

New Velo On The Horizon!

The Ciocc is great, but the lack of real fenders are going to be tough this winter. (The Miyata has just-about full fenders, but only fits 25's with them, and just feels clunky when riding it.. I might make it a fixed gear again).

So... with some dough ready to be spent, and some ideas in mind, I went window-shopping (on the web). Indy Fab? Great bikes, but I don't have time and/or patience to wait for them to build one up. Not to mention went I went to a bike shop out on the peninsula to inquire about one, all I got to show for it was a shiny IF catalog, and a "yeah those are great bikes." I guess their IF guy was out that day.. oh well, I guess it just wasn't meant to be, at least not yet.

There's Rivendell of course, but personally those seem like a lot of money for what sounds like a heavy frame. While they do have great style in the bikes they produce, I'm not quite ready to take the boutique-dive just yet. And of course there's Co-ho bikes, Pereira, etc. And Davidson downtown. I can envision a custom rando bike on the horizon eventually, but I want a new bike NOW! I don't have the patience to wait for a spiffy custom frame. 

As a side-note, I thought about throwing my love of steel out the window, and buying a Crumpton Carbon Randonneur bike. It's $11,000. I thought about it for about five seconds, then decided to wait until I'm at least 50 for that one. I could buy lots of bikes for that price! A more "reasonable" custom rando bike would be in the $4-5k range, but even then I don't want to wait for this bike.

Not to mention, Jan Heine's 600k coming up in September. That's not that far away, time is ticking!

So I e-mailed Lloyd at Velo Bike Shop, and inquired about a Surly Pacer. I had narrowed down the choices to the Pacer or the Salsa Casseroll, like what Robert has. But in the end the more classic look of the Pacer's top tube is what swayed me, as they appear to weigh roughly the same.

It will be my Randonee/Commute/Rain/Fun/Critical Mass Machine, my do-it-all rig. My main requirement for the bike was that it fit full fenders, with wider tires. The Pacer advertises 28's with fenders, 32's without - that should be just fine! (I've been riding on 25's lately, and can actually feel a slight different on rough roads; the 28's should feel even better)

I'm thinking a handlebar bag, and of course a dynohub, most likely a fancy SON model. Maybe even downtube shifters. Can't wait!


Anonymous said...

hay matt- check out the soma doublecross bike if you haven't already ordered the surly. the soma can sport 38mm tires with fenders.


Anonymous said...

Check out Soma's other option, the Smoothie ES. After much research, this was my choice. Soma uses better steel than Surly and the Pacer may state 28mm with fenders but there a pain in the tail to get on without rub.


Anonymous said...

thx guys for the tips! but i'm set on the pacer, something about it just says "buy me."

and if i don't like it, i could most likely swap out the parts with a smoothie, a doublecross, or whatever.

Robert H said...

Hopefully that will solve some of your hand numbness issues as well. I can't wait to see it built up!

I'm personally not a huge fan of the Soma logo(s). Bike companies really need to step it up in the graphics department.

Anonymous said...

i'm with you on the soma logo, something about it reminds me of those SoBe juice drinks.

Lesli Larson said...

Save up/wait and get a Coho! I have two friends who ordered frames from Charles and the frames are just spectacular: streamlined, well built, stealth and great riding. Plus, they're purpose built for randonneuring. Coho's wait time is fairly reasonable and you'll have a much finer bicycle than anything produced by Surly.

Narayan said...

Dude, listen to Lesli.

Anonymous said...

Announcing to your bikish friends that you are considering a new bike purchase is akin to throwing a ripe blackberry on a big ole' red ant hill. Like a moth to flame I can't resist.

From a Surly to a Crumpton there is a huge, gaping chasm ... filled with bike options. Somewere mid way I think a look at the Co-Motion Norwester Tour warrants a
look. Another local builder who's been around awhile is Rodreguez. This too is semi-custom. With these bikes you can get the bike you want.

These are not 'cheap' bikes, but then, for the level of fit, fabrication and build (components) you get a lot for your money. Nearly custom quality, but off the rack price.

But I get the feeling you're in that instant gratification mode, and sounds like the one you've chosen fits your picture.

No question about it, the best bike is always the next one you're going to get.

Sounds like fun.

Yr Pal Dr Codfish

Anonymous said...

have no doubts my friends, a "real" rando bike is also on the horizon! probably something custom, like rodriguez, coho (thanks for the tip lesli!), IF, something really spiffy.

and i already know what it will be like: about 10kg total weight, 30mm tires, flat top tube, steel, full dynohub system, and a nice handlebar bag to round it out. something that'll turn heads at brevets for sure.

but i wanted something different to ride for the upcoming 600k, and time's a tickin! sure the surly might be turning heads in the wrong direction, but at 3 AM does the bike really matter?

dr codfish, as you pointed out, there is indeed a huge amount of choices available to me. and that decisision will take time, lots of time. i'll surely be picking all of your brains on future rides about which bike is the best!

Anonymous said...

i went with a soma doublecross myself. although i haven't built it up yet, still looking at carbon forks - but the intent is cyclo and light touring. off to the high pass challenge! but on a seven alaris.

brad said...

I've been curious about the pacer too for a while but I own a cross check and a Long Haul Trucker. I prefer the larger tires sizes afforded and the internets keep telling me that high trail is perfect for rando and touring. Never the less, I like that you are going for the pacer. Why not? That said, I ride my cross check with 35's and it's very luxurious. See you out there on the rides.

Jason Hall said...

I went through the same decision this spring, and settled in on the Salsa Casseroll(vs. the surly pacer, somafab smoothie es, and gunnar sport). I do like the bike - but probably would have gone in a different direction after having ridden it for the summer - my main complaint being the 'convertible' nature of the casserolls rear dropouts causes problems occassionally. Particularly while starting on steep hills - I can occassionally cause the rear wheel to torque and I have to stop and reset the wheel and lock down the rear quick release EXTREMELY tightly.