8 months ago, at Habersham Bicycles, I hatched a plan while I stared at a used Giant Cyclocross bike that Joe had been trying to sell for about a year. This kind of plan is very common among roadies. In general it goes like this; "I can buy this bike for the components and then sell the frame. Then I can buy the frame I really want and put these components on it. And I'll have the bike I want for less than I would have spent on a new one!" Sometimes we actually go through with the plan. Sometimes the plan is more like a fiendish plot that never comes to fruition. Mostly we end up with boxes full of unrealized biking dreams and the realization that it's ultimately cheaper to buy a complete new bike.
I'm not tooting my own horn or anything, but I usually finish what I start. The "result" is the only thing that may change during the process. That's the case with this new bike.
The frame I wanted was a White 2012 model steel breakaway cross I'd seen pictures of from the internet. I even downloaded the 2012 Ritchey Catalog to get the specs right. They've updated the frame with a bigger bottom bracket and braze-ons. Plus I loved the look of the color matched fork and new paint job. So I went to my good friend Joe and asked him to become a Ritchey dealer and order the frame. He ordered it in November '11 and was told they wouldn't release the new frames until January. So...I waited.
You might be wondering "why a cross frame?" Well, after reading many accounts from travelers around the world it just made the most sense. A cross frame is built to handle bigger tires which are good for handling any terrain you may find yourself on. In my case that could be vacation destinations with dirt paths or shell infused sidewalks. Then there's the dream of travel biking or multi-day events where the ability to add a pannier to the back for attaching bags would be ideal. All this type of riding is of the "non-competitive" nature and a cross geometry puts the rider more upright and stable. That part is needed in my case because it's already an act of contortion to ride and reach over to push a child at the same time. I need to sit up more and having the cyclocross brakes in the center of the handlebar are a plus for that reason too. Ultimately, for what I intended to use it for, the cross bike made sense. Not to mention the "breakaway" ability for airplane travel. And maybe a cross race. OK...for sure a cross race.
But the bike in the pictures isn't steel it's titanium?
That's true. And the story continues. January came and the promise of my new bike was delayed until March. It seems there are too many older models of steel out there in the market and Ritchey is not sufficiently motivated by my order to ship mine until more of the current stock is sold. Their suggestion...buy last years model. Unfortunately I was born with just enough vanity that I would rather wait for the pretty bike than settle for a bike that doesn't match my shoes. So I waited.
March arrives! Yes! That frame should be arriving soon! I got with Joe to get an ETA and... they pushed back the availability of the 2012's until June 2012. And there ain't nothin' you can do about it.
To this point I've been laid back about the whole thing. I mean this is just a bicycle. I'm an accountant in a car business. I understand how supply and demand works. I understand how tough it is in the retail world these days. I don't blame anyone for the decisions that are keeping my dream from becoming reality. However, the fact is I want to go on vacation in June with my new travel bike. And the box full of components are getting lonely. I imagine them as Woody, Buzz, and the rest of the toys in Toy Story. It's not right to leave them boxed up like that.
So I re-hatched my plan. You see the titanium version of the B/A Cross is available. Titanium is almost 2 pounds lighter than the steel frame. It's also almost double the price at retail. I've wanted to have a Ti bike back in the stable ever since I sold my Litespeed Vortex years ago. I loved riding it but could only afford so many bikes at the time. I asked Joe to call Ritchey and plead my case for a great price on the Ti. Needless to say after much debate, crying and gnashing of teeth we reached an agreement that changed my new bikes name. Why's that? Well you see students, in Biblical times when a man became a new person in Christ his Hebrew name would sometimes change to reflect his change in personality; ie Simon became Peter (The Rock). No, not the wrasler (intentionally misspelled). And with this in mind my bike went from being called the "New Bike" to the "New Hottness". I realize that statement is borderline sacrilegious but I'll leave it there to help express my delight with the New Hottness purchase. Don't judge me.
|Joe Elam, Habersham Bicycles finishes the "New Hottness"|
Watching the bike being put together was very exciting. I'm one of those guys who likes to enjoy every aspect of biking. Working on them is half the fun. Watching someone skilled work on them is even better. I can do most things on a bike but Joe makes it a work of art.
I also have to say how impressed I am with Ritchey. Everything I purchased from them is top quality and well thought out. The "One Bolt" seat post is the bomb. It's easily adjustable to the finest degree on the angle of the saddle. Tightens with one turn. Very nice. And the frame is beautiful. The bead blasted graphics were a hit with folks who looked at it during it's time at the shop. It's cut so well you can hardly tell there's a separation at the seat clamp. The Ti Breakaway purchase reminds me of going to Disney World...expensive but worth it.
|New Hottness weighs in. 17.1 pounds (7756 grams)|
|Chad and New Hotness at the top of Tower Mountain, Cornelia, GA|
|Stephen Sisk, Benny Bohanan, Craig Tinsley|
But I digress.
I'll be riding my new steed at the LAP Century the Hartwell Challenge of the Centuries and the Jackson Brevet so look for me and New Hottness to be happily stopping at every SAG to partake of the baked goodness.
|CAT5 AM Race, Robert Loomis took 3rd!|
AND...MAY IS BIKE MONTH!
Thanks for reading!