We’ve all seen those old people with the “Ask Me About My Grandchildren” bumper stickers on their cars. Well, I don’t have any grandchildren and probably won’t for several years. However, if I could find a “Ask Me About My Bicycles” bumper sticker I would proudly put it on my Jeep immediately. People often ask me about the bikes I ride, so I thought I would share a few photos with you.
For six years my main road bike was a Trek Madone carbon fiber racing bike. However, since I am a distance cyclist instead of a racer I’ve finally decided that I needed to switch to an endurance bike instead of a racing bike—so I bought a 2013 Trek Domane 5.9 with a Shimano Ultegra Di2 groupset. In addition to the OCLV Carbon frame which does a great job of reducing road vibration, the Trek Domane has a few other features to give you a comfortable ride without negatively impacting your speed—like the “IsoSpeed decoupler” that isolates the movement of the seat tube from the rest of the frame.
The second newest member of my family is a 2013 Felt F65X Cyclocross Bike. Cyclocross bikes look a lot like regular road bikes, but allow for fatter tires so they can have better grip on the ground—they also have greater clearance on the forks so mud won’t build up as quickly. Cyclocross races usually take place in the fall and winter over a course that includes pavement, off-road trails, hills, man-made obstacles and mud. This bike has an aluminum frame with a carbon fiber front fork. The drivetrain has SRAM Apex DoubleTap shifters, a compact 46/36T crankset and an 11-28T cassette with a SRAM 10-speed chain. This bike also has Felt CXR disc rims with stainless steel spokes. To protect you in foul weather, this bike has Felt All-Weather sealed slick brake and derailleur housings.
My Surly Necromancer Pugsley (formerly known by the much cooler Black Ops name) arrived at the local bike shop on Tuesday, December 13, 2011. I had this Necromancer highly customized to suit my needs for an all-weather bike. The biggest change was the installation of a Shimano Alfine 8-Speed Internal Hub.
Since I live in an area that has some great off-road trails I bought a Gary Fisher Big Sur in 2005 to take advantage of them. This bike has a RockShox Duke XC Air front fork, hydraulic disc brakes and an aluminum alloy frame that combines zirconium, magnesium and lithium to create a lightweight, yet incredibly strong, frame. For the past few years most of my off-road rides have been at night. In 2012 I replaced the stock cassette and hub for a Shimano Alfine 8-Speed Internal Hub. In the winter I put a pair of Nokian Hakka WXC 300 Studded Tires on it so I can ride on the snow and ice.
I bought Trek 1200 in 2005 and it is usually only taken out of the garage on days when it is raining. I also ride this bike in the winter when the roads are clear, but still covered with salt and sand. To make this a great “all season” bike I had a Shimano Alfine 11 Internal Geared Hub installed and added a Cane Creek Thudbuster Seatpost to help smooth the ride out a bit. It also has Gore Ride-On Sealed Low Friction Cables to make it weatherproof.
Gone but not forgotten: I bought my Trek Madone in 2007 on the same day that Alberto Contador won the Tour de France while riding for the Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team. I used to spend most of my summer on this bike, but I had to sell it to make room for my 2013 Trek Domane 5.9 Carbon Fiber Endurance Bike.
Gone but not forgotten: This Trek 4300 Alpha Mountain Bike was the first “shop built” bike I bought—it was purchased in 2002 when I decided to take up cycling. In the summer it was equipped with thick knobby tires so I could play in the mud. In the winter I used to put a pair of steel studded tires on it so I could enjoy playing in the snow and ice. In March of 2012 I rebuilt this bike in my garage—except for the wheels it has all new parts. In case you are wondering, the body of water in the background is Lake Michigan (on a really nasty day). I sold this bike to a friend of mine when I bought my Felt F65X Cyclocross Bike.
I use my Topeak Dual Touch Stand in my garage and it almost serves as a wall between my bike repair area and the rest of the garage (we have a two-car garage but half of it is used for bicycle storage and my own private bike repair shop). I also have a couple other bike storage racks as well.
You might think less of me for what I am about to say, but I judge mechanics (at least in part) on the quality of tools they use—if they don’t take pride in their equipment they seldom take pride in their work. As a result, just about every tool in my work area was made by Park Tool.