Sunday, January 27, 2008

Curtlo Cross Bike gets updated and cleaned.

This was sort of a slow week. Not much to apply to job-wise and not too much else to do around the house. So I spent a couple hours a day for about 3 days working on my Curtlo S3 Cross bike. [By the way, it really needs a good name, other than "Curtlo S3 Cross bike, and it is long overdue]

After working on the ol' girl, I felt pretty bad. It was sooo dirty. Dirt was in every nook and cranny. Obviously, it has been a hard year of cyclocross. The last race of the season my crank broke. I got a replacement for it from FSA (here) but I didn't want to put it on the cross bike. The warranty crank is one if the MegaExo versions. My old crank was for ISIS bottom brackets and was a considerably lighter setup even though they are the same quality. I wound up putting it on my Fuji CF2. This lowered the weight of the CF2 by about 100 grams (the original carbon crank on the Fuji was a FSA Team Carbon crank which weigh at least as much as a FSA Gossamer). I sold the heavier carbon crank off of the Fuji and used the money to pick on closeout--65% off MSRP--a 2004 Campagnolo Record Carbon crankset from the shop. This crankset uses a square taper bottom bracket. This should be a fairly bomb-proof setup. Afterall, square tapers were used for decades without any significant problems before the engineers decided to force external bottom brackets down our throats, but that is another issue for another post.

In the end, the Curtlo is a little more classy with the campy crank, though it did not change the weight at all. The Campy crankset with the bottom bracket and single ring/chainguard set up weighs 710 grams. Not too shabby. I have Campy Record Carbon brake levers so they kinda go well together. In fact those are the only two carbon bits on the bike, the cranks and brake levers.

But could I stop there? Nope. I sold some other parts that were laying around in order to buy a set of rims so that I could go tubular. The rims are Velocity Escapes that I employee purchased. A guy at the shop built them up for me on some Velocity hubs. The hubs are super cheap. The front weighs 80 grams and the rear hub was 250. The rear hub makes a nice buzzsaw sound. The wheelset helped me to drop roughly a pound off of the bike. The tires, Tufo Elites were each lighter than the Michelin Mud2s and tubes by over a 1/4 pound per wheel. Then the wheelset itself was about an 1/8 of a pound lighter per wheel. I also removed the inline levers. There went another 1/4 pound. With the removal of the inline levers I decided to shorten the stem a bit so that it would be more comfortable to ride on the hoods. Part of the reason for the inline levers was the comfort of resting my hands there on that part of the bar. Also, because of my Kelly Take-Off set up, I could shifter gears even with my hands on near the in line brakes. So the stem was a tad lighter, but only because it was shorter. I just exchanged stems at the shop.

Anyway, this set up should prove to be a winner. Nothing too stupid, and it was super cheap for the wheelset. The whole wheelset cost me lest than 200. Tires were picked up on the cheap too. The tires probably are not the best for mud, but this year of the 7 races I did, at least 4 were dry or nearly so. Anyway, I will report back with some pictures and ride report. Too bad it is 9 months until cross season again.

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