Doing it all the hard way...

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

France bike

At the end of last year I contacted Doug Curtiss of Curtlo cycles about building a new frame. My rain bike frame was showing signs that made me think the end was near. My travel over the past six months has reinforced the notion of having a travel bike. I did the math and the savings on downstream travel made this a viable option. Doug is a skilled craftsman who makes a stellar bike that he sells at a very market friendly price. He isn't fast and I had to place my order and look the other way while biting my OCD tongue to keep from harassing him week by week.


The bike arrived a month ago and has proven to be all I had hoped. Doug built my Cyclocross frame a few years ago (and repaired it after a crash for almost nothing) and I am a huge fan of his work a well a his philosophy on bike building.

I opted for the S&S couplers and after starring at the joints in disbelief and carrying the coupling specific wrench, I have concluded the bike is solid. The geometry matches my road bike and when I set it, up using my measurements, it was an algebraic test to see if after setting up the saddle height and setback, and putting on the correct number of spacers on the fork, would the bars be in the proper X-Y coordinates? Yes. Thank you Doug.

I went for the matte black finish as I wanted the bike to be all business. I collected the stem and seat post after some patient eBaying. If you look close you will spot the only "France-specific” part, that would be the monstrous 32 tooth silver tortilla of a back cog. In talking with my more experienced companions they all said you can't be geared too low. Call it fear, or practicality for an old Evo, I made the call and should be able to climb, albeit slowly, up whatever I come across in France.

I got a deal on the magic case and I'm getting psyched for France.

The ride is awesome and I couldn't ask for more. Compliant, yet stiff enough when climbing, i have dubbed it Velo Noir.

I know I don't deserve such a fine rig, but I won't say anything if you won't either..

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