Today I received two wonderful e-mails from people who have my cross bike. Here is a cut and paste of the two e-mails.
From the latest cross bike out the door:
Lady Blue is awesome!! What a great bike! On her maiden voyage, she delivered me to a 2nd place finish! I was a little nervous having not been able to get out on Saturday and having the first ride be a race, but she is so smooth and buttery and solid in the corners and responsive and quick and stiff all in one package. She fits like a glove too! Love, love, love it. Thanks so much for everything!!
Unfortunately they didn’t have a podium, so I couldn’t sport the t-shirt for the podium shot. Bummer.
From the cross bike that I built for NAHBS in Indy:
The Wisconsin Cycling Association cyclocross season began yesterday. Interbike took a three-week bite out out of my fitness, but I felt compelled to go if only to show off the bike. Interestingly, it wasn't the only custom bike there. I saw one Courage, one Lynskey, and one Speedvagen (okay, semi-custom). Mine was definitely the prettiest girl at the dance, though.
The course is one I know well, and have ridden many times before on aluminum 'cross bikes. I was amazed again by how much smoother, faster, and more comfortable the Engin is.
I began the race (Masters 1/2/3) with modest expectations, but soon found myself in a group of four behind the leading group of three. I was getting gapped occasionally, and expected to be dispatched eventually. However, half-way through the race, I felt our pace decreasing, so I moved up and gave a little acceleration. To my surprise, no one came with me. I kept going, expecting to get reeled back in, but instead I began to pick up remnants of the leading group. I ended up a very surprised second-place.
Thanks again for the bike. It's a great machine, and great motivation. Without it, I might have just called it a season and skipped 'cross this year. I'm glad I didn't.
These two e-mails made my week and it just started.
Best S-Bend chainstay to date. Took a while but here they are.
After a first run that was not very desirable (I did not use any of them) I took a gamble and ran my Deda inventory REALLY low hoping the new (like just finished this week) 29R chainstay would be good. They are way beyond good. The bend for the tire is perfect, the finish is great and they have lots of meat at the drop out (i.e. disc brake) end and are good and light at the BB end. Very exciting day. Ben at True Temper is great and makes me feel like he pays attention.
I NEVER ride my geared mtb. I always wanted to have a single speed cross bike.
I had intentions of building myself one this year but it got sidelined. I think Kirk is going to rip it up with one gear. He is like a diesel engine when it comes to his riding style. He never speeds up super fast but can really keep it going. He came in 2nd in the expert mtb single speed series this past year. Maybe this will help continue the trend.
The frame is all mitered and ready for prep before tacking.
Nice looking rear end. This is going to be a rather lightweight (for me anyway) bicycle. Not so light it will be flexible but lighter than a bike made to be totally abused.
I fell a bit behind this year due to a crazy summer.
In turn I tried really hard to catch back up but still wanted this last CX bike done in Sept. I do not see that happening! Anyway I hope to have it done by weeks end.
Today I used the Deckel for the first time. It is set-up with my new system of mitering the chainstays without being attached to the drop outs. Very cool design since it allows for the slot of the drop out to compensate for any variation in length (like under 1mm is a huge difference in length). Looking forward to getting this system quicker after I have done all styles of chainstays and have a sheet for all the different settings.
Here is right out of the mill and checking the tire clearance.