Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Bike

After training, the bike would be the second most important thing when considering a trip like this. I read lots of opinions from hard-core adventure cyclists who spend months out on the speedsters who participate in RAAM (Race Across America). I've been riding a carbon bike since 1995, so the "durability of carbon" concerns raised by some were not an issue to me . My triathlon bike was a Kestrel KM40...followed by a Kestrel Talon similar to the one I'll be riding. The great thing is, Kestrel offers a life-time warranty! The frameset I'll be riding is brand new....thanks to Kestrel's warranty policy and the World's Greatest Bicycle mechanic, Jere, at Loco Motion Bikes in Winter Park! The Talon has been a great all-around bike. Relatively light and aero, yet strong, dependable and very comfortable on long rides. I decided to add Profile carbon Wing aerobars to Profile carbon Dromo drop bars for a nice combination of hand positions for added comfort. Replaced the Ultegra shifters, rear deraileur, chain and cog. For gearing I went with a compact crank up front with a 50/34...and a 12/27 in the rear. That should cover me for the climbing days and keep me going fast if there are big tailwinds. I kept my carbon cranks and carbon stem as they have been bullet-proof. The same is true for the Velocity Spartacus wheels. They are mid-v, which means they are slightly more aero than standard box section wheels. It's my second set so I know they are very reliable. I'll bring along extras spokes...just in case. Fortunately, we'll have a bike mechanic along...because lubing my chain is about the limit of my mechanical abilities!

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