Tag Archives: Red

Tale of Two Giants

It is done. I finally have the two Giant TCR Advanced frames built up. This all started back in September and is ending here in February. Now I’ll have another choice to make whenever I decide to go for a ride — do I ride white, or do I ride black?

Back when I joined the POA Cycling Team, I sold my Specialized Tarmac Pro and my first road bike, a Specialized Allez Elite, in order to get the team bike – a black 2009 TCR Advanced with Force components. It was a great bike and I was glad I made the switch.  However, the problem it created was that I only had one bike.

2009 Giant TCR Advanced

2009 Giant TCR Advanced

Now, for most people that isn’t a problem. What I found for me was that I often ran into situations where I would have the bike in the shop for a tune-up or to have something fixed that I had broken, and I would be bike-less. I came to regret getting rid of both of those bikes.

That was never more the case than in September 2009 when I was taken out in a race. The black Giant was cracked on the top tube. I had no bike at all.

Thankfully, Giant sent me a replacement frame. To make things nicer, it was a 2010 Giant TCR Advanced. I was able to build it up with 2010 SRAM Force components. It was the bike I used to ride the relay from Greenville to Austin in October.

2010 Giant TCR Advanced

2010 Giant TCR Advanced

When Giant sent me the new frame, they did not request me to return the old one. At first I didn’t know what to do with it. Then a friend of mine told me that he had a frame fixed with Calfee Design. I looked into it and found that for a little over $300 I could get the black frame fixed.

So, I sent it off and received it about the time we placed the team order for 2010 SRAM parts for the team. It is way too good of a deal to pass up and I decided to snag some Red components. The plan was to move the Force group to the black TCR Advanced and put the Red group on the white TCR Advanced.

FINALLY, after months it all came together. Then I couldn’t decide which bike to use as my primary bike! That is important because my one Quarq CinQo powermeter is in the crank – a SRAM S900. The number 1 bike would need to have that crank.

After a bit of deliberation, I decided to go with my original plans. I get differing reactions from people regarding the look of the two bikes. Some like the white. Some like the black. I think I like the both.

Maybe I’ll be able to find a way to get power on the black bike and I’ll be able to switch between the two of them more often. I could ride the one that best fits the mood of the day! More importantly, I’ll have a bike to ride whether one is in the shop or not.

Now… if the snow would just clear from the roads so I could ride one of them…

Ebony and ivory

Ebony and ivory

Seeing Red

It took awhile for my part of the team order to arrive from SRAM. It gave me time to consider the bike on which I would put the components. I finally decided on the white Giant.

SRAM Red is finally on the bike

SRAM Red is finally on the bike

John James, at Sunshine Cycle Shop, normally puts my bikes together, but he is out of commission with a broken collar bone.  John isn’t going to be building bikes any time soon! He broke it Sunday and won’t have surgery until next week. Thankfully, Mike stepped in and built up the bike yesterday.

Ouch!

Ouch!

The only bad thing is that I was stuck on the trainer yesterday for my hour and a half session. Thankfully, there was a program on National Geographic Channel about the Bugatti Veyron.  Wow! The speed is impressive, but the technology behind it is incredible!

Bugatti Veyron - top speed 253 mph

Bugatti Veyron - top speed 253 mph

The technology behind the SRAM shifters is pretty cool too. It took me a little bit to get used to the double-click action when I first switched over a couple years ago. Now, I can’t imagine using any other option.

Yes, it looks great and that is part of the allure. It also has saved me several grams in weight. Besides, any cyclist will tell you there is nothing like a new set of components.

I’m ready to roll for 2010. Even on the trainer the shift action felt great. The road is going to feel even better. Stay tuned for some pictures as soon as the weather cooperates.

SRAM Red, White, and Black

What do I do now? Before Christmas I ordered some components as part of my POA Cycling Team deal with SRAM. I’m certain John, at Sunshine Cycle Shop, grew weary of me asking when the order would arrive. Well, I’ll pester him no longer. The order arrived yesterday.

Now I’m left with a quandary. Which frame do I put the components on? The white Giant or the black one?

2009 (black) and 2010 (white) TCR Advanced frames

2009 (black) and 2010 (white) TCR Advanced frames

My original intention was to move the ’09 Force group from the white bike to the black bike and then build up the white one with the ’10 Red group. With that in mind I ordered a new Force crank so I could keep my SRAM S900 with the Quarq CinQo on the white bike.

That would have full Red on the white bike except for the crank and full Force on the black bike. It all made perfect sense until some friends told me I should consider racing the black frame with the Force group and leave the white frame and the Red for the cookie rides. The idea makes sense.

Let’s face it, there really isn’t that much of a difference in the components. Yes, the Red is lighter with a slightly different construction, but when it comes to someone at my skill level it really doesn’t make that much difference. I hate to say it, but it really comes down to what looks good.

That is the problem. Since I only have one Quarq CinQo and I am training this year, I have to keep the powermeter crank on the bike that I plan to race. Unless I plan to mix the Force crank with the remaining Red group, I have to keep the Red stuff with the S900.

I’m leaning heavily toward my original plan – build the white Giant up with the Red group and the CinQo. The black bike would then be all Force. If looks count for anything, that is definitely the way to go.

2010 Giant TCR Advanced

2010 Giant TCR Advanced

Then again… if I race the white Giant, I will be the only POA rider on a white bike — all the other Giant frames on the team are black. Also, the black frame is the repaired frame and keeping the white frame out of the racing action would keep it safer. Who cares if the black frame gets nicked?

2009 Giant TCR Advanced

2009 Giant TCR Advanced

Then again… you only live once and that white frame is really sweet. With the Red group on it, that white Giant is going to stand out… though I have to admit the black frame just looks more menacing.

Silly, isn’t it?

Help!!!! I can’t make up my mind!

Get ready to rumble… or fly

My 2009 race license just arrived. It represents a number of my goals for this year. While last year I put more focus on distance and organized centuries, this year I plan to put more focus on racing. Next year? Who knows.

My 2009 USA Cycling License

My 2009 USA Cycling License

Yep, I’ll be turning 41 on the 21st of this month. Interestingly enough, that is the first race of the Greenville Spring Series. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t hoping to do well that day. Still, the season isn’t a day and there is a good chance that we’ll have 18 plus races in the Greenville area this year.

That race will be my first real race as a cat. 4. I did double up back in October and do about nine laps in the cat. 4 criterium after racing in and winning the cat. 5 race. Doubling up is not easy! So, I consider this my first true attempt.

Track? The stars would have to align in some miraculous fashion for you to ever see me on a track. Then to get me racing on a track… There is more of a chance that you might see me someday attempting a cyclo-cross race.

I started riding on a mountain bike and I love riding one. Still, I don’t think I am cut out to be a MTB racer. Picking my way around boulders and trees is one thing… careening over and into them is entirely another!

My club is the Greenville Spinners Bicycle Club. It is also my “team.” Most of the teams out there on a given race in Greenville are not truly “teams” in the technical sense of the word. The only official teams are those sanctioned by the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale).

The Spinners club is a great way to start into organized racing. Basically, if you pay the fee and wear the colors, you can be a member of the club team. There is an amount of racing as a team, but it is typically more informal and just a step above being unattached.

There are other club teams that are more selective. Perhaps if I have a good year, I’ll get invited to “move up” to one of those teams. Those teams are still simply clubs, but are smaller and have a little more structure to them come race day.

I’ll tell you one thing, there are some riders out there this year that are going to be flying — at least if the weight of their bikes counts for anything. I stopped by Hincapie Sportswear to pick up a cap I had left there this weekend. The Scott frames had just arrived.

Those frames were like paper — but very stiff. With the full range of SRAM Red components and the light weight Fi´zi:k saddles, they are going to have to find some heavier wheels just to keep those machines legal!  Can’t wait to see Chris Butler’s time up Paris Mountain with this rocket.