[CR]RE: l'Alpe d'Huez (reviving an old/new Carbon/Ergo argument)(long)

(Example: Events:Eroica)

From: "Matthew Gorski" <bikenut@verizon.net>
To: <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Date: Wed, 19 May 2004 08:35:50 -0700
In-Reply-To: <51921.>
Subject: [CR]RE: l'Alpe d'Huez (reviving an old/new Carbon/Ergo argument)(long)

Ray H (Hi Ray!)ponders the reliability of modern componentry..... ************ Hopefully this doesn't start another protracted flame war *but* here goes. I don't understand the perception that CF frames and modern/ergo components are fragile/unworthy/crap compared to the old stuff. I LOVE old bicycles... I have perhaps 80 excellent named steel bicycles (Colnago, Masi, Herse, Singer, Paramount, Pogliaghi, Hetchins, Taylor etc.) with all the parts we love. I ride the 'oldies' all the time! I also have 2 Colnago C-40's of the CF/plastic ilk. One is all Campy Record 10 (more cf) and the other is set up as a fixed gear. I have 4 heavy years of riding between the two of them. I'm also a Clydesdale at 230 pounds. I have not had an instance of any frame flex/self shifting/chipping etc in regards to the carbon frames. I use 25mm Conti's- the fit so close the clearance is almost nil. I have ridden in the rain and mud without incidence. I did a 400K brevette last year over the Ridge Route (CA) in the POURING rain in the muddy, hilly, steep unpaved sections with nil clearance WITHOUT any problems. Another listmember, if I remember correctly was using Delta brakes in these same conditions.

Another point about fragility(?) of Carbon Fibre.... I was hit last year on PCH at about 50mph by a car...I was probably doing 18-20 mph or so. I went down hard and broke my collarbone and got banged up pretty good. This C-40 also has Campagnolo Nucelons- no damage to frame, wheels other than maybe a scuff. The Ergo levers got a bit roughed up so now they're on an Eddy Merckx (Record 10) steel MX Leader. This example is to illustrate that carbon fibre doesn't necessarily explode on impact ;^)

This is NOT an Info-mercial for Carbon Fibre bikes or Modern componentry. It is simply to convey that all that's New isn't bad. I love the old stuff...I like the new stuff. What's odd is that most everyone who grumbles about the 'new' stuff haven't even ridden any of it. Surely there are exceptions *but* the Record 10/C-40 combination had performed FLAWLESSLY for 4 years for me. I don't care if it has a 5?-10?-20? year lifespan or whatever might be supposed...In 10/20 more years I'll be getting Senior Citizen discounts....so who cares! Who owns or uses their first cellphone, calculator, answering machine, computer etc. now and uses it regularly? Of course our olde bicycles are different (TIC)...I don't mean to step on the toes of XT or 286 computer, HP 35 calculator, brick-cell or rotary phone users.

There are Luddites on this list who won't be placated by anything other than their provincial views...This message isn't for YOU!!!! If you reply to this as such you will merely have 'outed yourself.' Enjoy and ride old bikes and new bikes and let's move off this idea that "only our old bikes are cool" and "modern bikes are soul-less junque"

I am writing this to merely open up some awareness....I don't hold any absolutes in regards to my vs. your experience or that one new component or frameset is better than another. Lets have fun here!

<rant off so flame away-I'm nomex ready> Matt Gorski Beautiful Belmont Shore, CA


They also jogged my memory about the comparison of today's bikes with those of years gone by. I came down on the side of today's bikes for performance in today's environment. I wonder how they would fair up under the road conditions that we see in these photos. How many stone hits can the CF frame take? How long before the dirt/dust clogs that narrow 10 speed chain. What about being behind someone for a long distance throwing up all sorts of stuff into your fine ergo shifters. Perhaps I need to re-think my first impression. I guess we could ask some cyclecross folks these questions but not so sure they use the items that I just discussed for that type of racing.

Ray Homiski
Elizabeth, NJ