I really like my ‘cross bike.
I bought it as an experiment, although one I was pretty committed to trying… I sold my road bike to help pay for the cyclocross bike. Which is sort of rule in our house: “Want a new bike? Sell an old bike.” I’ve been really happy with that decision. The Gary Fisher Presidio has performed both road and ‘cross duties admirably. And last fall I raced cyclocross for the first time. It was eye-openingly fun. Stupid, mind-bending, idiotic fun. I have been putting off the ‘cross to road transition—a simple tire swap—for as long as possible this spring because the myriad and local dirt roads, and trails (and weather) are more amenable to knobbies than slicks. And anyway, turning a road ride into a dirt ride is just cool.
Just as I was starting to think about a new pair of road tires, along came the Crusher in the Tushars.
And along with it, a host of new things to stew and brew about. Which bike? Which tires? How do I get ready for 12,000 feet of climbing in 80 miles? Will I need a more gears? And so, the Presidio is occupying a front and center place in my riding and training this spring. And of course, that means I’m pondering ways (and if my navel gazing can make Bob’s day, then so much the better) to improve the bike—both for the Crusher, but also for ‘cross season.
Because, a fast bike means a fast rider. Right?
Listed below is the spec list of my Presidio. It’s almost entirely stock, except for the wheels (and tires) and the cassette. I use the stock Bontrager wheels as a back-up set to a pair of Easton EA70’s. And I swap my MTB seat/seatpost for races. If you were upgrading the bike below, what parts would you upgrade? I’ve got a small budget, so suggesting $3,000 carbon handlebars (or buying a new bike) isn’t exactly helpful. I’m looking for performance over weight loss, although dropping a pound or so from the bike wouldn’t hurt.
In the meantime, I’m working vigorously on dropping a pound or 10 from my body.
On to the list:
Frame: Platinum series steel
Fork: Bontrager Satellite Cross, carbon legs, aluminum steerer
Wheels: Easton EA70 (clincher)
Shifters: SRAM Rival Carbon 10spd
Front Derailluer: SRAM Rival
Rear Derailluer: SRAM Rival
Cassette: SRAM PG 1070 10spd 12-26
Crank: SRAM S-300 46×38
Handlebar: Bontrager SSR VR
Bar Tape: Bontrager Gel Cork
Stem: Bontrager Race X Lite OS
Headset: Cane Creek S3 Aheadset
Brakes: Avid Shorty 6.
Seatpost: Thomson Elite
Saddle: Selle Italia SLR
I do have plans to swap out the bar tape. It’s too thick for my preference, and—as I learned the hard way—is very slick when wet. I want to try the Lizard Skins tape. Anyone have experience with that? I’d also like to get a lighter, and perhaps slightly wider handlebar. I have even tinkered with the idea of putting a Midge bar on the bike. Is that stupid? Would an off-road drop bar work for ‘cross racing?
As I said above, I am really happy with the my bike. But, as I think we are all wont to do, I’d like to find ways to improve its performance and efficiency. Plus, these kinds of discussions are usually interesting and enjoyable.