22 December 2017 ~ 5 Comments

My “Stable” of Road Bikes

In 2006, after two seasons of trail ultrarunning, my “bum” left ankle left me with no choice but to seek an alternative endurance sport. After all, I enjoyed trail running and ski mountaineering so I thought a mountain bike would be the logical first stop. In 2007 I purchased a Fezzari full suspension mountain bike. But shortly thereafter I also purchased a road bike and seemed to gravitate towards it more. Was that due to my lack of coordination on single track trails, or was it because I just wanted a runner’s high by doing long distance cardio? Or was it the simplicity of doing longer distance “Forest Gump” endurance workouts? I suspect it was a combination of all of these. For me, randonneuring seemed to be most like ultrarunning. Randonneuring is a timed long distance road cycling event, but unlike ultrarunning, it not classified as a race. (For additional background information, check out this intro page).

In any event, below is an overview of my road bikes which I have been using since I started actively riding in 2007. As of 2017, all of them are 10-speed with rim brakes (using tubes — no tubeless yet), so I can switch wheelsets around. I also have a 26″ full suspension Fezzari Alta Peak aluminum mountain bike with 2″-wide tires. It collects a lot of dust.

My go-to randonneuring or “distance” bike . It is often used for local training riding too.

This is my go-to long distance “rando” bike. It is a 2013 62cm Trek Domane 6.2 Project One which I acquired in late 2014. It utilizes Trek’s 600-series carbon fiber, which is their lightest and stiffest offering. The fork is a tapered 1-1/2″ to 1-1/8″ (shouldn’t that be called 38.1 to 28.6mm, since everything else on road bikes is metric?) with internal routed cables (my LBS hates that!). Shown are the following components: Syntace C3 clip-on areobars, a clip-on SKS rear fender (only used when needed), an eoGEAR SeatBag 4.8, an eoGEAR Century (top tube) bag and a Brooks Cambium C17 saddle. It also has DT Swiss RR1450 alloy rim-brake wheelset with Continental 25mm 4000 S II tires. I have a 50/33 chainring (Shimano Ultegra crankset with an Italian-made special PMP 33-tooth small ring) and a SRAM PG1070 10-speed 12/36 cassette. An Ultegra RD-6700-A-GS long cage derailleur is used. Since this photo was taken, in 2017 I have migrated to using a Brooks Team Pro leather saddle (Ti frame) and have recycled the very-durable DT Swiss 240S 28-spoke hub with newer DT RR411 rims. These rims, which have an 18mm I.D., can accommodate 28mm-wide tires nicely. But the brake bridge on this 2013 frame is a little tight for 28mm rubber, so I had to modify the dropouts to provide a little more clearance. (The fork, on the other hand, has plenty of clearance…Trek was short-sided by making the front end with plenty of clearance, but not enough on the back end).

Another shot of the Trek Domane with a larger eoGEAR seat bag (9 L model).

 

Trek Domane with fenders.

I have a pair of Bontrager fenders that are designed to go with the Trek Domane. Easy on and easy off. Full coverage. With 25mm tires they will fit under the brake bridge, but with 28s it does not clear and I plan to cut the fender in half, creating a “split fender” arrangement.

Time Trial Frame

This is my 61cm Cervelo P3C time trial bike with mostly DuraAce components. It has a ceramic bottom bracket with FSA carbon fiber crank arms. It is used for solo (i.e. no drafting) events with less climbing (the gearing is much higher than my Trek Domane) and some 24-hour time-trial races. In November of 2014 I did my first 24-hour time trial race. I was using my Rocky Mountain Prestige with clip-on aerobars. But I unexpectedly found out that many of the others at that race had full-on time trial bikes, so afterwards, I decided to hunt one down. The next month I found a local deal on this 2008 frame and picked it up for a “song.” Components: I replaced the nice carbon fiber Profile Design Cobra Wing areobars with Syntace C3 alloy aerobars because the Cobra’s only mount below the bull-horn bars, placing them too low for my 6’4″ frame. I never did put handlebar tape on the carbon fiber bull horns and have found I kinda like the super smooth surface, even on long rides without pain in the palms of my hands (yes, I mostly the aerobars, but on long gradual climbs I set upright). I have added a Wolf Tooth 4-slot B-RAD Mounting Base to hold two water bottles cages on the down tube, a couple of eoGEAR bags (of course). Shown is a Chromag Trailmjaster LTD padded leather saddle (I was testing it but didn’t like it, I prefer the Brooks Team Pro like with my Trek, but there is a set-back problem due to Brooks “old school” short rails…I am looking at modifying the seatpost). I have Issi SPD pedals (they offer models with longer spindles which accommodate my wonky left ankle which wants to rub the outside of  many crankarms), 53/39 chainring, 12/30 10-speed Ultegra cassette and a DT Swiss RC38C carbon fiber wheelset (20/24 bladed spokes, rim brakes, 38mm deep) with 25mm Continental 4000 S II tires. I sometimes move this wheelset over to my Trek Domane if I’m doing a route with less climbing and where I want a slightly more aero rig than the 28-spoke alloy DT Swiss RR 411 wheelset. It has horizontal drop-outs so I have to really crank down on the rear wheel quick-release skewer, otherwise the tire will rub on the drive-side chain stay…but because of the horizontal drop-out, I CAN use a moderately “fat” (25mm) tire.
Check out this page on how I “rando-ized” this frame (modified it) for longer rides.

 

Gavel Grinder

My gravel grinder is a 61cm Cannondale CAAD 8 aluminum cyclocross bike with stock Maddox OEM 700c rim-brake wheelset. I typically put 40mm rubber on the back (Clement X-PLOR MSO) and 35mm in the front (whatever knobby I have on hand). I have a 46/33 chainring with a “cheapy” Sunrace 10-speed CS-MX 11-41 cassette in the rear, mated to an MTB Shimano 9-speed XT derailleur (yup, it works with my 10-speed Ultegra shifters) mounted to a Wolf Tooth RoadLink which extends the derailleur out further. The saddle shown is Prologo Scratch Pro (142mm wide) mounted to a Specialized CG-R seatpost (to soften the harness of the alloy frame). I think I might change it out soon to my a Gilles Berthoud Aarivs leather saddle for more comfort.
Sometimes I use this as a hard tail mountain bike and on long mountain descents, having disc brakes would make for less hand fatigue. And, disc brakes should allow a fatter tire. 40–42mm is about the max width for this frame.

Climbing Frame

This is my lighter-weight “climbing bike” as it doesn’t have aerobars mounted on it. It is a 61cm Rocky Mountain Prestige carbon fiber road bike. It has a taller-than-average head tube, which was the prevailing reason for purchasing it (30% off also helped convince me). It has rim brakes and shown is my old DT Swiss 1450 wheelset with 700c x 25mm Continental 4000 S II tubed tires. Sometimes I put a pair of Mavic Kysrium Eletes on it too. The eoGEAR bag shown is the SeatBag 2.3-IA. The saddle I have on this frame is a Brooks Cambium C13 158 (158mm wide with carbon fiber rails). It is super light & super comfortable for non aerobar use. For me, the narrow nose of this saddle doesn’t provide enough support for a bike with aerobars. I purchased this 2009 edition bike new in April of 2010.

 

Seven Axiom Ti frame

Retired Ti Frame

Seven Axiom Ti frame. Although it is double butted, it is still kinda harsh compared to my carbon fiber models. I used this for two seasons before moth-balling it, replacing it with the Trek Domane. This blog post explains why.

 

Skinny Tires — Fat Tires! (Trek Domane)

 

5 Responses to “My “Stable” of Road Bikes”

  1. Jason Turner 22 December 2017 at 8:55 pm Permalink

    Richard, nice bikes. Nothing with disc brakes I noticed. I think my favorite is the titanium bike :)

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Rando Richard 22 December 2017 at 9:43 pm Permalink

    Jason, believe me, recently, as I have been trying to upgrade to fatter road tires (28mm), the usefulness of disc brakes has caught my attention. I have only owned and used one Ti frame and found it a bit harsh…but I LOVE the aesthetics and eye candy of a natural scratch-free finish. I wonder if with fatter tires, the harshness will be diminished.

  3. Bob 23 December 2017 at 6:36 am Permalink

    Nice summary of your herd. Do all of your cassettes have an aluminum spider carrier, or do your hubs have a steel freehub body so the cogs won’t dig into the splines? LBS hating internal cable routing … so do I and that is one thing keeping me from buying a new road bike. Maybe I can find a NOS frame from 2011.

  4. Rando Richard 23 December 2017 at 9:01 am Permalink

    Bob, I’m pretty sure the carriers are aluminum…whatever is found on Shimano Ultegra components. It is funny that you mention that as I just had my rear DT Swiss wheel rebuilt. In doing so, my LBS also replaced the aluminum freehub as it was digging into the splines and getting stuck making it nearly impossible to remove. I replaced it with another aluminum one as I am a weight wennie.

  5. James Thurber 23 December 2017 at 8:54 pm Permalink

    Thanks for an excellent article. I’ve been “playing about” with Lynskey titanium frames and although they are pretty light (and fast) they aren’t as comfortable as my steel or bamboo frame. Several years ago I lost my mind and ended up with a gorgeous piece of furniture that can also be ridden, a Calfee bamboo road bike.

    Without question it is the MOST comfortable frame I have ever used. Wheels are Pacenti A-23 alloy laced to White Industries hubs and shod with Schwabe One ‘tubed’ 700 x 28 tires. At the moment I’ve using a 1 x 11 drive train with a SRAM 10 x 42 being driven by a Wolf Tooth elliptical 42 tooth chainring.

    I figure if I ever replace the Calfee (which is NOT lightweight – the frame is 6 pounds) the TREK Domane will / would be my first choice. Not only are / were you impressed by it but nearly ALL reviews give it top marks in all categories. Thanks again for a great article.


Leave a Reply