Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Saturday, August 15, 2009
About a year and a half back, I ran into a small frame builder, here in the United States, called Parlee Cycles, that will build you a carbon fiber bike to your ideal specification. In this day of stock, use it until it breaks - because it will, and then toss it in a landfill, a customized and repairable bike perked my eyes and ears.
Parlee builds four models of bikes. Three of their frames can be built to your specs and one, the Z4 and the bike pictured here, is their stock model. While geometry changes are not an option on the Z4, paint may be changed. I'm built like "Joe Average", so I figured I would start with a stock model.
As for the Z4, I've put about 200 miles on this bike. The short answer is - I like the bike. In fact, I like it a lot!
In the last year I've ridden several bikes. Four bikes stand out in my mind and three are very stiff. Two were both stiff and smooth, a combination that is getting easier to achieve in today's world of carbon fiber. Out of those two, one is built with durability in mind, and one is currently in my repair stand with a broken seat tube.
Every watt of effort put out by the rider is translated into forward motion on a Z4. It's fast, really fast. The Z4 carves a corner with little effort, but corrects easily if you need to dodge something in the road. It soaks up road shock, but not so much that the tires feel flat.
Parlee uses lugs to construct their frames, resulting in a stronger, straighter, and more repairable frame than what has become the norm of expensive throw away frames. For example, If I crash and punch a whole in the down tube, Parlee can replace the tube and get me back on the road. The last frame I did that to was done only after 8 months of riding and it retailed for 3900.00. Monoblock frames can become very expensive to own.
I chose to use Campagnolo Record 11 speed. The shifting is crisp, the hoods are a joy to ride - offering multiple hand positions, and the group as a whole is pretty light.
As for wheels, I chose, for the second time, to ride Fulcrum Racing 5's. To me, these wheels just make good sense. They cost very little, they're stout, and offer a supremely balanced ride. The tires are the new Schwalbe Ultremo DD. They grip well, much like a Pro Race 3, but resits flats better.
Over the last 15 or so years I've used only two models of saddle. First was the Selle Italia Flight and now the Fi'zi:k Aliante. Saddles are a tough one. I find something and stick with it, and the Alainte has worked well for me. It's more suited to the person of lesser flexibility. I'm certainly guilty.
I can't wait to get back to a reasonable level of fitness and be able to do my new Z4 justice. I would love to have you stop in, call, or email me anytime to talk about Parlee. And if it fits you, arrange an extended test ride. It will be worth your time.
7591 N. Ingram Ave #106
Fresno, CA 93711
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Ted Striker: Surly you can't be serious… I am serious and don't call me Shirley.
I have fought this fixed gear single-speed bike battle way too long and though I always appreciate seeing anyone ride a bike I never wanted to be the nerd struggling on a beat up PKN-10 with Mafac parts. The idea of trying to find 27” tires or rebuilding French, Italian or Swiss threaded parts and investing in a rear wheel worth more than the bike never appealed to me. So I finally broke down and purchased from Momentum Cycling a black Surly Steamroller made from 4130 (Chromoly) Alloy Steel the best stuff on earth. I wanted a steel bike to commute to work, ride to the Grizzlies games and just cruise around town with out worrying about my Campy equipped bikes being picked clean. The Steamroller fit my needs. It has the classic non-sloping frame which soaks up the road rumbles beautifully. There is a ride quality that a steel frame will give you; it is not a jarring ride like aluminum and it soaks up the hard hits better than titanium. The only nonferrous frameset that I have ridden similar to a steel bike is the Time VXR Proteam. Read Ron’s Time review
I started with a 59cm Steamroller frameset with flip-flop hubs laced to red Velocity rims. I do enjoy riding so I am using a freewheel not some hamstring tearing direct drive gear. Seriously when did not stopping become fun? To give the bike a Kent spin I put on gold Modolo non-aero brake levers, a silver carbon seatpost, Nuovo Record pedals with alloy toe clips and a Torelli Brooks knock-off saddle. It looks and weighs like a late 70’s early 80’s race bike but with a single gear. The fit and finish of the frameset is fine and the paint has a deep almost rich color to it. The bike is fun to ride and comfortably cruises over Fresno pock mark streets and screwed up Rail Road crossings with ease. The Steamroller is very stable and you can look over your shoulder for traffic without the bike darting in some unforeseen direction. The steering does not need too much input to change direction.
The downside is that the frame only has waterbottle cage bolts on the seat tube but not the down tube. Of course I do not need two waterbottles for my simple rides but I prefer the down tube location. Someday I will figure out the obvious reason as to why the cages are where they are.
If one wanted a comfortable riding very stable simple bike I would recommend the Surly Steamroller and yes Ted I am serious about this single speed bike thing and don't call me Shirley.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
Monday, March 9, 2009
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Lisa is getting a Lactate Threshold Test done.
She was a super trooper. All her training really paid off.
She will be heading out to do the Furnace Creek 508 in October.
Also, once that data has been collected, we can help maximize your time and effort by training you to realize your fullest potential. If you have questions please visit: http://www.pinnacletrainingsystems.com or come by Momentum and talk with Matt. We look forward to working with you.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
The French have always demanded a high level of quality when it comes to food. Ingredients need to be perfect. When cheap ingredients are used it results in a lesser end product. Us Americans have come to expect less from our cuisine than perfection. The evidence is in the mass amount of fast food that’s popped up everywhere. We don’t expect quality. The French, on the other hand, demand it, and it’s the reason why Le Cordon Bleu trains the best chefs in the world.
Time Bicycles is another example of perfection। Just as the French chef demands perfection from his ingredients, Time frame builders demand that same level of perfection from theirs. This is why Time invests a lot of money into manufacturing their own carbon fiber. Some of the most sought after bikes builders in the world buy their carbon fiber in bulk from the lowest bidder, and therefore quality control is not always consistent. That's not Time's story. They oversee their own quality control.
The Vibraser has some interesting qualities. One, it has in integrated seat mast but with a twist. If you decide you would rather have a Vibraser with a standard seat post, you simply cut the mast, and use the seat clamp with any 27.2 post of your choice. This works with any of Time's Translink frames.
Friday, January 16, 2009
This client opted to go with the Power Tap Pro+ wireless system. Its easy to use and a strong measurement of progress. Nothing will keep you honest like power, because a watt is a watt, no matter how you are feeling.
Mavic CXP 33 rims have become the industry standard for quality and reliability. I've used them for years and so have many of the riders in and around our area. I keep having to call Mavic back to re-up on our supply. They don't hang around very long.