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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Taiwan Bike Plan B: A New Direction?

After a bit of confusion over the warrantee on my old bike, it appears all systems are go for a replacement frame. Once everything is finalized, I will surely blog on the bikes, the process and some of the help I have received.

As far as my NEW BIKE is concerned, the frame and fork were shipped via Fed-Ex on February 18, and it should arrive at any time. I officially submitted my order on January 24th and a new, fully custom frame was shipped by February 18th. Not bad!

Shimano Ultegra 6700

I am now confronted with some tough decisions as far as my components are concerned. I was offered a great deal on Shimano Ultegra 6700, but to paraphrase Zira from Planet of the Apes... "but it's so damned ugly!" The whole futurama look of the crank and clunky grips just doesn't feel right.

Campagnolo Athena

Campagnolo Chorus

Campagnolo Centaur

There is Campagnolo, which provides a whole new set of problems as the top tier groups are all 11 Speed. No, they couldn't just make 10 better... they had to turn it up to 11. These groups are all covered in carbon fiber. Black. Elegant, but black. The Athena group was downgraded to a 10spd last year and back to 11 this year, and comes in silver alloy, which looks ok, but seems less refined and 100g heavier than the Ultegra. They have Centaur, but Centaur is limited in cassette choice. Not a lot for mixing climbing with flats. It looks nice though. It is Campy's 105.


SRAM Force

I could always think about SRAM. Red is supposed to be really great, but is the wrong look. Force and Rival look ok, but has a lot of painted black.

None of the groups that would make a great Ultegra replacement seem to work with the build I am going for.

Shimano is reliable, Camagnolo has the crisp mechanical shifting and you know which cog you are on by touch. SRAM is inexpensive with Double Tap.


Comfort is the first priority and thus I need to be sure whichever system I use works with my hands. Function is next. Last, but not least would be looks. You can always say it is about the function of the parts, but something has to be said about feeling good about the way your bike looks.

What I do love is the fact that each gruppo reflects the aesthetics and values of the companies and their home countries.

Tour de Taiwan Schedule (English)

David Reed has done an excellent job translating the schedule for the upcoming Tour of Taiwan, which kicks off this March, and I am grateful for David allowing me to post the info.

It is always fun to welcome the pros in this UCI sanctioned race, and by the looks of things it is similar to other TdT events in the past. I would love to be in charge of the route mapping, but I understand there are seasonal and political considerations that take precedent over amazingly awesome routes.

So if you have a chance to catch some of the action going through you area, be sure to don the El Diablo suit and put on the antlers.

The Chinese language page is here.

Here is the Translation (Sorry, I can't make it fit on the page).