And The Winner Is.... Well, it didn't take long yesterday to make a decision on which frame to base my gravel grinder on for now.
Black Mountain Cycles "Monster-Cross" will be the sled of choice. I got a lot of comments on this particular frame and fork, and since not everyone reads the comments, I thought I would toss out some kernels from that discussion here.
The thought that it was "cool to get the niche brand" was certainly an appealing factor here, but not just the only one. Mike Varley is a smart designer, and he has learned a thing or three about bikes over his tenure in the cycling industry. Mike was the guy behind the original Haro Mary 29"ers, and he also did the design on Masi's cross bikes, as well as a lot of other rigs, so there is that pedigree behind the BMC stuff. It isn't like some ol' shop owner just had some "catalog" frame branded with his logo, or something. I have some high expectations for this bike, but that said, it will be cool that only 50 of these are going to be out there. (For now, anyway)
Other considerations were the taller head tube, the slightly longer chain stays, and the bigger tire clearances. My parts should swap over very well, for the most part, and they will get used. I really have had a hard time looking at the bike the parts are on just hanging there on the hook all these years, being neglected. Not good.
I'll have more to say about the frame and fork later on, but for now I want it to be understood that the custom ultimate gravel bike is still on the radar. This won't replace that idea, but will be in addition to that. Eventually, I have a plan for a single speed version of this BMC frame, so stay tuned for that.
That Circus Of A Race In July is in the news again. For only the second time ever, and the second time in five years, a rider is being stripped of his Tour de France title. I won't bother to link to anything here, it's all over the cycling press today. Of course, we all knew this was coming ever since the tainted beef story came out months ago. Now that the gloves are off, and the suspension has been announced, the real question is that of Contador's character.
He has repeatedly said that he would quit cycling and walk away if the allegations against him turned out to result in a suspension. However; he signed a lucrative contract with a new team in the meantime, and it would be hard to believe that he could walk away from that if some sort of plan could be concocted to keep him on the payroll through the reported one year ban. Many athletes claim the high road only to waffle later on. I'm thinking Contador will return.
If he does, it will only add to the "clown-like" nature of this cycling-circus called The Tour de France. Hey! I've got an idea! Let's just call it what it is: The Tour de Fraud.
And In Other UCI News: The ongoing story on the possibility of the UCI requiring a frame certification for road and time trial bikes, (which I wrote about here), and was postponed by the UCI until further review could be done, is being more clearly discussed. In a newspeice by "Bike Europe" it is being reported that the UCI was taken aback by the realization that a lot of frames would be submitted for testing. To quote the article:
"Apparently the UCI miscalculated the number of frames that would be brought forward by the industry. In particular as the International Cycling Union plans to test all frame sizes and all frame variations."
And with a 12,000 Swiss Franc fee for each carbon fiber frame, that's a lot of coin, time, and trouble- potentially. Think that might raise the costs of bicycles just a little bit? I think so. So do 45 other cycling companies, which are listed at the end of the "Bike Europe" article linked above.