They Don’t Make ‘Em Like They Used To

***This coming Sunday, October 23rd, is the Tour de Bronx! Esteemed Commenter Leroy informs me they need marshals! If you’re a generally helpful sort who’s also qualified to boss people around in an amiable fashion, sign up here!***

Still got it!

This was in reference to my post yesterday about the latest Diverge garvel biek, and he’s damn right, because I wouldn’t touch that stupid thing with a 10-foot proprietary crabon suspension seatpost.

Actually that’s a lie, if Specialized sent me one to ride I totally would–but that would never happen, even though I regularly promote their products:

You’re welcome, Specialized.

(By the way, that saddle probably provides about as much suspension as the floppy seatpost on the new Diverge.)

And it’s not like I’m averse to new tech, either. In fact, my favorite road bike is made of crabon…35 year-old crabon, but still:

I don’t know what it is, every time I’m prepared to throw this thing under the bus and declare my Titanium Fred Sled my favorite road bike, I get back on it and fall for it all over again. Weird, isn’t it? I mean look at the thing, it’s got a profile only a mother or a triathlente could love:

But hey, what can I tell you, the bike feels great, and for some reason it also feels fast–which it actually is, according to my Strava. Rest assured I’m not out there chasing personal bests, but I do seem to be faster on this bike, go figure. I also continue to gain appreciation for the C-Record components (apart from the rear derailleur, that is). For example, consider the coveted-yet-maligned Delta brake, which I’ve come to understand is actually a damn good racing brake that is tragically misunderstood. (Sure, a Shimano brake is better in virtually every way, but I understand what Campagnolo was doing here and I applaud them for it.) Also, before my ride this morning, I decided to address a tiny little play in the hub. I knew from The Internets that I had to pop off this late-’80s aero-themed dust cover:

For which, insanely, Campagnolo produced a dedicated tool:

But what I failed to appreciate until I did so was that, in addition to allowing access to the axle nuts, removing this cone also grants direct access to the bearings themselves, which means you can lube them without even futzing with the axle adjustment:

And that’s on top of those grease ports nobody uses!

I mean yeah, you still can’t get to the bearings on the other side due to the freewheel, but still.

Anyway, the C-Record group recalls an era when serviceability and adjustability were still a prized qualities in a racing transmission.

But perhaps the most entertaining aspects of living with a vintage crabon bike is playing a game called, “Is That Crack Structural?”

The stuff going on around the dropout is almost certainly just the paint, but as for the rest of the bike, who knows?

Hey, it lasted this long. I’m sure it could do 35 more years standing on its head.

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