Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Colline di Sequals

Decided to try a shorter stem I had laying around.  It's a 90mm Thomson stem, made in Macon, Georgia.  I needed to try it out so I rode out through Fanna to Meduno.  Then I turned south, went up and over  Colline di Sequals.  These hills are remnants of glacial moraines left behind after the last ice age.  They are like little island forests surrounded by a sea of plains.

Then from Sequals on to Arba and home.  The shorter stem felt better, but I think it's a little too short.  I'll try the 100mm off the Merckx next time and see how it fits.

Colline di Sequals from Monte Valinis (last year)

90mm CNC machined billet aluminum Thomson stem

Here's the 100mm Thomson stem installed- awaiting test ride

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Val de Croda

Our weather has stayed nice the last few days.  Sunday I took a flat ride down to Arba and Tesis to continue familiarizing with the new bike.  Today instead I decided to test its climbing ability.  Headed down Via Pedemontane to the Centro Riferimento Oncologico hospital, and took a left over to Castello d'Aviano.  From here down past the railway crossing and over to Roveredo-Budoia road.  Then you cross the passagio a livello  again (95m) and the climb begins.  Over the next 8 km you gain about 400 meters, including 1.5 km of 10% gradient.  This was actually a challenge given the bike's low gear of 34 X 23. I stood in the pedals part of the way, and did seated grinding the rest.

The descent was fun- the upper part of the road is a little rough.  I nailed a big root protruding through the pavement a few inches and thought I would pinch flat for sure, but the tube held up.  There are some sharp fast curves- the Viner feels much different than the Merckx swooping through a curve.  I just need more time to get used to it.  On the long straight part of the descent the bike hit 70 kph.  It absorbed all the bumps like they weren't there- very comfortable.  It feels like it has built-in suspension.

On the ride home I met a guy with a white steel Pinarello and for a moment I thought it was a Dynalite.  But a closer look revealed it had lugs.  Beautiful frame though.

Maxi resting after her first climb 

Pass in the ridge stretching from Piancavallo to Piancansiglio

Croda or cliffs above Torrente Artugna
An online photo from a MTB trail from Piancansiglio to Piancavallo
 looking down at Torrente Artugna
( )

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Tre prove

Beautiful Spring day in February, with temps around 60℉. Time for some testing I've been putting off.

Prima prova: I took the Viner Maxima for its first spin. I was going to ride to Malnisio and up the little grade to Grizzo, then return home but I was having too much fun. So I continued across the Valcellina at Ravedis, past Maniago Libero to the big roundabout before Vajont, and over the new bridge toward home.

The Viner feels great- light, stiff and comfortable over the bumps. The steering feels a tad quicker than the Merckx. The top tube is a bit shorter and the handlebars are lower (because I have some spacers under the Merckx stem). I won't be able to really assess it until I do some serious climbing/descending. Maybe a few weeks.

Seconda prova: Hadn't ridden the Merckx since I installed the Wheels Mfg temporary derailleur hanger. So I cruised down to the library to pick up a book. Long story short- you can't even tell it's there. It's indistinguishable from the stock hanger, so I may just stick with it.  For $20 I may even get a spare.

Terza prova: I hadn't ridden at all since getting the flu a couple weeks ago. I was worried I might have a coughing attack, but no, felt fine. No more excuses for not riding!
Wheels Mfg temporary derailleur hanger

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Viner Maxima RS

Bought this used bike- luckily the guy it was built for is about my size.  I did have to swap the 120mm stem with an old 110mm (and flipped).  Hopefully I'll limber up later in the season and be able to flip it back.  The seat mast feels about right- I've got a saw guide on order in case it needs 5 or 10 mm cut off.  He kept it incredibly clean so I'll try to avoid rain and mud and dirt or gravel roads.  Hopefully the Merckx with its temporary derailleur hanger will work for those rides until I can find a machine shop that will make a new one.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Made in Italy

The Bartolini truck dropped off a box this morning.  I'm a bit under the weather right now (think I've got the flu- I've had a fever for 5 days), but I'll post more details later.