Sunday, August 22, 2010

Guru Redux

It's been 5 years since I built and started racing my current race bike. It was a rebuilt and personalized circa 2002 Cervelo One. So when Tim offered to let me build up his Guru Crono since he had moved on to a sweet Scott Plasma, I leapt at the chance. I've been racing bikes since 1985. The first was my only complete bike, a steel Lotus. It was fuscia. Since that bike I have ridden only aluminum. Aluminum bikes have a lot of things going for them, but one of those things is NOT comfort. If your position, tire pressure, etc... is not spot on they can be brutal.

The Guru Crono is an all carbon bike, so for that reason alone I was curious to ride the finished product. However, making this project more interesting, I was determined to use only things found in my cellar to rebuild it. This first photo shows what I was starting with.

The main thing missing was a fork. Well if you've been in my cellar (and you probably haven't because that's just not allowed), you'll know it's a bicycle graveyard down there. I had a couple of options for a fork, but selected a fairly vintage Giant Aero fork. I've always liked it. It has a bit of lateral flex to it, but that's not really an issue for me. Next the components were all pulled straight from the Cervelo. The one acquisition for this build was the Vision aero base bar and extensions. I got them for $80 and I like their profile. My current bars are just a little "busy".

The ride: The second I started rolling I noticed one thing instantly; this bike handles much more quickly. Whether it was just the fork or a combination of the fork and frame geometry, this handled more like my road bike. However it was not squirrely. It was very stable on straight lines and I never felt like I was in danger of a digger...well after the first lap I never felt in danger! I'll admit feeling more than a little apprehensive and thus tense for the first 20 or 30 minutes. I did need to stop about 15 seconds after rolling out to adjust the front brakes. The pads were way off. The shakedown ride was on the trainer. You don't use brakes on the trainer...whoops! After that everything stayed put.

While my lap times were not noticeably different than previous rides (don't underestimate the benefit of being familiar with a bike) there were two key areas where I felt a difference. The first was on the false flat I hit 21 minutes into each loop. The bottom bracket area of this bike is stiff. The second I put pressure on the bike moved. I was noticeably faster going through this stretch. The front end of the bike is also lower than the Cervelo and this was evident on Sachuest Beach Rd. There was wind today and I felt like I could "duck" under the wind a bit. Not everything was perfect. I missed on the saddle position and my quads blew up around mile 50. Seated climbing on steeps was difficult (I'm sure the lay off didn't help here). I've already fixed this. Now I just need to stop peeing fire (kidding...that's already stopped)! A few other things needed to be tweaked, but nothing major. Oh yes, the other pleasant surprise was how much better the shifting was than the Cervelo.

Overall a good ride. Things showed promise. A number of the issues from the morning might well be tied to the 2 weeks which have passed since my last road ride. I'm seriously considering racing a sprint tri on September 4th to see how the bike races before I hit Pumpkinman on September 12th.

Today's ride