We haven't formally met, but you did put your hands all over me last night. I am Era, your wife's new bike. I just wanted to take a moment to tell you how happy I am to be a part of your family. I just know you will provide me with a nice home, and I in turn will provide your wife with a great riding experience every time she hops onto my saddle.
Well…. I will do my best to provide her with such, but I am really going to depend on you to help me with that part. You see, I can't fix myself when she breaks me. I also can't adjust myself, and sometimes your wife won't know what kind of adjustments she needs. She's still fairly new to riding, but I can tell by the way you helped build me last night, that you are an adept bike mechanic. You've learned a lot in the years you've been riding. Together, I know we will make your wife very happy.
So, here's my George-do list:
-Adjust the brakes to stop the rubbing
-Observe the tires to ensure the seal is holding
-Adjust placement of shifters and brake levers to wife's liking
-Be available for any other small changes
-Keep in touch with the experts in case of any problems
-Be patient with your wife (she is nervous about racing on me, so soon after setup)
-Be sure to take lots of pictures of your wife for her blog
When I decided to buy the Specialized Era last week, I had a whole plan for how everything would go. I set up my financing and asked Action Wheels to order me a set of Mavic Crossmaxes so I could finally go tubeless. I ordered a set of Hope Tech X2 disc brakes fromSpeedgoat (bombproof, reliable brakes). When the shop got my wheels, I would come in for a fitting. The fitting was going to help me determine what size stem I needed. I also left the option open to change the bars, in case I wanted a different rise. I’d order the parts and then go home without the bike. Meanwhile the Hope brakes would arrive on my doorstep. I would take delivery of the bike once all ordered parts had arrived and been installed. I would ride the bike completed.
I had anticipated this taking a couple weeks, so I was not planning to ride the bike at GCC this Sunday. I know that it takes time to set up a bike. Then it takes more time to get it dialed in just right. The time to do this is before a race, so that on race day you have a bike that’s functioning the way you want. Stress free. Happy Bikinator.
Well, this is not how it happened.
My wheels arrived, so I went to see Patty at Action Wheels for a fitting last night. I thought it was just an initial fitting where I’d sit on the bike and see that the stem was way too long. I’d order one and come back for the real fitting. Hence, I wore my street clothes. I got some ribbing for that. “What kind of a Bikinator does a bike fitting in street clothes?” they said.
It turned out the stem was the right length and angle. No change needed there. The bars had the correct rise. All that we had to do was set up the wheels and install the brakes. Adam, the mechanic said, “So am I setting up the wheels for you to take the bike home tonight?”
Who was I to say no?
“Why don’t I just install the brakes while I’m at it?” Adam offered.
“Well, OK,” I said. It still hadn’t sunk in that I was taking home the bike tonight. My head was whirling with details. I had so much to do now! If I was taking the bike home 4 days before a race, well… I might as well race on it, right?
In the Action Wheels shop, Adam, Scott, and Patrick all helped set my bike up. They were up against the clock and closing time was fast approaching. George even jumped in and helped. They got my grips moved over from the Safire, put on the pedals, and connected my Garmin mount. They filled the tires with Caffé Latex and mounted the wheels. The Hope brakes were installed and adjustments were made. Suddenly, I had my new bike. I was ecstatic!
I was planning to go to GCC tonight, but I’m not sure about riding in all the mud. Last night, we had a long drenching rainstorm. I may ride elsewhere tonight. Not sure. I just need to get those brakes worn in as soon as possible.
Rotate those levers down. When holding the grips, notice the position your fingers naturally fall. Move them in towards the stem so that you are grabbing just what you need of the brake levers. The farther out you pull, the better the leverage. Great tips I got from a pro.
Hmmm....I'm gonna have to get my hands on some of that Caffe Latex stuff. Looks like it's a hella lot better than Stan's.
So happy you got your new bike. The Queen of Pain rides and Era, you'll be fast as shit in no time now :-) Plus you get that whole new bike confidence that automatically makes you like 1 mph faster
The Bikinator says...
Thanks! I think I have the levers where I'm used to it, but I'll definitely check to be sure I'm using the most amount of leverage. I have to ride it on the trail now to be sure.
And Sandie, I hope you're right!