*to Hanlon's razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Damn, Raleigh: the Grand Prix is my new n+1/s-1*

They give us the Grand Prix.
Where were you when I bought my steel road bike?
- That's a Ritchey Breakaway frame!**  Only $350 over the otherwise similar Record Ace, but a Ritchey steel frame is otherwise a $1750 upgrade.  This bike has everything for $2100.
- Campy Veloce grouppo corresponds to Shimano 105: anything more spendy is wanking.
- The geometry (note the slight, but not touring frame, space between the seat-tube and wheel; also the curved fork with lesser trail) is about right for randonneuring and light touring.  More importantly, it is a steel bike that can take you short of anything but racing, when you wouldn't want steel anyway, but not so heavy as to encourage you to bulk your kit.
- Long reach brakes and room for 28mm tires with fenders (more on the larger sizes I'd put money on).

Not sure what I think about the wheels, which is something I am under-informed on, but 32 spokes might have been a better way to go.

The compact-double is the common mistake of over-gearing bikes with gear-inches Eddie Merckx didn't need to win. There are three ways around that which may work, one expensive and two cheap:
- the expensive is replace the crankset with a Sugino OX801D, so long as the rest of the drivetrain works with it
- the cheaper way is an IRD Triplizer with a 24t inner cog, perhaps small enough not to need any change to the bottom bracket
- even cheaper is use one of the new Shimano middle road rings which work the same way (bonus points for making Campy fanatics grumble).
Any of these will work with levers, ideally these.

I just hope they have this in a year or two when I start to think of PBP...

While the minimum number of bikes one should own is three, the correct number is n+1, where n is the number of bikes currently owned. This equation may also be re-written as s-1, where s is the number of bikes owned that would result in separation from your partner.
I only wish they'd used wide-profile cantis, but that's not a popular choice.

**I know of no other major player using one.

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