Free things and insanity

I became the fortunate beneficiary of an amazing act of charity last week.

My cousin’s neighbor is an ex-road racer; a sponsored cyclist who had a whole slew of gear and bikes taking up space in his storage unit.

Under contract to not sell any of the parts he received, he felt as though the right thing to do was to give it all away or donate it to places that would put it to use.

Well, I am not one to look gift horses in the mouth and I’m not one to pass up free bike parts. I rambled over and took a gander at the mystery stash of parts in said stranger’s basement, and my god…

Wheels pre-existing, this is the best free bike I've ever known.

A veritable candy land of wonder and sexy.

carbon tubulars

A full Caad4 with 6500 9speed group, a set of zipp 303’s…

a park stand

and a Park tool stand to keep it all running right?

I died and went to Heaven.

No, wait, I lived and went to Bellevue.

Seriously, this neighborly friend of a family member is the embodiment of charity and integrity for graciously gifting a stranger these beautiful bike parts. Ex-racer, wonderful father, and cool dude- this guy’s an angel. He’s getting rid of this stuff so he can make room for his second kid, and without over sharing, I can say he must have been a great athlete and I’m sure with selfless actions, moral fortitude, and commitment to ethical consideration like this, he’ll be as great or greater a dad than he was an athlete.

What this all means for me is that I have a road bike again, a tubular wheelset, a work stand(thank god! my back, hallelujah!) and plans up the wahzu.

I love this bike, but I’m going to swap out the fork and headset for the also-gifted king headset and Kestrel fork, then equip this fine Christmas goose with Thomson post and stem. Then I’ll turn to the turny bits, get some outboard cranks on her so she runs right.

The Caad4 was the first cannondale to utilize hourglass curved seatstays, and while it is super rigid and fast, it seems nicely compliant with managable road buzz. I’m going to build up some proper wheels for it that don’t have paired spokes and cracked nipples. I think some nice hubs and open pros will do the bike better justice.

Similarly, I’m going to bring my nashbar X frame to townie spec with a front rack and dyno hub/light, and try racing my Kilo on the track when they start offering classes. If I like it, I’ll consider relacing those 303’s to some track hubs and bolt on axles and maybe see if I can’t swap out the Kilo for something a little more track oriented.

No shame in riding a relatively cheap do-it-all cross bike on the street with fenders, 35s, and a rack… especially if the race steed sitting in the stable is as hot as I’m planning. The Seattle Bike Swap is in two weeks, and we’ll see what I can’t wrangle.

I passed on some of the love in the form of charitable use of the work stand, gifting the saddle and pedals to a trusted friend, and am currently finding a good home for some of the parts I had to take but probably won’t use.

Not really too sure where this will all end up, but I’m overjoyed with my fortune and grateful to have a bike I can ride for STP alongside some of the people in town I like the most.

All the plans I talk about here would cost me a pretty penny, but we’ll see how much of it gets done. Thomson post and bars together are about 160, which is a lot for something that I already have analogs to as is. Relacing a zipp isn’t a light undertaking, either… nor are tubular tires, nor are a new open pro wheelset… and if  I do take the Kilo to a class and like racing, I can see myself easily spending between 1000 and 2000 on a track rig that brings my heart to lust and legs to racing.

I’d probably go for some unique aluminum bike similar to a Fuji Track Pro, or go for broke and get a custom track build from Rodriguez or Davidson, maybe in titanium but STIFF as a motherfucker. Overguaged Ti makes me lust HARD for track use. Those both would be expensive options, and only the custom route would be as unique as something like the Livery Design Aluminum/ec90 frameset.

Would you like to see me sell my Kilo to fund a LD:Labs aluminum aero build with easton bars and this 303 wheelset? I’m kind of over riding a track bike on the street anyway… comment below and tell me what sounds right!
The other possibility is that I put all the money I would spend on bike parts and progressing builds into a savings account, sell my old bikes and ride this Red and Purple monster in an Orion jacket with new wheels and a nest egg in the bank.

With my full-time gig, maybe the latter is a more sensible and sane option… what do you think I should do? I love racing cross and I love riding on the track… but maybe riding this bike to Portland is the most atheletic thing I should be aspiring to right now…

Stay tuned, give me your input, and we’ll find out which path I choose.


2 Responses to Free things and insanity

  1. lester folse says:

    hi charlie , I also have a cannondale like the one you have received
    I’m trying to determine the year of my cannondale, have only seen one
    other than the bike i have. can you enlighten me on the year, I bought mine
    from a neighbor but unable to contact him for info.
    any help would be apperciated, thanks lester folse

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