OK, I’m going to take a moment to talk about bikes and biking. I haven’t said much about my riding lately, but that’s not to imply it hasn’t been on my mind. Rather, I deliberately avoid talking bikes too frequently because it’s not a topic of interest to very many people — at least, not many people find it as interesting as I do.
So this is your cue to wander off of bikes bore you.
A few months ago, I noticed the frame of my race bike (dubbed Alexander the Great) had a thin crack in the seat tube. I couldn’t tell if this was just a crack in the paint — they used really thin paint, and it got innumerable dings and cracks in it after I started riding it consistently in March — or, more worrisome, a flaw in the carbon fiber itself. I pointed it out to a bike shop employee, and he said to keep an eye on it. That’s all I did for quite a while.
Time went by and one day, inspecting my frame in bright sunlight, I checked that spot again. I couldn’t be sure, but I thought the crack looked longer. Now out extended into the black frame lettering, so I couldn’t tell how far it went, but the next time I was in the shop with my bike, I spoke with a different employee about it.
He immediately told me it looked like a crack on the frame, since it went the same direction as the weave. Since I had bought the bike within the last 12 months, he arranged for me to get a free frame replacement, with the visit of all the labor of transferring components to the new frame covered by the shop.
When the time came to make the swap, I figured I’d have them do the annual overhaul while the whole bike was torn apart anyway. Turns out that even though I’d only ridden that bike around 3,000 miles (excluding trainer time; but really, this year’s just looking like a low mileage year), the bottom bracket (a cutting-edge BB 30) required replacement. That explained all the creaking, anyway. The only other changes were new bar tape and new cables. Total, I paid less than $150 for all the work.
Here’s what I got for my money.
Basically a whole new, totally sweet-looking bike.