Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Take a load off

Whilst I was happily riding my Ramby, a super-fast roadie type on a super-lite tri-atheleete carbon rig stopped to admire my bike. "Man, that's a classic", he leered with a superior sneer on his face. Then he plunged in the knife. "That's a nice ride...if you like trucks." Then like a ghostly spectre, he rapidly faded off into the mist.

Not to be intimidated, I've decided to put the Ramby on a diet. Fat pig, you say? By integrating the latest technology into the tried and true Rivendell design, my newly trim Ramby will be laterally stiff, yet vertically to challenge all carbon comers.

Lets start here:

Yes, it's the 19 gram Speedplay carbon fiber water bottle cage. From the website: They call it the Nanogram Ultra Light cage, and it only weighs in at 19 grams. Even with its light weight, it’s very strong because of its unique design. It’s made from unidirectional carbon fiber, and positions the water bottle stop at the top of the case rather than near the mount where it’s most vulnerable. It’s designed specifically for a road bike, and can absorb the repetitive impacts of rough roads with ease. Hell yeah, gotta have that! Only $65 each!

Next, some Driven Meteor Carbon Fiber Handlebars, including cranial crash pad. These will significantly reduce weight, improve high-impact strength and promote safe riding, whilst retaining the standard Rivendell upright riding posture.

Of course, toss that nasty Nitto seat post and replace with a $250 Deda Elementi Superzero Crabon (sp) Fiber Seatpost. Just because I dig the Italian sounding name, meaning it must be extra-super tissue-paper butterfly wing light.

Ohhhh yeah. Wheels are incredibly important in the quest for ultra-liteness. Propulsion IS possible with Sub9 tubular disc wheels from Zipp Speed Weaponry. The patented toroidal ring profile controlling airflow at the leading and trailing edges will trounce the competition! Who cares if I don't know how to mount a tubular tire? If I flat, I'll just have my LBS on cell phone speed dial.

And of course, I should replace all friction-bearing surfaces with Sheldon's patented hollow Superleggero bearing balls...less than half the weight of old-fashioned solid ball bearings!

I figure with all these improvements, I should be able to reduce unsprung weight by at least 15 lbs, cost be damned. I should also be able to improve thrust by at least 87.4% because of the extra aerodynamic 'push' the disc wheels will provide. My ride will also be laterally compliant, yet vertically stiff.

-Super D.

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