An Explanatory Note from Fatty: This is it. This is the week before Leadville. Those of you who know me or have read this blog for any time at all know that this event consumes my every waking thought during the week before the race. So that’s what I’ll be talking about for the next few days. Thank you for your patience as I obsessively obsess.
Last year I bought a nice Fisher 29″ Paragon as my main ride. I made a few tweaks — lighter wheels, lighter brakes, rigid fork — and called it the Weapon of Choice.
It turns out I should have done less; riding a mountain century with a rigid fork before I was used to it was a bad idea.
That said, I could have done more.
And now I have.
Allow me to introduce The Weapon of Choice, Mark II: This Time It’s Really, Really Personal.
Overall Effect: Stealth
At first glance, the Mark II (as I like to call it) is not a bike you’d particularly notice. Certainly, it doesn’t have the sexy modern sculpture look you can get with a carbon fiber frame. It’s an aluminum hardtail, for crying out loud. How passe.
There are a few details are worth noting, however.
Cranks: Sexy, Silly
I may as well get the most decadent part of the bike over with. Here, take a look at the cranks.
They’re not that much lighter or stiffer or whatever-er than any other crank out on the market. But mercy, they are beautiful. I mean, they’re the most beautiful cranks since those mirrored Syncros cranks from back in the day. Those of you who have been riding for at least seven years know which cranks I’m talking about.
The Fork: A Better Idea than Ever
Like last year, I’m riding this race on a completely rigid bike. However, the Bontrager carbon fork I used last year now lives happily on my singlespeed. Which means I needed a new fork. Behold:
Yep, a White Brothers Rock Solid 29. It weighs exactly nothing at all.
Last year, I was a fool to ride the Leadville 100 on a rigid fork, having no experience at mountain biking on a fully rigid bike. This year, on the other hand, I’ve been riding fully rigid bikes — both my singlespeed and geared bike — the whole year. I’m as comfortable with this fork as I ever am downhilling. Which is not particularly comfortable, but that’s something I’ve finally accepted about myself: I will always suck at downhilling, and that’s just the way it is. Alas.
Super-Fast New Decals
My new Fat Cyclist decals are 30% lighter than last year’s model.
Just kidding, these are the same things I printed out on overhead projector plastic and affixed with packing tape last year.
Where the Rubber Meets the Road. Or Dirt. Or Something.
I fully acknowledge that I am being a goofball about some of these changes. I think, though, that even the churliest among you would agree that a tireset that weighs a half pound less than my previous tireset is a good idea. Dropping a half pound of weight at the very outside of your 29″ wheels makes a noticable difference in how the bike feels. So please give a warm welcome to my new Maxxis Crossmarks:
Oh, and also be sure to notice that I’m riding with my acid-green Twin Six Crest bottles.
Very, Very Important Change
Perhaps most importantly of all, I have replaced the two yards of duct tape I keep wrapped around the seatpost with one yard:
Just consider the weight savings!
And, as you can see, I’m sticking with the SLR saddle I talked about recently.
None of these changes, by themselves, amount to much. Add it all up, though, and I now ride a 29″ geared mountain bike that weighs pretty much exactly 21 pounds.
I believe it shall do quite nicely.
PS: He was in, then he was out, then we thought he was in, but he was actually still out. I am speaking, of course, of Lance and Leadville. This snippet from VeloNews says that Floyd’s still in, though. I’m bringing a Pink Fat Cyclist Jersey for him to wear. I will report on the success of this effort as events warrant.