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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
<HR style="COLOR: #ebebeb" SIZE=1> <!-- / icon and title --><!-- message -->I was asked earlier today by a friend and forum member to give an update on my new Carl Strong creation. I am uncertain on this bike, I like it. In fact I love it so far. It is close to the finest bike I have ever ridden. BUT, it is causing me serious crisis of identity.

I no longer automatically see myself as a slightly aging but still viable Racer-boy overlooked for the TdF in spite of my good qualities, I am quite happy to jump on this bike in sandals and shorts and go putter for a while - what has happened to me?

I am identity confused - and questioning.

I have to say that between Mr. Strong and Spectrum Powderworks they delivered me an absolutely stunning bike.

Having said that I am thinking I need to buy a Canadian Flag and send it to the good folks at Spectrum, who in response to my request for a stylized Canadian flag, stylized it enough that it appears to be the flag of Austria, with a Maple Leaf overlaid.

Carl alerted me to the problem as soon as the bike showed up and asked me if I wanted to send it back for repair.

I thought about it, but honestly, it isn't that big a deal and the finish on this is spectacular, so I do not feel like running the risk. I kept it as is and can boast that I may have one of the most unique Canadian flags ever.

When I got the frame and fork here, I was reluctant to build it up, I actually thought about just hanging it on the wall,it really is that beautiful. Since building it I have been stopped on the side of the road by people in cars wanting to ask about the bike. I have been questioned at traffic lights and the reaction in my favourite LBS was almost embarrassing.

I built the bike for a purpose, long distance comfort, fast comfort, but comfort.

Currently the bike has less saddle to bar drop than any other bike I own. It sports a B17 saddle and heavy wheels built with Ultegra Hubs, Mavic MA3 rims and straight guage spokes. Vredestein Campo Cross 28 tires are mounted. These have long been my favourite tires and are no longer made. Sadly. But I laid in a stock of them before they all vanished, I am running through that stock pretty quickly though.

The bike was designed for down tube shifters and I have used Shimano 10 speed shifters, which work an absolute treat, my love for down tube shifters is re-kindled.

With the heavy saddle and wheels the bike is not light, but still comes in around 20 to 21 pounds.

The aim of comfort was met, with the big tires the bike basically just rolls over everything in its way and you rarely notice.

The bike is not "stiff" in today's style, it is comfortable but there is no discernable BB flex. I have installed a Nitto "Noodle" bar and a Campag compact crankset with 50/36 rings.

The bike was first ridden on May 24 and has since climbed about 16,000 feet ( according to the GPS), I find it climbs very well, and I spend a lot of time sitting in the saddle while climbing, which is unusual for me. Good power transmission and acceleration even uphill. Columbus Life, short taper chainstays, which I love the look of.

All told, I love the bike, solid and stable. Inspires confidence on fast downhills, climbs like a mountain goat and makes me smile and giggle when I ride it. I feel like a kid again with this bike.

The only thing that I may have done wrong is in the saddle setback, I don't think I told Carl that I was planning to put a B17 on it, and of course it has short rails - not really sure yet if that affected anything in the fit of the bike or not, it was just one of those - Whoops! moments when putting it together.

I love the bike and go out to the garage just to look at it. Carl did a good thing here, although it has sated my desire to buy any new bikes for some time.

That is probably a good thing as I understand Carl's wait list is now at 1 year.

For those of you out there waiting - and getting impatient, as was I , hang in there, the wait IS worth it.

Thanks for putting up with this long epistle.
 

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Big is relative
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11,901 Posts
I used to be fast. I was a medalist in the road race and time trial in SC in my early thirties. I was the wheel you wanted in a road race.

I bought some 25mm tires for my Big Leg Emma the other day because they will be more comfortable.
 

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Just Riding Along
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1,024 Posts
We all grow old and while some capabilities fade, others are enhanced. Those of us who accept it buy an appropriate bike like the one YOU MUST POST A PHOTO OF since it is so beautiful as to qualify as wall art. Sometimes we get nostalgic for the days of our youth. Seems normal to me. Those of us who believe they can be Peter Pan are only cheating themselves.

Nicely written, btw.
 

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Fat'r + Slow'r than TMB
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10,086 Posts
Had you posted pictures of the final build, did I miss them. I was looking forward to seeing her all built up. As a Chinese philosopher once said " It's not about the bike."
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
bigbill said:
I used to be fast. I was a medalist in the road race and time trial in SC in my early thirties. I was the wheel you wanted in a road race.

I bought some 25mm tires for my Big Leg Emma the other day because they will be more comfortable.
I am older than you.

I have a super dee-duper lightweight bike that was built for me by a long time friend.

I put 25 mm tires on it some time ago, they are far more comfortable.

I am pathetic.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
KeeponTrekkin said:
We all grow old and while some capabilities fade, others are enhanced. Those of us who accept it buy an appropriate bike like the one YOU MUST POST A PHOTO OF since it is so beautiful as to qualify as wall art. Sometimes we get nostalgic for the days of our youth. Seems normal to me. Those of us who believe they can be Peter Pan are only cheating themselves.

Nicely written, btw.
I never really did post photos of the bike,

So .........................

( Note the really light weight saddle, super dee-duper lightweight wheels and super fragile light racing tires :rolleyes: )
 

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Fat'r + Slow'r than TMB
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10,086 Posts
Yeah, I agree that is a horrible identity crisis to be stuck with, WHATEVER!!!!! Dude even with that "super light" set up you can still prolly be kicka** fast on it if you wanted to be. Just saying. Beautiful bike.
 

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Adorable Furry Hombre
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32,346 Posts
Ride your bike. It IS a nice one. That easy. :)
 

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Old Skool
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804 Posts
Paul Brakes?

toomanybikes, that is one sweet ride!

+1 on the full frame pump - old skool baby.

Those appear to be Paul "Racer" brakes. How do you like them? I am toying with the idea of getting a custom steel do everything bike built and considering the Paul's as an option.

Thank you in advance for your input and congratulations on you bike.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Those are Paul Racer's.

They are wonderful brakes and I think they could stop a speeding Kenworth. Seriously, they have massive stopping power.

If you decide to go with them, and I like them a lot. You have to get them to your builder before he starts as the mounting posts are not the same as Canti brakes.

I had Paul's just ship them directly to Strong.

I was trying to decide between Cantis, long reach calipers and the Paul's. I wanted lots of clearance for fenders and wider tires.

THe way this is set up with the Racer brakes is that I have clearance for wide fenders and 32 mm tires under the fenders.

The brakes are silly easy to install and set up too. The instruction sheet seriously says " remove the green twist tie and install on mounting post"

That's it. Very easy to adjust as well.

This was designed to be a do everything bike as well. I think if I take those wheels off and put on light ones with skinny tires it will perform and feel differently than it does now. On the other hand - I can go to even bigger tires if I want.

Stogaguy said:
toomanybikes, that is one sweet ride!

+1 on the full frame pump - old skool baby.

Those appear to be Paul "Racer" brakes. How do you like them? I am toying with the idea of getting a custom steel do everything bike built and considering the Paul's as an option.

Thank you in advance for your input and congratulations on you bike.
 

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Old Skool
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804 Posts
Thanks

Yeah I knew about the brake post placement issue. They are have to be premeditated.

I agree the a tire/wheel swap would change the feel of your bike drastically. I currently have a Lemond Poprad as my do everything bike. The switch from cross tires to 28mm road tires was a dramatic change in ride. IMHO, a big improvement on asphalt and less of an impact on smooth dirt/gravel than anticipated.
 

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Adorable Furry Hombre
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32,346 Posts
FatTireFred said:
it's Canadaustria... there must be a complete idiot working somewhere at spectrum
Or an ex-pat with an interesting sense of humour :)
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Following up on Stogaguy's comment.

I threw another pair of wheels on, with 28 mm smooth tires, and tried that.

WOW , what a difference.

I don't have to completely give my hopes of riding the Giro after all.

On racy days I can ride the smooth tires, on the days I admit to being a middle aged over the hill ex-wannabe, I can put the knobbies on and go rambling.

I really like this bike.
 

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Registered
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2,651 Posts
Toomany, I would imagine you probably are fit enough for a stage race by now, you weren't half bad over the Winter. I'm sure the racer boys are in disbelief when you pass them on the Strong. Are your other bikes feeling neglected yet?
 

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noble dirtbag
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98 Posts
All I can say is that I would ride that bike and be very happy with it. I know that my Heron makes me smile every time I ride it (even on those early morning commutes in heavy traffic).
The Brooks B-17 is a great saddle but I think the Team Professional may have longer rails and would help with the setback. For extra fun try running your downtube shifters in friction mode. Makes the ride a little more interesting. Beautiful, unique build!!
 
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