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An Affair to Remember(1 post)

An Affair to RememberMeDotOrg
Jul 22, 2001 4:01 PM
Last November I bought a 2000 Bianchi Veloce, relegating my 1983 Fuji S-12-S LTD touring bike to cycle-ops trainer duty. Since it was a very dry winter (and I hate riding a trainer anyway) the Fuji had become an object d'art.

The week before last, I crashed my Veloce and bent the frame. After a week of indecision, I bit the bullet and decided to get a custom frame (Carl Strong). Only a 4-week turnaround on a frame order from Strong, but I can't go a month without riding.

Yesterday I swapped the Speedplay frogs from the Veloce, lubed and cleaned the Fuji, and today I took it out on the road for the first time in nearly a year.

What I noticed:

1. The seat felt too short and too forward. I don't know if it's the fact that I've been riding a lot this year, but my riding position has stretched. After about 10 miles on the Fuji, I raised the seat post and pushed the saddle back. Ah! Much better!

2. Going from an index-shifting Campy 27-speed to an 18-speed bar-shifting Suntour is a bit of a shock. With the Veloce, you never had to think about shifting. With the Fuji, shifting under power requires taking a hand off the handlebars. I'd forgotten that simple fact, and the strategies involved, like shifting down well before you reach a red light. With a 9-speed cog, you're never ‘in-between' gears. With a 6-speed, sometimes you can't find the happy medium. But the Suntour, to its credit, still shifts smoothly after 18 years.

3. I missed the Bianchi's carbon fiber fork, and sharper handling.

But despite all that.The Fuji is still a respectable bicycle. The old black mare still passed a few Merkxs and Colnagos. Not bad for a touring bike that cost $450 new.

I live in a studio apartment. I don't have room for 2 bicycles, but I can't get rid of the Fuji. It has served me too long and too well.

I'm sure when I take delivery of the Strong, the "Fooj" will go back to the cycle-ops, only to be ridden after 5 straight days of rain. But it's the bike that got me into cycling as an adult. I feel irrational affection for this inanimate object.