Its not about the bike…

27 Feb

Because I can predict the future, Lance may live to regret that statement when he gets busted for EPO and admits it on Oprah…


I haven’t raced for a couple of weeks, but have been getting out, but I’ve also almost built a new bike, so I thought I would share what I’ve done and why I’ve done it…

My racing career thus far has been conducted on the Ribble that I snapped (which is now on eBay for all you budding carbon mechanics) and more lately the Raleigh Avanti frame I bought. Now I was a firm backer of the “its not about the bike” ethos, I mean, I placed in most of my races on a bike worth not a lot of money, so how could the bike make much difference?
Anyway, it quickly came to my attention that commuting, training, and generally doing hundreds of miles per month on the same bike that I plan to race each weekend was going to be a lot of effort. I was already spending about 2 hours every Saturday picking flint and crap out of my tyres, before washing off a kilogram of dirt and sand from Richmond Park, and frankly it was quite annoying. It meant that a race took up most of the day as I’d be out in the shed for two hours previous, and then when I got back I’d have to make sure it was up for a commute!
So whilst talking to a rather more well heeled cyclist, he mentioned that he had upgraded his Zipp 404’s to some 303’s and that if I wanted the 404’s at a decent rate then I was welcome to them. At the time I must admit I thought it was a bit of a pipe dream, not least because they cost as much as my whole bike is currently worth, but secondly, who the hell sticks £1200 wheels on a Raleigh half alu half carbon frame? It would be like sticking Ferrari racing seats in a Ford Fiesta (yes, I’m well aware such people DO exist!). So I decided to leave them for a few months till I knew the score. So fast forward a few months and a new job (with a payrise, you can see where this is going I bet) I was in a position to either save some money, you know, buy a house, a roof over your head and all that, OR buy a new race bike…because its an investment isn’t it? I mean if I keep winning energy Gels and £50 here and there it will have paid for itself by the time I’m 35 😉
I’m actually fairly resistant to spending large chunks of money on things usually, most of my kit is second hand, I generally have become quite a tight miser, even at such a young age! So when a clubmate got in touch about a mint condition (almost) Cervelo S2 frame, in white and red (my favorite), I was excited, then depressed knowing that the sensible side of me would say to leave my cash in the ISA. But a few conversations later, and some top notch closing from my clubmate I was sold. I also picked up the wheels too. So I had gone from zero to hero in bike stakes (and vice versa in saving stakes), and I now have the S2 with 404’s sitting in my room, waiting to be built, I’m itching to ride, it but also conscious that it will never be quite that clean again!
Spec will be
Cervelo s2 2010
Zipp 404 clinchers
Ultegra Group
3T stem and bar
A meaty bike by anyone’s standards, I’m happy that I’ve done it, now in theory that’s my race bike sorted for the near future, and hopefully I won’t be able to blame it when I don’t place in races 😀 I also managed to save a huge chunk of money, and saved approx 50% off retail on the group, wheels, and frame, which considering it all looks brand new, is some going! Don’t buy new folks, its a mugs game (although lifetime warranty would be nice…)!
I’ve nearly bought everything ‘big’ I want to buy cycling wise, I think. the only thing I want to add to my set up will be a power-meter, I think I’m going to try and get an SRM as opposed to a powertap so I can have it on the race-bike, but after that I can’t see what else I would need to buy…… 😉
I’ll attach some pictures later, but suffice to say I’m very happy with my bike, and you can find me longingly looking at it in the bedroom waiting to be ridden, and ridden hard!
Awaiting other bits…

Here we go then

Cervelo S2, made up almost totally of second hand bits, but looks pretty fresh to my eye. Worth shopping around as I think off retail of all the new parts I saved over 50 % over all. And when you consider the frame, wheels and group were over £3500 new it certainly shows what can be done!


2010 Cervelo S2 (carbon version of the S1 for those that don’t know)
Zipp 404 Alu Clinchers (one of the heavier sets of zipps about, but at 1650g they are not too bad)
Ultegra 6700 group – KMC Gold lightweight chain 😉
3T Bar + Stem
LOOK Keo Max 2 pedals
Weight – 7.2kg


One Response to “Its not about the bike…”

  1. Wrap The Exhaust February 27, 2013 at 7:08 am #

    Few authors are as tactful as you were in your blog post. Besides great clarity, you also presented your insight of this topic in a manner that an ordinary individual can fully understand.

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