Saturday, August 4, 2012
For a month or so, I've been meaning to report on my replacement bicycle. And, I've got mixed emotions.
How did Mario Gutierrez feel when his ride, a horse named "I'll Have Another," went lame before leg 3 of the Triple Crown? Maybe that's a little how I felt when my beautiful Cannondale T1 bicycle came up lame.
In April, I was giving 'er a Saturday wash, when I noticed what I thought was a streak of oil. But it didn't wash off. And, upon closer inspection, I discovered that it was a tiny crack. Right where the seat tube meets the top tube.
When I first discovered it, I hoped it was just a crack in the paint. But it grew. And I noticed a near-identical crack on the other side.
I took it in to George's Cycles, the local Cannondale dealer. They immediately declared it defective, and said they'd get started arranging a replacement. But - it was complicated. First - Cannondale currently doesn't build a touring model. The closest thing would be a cyclocross-type frame. Second - Cannondale no longer manufactures any bikes in the USA; they moved it to Taiwan. Sign of the times! (Is there a mass-produced bicycle built in the USA any more? Far as I know, Cannondale was the last.)
The nice people at George's tried to find me an identical frame, hanging in the back of a warehouse someplace, but no such luck. So they moved toward getting a current-year frame; all the components would be swapped off the old bike, and onto the new one.
In the meantime, I rode. When the replacement frame arrived, I rode the old one in. They had it for just a couple days, and the new one was ready.
It's not as pretty as the white one... but it'll be much easier to keep clean-looking. It doesn't have the "Handmade in USA" decal. I'm guessing it's a pound or two lighter than the old one. And - the geometry is close enough that once I got it "dialed in," I can hardly tell I'm riding a different bike.