As Richard alluded to in his blog, I’ve experienced something of a dilemma when it comes to choosing my bike for the RCUK training camp in Majorca next week. I’m pretty confident that I’ve bored anyone in the office, who’ll listen, to death with my endless decisions, going back and forth between bikes.
The problem is choice, or of having too much of it. There’s a couple of suitable candidates in the RCUK office which have not helped my cause. Each would make a fine companion for a week of cycling, being light, stiff and a joy to ride.
The dilemma began when Cannondale’s CAAD10, the company’s latest aluminium offering, arrived in the office. Since I first heard rumours of this new frame it’s been right at the top of my list of bikes I’ve wanted to test. The reason? Aluminium is a great material to make bicycles from (it’s still the main choice for mountain bikers) but in road cycling it enjoyed a very brief stint at the top, before pushed aside when carbon really took off.
For a while, I was more than happy with the CAAD10. But then Richard’s Trek Madone 6.9 SSL (what a mouthful) arrived in the office, and planted in my mind was a nagging worry that, despite being impressively light and stiff, it would leave me at too much of a disadvantage on the long climbs of Majorca.
The question of whether I should be on a carbon bike circled in my brain like a vulture. Going round and round.
That metaphor pounced when the Colnago C59 Italia arrived. Blimey, here’s the Italian company’s state of the art carbon fibre beauty, and what a stunner it is. Surely this is the bike to take? Once a few changes had been made, a pair of clincher wheels replacing the tubular deep sections and a new chain replacing the too-short one fitted, I took it for a lunchtime spin. I came back impressed.
Carbon it is then. [Poseur – ed.]
Another dilemma presented itself. I have no problem with Campagnolo, but the C59 wears a Record 11-speed groupset and I started to worry about what might happen should I have a mechanical on our trip. What if I break a chain? What if the rear derailleur fails? And there’s also the vague plan of swapping test bits between whichever bikes I and Richard would ride. [You are not having the Madone – ed.] Taking the Colnago would ultimately put that notion out the window.
And then one more bike arrived in the office. This time, NeilPryde’s follow up to the Alize we rode a short while ago in the shape of the lighter and racier Diablo. With a full Shimano groupset. It looked good, that much is true, and on a quick spin around Regent’s Park during another lunchtime break with Richard, I knew this was the bike for me. It also meant I could fit the Reynolds Forty Six clincher wheels that were propped against the wall in the office.
I’ve been going back and forth in my mind about which bike to take. But I think I’ve finally settled on one. I’ll take the Diablo. At least, that’s my current thinking…