Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Call Of The Upgrade

When I bought my trusty Trek 2.3 daily rider back in 2010, I had no idea what I was doing, other than my primary mission was to just ride the crap out of it.  I knew at the time that my 1996 Trek 4500 mountain bike, complete with road slicks, was just not cutting it anymore on the streets, thus, a true Roadie was needed.  However, after procuring, and riding, the 2.3 for awhile, I began to wonder “What if” in regards to other wheels, tires, components, and yes, even clothing (look for a future article on that subject).  Welcome to the Call of the Upgrade. 

What began as an innocent foray into road cycling soon turned into a world of fascination, engineering, excitement, and yes, even some frustration and heartache – A Double-Edged Sword, indeed: Laughter and Tears, Sweet and Sour, Yin and Yang. 

However, what would happen to Man’s quest for knowledge if we did not experiment with new things?  Yeah, that new saddle may feel great, but then again, it may not.  That is the price of knowledge, and for many that is just part of the fun.  It is our natural human function to tinker.  That is good.  It improves the overall human condition, which, in turn, benefits society as a whole. 

The only downside of this endeavor is when tinkering is done for tinkering’s sake.  Hard to extrapolate qualitative data when the actual hunt is the sole thing one fancies.  Yes, tinkering should indeed be fun, however, we expect results, too.  Function is a cornerstone of cycling, as looks/bling alone will lead to a trip straight down Pain & Injury Road.  Find a combination of function and looks: Count your cycling blessings. 

My Trek 2.3 in October 2010, right after I bought it. The only change was a WTB saddle.

And, in August 2013, with a host of changes/upgrades.

As can be seen between the two photos, a lot has changed on my Daily-Rider/Test-Mule.  The only things still stock today are the carbon fork, the aluminum frame, the Shimano STI shifters, and Shimano front derailleur.  Everything else has been changed either due to better quality, better fit, lighter weight, or a combination of all of the former.    

When I look at Frankenbike now, I still see the beautiful bike I bought back in 2010, however, because of the Call of the Upgrade, she rides better and just gets more beautiful everyday.

And, we are not done yet.

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