So back on the stand it is on this hazy Sunday afternoon. As usual of me... changing one thing soon became an exercise of refreshing the entire bike for no reasons other than out of habit.
An Onza Ibex 2.4 for the rear... a round of chain cleaning and while at it I look at the seriously gunked up but perfectly working bottom bracket..Stock Shimano outboard running on steel balls. Ah.. my long term test to spite the weenie snob ceramic bearing supporters... 7 years and all it took was proper maintenance and knowing the differences between what's a good grease.
Oh yes, finally changed up to the ceramic bearings gotten years ago... simply to match the color of the bike . I still don't give two fruity toots about ceramics in terms of performance for mountain bikes :)
Then out came another piece of component bought eons ago but stayed unused... A top chain guide.
An absolute POS and a waste of what?? I think it's 40 bucks or so. Too many moving parts based around cheesy plastic pieces... Positive design failure and reliance on cheap molded parts probably from some 4th world country with no QC whatsoever.
Too late the front shifter and deraileur was already removed.
Thinking aloud... " So I really have to put the damn front dee back on to keep the chain in place huh"
"Was there any reasons to remove it..." came an an odd but vaguely familiar voice. I swear I have heard it before while riding but just could not pin down where...
Looked around, the Missus was plugged in with ear bud watching Korean drama on her tablet.
obviously he ain't giving a shit...it's afternoon nap time.
"It's me... your bike that's talking.. remember those times on the trail "Don't brake Don't Brake Speed is YOur Friend.. pedal the bike will deliver"... yea me, me me.. your bike"
I turn back and stared. Nothing, nada, zilch. The bike was still on the stand. Even if the wind is blowing, it isn't gonna move this overbuilt piece of 2 wheeling grumpy definition of a bike...
... and I said in my head..."But why?"
"Practically everything has been changed and swapped and you are ok... Even your little EG brother is running on 1 ring with no front dee and shifters..."
For those that isn't aware-- this EG being the best damn frame I ever had.. got me to built a second lighter one...
In a flash of sanity, I thought if I should break out the torque wrench and check for loose screws in my head....
"I don't care, that ain't me" came that same hoarse metallic voice.
Screw me the bike is definitely talking now...
And I continued... "But you're ok with the rest of the part changes. front went from the lowest 100mm setting on the TALAS back at the start in 2009 and now a dual crown 200mm... 6, 7 shocks to date Come on, no one uses a front dee anymore".. I was half justifying the trend these days as much as I don't want to believe the bike really is talking.
"Fuck the 10, 11 and wadever speed man..."You do the math..go back to your gear inch ratio calc.. the numbers on those pussy gearing makes sense?"
Truth is -- they don't and I just recheck it last week on a 2x9 11-34 cassette vs a 1 x 11 11-40 cassette.. If you really need a granny.. 2 x 9 is still king of the (wide) range.
"Ok what about the countless handlebars, stem and seats... and are you also protesting with the latest Fizik Tundra I put on you last Friday nite?"
Metallic Voice : "Hey I don't give a shit about those... Every time u add 1 cm of bar length or raise 2 mm of bar rise you think you can ride better and you write tomes on this blog about all your bike set up theories....Me? Seriously I can't be bothered man.. stupid human bah."
"Oh this seat now with a red stripe to match the rest-- ya think again.. it's your ass complaining, dude.. NOT me" and I definitely can hear that jeering undertone.
"Feeling pissed? Go ahead be my guest. Kick the fuckin' wheels and tires.. Again I don't care -- I'm just the frame"
Talking bike or not I was getting a little mad now "Damn you... I'm gonna let out all the air from the suspension and take out the coil"
"Be my guest boy.. let's see how you gonna ride" came the retort.
Definitely wasn't winning this argument... Time to change tac...
"Alright alright... let's talk some sense..." I said.
"Sense? What sense? I'm a bike frame" and I was cut right off before finishing by the now grouchy voice.
"Look the rear dee was changed as well and the DCL (Dual Control Levers) are history too, even your front shifter has been swapped when prices dropped on these xtr babies as 9s was getting obsolete.. I put the best shit on you man... and no complaints all these while..." I continued.
"What did you expect? I'll shift myself on the cassette on that ridden to death XT rear dee huh? Or that SLX you didn't install properly and broke the cage? Oh DCL! Come on dude.. that was your frigging great idea to be different from the rest of the crowd, don't rope me in eh. I don't care so long as 1 click = 1 shift..." But since this XTR front dee was swapped over from the Motolite days -- When? when has it ever been taken off... from that first dorkier than thou setup in 2009 and throughout all the oversea trips-- it never left the seattube..." came an outburst from El Grouchy and a tsunami of memories I had riding this bike came flooding back...
True.. it always has a front dee. The bloody bike was right.
"And when has it failed... or even given a hard time to tune..." it continued.
Again I have to say that is the truth... Front deraileurs can be a bitch to get right and one of the chief reason played out by bike marketing to the demise of this component. Tuning them is a bit of science and black art mixed in on many bikes but the EG combo with the XTR has never been an issue...
"You can change anything but you don't touch the front dee, understand. For all the duty I pull and all the heavy shit you put on me plus the geometry changes made to the head angle and all... stop being an ass and try to make me a 1 x Wadever-- it just doesn't bloody work!"
"2 Nine-- I climb everything from that 45 degree last up in Putra to all the friding needed to get to trail heads in some Chiang Mai trails... with a little of your reach triangel theory... Yea Big Fat Small Tall, 100 or 200mm ME climbs Them All... WITH a front dee"
Yup.. the frame is right once again...
My final shot at a retort : "But it's seriously dorky... even after next month's trip and I put the single crown Vengeance back on, bikes today just don't run front dees..."
"Hahaha so says the one riding a dorky looking bike.. it's you not me. OWNED!"
"Yea fuck you too-- just put the damn front dee back on after you have washed it clean"...
and................ just before dinner time
Frame 1 Rider 0