A year or two ago I can't imagine that I would have ended up here writing what I'm about to write. Never the less here I am with heavy heart and feelings of confused joy. You see...I was of the camp who held a healthy disdain for all things modern in a road bike. Carbon fiber, brifters, clipless pedals, etc...But alas as luck would have it I ended up with all three things on one roadbike.
The story begins last summer with a friend of mine urging me to buy a frame that was listed on craigslist. I looked at the ad and I must say that I certainly was not attracted in the slightest. The only thing it had going for it IMO was the fact that it was my perfect size and had at the very least some semblance of lugs.
The frame in question is a Trek 2120 with carbon tubes bonded to aluminum lugs with an aluminum rear triangle. It is a terrible purple color with bare carbon tubes and for the life of me I couldn't really visualize the bike complete in my minds eye. What would I build it with? What color could possibly compliment the purple and bare carbon?
Then a last ditch effort of a bike swap meet as this last fall was approaching brought the bike closer to reality. I had a booth with a friend trying to peddle some bike yummies and alas the Ultegra group of his did not sell. With some reluctance I bought nearly everything I needed to put the beast together (I justify the purchase 'cause I got a sweet Cinelli Alter stem with the cowgirl pinup and a wheelset that looks...Well? It kicks ass!)
As the project was clearly underway I decided to go at it in ernest. I needed to succumb to vanity and at least attempt to make the bike attractive. Now being a child of the 80's there is only one color that comes to mind when dealing with this particular shade of purple. Neon green! So off I went in search of neon green accents. I found some tires at the LBS (which I cringed at the price of) and found what I hoped would be a good match in bartape online. The bartape is a bit on the dark side but after my first ride I decided the bars are on the wide side so a swap is in the works at which time I will replace the wrap with something a little more suitable.
So in short....It's a mutt of a build but after 5 minutes on the bike I'm sold. There are a bunch of firsts for me with this bike but I must say that my initial skepticism was completely unjust. In the case of this bike it is just a tool. Something to carry me along my semi-social recreational rides at a pace that is a bit brisker than possible with any other bike I own. I found it interesting how quickly a person adapts to the changes especially in the case of the clipless pedals and the brifters. They are both incredibly intuitive and just seem to make sense.
As ugly as it is I love it. It rides very nicely, shifts quickly, brakes confidently and handles crisply. I think it will stick around for awhile and now that I know I like it I won't feel bad spending a bit of change on upgrades.
It's built with Ultegra cranks, 9 speed rear derailleur, Sti's and rear cassette, Campy (gasp!) something or other front derailleur, Spinergy Spox wheelset, BBB carbon seat post and some other stuff I can't recall at the moment....
Have a gander at the pic my buddy snapped on it's maiden voyage!