22 December 2011

Fashion anxiety

So I got my new bike together, at long last (although the freehub is acting very unhappy, so we'll see how long it stays together). Don't mind the poor photo or the temporary $0.75 bar tape. I'll likely do one of those "I talk about my bike and bore everyone about every little detail" things once it's all completely finished. For now I've only had a couple short rides on it, but on road, gravel, some singletrack, and through a mud pit, I absolutely love it.

Sorry for crowding your bed, Martin. It was the only spot with anything resembling decent light. 
One of the things I need to finish the bike off is a crankset. The crankset currently on the bike is an old Sugino RT that I stole from my coworker Tom's bike while he is in New Zealand. Eventually, I am assuming that he will return from New Zealand, and the bike will return to its crankless state. I actually owned these cranks for a short period of time - just long enough to spend a few hours cleaning them up - before selling them back to Tom, but the communal nature of bike shop employee property is a topic for another day, and doesn't change the fact that I will soon need a crankset.

This is Tom at the shop we used to work at.
The front runners in the great crankset debate are currently the Sugino Alpina and the SRAM Apex. The criteria for inclusion in the debate are as follows:
-No weirdo proprietary chainring funny business. Ideally 110BCD. 
-9-speed compatible.
-Not a space crank. 
-Must be available from a distributor the shop deals with because cranksets are expensive.

My problem is that the Alpinas are out of stock, or else I'd have probably ordered them a month ago. I should just get the Apex cranks: I like the way they look, they fit all of my criteria, and they have that nifty speed hole through the BB spindle for extra fastness. The one thing holding me back is that somehow I have this weird feeling that people will throw rocks at me for installing a modern GXP crankset on a classically-styled bike. Is this weird? Why would it even matter? This isn't a discussion-piece wall ornament, but rather a functional bike. It is a tool first and foremost, and while tools can be aesthetically pleasing, that should not be the sole consideration in their design. 

So I will put these cranks, speed holes and all, on my bike - not in spite of the fear of upsetting its aesthetic consistency, but rather in an intentional effort to do so. Please don't throw rocks at me. 

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