Monday, May 6, 2013

The C word

Cracked, Carbon.

Those two words are like nails on a chalkboard to those of us who "must" use the infernal material.  Oh how I would love to stick with an alloy, or with anything other than over-rated paper mache.  But in order to remain competitive it's almost required.

No, not my handlebars.  Saw this last year at OVRR a crash in the cat 4 field, and pretty sure that's the owners blood across the SCOTT logo.

Fortunately, prices aren't too bad for carbon components now, but maybe that's just a mental shift that taking this sport seriously has had.  Suddenly spending more on my bike then on my car seems reasonable.  Suddenly Italian and French gear isn't just a silly waste of money (ok, maybe still is).  Suddenly formerly "high" prices seem much more "reasonable".

In reality I think(know) the market has opened up to carbon manufacturing  and you can find things like carbon rims for 1/3 the price they used to be. (hint: cheap wheels )

So I'm getting ready to race at Olympic View Road Race in Brady, WA and what do I discover by 2 cracks in my carbon fork:

Though this one is the worst:

Of course given that I've got about 20 minutes before our race rides away there's zero chance to do anything about it.  So being a dangerous risk taker that I am (*ahem*), I go looking for the right teamate to ask.  "Oh that's just a surface crack, no worries.  But get it changed out after the race", just the response I was fishing for.  Opted to race, and low and behold just fine.

However, now I know about the cracked fork and if something did happen I would never relent on the mental I told you so's.

So I found a sweet used fork at Recycled Cycles, got it installed all in one mighty swoop, and learned from the mechanic how to change a fork, cool.  Less than $100 for the whole operation, and now conscience assuaged I feel free to hammer to my heart's content again.  Albeit, a bit uglier for the time being.

Stupid carbon.