The Miyata 610 failed me by banging down into the smallest cog at the rear hub and failing to derail the chain at the front ring. I walked up a hill I could have ridden in a reasonable gear. The effort I expended to get the bike rolling again to get it shifted caused my heart to literally beat painfully against my ribcage. That can’t be healthy. When I got home after what should have been an easy 20-miler, I began to search Craigslist for a solution.
What I found was the bike I wanted to buy last year, listed at about half of last year’s asking price. I’d thought the bike had sold because its previous listing had been removed, and I’d felt pretty sad about having had to settle for a lesser bike and get an upright freezer instead of an old superbike. Even so, I made the right decision last year and both the freezer and the Jamis Supernova have provided better than expected service in their respective spheres of, er, serviceability.
So, there it was. I exchanged emails with the seller who reported she’d tried to email me about the drop in price, but her communications had bounced back to her. My email account’s provider has been having some odd problems over the past few weeks. It’s probably bounced back notifications informing me I’ve won motorcycles and diesel pickup trucks, as well. Still, the bike’s the thing. Yesterday evening, I drove over to the seller’s house, near Nashville, looked the bike over, took it for a spin on a greenway path, and made the purchase.
I’ve only ridden two other bikes equipped with Campagnolo components – my friend Adrian’s 1987 Bianchi Trofeo, and the Cannondale R900 MOAB’s been trying to sell for the past year and a half – it’s got Veloce and some Cannondale parts. The Trofeo’s got mostly Campagnolo, but downtube friction shifts. The Orbea has got Campagnolo Record bottom bracket, headset, crankset, brakes, shifters, front and rear deraileurs. The wheels and hubs are Bontrager, but spin well. Fork’s Bontrager HCM – I think a straight-bladed cyclocross fork. Stem and handlebars are Bontrager, as well. The saddle, also Bontrager, is a nad-buster – hopefully, I’ll replace that soon.
Today, I rode the Orbea around the neighborhoods here – about 13 miles – just to get a feel for the bike. As noted, I found the saddle less than satisfactory. The Campagnolo drivetrain seems a little more clickety than does the Supernova’s Dura-Ace and SRAM mix. I rode the Orbea on the 53-tooth big ring without much trouble. I think the large cog at the rear hub has about 29 teeth, which is helpful.
The bar-tape, which reminds me of the steering wheel wrap my parents had on their cars during the 1970s, is probably real leather. And it’s degrading – as evidenced by the dark tan particles adhering to my cycling gloves and the black patches on the bars where the leathery shininess has worn off. As for the bar, I can ride the drops and the hooks comfortably and still able to reach the brakes and shift-levers. And at 42 cm, they’re wide enough for me.
It’s a pretty bike – the only jarringly off-kilter thing about it is the Bontrager bottle cage that’s off-center. And only one bottle cage; why only one? Here’re some of the picture I took today: