Results tagged “personal” from spare cycles

The hottest my bike will ever Look


My bike, not my wheels

I was shooting some bikes for Look, so we took the opportunity to play dress up with my bike as well. As you might have guessed, the Zipp 808s aren't mine, but whenever I want to make someone jealous, I can break out this photo and pretend that I left them at home. I could have shot them with Lightweights instead, but I happen to think that Zipps look far cooler.

I'm still learning the whole studio lighting thing. We used two Pro Foto Acute 2Rs with softboxes, black bed sheets, a garage door, and some custom hangers I made out of fishing line and rope. I should have used a backlight to better define things, but I didn't have an extra remote to trigger another light. Also, a note when you're using fishing line to hold the bike because you think it will be easy to Photoshop out: it's not, so try your best to keep it from crossing any part of the bike.

Look - Bike porn gets around


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I'm dumbfounded a bit to see my photos of the Look 586 Mondrian circulate on the Web. I originally took the photos as a last-minute favor for a post on roadbikereview. How could I turn down a chance to play with a limited edition (1 of 50) bike way out of my budget?

Now the photos are on the worldwide Look Web site as well as on VeloNews. I've always wanted to get my photos in a VeloNews article, but now I really wish I got every beam of lighting perfect. Such is the nature of hindsight and experience. Next time, next time.

Bike Built!



My Look 585 is built, with all credit to Francois/Francis and Thien of MTBR/RoadBikeReview, who soldiered through a long Friday night to make sure I looked pretty on Sunday's group ride. I've posted a photo below that makes it look like I actually did a lot of the wrenching, but, truth be told, I probably spent more time cleaning up my spilled beer. Thanks also goes to Sports Basement, which is rescued us from having to abort when we discovered that the threads on the bottom bracket needed to be chased.

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My contributions: I attached the rear brake, right shifter, put ceramic bearings in the wheels, ran and cut some cabling, and did half of the bar tape. A pretty sorry total given the amount of effort that goes into a bike. I got to learn a lot from watching Francis handle a lot of the difficult wrenching, and Thien showed me the proper bike nerd details that one is supposed to pay attention to, such as cutting the rear brake housing so that the Dura Ace logo shows and lining up the tire logo with the valve stem. With ownership of an awesome bike comes great responsibility.

Build list:

  • Frame: Look 585 Origin
  • Group: Dura Ace shifters and derailleurs, Ultegra SL crank/brakes/cassette
  • Seatpost: something heavy scavenged from my old bike
  • Seat: Specialized Gel Toupe, also scavenged from my other bike
  • Wheels: Neuvation M28 Aero2 with Enduro ceramic bearings
  • Cockpit: Ritchey Pro stem and handlebar
  • Tires: Michelin Pro Race 3

This build is not 'final': based on the Ritchey booth at Sea Otter, I'm now eyeing their new Wet White finish for the WCS 4-Axis steam and WCS Logic II road bars. It currently has a Ritchey Pro cockpit and I scavenged a seatpost and saddle are from my old bike. The seatpost is especially heavy and is one of the reasons that the build topped out at 17.15 lbs instead of the planned 16.5 lbs. The frame also came in 0.33 lbs over, possibly due to the white paint. It should be in the 16 lbs range when I'm finally done.

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All the parts on this build were selected by doing research in the RoadBikeReview forums and the wrenching was done by Francois and Thien, so I can truly say, "This bike build powered by the good folks of:"

My build


All the parts for my Look 585 should be on the way:

  • Frame: Look 585 Origin
  • Group: Dura Ace shifters and derailleurs, Ultegra SL crank/brakes/cassette
  • Seatpost: Thomson Masterpiece
  • Wheels: Neuvation M28 Aero2 with Enduro ceramic bearings (I've personally confirmed that John at Neuvation does respond promptly to e-mails; customer service + price + local Cali was a big plus for me)
  • Cockpit: Ritchey WCS Logic Road Bar and WCS 4Axis Road Stem
  • Tires: Michelin Pro Race 3

The online tools I've found estimate the final build weight to be about 16.5 lbs. It's about thousand dollars per pound to shave more off of that, so I'm quite happy.

I was originally going to buy the parts from local bike shops, but was a bit shocked by my survey. Two bike shops didn't even having pricing for groupsets, which lead to me getting price quotes that were astronomically high (above MSRP!). One of the two actually told me to buy the parts on the UK site probikekit, which I did after I saw their ridiculously low prices. Another Web site is Excel Sports, which has a closeout on 2007 Look 585 frames.

There were bike shops that were quite good: the folks at Silicon Valley Cycling Center and Palo Alto Bikes were solid, giving me real quotes for parts and labor that were very reasonable. They both also happen to be Look dealers. I will be sending money their way one way or another, so I don't feel too guilty. In the end, the Tour de Georgia forced my hand: there was no way I was going to get riding in before that, and I'll need the extra $$$ to pay for the trip.

Meet my new frame




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I'm hoping to get to ride this before I take off for the Tour de Georgia...

More photos


zcover.250.jpg Zinio has a three-page preview of Road Bike Action issue 2. Luckily for me, the preview has two of my three photos. The Giant bikes in the spread above is one of my Tour of Cailfornia shots, as is the shot to the right with Levi sprinting to victory in Solvang. As you can tell from the cover, there is a long article from Bob Roll that talks about the Tour of California from start to finish, where you'll also find my shot of Levi's crash in Santa Rosa.

Al told me that he got his subscription in the mail, so I guess the issue should be on newsstands now, if its the sort of newsstand that carries road cycling magazines.

Zinio preview of Road Bike Action

2006 Sea Otter (Friday)


The Sea Otter Classic is tons of fun (plenty of Saturday and Sunday events for those who haven't gone yet). It's all of the biking events you can imagine -- road circuit race, MTB endurance, MTB gravity -- all wrapped inside of the famous Laguna Seca raceway. I walked up the hill at the Rahal Straight to the top of the Corkscrew, which plunges riders 50 feet back down (course map). There I watched the Master 30+ and Master 40+ punish each other over the course of many, many laps. I also just barely caught the sight of Women's MTB World Champion Dahle-Flesja fly around the MTB time trial course.

As I walked over to the MTB amateur dual slalom finals, I was a bit more prepared and managed to snap a shot of Jean-Cristoph Peraud midway through his time trial in which he finished second (time trial results). Peraud won the overall in the MTB Omnium event as well as the opening Super CX stage.

Jean-Christoph Peraud-1

I stayed a bit at the dual slalom, which was pure crash entertainment. There were many photographers who were probabaly like me: waiting to get that shot of someone landing in the mud (the riders weren't cooperating with the spots I was choosing). I didn't think the course was very fair: the rain had pretty much made one of the runs a complete mudpit at one of the most difficult points. There was a three-second handicap for the more difficult course, which was fair if you managed to stay on your bike, less fair if you were one of the many people that ended up lying in the mud. The course marshals had to assist one of the riders with finding a shoe that he lost in the mud. The race was a good lesson on never giving up. There were plenty of riders who looked impossibly behind that won when the lead rider crashed. This is my favorite shot from the downhill, which I may end up submitting to the VeloNews contest:


The final event I watched was the MTB short track (19-29 beginners and 30+ beginners). The rain had been the cruelest to that course. One person referred to it as "soupy;" I thought of it as cement mixing. It was faster in many parts of the course to run with your bike then attempt to navigate the mud and taking photographs was easy because the riders were pretty much standing still. The race was torture on both the riders' bodies and their pocketbooks. After suffering for almost half an hour, Al finished with two broken derailers.

The weather on the day was beautiful, though it poured rain shortly after I left. I heard that day 1 was wretched and there was certainly evidence of that on the MTB courses, but Friday's weather was t-shirt weather, possibly the best day of weather we've had in a month.

The funniest moment on the day for me was explaining to Al's parents how many different fun events there were to watch from the road racing to the MTB. I mentioned that there's a crash every minute on the dual slalom course and, right on cue, a rider went flying over his handlebars trying to land a jump. The rider raised his fist in triumph afterwards, so I'm sure he's fine.