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my return to action, fat boy musings and the Great Bicycle Search!

August 3, 2008
Filed under: bicycles — bcd @ 1:02 pm

i’m not dead yet…i think i’ll go for a walk!

so i have been a little remiss in my posting frequency. yeah yeah, i did spend a good amount of time in all of June following the WSOP. but we’re now into August and i don’t have an excuse. but enough about what i haven’t done, what about what i am doing!

so i have been kicking around buying a new bike. yeah, i know i have over $3K worth of Ibis hanging in my garage, but that is a mountain bike; the closest trails are pretty much Memorial Park and i just don’t get excited about riding there anymore. btw – the way i describe mountain bike is the way i explain to my wife that i am going to need a new $3K+ bicycle. since her last bike was a beach cruiser bought for about $150, she is a little confused on why i need a new bike. at least i have my history of being a bike messenger and aspiring racer to fall back on.

anyway, about a year ago i fell in love with the Specialized Langster, specifically the Chicago Gangster version. i tried to order one in 2007, but they had already run through their supply for the year. i spent the next 12 months or so scouring eBay for one to no avail. not like it mattered – in truth a Langster would really only be a toy that i would probably end up not riding much. it’s not like we jaunt around the neighborhood on short trips…there are no bars and we don’t really hit the water park or country club much.

so maybe two weeks ago i decided that what i need is a new road bike. since we are on the edge of Houston, there are lots of rides where you can just head out and go. shit, i rode my Ibis with slicks to Rosharon a while back. so, a road bike would not only be fun, but would get me out and about and help with my weight loss.

speaking of weight loss: roughly two months ago i went on a weight loss/diet/life change. well, really longer. in January i quit drinking pretty much. i also stopped taking Effexor, which i was blaming for slowing down my metabolism. well, although the Effexor might have been doing that and the empty calories of alcohol weren’t helping, it was probably my daily intake of breakfast tacos, chik-fil-a and fries that were hurting more. so like i said, two months ago i went to see Dar’s nutritionist/diet doctor. initial weigh-in was a life record for me: 237lbs. jesus christ! this doctor has all the newfangled medical gear, so they measured my body fat percentage, simulated my metabolic rate and put me on a 1800 calorie/day diet with specific categories to maximize protein intake and minimize sugar. i even use a website to track my daily intake and exercise. so here i sit: 217lbs. better, but still pretty fscking fat!

ok, so the bike is gonna help with all that. plus, i am so sick of the elliptical trainer. so i am thinking i am going to trying riding for fun and exercise. i need it!

so i have been scouring the web to pull info on bikes; a lot has changed since i raced in 1992-1997. it seems the new hot thing is composite frames. sure, composites have been around for years (i remember drooling over Kestrels and the like) but the big manufacturers (and some small) have pretty much made the push into making carbon fiber the frame material for the masses.

i’ve spent a lot of time reading about the Specialized Tarmac and Roubaix and contrasting and comparing with the Trek Madone. Ibis is again up and running with Scot Nicol at the helm and he is only producing carbon fiber bikes; that should tell you the trend in frame making if Scot has forsaken his beautiful steel and titanium history. i also have peeked at the offerings from Colnago and Eddy Merckx. sadly, this is pretty much all just web shopping; i have yet to hit any stores other than my local Specialized Concept Store (yes, West End, i am coming to see you!)

while trudging the web, i stumbled across my first expensive bike love, Klein. Klein, kinda like Ibis, has gone the way of the dodo…well almost. Klein was bought from Gary Klein in 1995 by Trek. the rumor at the time was that Trek wanted Klein’s expertise with aluminum, plus Klein had a special tubeset that only was made for them. as happens a lot, Trek started mass producing Kleins and pretty much ended up running the company into the ground. the last U.S. production year was 2007 and no one is talking on whether or not they are coming back in 2009. but, Klein is selling like hotcakes in Japan. who would have thunk?

anyway, i pretty much scan eBay every day, just to see if an old Klein pops up. i doubt i am going to buy one, but i enjoy the walk down memory lane. which brings me to this realization: people are pretty fscking terrible at listing stuff on eBay.

i consider myself an eBay early adopter. i joined in Sept. of 1999 and have amassed 182 positive ratings in the last 9 years. no negatives! i both buy and sell on eBay and pretty much have learned some tricks of the trade for selling and for finding good deals – usually b/c some moron doesn’t understand the way eBay works.

here’s an example: Kline Road Bike. at least this genius was able to get it listed in the right category: road bikes. but you’ll notice a few things, just in the title: first, uh, misspelled the manufacturer. that is going to kill the auctions action b/c most people search via keyword, not via category. second, lack of info. what model is it? what size? what year? you would hope that since this is missing in the title, at least it will appear in the listing’s description.

you’d be wrong. no model, no year, no size.

i realize that finding the year and size might take some work, but model? it’s on the fscking top tube!

so how hard is it to find some info on this bike if you are the seller? remember, this is info that will help bring in bidders, which drives up price, meaning you MAKE MORE MONEY! plus, how many emails do you want to get with questions such as, “uh, dude, what size is the frame?”

so how hard is it? my first Google for “klein quantum size year” pulls in some helpful info. the fourth listing takes me to a blog from a Klein fanatic! scanning this wealth of Klein info, midway down the page, he has a compiled spreadsheet that lists model, year, and frame color! you’ll notice what i would call a ‘maroon’ Klein is probably a 2002 Plum Klein Quantum 105SC.

armed with the year, the next Google search brings up a rocket all the way to #1, listing a link to a pdf on the Japanese site with frame geometry (our info is on page 43-44). a simple measure of the top tube will give us frame size for our listing!

total time to do this: about 5 minutes. god only knows how much this info would improve the listings chances.

so that was fun. heh. i still don’t have a bike, but i am working on it!

ok, so mission accomplished: i managed to get a post out. i didn’t cover much, but just like exercise, you gotta start small and move up. stay tuned, maybe i’ll post on my recent -$500 drunken $1/$2 Full Tilt play, recent books that i crushed and enjoyed, or even more on my mythical man-month bike search!



  1. if you are sick of the indoor elliptical you may want to consider the streetstrider, a fun and calorie-burning outdoor elliptical

    Comment by Dave Kraus — August 3, 2008 @ 1:35 pm

  2. thanks Dave!

    reminds me a little of the Trikke, which i saw some time ago on some late night infomercial. although the Streetsrider appears to offer a lot more exercise!

    Comment by bcd — August 3, 2008 @ 3:25 pm

  3. No more alcohol! I quit drinking!…

    Of course I’m nothing like starlet Lindsay Lohan who has had her fair share of trouble with alcohol, but I’m going to take her lead of quitting drinking for a week, but extending it to forever.
    I know this is going to be a daunting task, bu…

    Trackback by Themeless Randoms — August 4, 2008 @ 11:46 pm

  4. Wow, tons of traffic to my site from your link.

    I’d love to have your new bike’s serial number.

    Scott the
    Klein Fanatic

    Comment by Diablo Scott — August 20, 2008 @ 10:04 am

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