So if you want to race, you're gonna need a bike!
There's something very satisfying about building a bike, especially one that you are going to ride quite a bit. Bikes are essentially simple machine: two triangles, two circles and some gubbins to join them altogether but the more you learn about how all those pieces join together, the more you appreciate the subtleties that such a contraption hides under her skirts.
Now, the other side of that fettling coin is once you learn how best each component should operate you just can't ride any old clunker anymore, each rattle and scrape, wobble and squeak brings out the inner cycling princess sat upon a pea within you. You just can't concentrate on the job in hand unless your steed one which you are sat has come from a thoroughbred stable and is fed with only the finest oats rolled between the thighs of Quakers.
My bike has to be just so and when it isn't, well, I can think of little else but getting it on the stand and tweaking it to within an inch if it's life until it is. Well, just so.
The wheels need to be true, the gears indexed perfectly, the brakes snappy and direct. It needs to change instantly at the front and even quicker than that at the back. Everything needs to be lubed and gleaming and it needs to be ready to go.
Now, all this makes me sound like a fastidious fool with nothing better to do. And if you seen how I used to treat my bikes then you'd wonder quite what had happened to me and whether I actually take any of them outside into the elements anymore.
To me a bike used to be a bike and if that bike was hidden under three inches of mud, cow poo and rotting leaves, it was still a bike. I could sit on it, push the pedals and it would go. But no one told me that a bike has a soul and the sort of harsh aluminium framed monstrosity I started off riding had sold its to the devil.
One day I borrowed an Addict from someone and despite it being a size to small I felt like a cave dwelling neanderthal who had just discovered the wheel. I'd gone from careering around on a penny farthing to being instantly transported to the centre of the pro peloton sat upon a futuristic exotic machine.
Now, that may be overstating it just a little bit but please bear with me.
I've heard it said many times that a bike's a bike and we are all just being suckers for the marketing machine. Well sure that is true in some cases, those wheels might mean you get home a couple seconds earlier from a hundred mile ride but they sure do look cool. But there are bikes and there are BIKES!
Now I'm no expert, I've not ridden all sorts of exotic machines but quite honestly I don't need to. The Scott Addict is a remarkable bike it just does everything I want it to exactly now I want it to. It climbs superbly, it's fast and direct, the power comes straight out in flat line speed, outgoing seems to be wasted, it handles amazingly, it descends without a twitch and corners like it knows where you want it to go and despite its racey pedigree it is comfortable for mile after mile. I don't lust aft any other bike now, this bike has real soul, it rides how I dreamt a bike would if I could have everything I want.
Frame: Scott Addict R3 ISP HMF L 56cm
Forks: Scott Addict R3 HMF
Bars: 3T Ergonova Pro
Stem: 3T Pro 130mm
Headset: Ritchey WCS
Bar Tape: SRAM Black
Front Brake Lever: Shimano 105 5700
Front Caliper: Shimano 105 5700
Rear Brake Lever: Shimano 105 5700
Rear Caliper: Shimano 105 5700
Brake Pads: Swissstop Black Prince Carbon
Shifters: Shimano 105 5700
Cables: Yokozuna Reaction
Front Mech: Shimano 105 5700
Rear Mech: Shimano 105 5701
Seat: Specialized Romin Evo Expert
Seat Post: ISP Ritchey WCS Seat Mast Topper
Cranks: SRAM Red Black
Chainrings: SRAM Red Black 52, 36
Chain: KMC X10-73
Cassette: Shimano 105 11-25
Pedals: Shimano 105
Bottom Bracket: SRAM BB86 Press Fit GXP
Wheels: Pro-Lite Bracciano C50T Tubular
Skewers: Shimano Ultegra
Tyres: Vittoria EVO CX Tubs
Accessories: SRAM Garmin Mount, Elite Race Bottle Cages, Garmin Cadence/Speed Sensor, KMC Chain Catcher, Stages Power Meter