We'll start with the big stuff. The N+1.
|You can't tell that this poor bike has spent all day in a hot bike locker, can you?|
It's a Straggler, pretty much stock. I did use a shorter angled stem ("Don't you understand that you're supposed to be more stretched out on a road bike?"), changed out the Surly Knards (700Cx41) for Panaracer Paselas (700Cx35), and put fenders and a rack ("How could you ruin that beautiful road bike with fenders and a rack?!?!") on it. I'm not sure, but I think there is also a Brooks B17 in this bike's future.
I've fallen back into being just a commuter lately, so I've only been able to put sixty or seventy miles on this bike in the weeks that I've had it. One thing I can tell it that this bike is more of a workout than my hybrid. Or maybe that's just because this bike encourages me to go faster where the hybrid encourages me to relax. I've been trading off riding the two bikes. Slow relaxing ride? Take the hybrid. Fast relaxing ride? Take the road bike.
Apropos of new bike day, my sister is also looking for a new bike. So far she's been most impressed with a Specialized Ruby. One of the selling points is the Ultegra Di2. She did come to me looking for advice, but...light carbon frame with electronic shifting? I have close to zero experience with carbon frames, and none at all with electronic shifting. I've read a few articles on it, and it doesn't seem bad; but there's a lot of hype, and I would certainly like to try it to see what the ballyhoo is all about.
Discussing bikes with my sibling has again started me on the path of "i-can-build-my-own-bike-oh-yes-i-can..." I've started thinking about the simplest bike I could put together. When what I came up with was a single speed (no, uh-uh, no way), I started thinking about the second simplest bike I could put together. Rim brakes. Downtube shifters. Flat bars with no wrapping. If you had to put together your first bike, how would you do it?