Perhaps a Tad Too Conservative.

I finished putting together the titanium bike.
Instead of top-level components, which I had on-hand and were otherwise uncommitted to another project, I went with solid-yet-unflashy parts for this build. It's going to be a travel/training/rain bike, so the need for the best is questionable. I just want something that can take a little abuse and still work well.
The components are a complete mixed bag. The fork is a Easton EC90 I got from Joey. The derailleurs and brakes are Rival. The shifters are Force. The crankset is a Dura Ace SRM. The carbon seatpost is a fairly nice Williams model, the handlebars an old aluminum FSA Wing Pro. The aluminum 3T stem will likely change as I sort out the fit. The saddle is a Specialized Toupe I bought a few years back but never got around to installing.
Usually I try to match component groups when I build a bike. This time? Not so much. In this case, form followed function.
Despite the weather man's gloomy predictions for the week, the rain let up for a couple hours and I jumped at the chance to take the new bike for a spin in the afternoon. I saw more than a few roadies I know doing the same thing.
So far, I like this bike. My biggest worry was that it would be too flexy, as a lot of titanium frames are. I was looking for something to take the buzz out of the pavement, but still have a little snap. This bike seems to do that well enough. It's no full-on race machine, but I could certainly jump into a crit on it. I can lose on any bike. I'm not crazy about the way it feels on descents, but part of that could be the wet roads and the memory of my latest fall fresh in my mind. I just need time to build up the confidence and casual disregard for personal safety. Bike handling is a 50/50 mix of skill and blind faith, and I'm a bit short on both at the moment.
As I ascended Potter Valley, the first actual climbing I've done in over a month, I realized I was a tad conservative on the front derailleur adjustments to avoid dropping the chain. Scratch that. I was extremely conservative. Unless I was on the cassette's middle cog, the chain scraped heavily against the derailleur cage, making embarrassing grinding noises I struggled to minimize anytime another rider approached. I didn't drop the chain, and I could shift between chain rings, but the racket was beyond annoying. However, the upside is that it probably scared away the bears. I saw plenty of sign along the road, but nothing fuzzy with big teeth and a bigger appetite.
I'll get it dialed in. TSA will make their own adjustments on the trip down to Biloxi. I'll try to undo them better this time to avoid any repeat meetings with the tarmac. Not much climbing down there (overpass KOMs), so I probably won't find many excuses to shift the front derailleur. Just lots and lots of miles to rebuild whatever it was I lost over the last month. Miles to build towards next year's goals, whatever they may be.
I guess I'll make it up as I ride along.


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