This is the second part of a series where Bill Bloom is describing the process of having a bike built by local builder, Glen Copus of Elephant Cycles. Read the 1st posting here if you missed it.
Deciding what kind of frame I wanted wasn¹t all that complicated. After many hours of pondering options, usually while in the saddle, I felt that I had distilled it down to a fairly reasonable request. Glen asked me to bring my '83 Cannondale touring bike and ¹07 Trek 5000 over to his shop so he could measure them. He asked what I liked about each bike and what I wanted on my Elephant. Since it has wider 32mm tires, fenders, and racks, the Cannondale is my go-to bike when it is raining, need to carry bags or will spend more than a couple of miles on gravel roads. While the Cannondale serves its purpose just fine, it really is more of a functional than fun bike. My Trek makes me truly happy. Not to get too dorky, but with that bike it so easy for my mind to go where it wants to go; I just forget the bike is there. It is comfortable on longer rides, solid on fast descents, and even when I¹m feeling sluggish on the hills it always has that spring to it. It is only a humble TCT 5000 (I¹m scared to imagine what a "real" Madone would be like). The only place it seems to be wanting is when the road stops being pavement. I explained to Glen that in a perfect world I want the new bike to feel like my Trek, but be able to accommodate my 42mm wide studded tires, take a rear rack and feel fairly stable on a gravel road. Without much more conversation than that I had let Glen know what I wanted the bike to do and simply left the how to up to him. I¹m sure Glen would be happy to talk about tubing types and fork rake and Alex Singer¹s philosophy of frame building, but other than repeating something I had read I would really have no idea what I¹m talking about. For the next segment - The build begins. And yes it will have pictures.