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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Stem and Handlebar upgrade: A Eureka Moment

I believe the upgrade is now complete, and I thank Jonathan Mayo, my officemate, for this. I was supposed to only accompany him to the bike shop during lunch break so he could check out the prices of the Camelbak. Surprise, surprise! As it turned out, it was actually me who bought a lot.

Since the bike fit session by Toots Chua about a year ago, I've been meaIning to replace my stem to something longer. I just either didn't have the time or finances to make it happen. I was using a 90mm Truvativ Team. According to the print-out I should be using a 100 to 110mm stem, instead.

Well, when we got to Extreme Bike Shop along Panay Avenue, I found a 100mm version. What's so cool is it's lighter than the Thomson stem by 30g. That's not bad at all considering the latter costs twice as much.

The spending didn't stop there. Since I'm into upgrading the control department, I decided to retire the FSA flatbar to the oversized Truvativ Team aluminum handlebar. Here's another funny trivia - Truvativ's aluminum team flatbar is lighter than their carbon fiber version by one gram! Ha!

So now I have the whole Truvativ team set - the stem, the flatbar and the seatpost, which I bought a few days after my bike fit.

As for the handling and fit, I couldn't be more thankful for the upgrade. With the longer stem, it now feels less cramped and the positioning is more comfortable. When I took it for a short ride around the village, the front isn't sketchy anymore compared to the shorter one. I am actually more comfortable to do a no-hands trick now with this set-up. The bike is also a few grams lighter. I just have to check the scale to see how much weight did I lose.

This coming Sunday will be the D-Day for the new parts as we would be tackling La Mesa with the ABS-CBN and Skycable mountain bikers. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

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