Saturday, November 12, 2016

Tale of Three Bikes: Rebuilding the Gunnar (Part 1)

This is the Gunnar

Loaded, after a 600K a few years back.
After the most recent full rebuild.  That's a new Ultegra 6700 group, Ksyrium Elite (or is it Equipe?) wheels, Ritchey carbon forks.  From this picture only the headset (Cane Creek 110), saddle (WTB Rocket V) and stem (Thomson X2) are staying with the bike.

The Bike

It is a "Roadie," Gunnar's road racing frame, in 60 cm -- really a 58cm effective top tube measurement.  P__ bought this bike for me for our third wedding anniversary.  The bike is quickly approaching it's first decade and showing its age a little.  I decided it was time to freshen it up and return it to its original look.  Well, mostly to its original look.

Here it is being ridden when a much younger bike.

Heading north old school with silver U-6600 componentry, steel forks, and 32-spoke wheels

It its original configuration the Gunnar was a sparkly deep red ("Sunset Red over Fine Gold"), built with elegant straight-bladed steel forks, Ultegra 6600 2x10-speed group, Thomson post, Bontrager stem, and Ritchey bars.  (I wasn't paying enough attention at the time to gripe when the shop set me up with parts bin specials on the finishing kit.  Phooey on Revolution Cycles Arlington for that.)  I was riding a Selle San Marco Concor Light saddle in those days.  And those are Profile Design Stryke aerobars, a fourth-rate product that nonetheless were the standard in clip-ons for many years.

Use Model

Despite its place in the Gunnar Cycles line-up, the Roadie has never been a race bike.  I have, literally, raced it -- three times in triathlons with clip-on bars, once in a 24-hour race and once more in a 12-hour race -- but that was because it was my bike and not because it was the ideal bike for any of those purposes.  In fact, the Gunnar is heavy -- I've never had a build lighter than 20 lbs.; it is a flexy steel frame, inconsistent with the currently favored stiff carbon for hard efforts; and it is a slightly twitchy geometry, not ideal for long days in the saddle.

But it is also a lovely, classic-looking bike, and it is my bike.  I am rebuilding it for a century/200-300K bike -- long, even day-long, rides that do not require loading beyond the third water bottle and seat bag.

The Rebuild

Too early to report much, but I can report what will go on the bike when redone:
For the first time, this is a spare-no-expenses rebuild.  (To be clear, this is a "what cool parts can I buy on the cheap" rebuild -- those Zipps came to me, new, for $1400 and change -- but I was willing to shop around and spend a few dollars extra for top of the line parts.)

More to come!

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