The last time I got a new bike was July 2014 after the great bicycle falling off incident of October 2013 when many of us on the NPR jumped off our bicycles together in a big heap and broke each other and things. My Giant TCR had a cracked seat tube but I continued riding on it until Brent Garrigus at RIDE Cyclerly in Encinitas was working on it and noticed the crack.
Fortunately Giant warrantied this obviously defective frame that couldn’t withstand the normal wear and tear of bouncing along the asphalt at 40 mph on its seatpost. However, the replacement frame was identical to the 2012 model I’d been riding, so technically I’ve been riding the same frame for four years, which is a billion years in bicycle coffee shop smack talk time.
Yesterday I picked up my new Cannondale Evo Super Six, courtesy of Helen’s Cycles in Santa Monica, after having my trusty mechanic Boozy P. fine tune it. This morning on its inaugural ride it was humming along even with the fine-tuned rear brake pad dragging against the rim, which was easily adjusted but not by me.
So after 180 minutes on the Cannondale I’m thoroughly prepared to compare it in detail with the Giant TCR which I rode for four years and 40,000 miles.
WANKY’S BICYCLE COMPARISON CHART
- Wife Handling
TCR: The TCR handled wife quite well. Offered at not much of a discount, it nonetheless escaped spousal ire by being associated with new team and a cash stash I had in an old sock.
Super Six: Terrible spousal handling characteristics. Delivery clumsily planned on Valentines Day, in tandem with thoughtlessly forgetting a spousal gift and trying to make up for it with leftovers from Rite-Aid’s card rack (“Dear Jesus Thank You for Our Heavenly Love, To My Wife”), and a $25 Starbucks card. Came close to catastrophic failure; needs major redesign.
- Bank Account Weight
TCR: Weighed in way over budget, but camouflaged with savings stuffed in old sock and timely purchase of a new Italian leather couch for Mrs. WM in lieu of son’s college tuition.
Super Six: Extremely light, so light that it was hardly noticed except for the aforementioned Valentines Day issue, which ended up in a nasty spat along the lines of “Happy Valentines Day for you onna new bike and I’m onna cheap coffee and ugly Jesus card.”
- Wheelset Sleight of Hand
TCR: Superior wheelset swap-out while Ms. WM was out of the country, allowing replacement of shitty wheels with full carbon FastForward F-4 100% carbon clincher wheels and carbon FastForward tubular climbing wheels that are 100% carbon and full carbon. Unbeatable wheel swappiness.
Super Six: Requires lots of careful, technical work not found in the manual, for example, when planning to replace the perfectly good F-4’s, it is necessary to buy the new ones with behind-the-couch-cushion savings, then stick the old wheels in Boozy P.’s shop while waiting for them to sell, and being sure to never, ever, ever come home with an extra set of wheels. Tricky, can result in complete incompatibility and spousal relational failure.
- PayPal Slush Fund Upgrades
TCR: Pretty good for saving a few blog subscription bucks and then secretly buying Ceramic Speed BB and jockey wheels without being caught or having to do “equivalent purchase” restitution in the form of nice restaurants or new granny underwear.
Super Six: Very poor PayPal application due to generally low balance in account. Unable to effectively hide major wheel purchases, resulting in borrowing from friends and promises to pay Jon D. for the new wheels next October.
- 100% Carbon Full Carbon Composition
TCR: Drop-outs were not full carbon, so completely worthless POS frame and I’d never own another one. Thinking about class action.
Super Six: Full carbon 100% carbon everywhere, including full carbon drop-outs, carbon bolts, and carbon bar tape that is 100% carbon. Buy the bike for this reason alone.
- Peloton Envy
TCR: No longer the shit because, fad.
Super Six: The new hot chick/sexy guy everyone wants to be around.
- Shoe Rack Leanbility
TCR: Leaned pretty solidly against the shoe rack in our apartment without upsetting the clogs and ratty sneakers.
Super Six: Seems to take up less space, probably due to higher carbon content.
- Performance Tool Requirements
TCR: Could pretty much fix anything with Old No. 72.
Super Six: Requires torque wrench and a new set of tools that I won’t be able to use, to go with the other ones I used to use until Smasher made them all pretty and put them in a box where they’ve been for the last fucking month because when I was younger I didn’t care if they were trashed but now I’m older and know the value of money and a clean tool (you read that right) and I’m afraid to touch them. However, Smasher did send me some purchase options, a $350 Snap-Off torque wrench set or a $40 Spin Doctor torque wrench set that was just as good, so I went with the more expensive one that I’d never use. “I like your style,” he said.
- Wind Chatter Aerodynamics
TCR: Did a good job of muting unwanted spousal criticism because it came with Team SPY and she was distracted by the awesome kits.
Super Six: Terrible at breaking the wind resistance of angry Mrs. WM, whose tirades about that $25 Starbucks card and the Holy Jesus Loving Wife card are going to be a feature of the family landscape for a while.
TCR: Too heavy to effectively scamper away up hills avoiding family troubles, life problems, and penury.
Super Six: Spry, quick as a gazelle, offers endless hours of escapism.
- Kit Integration
TCR: Went pretty well with the SPY-Giant-Ride color scheme, which improved yearly.
Super Six: Same black-and-white pattern as TCR, but glossy black and goes great with Team Lizard Collector’s 2015 classic black kit. May not work as well with the 2015 Calvin and Hobbes design, but the jury hasn’t hung itself yet.
TCR: Best bike I’d ever ridden.
Super Six: Best bike I’ve ever ridden.
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