Saturday, March 07, 2009

Chronicling My Descent into Madness

Sometimes I get over focused on the wrong thing. Nevermind last Sunday's "This American Life" on our world situation. Or our Treasury Secretary on Planet Money. I'm listening intently to what indicators I can.

Yet, the air has warmed ever so slightly. Sure it is raining cats and dogs. The trails may not be ride-able for months. I'm already dreaming of a future. And even hoping for a new chance at this future.

I have never bought a frame online. I know many folks are perfectly happy to say "I need a 56", not even knowing the units for 56.

I'm certain I can list a number of ways I have been fitted, and purchased a bike successfully. Many of which would be scoffed at, but turned out fine.

  • "yeah I can stand over it, what else is there?"
  • Take a 5-10 minute ride. Do not to get anywhere near anything resembling a bump or dirt. Was I going to trail ride that later successfully?
  • "this one's 1/2 price". That's a good fit!
  • I've very confidently listened to a trusted LBS employees who said, "no, you need a 60" (and they were right). (and they later fit me on the frame after I put all the parts on it)
  • The tri bike "trainer ride fit included with bike".

After all this, I'm contemplating getting something on-line based on 10-30 different quoted measurements. It has become an interesting exercise to see if I can psych myself out or not. After a week of "which tool should I use to draw this" (you'd think a computer guy could find a blueprint tool easily). I nearly resorted to pencil and paper. Luckily, some of the locals went to NAHBS and let me know about Bike Forest's tool to punch in frame geometry and see what ya get.

So, using the following:
  • Frame specs from the Singular Swift L and XL sizes.
  • A more or less straight side shot of my current mountain bike.
  • Gimp
  • An unhealthy amount of, I'm going to get this done and I don't care if an LBS in my state is going to start stocking them.
I more or less used this procedure:
  1. Take a photo of my bike.. and tons of measurements.
  2. Throw out 99% of the measurements and realize that if I just make the seat height right, I can try to line up the seat and BB in different layers and see the diff.
  3. Plug the L frame specs into the online BikeCAD tool. Turn that into a layer in GIMP.
  4. Plug the XL frame specs into the online BikeCAD tool. Turn that into a layer in GIMP.
  5. Save your work!

** Disclaimer - I did my best to use the right specs for the frames. I don't represent the manufacturer. It could all be so wrong that it's not funny.

What I might have learned:
  • I'm not sure I trust this picture. But if it's right. It surprises me how little the difference between L, and XL is.
  • I could probably use the extra 50mm in the seat tube.
  • Are (current) my bars too low?
  • Hrmph. Does it line up if I draw a midge on the Singular?
Enough of this. Time to turn on the brain clearing device and do some core.

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