OK, guess I was in a bit of a "rant" mood for my last post. Bitching about lines at registration at races, not so hot courses and all that. Is it really that bad? A messed up registration line run by people taking their Sunday to put on a race is enough to start me whining?
Then I read a great post over on the Frites and Mayo site. A great story about what makes me love cross, and the atmosphere and people who do it. I seem to have lost my perspective a bit, and gotten lost in the little things. Thanks for sharing that story, Rich, and putting me back on a more positive thought track.
One thing I tried out on Sunday, bike wise, was a new front derailleur. Not the sexiest part on a bike, but for any cross bike with top tube cable routing, is a source of limited performance. I like a "clean" down tube, as I am kind of old school about carrying bikes, and pick up by the down tube a lot. Don't really like a cross bike with down tube cable routing. The downside to top tube routing has been no top pull road front derailleurs. The pulley method fo getting shifting never worked that hot. mushy and slow front shifting limited wanting to use the front shifter when it might have been more useful than not.
Shimano finally has a Top Pull front derailleur available. While I am all SRAM for my drivetrain, I went ahead and tried one of these Shimano top pulls when I did my mid-season rebuild. It looks to be a Cyclocross-inspired design, even being named a "CX-70"
Wow, what a difference. The new setup shifts like a dream. Crisp, fast shifts, no mushy feel, and gets rid of a lot of "stuff" on the back of the seat tube to pick up mud.
Anybody who is not a "Single-Ringer" and has top tube cables might want to look at "de-pulley-ing" you bike. The change is dramatic. So I now have a Shimano part on my bike after many years of 100% SRAMing. (Sorry, Shotty....)