Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Slow Descent to Hell

Well, I finally gave in and purchased the Sam Hillborne frame. I wanted it. I didn't want it. Okay, I always wanted it, but I certainly didn't want to part with the $$. After sleepless nights (literally) and (on the few nights I
(Photo acquired from Rivendell) Sam Hillborne frame
did sleep) random, crazy, scary dreams about bicycles, I decided that it wasn't worth the agony of trying to talk myself into a bike that I clearly didn't want, e.g. the Surly LHT. While the ride was lovely on the Long Haul Trucker, I just couldn't bring myself to love its looks, particularly, the small frame that I would need to suit my needs. The decision to get the frame brought about some additional frustrations. The first was realizing that there were no longer any Taiwan built frames in my size, and I'd have to fork out the extra dough for the Waterford, WI model. Additionally, when I found the appropriate size frame in stock, it had been assembled as a complete bike. While it would've been easier to just take the bike whole, the cost was more than I could handle, particularly for what was, in my opinion, an incomplete bike (lacking fenders, racks, etc). So, the guys are disassembling the bike, only for it to be reassembled here by the talented Sam with me "assisting" in the process.

Locating and purchasing all of the components has also been a challenge. I wanted to try to have things arrive on or around the same time so I don't have to sit for weeks or months waiting to see and ride the bike. The tires I wanted, the Grand Bois Hetre tires in White/Ivory, have been a challenge to secure, as it seems that all
Grand Bois Hetre 650b tire in white
of the distributors are out of this color. I realize I could simply get a set of black tires, but it's not what I was after. I did find a distributor who was willing to put me on back order and send them when they come in, and I have also discovered that a local bike shop has one set in their store, but they have very, very limited store hours, and I don't want to pay to have something shipped that I could simply pick up.

Additionally, I'm finding that I'm closing in on a price tag that I really hadn't hoped to reach. The only comfort I can find in all of this at the moment is to say that I hope it is the most comfortable bicycle I've ever ridden. Sadly, it will be a time before I can make that sort of judgment call.  Until then, the pain of spending money I don't have is leaving me with new kinds of scary day dreams... like living in a ditch with my bicycle covering me at night, or being forced to tour the country because it's all I will be able to afford. I suppose I should enjoy my slow descent to hell though... after all, this is what I wanted, right?


  1. Well, the build will still be less than anyone could set it up, and even if it's close, the parts we use are actually better. It's quite simply an expensive bike 60-70% being the "USA" frame, reminds me why i often times loathe the ole USA!

  2. Yes, I agree. It's just painful to watch it all go away. I'm definitely happy with the purchase; just a bit frustrated with the costs involved.


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