Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Why 4mm matters - Specialized, read this and let me know your thoughts

This evening I received a box from my FedEx friends with some new bits for the road bike. Over the past year I've dabbled a bit with some lightweight parts. These have been fun given the light weight, but after riding some of our rougher venues I want to make sure I've got some solid components under me that will not fail.

Gone are the old stem (3T) and seatpost (KCNC). The 3T stem isn't a weight-weenie part in the truest sense, but you'll see my logic soon. The seatpost is definitely uber-light, but the clamping mechanism destroyed my rails on the old Toupe saddle (see last blog post for details). I went with a new Thomson stem and seatpost. Why both? Because I think it just looks better when you've got matching components. I'm just a bit OCD about this at times.

Why does 4mm matter? It matters when your underside is concerned! With my old Toupe there's a ~15mm gap between the rails and the edge of the saddle. The new Toupe I got last week (team edition in blue/white) only has ~11mm gap. This matters because the Thomson clamping mechanism has a part that protrudes up a bit. When the saddle bottoms out and flexes it now hits the top of this clamp.

I'm hoping it won't hurt me, but Specialized, why did you change the specs? Sure, one model is the gel version and the other is the team version, but wouldn't the distance between the rails and saddle be the same? If I've got a defective saddle, let me know and I'll personally drive down to Morgan Hill to get it replaced.

But then again, I do have three kids and we're not planning for any more. Maybe this is just a cheaper solution than taking a visit to the doctor for the snip-snip.

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