Friday, November 21, 2008

IRO Bandit Strikes Again.

My lovely wife noticed a bicycle outside of Tom's that was "Pretty Candy" as she put it, and snapped a pic.

As it turns out, its the IRO Bandit, with a new setup. Really, this isn't something TOO out of the ordinary, but it sticks out like a sore thumb in my neighborhood. There just aren't that many track bikes locked up in the Upper West Side.

Are you ready for this?

The first thing we notice is that he's upgraded the front wheel from a nice Deep V to high flange to a well used Aerospoke complete with brake wear and street cred stickers. Not sure if that's an upgrade to be honest.

He DID get rid of that extensive front end setup, and went with something a bit more practical, keeping the Thomson stem and Kashimax TT protector of course. ..and red Ourys, if you believe it!

The chesterfield of a Specialized Body Geometry (TM) saddle has been swapped for a slim and suggestive Selle An-Atomica. Clearly the IRO Bandit values his perineal comfort.

A pretty new RED chain has been added, and to complement it some translucent strawberry Odyssey Twisted PC 'pledals' as well. These are a bit wider than the Wellgo mountain flats he had before, I wondering if his cornering lean angle has suffered?

On to the final change; His low flange small box section rear wheel has been swapped in favour of something with MUCH shorter spokes. We now see a high flange hub to what appears to be an H+Son Formation Face rim (judging by the amount of valve he's got left), and what could potentially be Vittoria Randonneur with Double Shield Puncture Protection (TM), reflective sidewalls for night time safety, and deep tread for wet weather traction.

I should also mention, he's ditched the punk rock belt of a Kryptonite chain, for the new and flashy Abus Bordo. I have heard really good things about this lock, but it just seems like its in a position to dent the down tube should the bike be molested at the rack.

Lets just compare this to the changes that have happened to my own bicycle in the past couple of months:


Bars/stem - IRO Bandit and I are on the same page here. We've both lost our Nitto RB-019s for some risers. The difference is that I recognize that the different bar setups require different length stems. Maybe the Bandit does now as well...

Cranks/Chainring - I replaced my bent and well used Shimano Tricolor 600 172.5s to Takagi 3/32" 42T with a combination of 105 and 600 170s to a rad Specialties TA 1/8" 130mm 42T ring. I also put in a new UN73 bottom bracket and a new KMC 710 chain. These are all pretty much wear related repairs, though the shorter cranks are giving me a marginally higher max RPM.

Rear Wheel - Again The IRO Bandit and I have similar thoughts. Deeper is Stronger. I just recently rebuilt my rear wheel from a janky failing Ambrosio Excellence, to a VERY economically priced Deep V (Which was apparently a prize for Best Checkpoint at Metal Race 1). I swapped tires from an IRC Redstorm to a Michelin Megamium due to wear as well. I'm really happy with the new wheel. It definitely weighs a bit more, but its linear tension and stiffness make the back end of my bike feel really solid.

..and of course, i put some fenders on because I like riding year round.

At first it seems that all of my upgrades have been for function, and the Bandit's for fashion. But maybe I have more in common with the IRO Bandit than I originally thought. I was sort of clowning him the first time I saw his bike (and again after seeing the wife's picture), but now I wonder if there's more to it than that. What if this bike isn't a reality, and its more just an extension of myself that I'm not prepared to embrace? Are digital pictures really evidence that something exists? I hate Aerospokes and BMX pedals on track bikes. Is the IRO Bandit MY Tyler Durden? I don't eat at Tom's.. do I?


simon said...

Is it just me, or is the front end of that bike locked on with a piece of dental floss (or something of that ilk?)

((lyledriver)) said...

Its an Abus Bordo, as i mentioned above. I think they have them at the Bike Doctor over there if you want to check them out. Pretty cool folding design, not sure how well they stand up to chisel or leverage attacks though.

Here's a good vid showing how well it holds up to a cutoff wheel: