Friday, December 28, 2007

Taste Spin...


Finally finished the build on my Salsa Casseroll last night. The hold-up? Finding the tires I wanted without further breaking the bank.

Since the narrowest Vittoria Randonneur (a current favorite) offering is a 700x28, and since I need a narrower tire for the Velocity Aerohead rims, and because I'm hung up on Vittoria ever since I had a set (and still do) on my 90s Bianchi Eros, I ended up cheaping out with some Vittoria Zaffiros, 700x25. At less than $12 a pop on sale at Performance, and with pretty good reviews online, the miser in me figured what the hell.

First impressions are that this baby is smoooooth! Part of this, of course, is the Phil hubs and bottom bracket, but the other piece is the frame itself. It's surprisingly stiff and responsive, very solid-feeling, but with a faint shadow of twitchiness, exaggerated, I'm guessing, by my inexperience with track-style bars—Soma's Major Taylors, to be specific.'s light! Well, compared to my Cross-Check, anyway.

And although past experience would suggest that I should have ordered a smaller size frame (the Casseroll is said to run about 2cm larger than the given frame-size), the 57 seems to fit me fine, at least during the short spin I took on it. In fact, I had to slide the saddle back a wee bit to dial in the cockpit. Speaking of which, I still need to determine where the stem works best, hence the uncut steerer tube and ridiculous quantity of spacers. Perhaps this weekend will provide me with the opportunity, if the weather cooperates.

Currently running a 49:18, since an 18T Soma cog is what was in the parts bin. It's not as steep a gear as I'd like, but it'll do until the 16T cog I've ordered for the flip (or is it flop?) side arrives. For a comprehensive spec sheet, go here.

Rating: 5/5 Forks, Spoons, and Knives.

Bon appétit!


Fxdwhl said...

Nice looking build. Debated picking one up but opted to stick with my trusty and crusty crosscheck. Those bare bars are gonna get cold though...

Icon O. Classt said...


Yeah, my CC will still see the bulk of my street rides and commutes, and all of my "touring" and snow riding.

But this one will see its share of city treks and bar cruises, to be sure.

There are grips on the drops, and cold weather means gloves, anyway, so cold "chrome" shouldn't be a problem.

Jace said...

Looking well to do, it all came together very nicely. I think I like just about everything on the Casseroll, save the pesky shifter braze-ons. Is that a Velo Orange top-tube protector, btw?

Butch said...

Very purdy!

Icon O. Classt said...

ace, yeah on the TT protector. It's sew-on and a bit of a pain in the ass at that. I'm not so very good at sewing and the accompanying diagram must have been drawn by a child, so the Frankenstein stitch underneath didn't turn out all that pretty. Still, it seems like it'll stay put, and I like the sort of understated, spartan look of it.

And yep, the shifter braze-ons, though old-skool cool, are kinda ugly and definitely pointless in fixed mode. I gooped the rubber hoods that came with the frame in place so they don't look that bad to me.

Rob said...

I like it- what do you think of those bars (the shape)? I've been switching back and forth between mustache and drops- there is something to be said for brake hoods. Phil hubs-- wow wee, is Oprah having your baby?!

gwadzilla said...

looks sweet!

I need to get my beater fixie up and going
got it back with max's repair job

scored a very cool rack from max's moving sale

it is going to be a fun final assembly
not a full project
but something more than I am ready to jump into

not at least until after I recover from the holidays

an hour eighteen

gmr2048 said...

"the shifter braze-ons, though old-skool cool, are kinda ugly and definitely pointless in fixed mode"

How good are you with an angle grinder? I've got one if you need it. I'm just not sure how to protect the rest of that pretty paint job as you hack those puppies off.

Icon O. Classt said...

Gary, thanks man, but I'll probably leave 'em on. I'm not one for altering the original form of a frame. If anything, it'd make more sense to grind off the cable-stop braze-on on the right chain stay, since it threatens to rip off the heel of my shoe. The low Q-factor of these cranks puts the crank end about a millimeter away from the stay, which ain't too cool when pedal-braking, as you can imagine. Guess it'll force me to tighten up on my form, ha.

Rob, I like 'em both (big help, huh?). The MT drops are great for flying up climbs (it's the body positioning) and getting more aero. Also, they flare a wee bit more than standard track bars, which is also an advantage (leverage) on climbs and offers a more comfortable hand position. The tops are marginally functional at best, but damn, they look nice and offer a little more straight pipe than standard track bars for a blinker, brake, girlfriend's ass, etc.

The 'stache bars are wider, which makes reefing on 'em on climbs also very effective. Of course, it's tougher to dart between cars with wider bars. In the end, I think the 'stache bars win for long rides, but lose points for style. If I had to choose for an everyday bike, it'd be the 'staches.

As for the bourgeois build, well, this bike has been a piecemeal project for a looong time. Bit by bit it's slowly come together.

The thought of Oprah in ANY capacity shrinks me where it counts.

reverend dick said...

Don't grind shit off your bike. If you keep it for any amount of time you may want to change set up...keep your options open, maaaan. (you prolly already know this seeing as how you didn't get silly with your steerer right away) It looks real nice as it is. I'm now looking hard at those bars.

Walker said...

Looks delish... where's my spork?
And you're right about quality parts making up for slight imperfections. But I really enjoy peeling razor-thin shavings, watching the dimples disappear.

Icon O. Classt said...

RD, yeah, that usually holds true, but I ain't changing the set up as far as fixed goes. Period. Gears just don't do it anymore, and besides, I've got an Eye-talion made Bianchi with full Campy in reserve that I also ain't changing anything on. Rarely do I ride it, though.

Walker, yep, doing mechanical shit is cool. I get the same feeling doing that sort of stuff--the instant gratification doesn't hurt, either.