Friday, January 16, 2009

Casseroll to Go...

Got a call a couple weeks ago from Revolution Cycles in Clarendon. Seems Salsa Cycles1 decided to step up to the plate and deliver on my frame warranty issue. So, I dropped by the shop last Monday on my commute home from work to pick up the frameset, trying hard not to focus too much on the fact that I’d have to get the Casseroll frame and fork home—a distance of five miles, some in heavy traffic—via bike with no obvious means to secure them but the Osprey Daylite pack on my back. Yeah, I'm the king of proper planning.

But, never underestimate the funtionality of sturdy compression straps and a single wisp of plastic commonly known as a zip-tie2. The guys in the shop—all fine folks, by the way—had looks of mild skepticism on their faces as I grappled with the frame, trying out different positions in the hopes of finding the sweet spot that offered adequate security and clearance. I secured one compression strap around the top tube and the other up high around the seat tube, then fed the zip-tie through a pack grommet and around the seat tube near the bottom braket. Three points of contact. To keep the whole works from flopping around like a drunken flounder, I pulled the pack bungie lace over the end of the seat tube and around the bottom bracket cluster. The fork went inside the pack, with the steerer tube jutting out 10 inches like a periscope. I used a mini 'biner ("not intended for climbing use") that hangs on my pack to keep the zipper heads tight against the fork, weaving it through the zipper pulls so that the pack wouldn't gape under load.

All set with the packing, I gave my thanks, paid for the shipping and handling, then bid farewell, deftly negotiating my way through the twin doors of the shop to avoid banging my new set of "wings".

Out on the bike on Clarendon Boulevard, things went smoothly. When you're riding on a busy street during rush hour with what amounts to outriggers extending from either side of your torso, well, people give you room (the ones paying attention, anyway). Got home safely and examined the frame and fork. Beautiful. Same color, but with a newly designed decal package that is either more or less fancy than the original, depending on your tastes. The predominant decal color is the same, a maroon that nicely compliments the ginger-beer paint. Gone, however, is the white background that showcased the framemaker's name. Some filigree work has been added around the down tube and the words "Ride & Smile" now appear on the inside of each chainstay. Flip the frame over, and the catchphrase "IF IT AIN'T MOTO, IT'S WORTHLESS" flows across the down tube near the bottom bracket shell. Overall, a nice, classy-looking esthetic, as elegant as the original. Oh, and a bonus: Salsa included a black Lip-lock seatpost collar with the frame and all the water bottle cage bolts...nice.

Have to say I'm excited to have this hot little dish on the menu again. Nothing left but to garnish it with some quality components.


1. Kudos time. Big thanks to the warranty department at Salsa for ruling in my favor on a decision that could have gone either way. It's not clear how the crack originated, though a small dent appeared along the fissure near the underside of the down tube, suggesting perhaps that a stone or other solid object made contact with mean intent. Regardless, the Salsa folks deemed it ambiguous enough to front me the new frame and fork. I'm a happy customer, not just because I dig the Casseroll's ride and handling, but because of this level of customer service.

2. I once transported a Kona Unit (sans fork) from Ashburn, VA, to Vienna, VA, this very same way.

8 comments:

b1umb0y said...

You are the master! Congrats on getting the Casseroll back in the quiver. She was a beaut, and will be once again.

Just say the word if you want me to trim that spacer down.

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Todd said...

Sweet, can't wait to see her built back up again.

I had a feeling Salsa was going to take care of you.

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