chain reaction cycles, out of northern ireland, tends to have stupidly good deals for us yanks, and especially for alaskans. assuming you spend more than @$250, a number that, of course, fluctuates a few dollars hither and yon with the exchange rate. once you've met that requirement, shipping is free, which is especially nice in alaska, since most places in the lower 48 charge about $5,000,000 dollars for shipping an axle nut up here. so i headed on down to the post office this morning with my little notice to pick up my package from the afformentioned bane of the bike shop.
the contents of the package were a mix of stuff i need(want) now and stuff that i'm likely to need at some point later on, which were added on to the order to meet the free shipping requirement. a rear hydro disk(formula oro k18), a 183 mm adapter to try to get my front hope moto v2 out of the spokes, a bashring, four spare sets of pads for the formula, and a kenda klaw rear tire. i definitely did not need the kenda, but it was cheap and appears to be a good mud performer. so i'll add it to my collection.
all of these shiny bits, and the contents of several other packages i've recieved over the past month are the components of my new bike. an access xcl9, built up as a 5sp, front suspended bike. 5sp because it means i can use a ss hub and get rid of the gears as soon as they get on my nerves too much to be useful, suspension because the roots up here are annoying as all hell on a rigid fork. why a new bike? aside from why not? the katate monkey has seen alot of life, and been through hell and back. i don't know how much longer it's going to put up with my abuse. that, and the new frame was only $80. i think all totalled, the bike cost me about... holy crap, i just added it all up in my head... probably around $1600. ick. anyway, here's a photo.
all the components are bomber and high quality, so they'll all be able to migrate to whatever i end up on once the $80 frame has outlived itself.
i used to work in a bike shop, and i was always a strong advocate of supporting your local bike shop. and i still am. i've also always understood though, that there's often times no way that a bike shop can match online prices, and that in many cases, it would be foolish of someone with mechanical know-how to not buy the item online for less. even still, i think in the 8 years before moving up here, i only mail ordered three or four individual items, and all were because they were below shop cost, or unavailable through the shop's distributors.
this new bike though, is entirely, 100% mail order. and as justifiable as it is, and even if they understand and really don't care, i'm still going to feel like a jerk the next time i bring it into one of the two lbs' i like up here. those being speedway cycles in anchorage, and backcountry bikes here in palmer.