|fter a race, Carstramon|
But now it needs to be replaced. Bicycle technology has, needless to say, moved on in twelve years, and so there are choices.
The simplest possible thing to do is just buy a replacement frame and bottom bracket (and probably crankset as well). An equivalent aluminium frame, from Dolan, would cost £250; adding the other parts I need to replace would bring the cost up to around £400.
|A quiet afternoon ride along the clifftop|
However, my existing Campagnolo levers won't drive hydraulic brakes, but only cable operated brakes, and cable operated disks are not a big improvement over cable operated rim brakes. So in practice I'd need a whole new groupset, costing £500 or (probably) more. Of course Campag haven't yet released a hydraulic disk brake; I could use cable operated disks with my current levers, and plan to upgrade in a year or two when (if) Campagnolo do get round to it; or else go for the Rotor Uno group, which looks really interesting but also very expensive.
In the long run, derailleur gears are probably not the best choice for a high-reliability workhorse - although they're not a terrible choice. Epicyclic gears would probably be better. Edinburgh Bicycle co-op would sell me a Marin bike with 8 speed epicyclic gears, belt drive, and hydraulic brakes for only £900, but that bike has flat bars, which I really couldn't live with, Shimano components which I'm a bit snobbish about, and an aluminium frame. Adapting it to drop bars would cost quite a lot and may even not be possible. Also it has an aluminium front fork, which is going to be harsh off road, and it probably cannot pull my trailer.
Looking at better bikes, Shand Cycles would build me a cross bike with belt driven Rohloff 14 speed epicyclic gears and hydraulic disk brakes. It would be hand made for me here in Scotland, and would be an absolute dream bike - by far the most practical, most durable and most reliable bicycle I could buy. But, it would cost at least £3,600, which is, for me at present, an awful lot of money.
|Getting cross in winter|
Furthermore, the Cannondale definitely can't take a hub dynamo (which is not necessarily important in these days of much better battery lights), and, since it comes with a through-axle on the rear wheel, can't by default pull my trailer. Whether it can be adapted to pull my trailer is something I don't know, and must find out. It would also be substantially less durable and reliable than the Shand, although it would probably be a lot more comfortable off road.
Dolan would sell me their carbon frame built up as a complete bike for £1200, but with cable
|Three wheels on my wagon|