This weekend saw a trip to the largest bike swap meet in the country, Denver’s VeloSwap. It is a dangerous place. Among other things it is a test in temptation and self control. I passed the test, just barely. Hey, I could’ve easily emptied my bank account and still left desiring more. Instead I happened to pick up some much needed essentials at good deals.
I had never seen anything like VeloSwap, and left feeling like I had just taken a 3-hour Calculus final exam. My brain hurt. My neck hurt from constant head turning. My eyes hurt from trying to take in a thousand shiny objects at once. It is nothing more than a candy store for bike nerds. Didn’t bring enough cash with you? No worries, there’s two ATM’s in the convention center. I didn’t know I had attention deficit disorder until going there. It’s a good thing I went alone, because I would’ve lost any accompaniment in the first five minutes. It took me about 3 hours to peruse the venue, which consisted of maybe 200 or more vendor tables, each stocked to the max with goodies new and old, from $5000 bike frames to that old Campy piece you’ve never been able to find. Anything and everything your bike fetish ever desired could be found there.
I spent more mullah than previously intended, but made a conscious effort to buy what I needed, instead of all that I wanted. I got some winter lobster finger gloves with Thinsulate, windbreaker fabric and leather palms, for about ¼ the cost of other competitors’ offerings.
I scored the elusive Cannondale Save carbon fiber seatpost. Save, as in “save” your tender bits. Cannondale doesn’t sell these posts separately. All you have to do to get one is buy a $6000 mountain bike, or go to VeloSwap. And I got it for about half the price they go for on the Bay. Now I don’t have to continue to switch my one seatpost between two bikes. I’m stoked to try it out and see if it flexes as much as advertised.
A few other items were haggled down in price and bought. That is the beauty of VeloSwap; nothing is set in stone. No prices are firm. Want to buy the vendors whole table? Make him or her an offer. I didn’t pay the “listed” price for anything. The big score of the day was a new set of high quality hydraulic brakes. As my new build gets going, I knew that one of my biggest expenses would be the brakes. I was planning on having to spend in the territory of $600 on a set. That was, until I came across these babies:
|Finally, a real set of brakes. Out of the dark ages.|
A brand new set of Magura Marta SL brakes in fancy red, with their fancy self-cooling two-piece rotors as well as the standard rotors. They were sort of hiding on the guys table when I saw them, and no price was listed. Upon inquiring about the price, my eyes lit up and certain juices started flowing. Juice can also double as the flowing of cash out of the ATM machine into my hand. I then went back and haggled the guy down another $20 on his previously too-low price. Score. They are a couple of years old, but still brand new and proven to be a great set of high quality super-lightweight hydraulics. I can’t wait to give ‘em a try. They will be much lighter and way more powerful than the Avid BB7 mechanicals I’ve been using since the olden days. I was planning on putting them on the Niner until my new Generic comes in. Then the Niner decided to take a break. More on that later. Review to come.