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Old 03-19-2017, 08:32 PM
Clean39T Clean39T is offline
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Yamaguchi Team USA

It's been just shy of two weeks since I took delivery of Ed's Yamaguchi and adopted it as my own. In that time she's been outside on every rain-free day we've had in Portland...which unfortunately has been but thrice on the fortnight. And yet those three times have been plenty for me to fall madly in love...

If this were a magazine review, I'd use every different word for stoked and delicious, tight and fleet-footed, shapely and wise to describe what it's like to ride...um, her.

Or I could go pun-wild, and report how her shapely tubes bring all the boys to the yard.



Instead, I'll just relay what a joy it has been to get reacquainted with custom steel (my last being a Rock Lobster Team Tig SL) and Campagnolo.

And not just for plodding to the cafe.

I turned her pedals in anger today, completing my first road race in a decade - 53mi on a cold but sunny Willamette Valley morning. The course was mostly flat chip-seal, with just a few punchy rollers. And she handled it with aplomb, inspiring confidence while humming along in a nervous pack over broken pave.

The motor however had its ups and downs, riding well through the early scrum, making the break, but then losing touch 17mi in after a brief lapse in concentration allowed a gap to open coming out of a sharp right-hander into a stiff headwind.

And so it goes. Some hard solo miles followed before I befriended a fellow straggler. We worked together the rest of the day, exchanging pulls and good conversation. This wasn't a gruppetto putter to the finish either; I flogged the pins well, pulling 23-24mph on the flats, making the most of the flat-forearm position she seems happy to be ridden in...

As it so happens, falling from the lead pack may have lead me instead to a new riding bud and potentially a team to train with. A welcome win in a city known for smuggery.

I haven't checked the finish list, or hunted the photos for some action shots, but when I do an update will follow.

Until then, I leave you with a rather unremarkable pre-battle pic:






Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Last edited by Clean39T; 06-16-2017 at 10:49 PM.
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  #2  
Old 03-19-2017, 09:57 PM
Tony Tony is offline
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She's beautiful! Thanks for sharing.
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  #3  
Old 03-19-2017, 10:03 PM
onsight512 onsight512 is offline
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great write-up!
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  #4  
Old 03-19-2017, 10:19 PM
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fogrider fogrider is offline
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Nice! that seatpost looks good on her! if you are going to race her with solo efforts, you may have to break down and go with aero hoops.
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  #5  
Old 03-19-2017, 10:41 PM
exapkib exapkib is offline
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Thanks for the good write-up!

I was back on my Yamaguchi for the first time in a while (craziness at work), and it is just a bike that wants to go fast.

You mention the way that it moves in the flats. I know exactly what you're talking about. I also love mine on the descents--so confident at high speeds.

Keep the reports and the photos coming!
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  #6  
Old 03-19-2017, 11:44 PM
Clean39T Clean39T is offline
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Originally Posted by fogrider View Post
Nice! that seatpost looks good on her! if you are going to race her with solo efforts, you may have to break down and go with aero hoops.
I've thought about that (the deep-dish hoops), but honestly I'm in a bit of a "what horse for what course" pickle and throwing aero wheels into it just confuses things: I bought this because I just fell in love with it and I wasn't really sure what role it would fill, though I was thinking it'd be more of a Sunday driver (I'll be honest, I didn't do any research up front); and then before I even got her, I found this Merckx MX Leader that also caught my eye and because I'd heard such great things, I went ahead and got it, expecting it'd be my "ride hard and fast" machine; well, and back before those two, I picked up a Lynskey R460 and for some reason I'm having a hard time letting that one go (it'll build up 3-4 lbs lighter than either of these two and technically would be the right one to keep in the stable for racing). So now I go and find out the Yamaguchi also likes to be ridden hard and fast, and I got the old dilemma sinking in...do I really need three race bikes? And if not, which one goes? That's really not too hard of a question since the Lynskey is third in line of the "most unique" category, but it's also more of a contrast with the other two than the MXL and Yamaguchi would be with each other. And the Lynskey would work really well with some Bullet Ultras I might have a line on.. It's a wonder I get any sleep at night

Did I mention I picked up a Serotta Colorado II with Shimano 600 on it from "BicycleTricycle"? Yeah, I have issues - but at least that one I've already made peace with becoming my long-haul commuter given its age/condition/components..
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Old 03-19-2017, 11:45 PM
Clean39T Clean39T is offline
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Originally Posted by exapkib View Post

Keep the reports and the photos coming!
I will if you will
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  #8  
Old 03-20-2017, 12:29 AM
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fogrider fogrider is offline
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Brother, you have it bad! Honestly, I'm not sure I would race the Yamaguchi. A race bike is just a tool. I appreciate a fine ride, but a race bike is meant to be ridden hard without worry. With that said, I have two rock lobsters and they are pure race machines and are great riding bikes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clean39T View Post
I've thought about that (the deep-dish hoops), but honestly I'm in a bit of a "what horse for what course" pickle and throwing aero wheels into it just confuses things: I bought this because I just fell in love with it and I wasn't really sure what role it would fill, though I was thinking it'd be more of a Sunday driver (I'll be honest, I didn't do any research up front); and then before I even got her, I found this Merckx MX Leader that also caught my eye and because I'd heard such great things, I went ahead and got it, expecting it'd be my "ride hard and fast" machine; well, and back before those two, I picked up a Lynskey R460 and for some reason I'm having a hard time letting that one go (it'll build up 3-4 lbs lighter than either of these two and technically would be the right one to keep in the stable for racing). So now I go and find out the Yamaguchi also likes to be ridden hard and fast, and I got the old dilemma sinking in...do I really need three race bikes? And if not, which one goes? That's really not too hard of a question since the Lynskey is third in line of the "most unique" category, but it's also more of a contrast with the other two than the MXL and Yamaguchi would be with each other. And the Lynskey would work really well with some Bullet Ultras I might have a line on.. It's a wonder I get any sleep at night

Did I mention I picked up a Serotta Colorado II with Shimano 600 on it from "BicycleTricycle"? Yeah, I have issues - but at least that one I've already made peace with becoming my long-haul commuter given its age/condition/components..
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  #9  
Old 03-20-2017, 12:41 AM
Clean39T Clean39T is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fogrider View Post
Brother, you have it bad! Honestly, I'm not sure I would race the Yamaguchi. A race bike is just a tool. I appreciate a fine ride, but a race bike is meant to be ridden hard without worry. With that said, I have two rock lobsters and they are pure race machines and are great riding bikes.


You know, after watching some unfortunate gents crash into eachother going uphill and eat pavement, me thinks you're right.. OTOH, there were a lot of bikes out there that people had waaay more into than I in mine - difference being a $10K chunk of plastic is replaceable...a custom bike is too I guess, but it's just different. Hmm.


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  #10  
Old 03-20-2017, 03:40 PM
Fivethumbs Fivethumbs is offline
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Sweet ride! Does it have a 1-1/8 inch head tube?
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  #11  
Old 03-20-2017, 04:37 PM
Clean39T Clean39T is offline
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Originally Posted by Fivethumbs View Post
Sweet ride! Does it have a 1-1/8 inch head tube?
Yep. I thought it was 1" at first because the clamp is so thin on the steel stem, but it's 1-1/8".. Someday I'll cut the extra steerer. I can't see needing/wanting it taller than it is now.
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  #12  
Old 03-20-2017, 04:40 PM
Clean39T Clean39T is offline
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Here are a couple pics from the race - note the links to the copyrighted photos - and yes, I do plan to buy one or two to support the photographer..

Link 1

Link 2
Attached Images
File Type: jpg CapturePOC2.jpg (89.7 KB, 663 views)
File Type: jpg CapturePOC1.jpg (82.3 KB, 671 views)
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  #13  
Old 03-20-2017, 04:44 PM
Clean39T Clean39T is offline
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Yamaguchi Team USA - Raced and Ridden - A Serial Ride Report

Oh, and I decided to build up the Lynskey and then make the decision on which one (between the Lynskey and the MX Leader) to keep, or at least to keep built up (I may just mothball the Merckx if it comes to that) - the group going on the Lynskey would be destined for the MX Leader anyway.. I figure I have the least chance for regret this way.

*****

Edit: sold both :/

Last edited by Clean39T; 04-05-2017 at 12:15 AM.
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  #14  
Old 03-20-2017, 08:14 PM
gemship gemship is offline
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Pretty bike but I am loving the cat. For that awesome pic! thank you
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  #15  
Old 03-20-2017, 09:05 PM
Clean39T Clean39T is offline
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Originally Posted by gemship View Post
Pretty bike but I am loving the cat. For that awesome pic! thank you


S/he just came strolling up out of the bushes and started flopping around looking for belly rubs


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