Kent Eriksen Cycles Steamboat Springs

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I drove over to Steamboat Springs from Silvethorne to give my cross bikes to Kent Eriksen to have rear disc mounts put on. I’m not sure I’m going to use disc brakes, but there isn’t a down side to having the option. Hanging with Kent and Katie is always super interesting and fun.

We didn’t get here until noon, went for a short ride, and then drove up to his house up above Steamboat. He’s been doing a million projects up here and I wanted to check them all out. The guy has so much energy and vision.

Last night I was thinking about bike frame materials and the advancements in weight reduction the last decade. Some of the things that have been done is simple amazing and really good for the sport. But I’m not sure that carbon fiber frames are one of the good things. The frames might be alright for the very top end of the sport, but for everyone else, they are a liability. When I was riding Trek frames, I went through a ton of them. Don’t get me wrong, they rode great and weighed next to nothing. But it seemed like just about everytime I even sneezed, I’d break one. If I fell and someone ran into me, or I ran into someone, they broke. And falling is part of bike racing. I hate it when I break a frame and I don’t pay for them. The “hate” of breaking a frame when you do pay for them is much, much more.

Bill Marshall, Mr. KCCX, posted something on Facebook about his Fuji carbon frame being broken by someone just knocking the bike over in a stand. Wow, I bet that happens way more than you’d imagine. How depressing would that be?

Anyway, titanium doesn’t have these issues. The frames aren’t 650 grams, but you can get one close to 1000 if you wanted. Titanium has really improved over the years and there are so many options of tubing that you can get really have a custom frame with exact characteristics. And with that you get a bike that is virtually indestructible. I’ve had a Moots YBB for 15 years. I’ve thrown that bike off of cliffs, ran into logs at 25 mph, snapped off shock forks, you name it, I’ve done it and it is perfect. One of my cross bikes I’ve ridden for close to 10 years. Show me a carbon cross bike that could be ridden that long. Impossible. When I get done racing, all my bikes are going to be only titanium. It is a great material for bicycle construction, withstands the elements, super strong and pretty light. And those is the reason I ride Kent Eriksen frames. Pretty simple.

Kent is building me a new road frame this week. I’m going to go to Park City, Utah today. I’m going to try riding MTB bikes with a bunch of friends from San Diego. I’m not sure MTB riding and my body are going to sync. Mainly my fractured ribs and screwed up thumb will be issues. I plan to see Eric Heiden’s wife, who is a hand surgeon in Park City too. My thumb is still pretty unusable and I have a couple other long term issues with the hand too.

I plan to come back through Steamboat in a few days. I’m not exactly positive what I am going to do for racing over Labor Day. Most likely I’m going to race a stage race in Steamboat Springs. But there is a MTB stage race in Grand Junction. Plus always the Gateway Cup criteriums in St. Louis. I need to race, so one of these will be what I’m doing.

Okay, I need to get into town and have Kent do a few measurements and then get driving. It’s only 300 miles to Park City, so it isn’t that far.

Picture loading is a little slow up here in the mountains, so here are just a couple.

My pile of cross bike pieces.

My pile of cross bike pieces.

Kent's house up in the Aspen trees.

Kent’s house up in the Aspen trees.

15 thoughts on “Kent Eriksen Cycles Steamboat Springs

  1. Rich

    Not to mention the ability to do custom much easier than carbon. Because of my size (6’4″) and flexibility (think Entish) I can’t really ride the stock carbon frames. (I look at the drop on Jens Voigt’s bike and think “chiropractor”). And because custom frames cost real money,I need a frame that will last. I’m 7 years in on my custom Ti road bike, and I’m planning for it to last me another 8. Low maintenance,I don’t worry about breaking it, fits great, rides great.

     
  2. T Leonard

    Steve —

    I currently have two road bikes: one with a Specialized SL3 Tarmac carbon frameset; the other is a 1995 Litespeed Vortex with an Easton EC90 SL fork, the frame originally built for Scot Moninger. I don’t have the frame weight on either, but as similarly built bikes (a mix of force and red) and with the same wheelset, the two bikes are within 50 or so grams of each other — and the Litespeed is the lighter. The Litespeed has an alloy Ultegra crank, the Tarmac a carbon Force. The Litespeed also has slightly heavier brakes; Force vs. Red.

     
  3. Chris Gruver

    Your Frame Pump: I rode in West Texas for a some years where most farmhouses had big dogs that were frequently aggressive. I had a few metal Zefal pumps that had so many dents in them from hitting dogs that they would hardly open and close anymore. (It was a training program to keep them away from other cyclists.) I wonder if that’s why you carry the frame pump.

     
  4. Jason

    I have had carbon mountain bikes and they don’t seem to last. Gary fisher superfly SS fall over on a rock and puts a hole in the seat stay. Now I ride a Ti Kona Raijin made by lynskey. A bit heavy but solid performance on the trail. Cross bike is steel. No more carbon for this guy!

     
  5. Bill K

    I take it even one step farther. I do my training and racing on a steel frame. I figure that I could go with Ti and save a pound, or go with carbon and save 1-1/2 pounds, but why? I race on “old school” wheels with GL330 or Wolber rims on modern hubs. If I really wanted to cut a few pounds off my bike, I could just start skipping that late night snack.
    .
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  6. Joe

    Not fair Bill. Your wheels are very light. Few rims go to 330 grams now. Dropping weight in the wheel area is key.

     
  7. Mr.Frack

    Yea, it is funny. Almost all of the domestic pros in the 80s were on Litespeeds, Merlins or Moots Ti frames that were beat to crap, yet the next year with new stuff on them , either another team spray,or new decals they looked new. Now almost every pro I know on carbon goes thru 3 or more frames a year. When we all paid for our frames they lasted.

     
  8. Jackie Gammon?Chase Cyclery

    Couldn’t agree more with this topic! I had a custom ti frame built in 1994 and it’s still my favorite bike to ride. Do I have newer bikes “yes”. Do I have lighter bikes “yes”. When I sit on the ti bike to ride, I always am reminded that it fits like your favorite shoes, is more comfortable and quite frankly it lasts. When I feel the need to have something “new”; I’ll upgrade the group and that’s always Campy, a new set of wheels and heck new handlebar tape, waterbottle cages give this bike a new personality.

    As a shop owner, I always get the question ” why don’t you ride your new bike more often?” Well, because the ti is simply a great material, can be repaired and like many of you have mentioned if it should fall, well it will be ok… I’ll pick it up and ride it back to the shop.

     
  9. IowaGriz

    This post and other comments makes me feel much better about my decision to keep my El Mariachi Ti for next year and just upgrade the components (start of year 4 next spring).

     
  10. jed schneider

    the only problem with Ti bikes is you can never justify buying a new bike because that ti bike is still good.

     
  11. Mike T.

    I got a Moots YBB in 1995. We would usually go to Steamboat summer & winter every year. Didn’t know Kent had left the company he founded but I decided it was time for a Ti road bike after having ridden steel frames for a number years. We were back in Steamboat for our summer vacation in 2006 and thought I was going to get another Moots. While looking in the phone book for their number I came across Kent”s name as he had just started his eponymous company. I thought why not talk to the man himself? Went that day to visit with Kent, got measured and got my frame about 3 mos later. I’d say my smartest purchase ever. The bike fits and rides perfectly and will literally last forever. The quality and detail of the workmanship is just unmatched. Kent and Katy are the best. You won’t find another business that matches their service and expertise. Not cheap, but you’ll still be riding that beautiful Ti bike long after the heavier steel is corroded and the plastic is cracked/broken/just worn out.
    BTW Steve, your association with Kent is the reason I started following your blog. I hope you keep finding the energy to keep it going. I enjoy your perspective on things.

     
  12. mark

    sub 900 gram carbon frames are awesome….when you get them for free and/or your team car following you has your spare bike on it. They are just disposable. Don’t think that spending more will get you more reliability. Carbon can’t do what it can’t do, and using less to save weight just makes it worse.

     
  13. Nancy

    I have never ridden a Titanium bike but I am on my third season with a Cannondale frame. I trashed it a few times but I have to replace bottom brackets, cable, cassette, headset and chains several times. Maybe it is a lucky one.

    As Mark said, if the UCI or USA cycling modify the rule and allow only one bike per race and that you must finish with the same bike that you start. I am sure that the carbon bike will become more durable and it will fix the problem with the team cars.

     

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