Well, Ed the Tall has been spending waaay too much time around me apparently, cuz he just handed out some hard cash for a brand new, 2008 Raleigh XXIX SS.
We wandered about the countryside on one of my favorite under 3 hour training rides. It is a typical So Cal fireroad with a bit of pavement thrown in and some singletrack. It is like a big interval session and on the SS, hurts very well. thank you. The day looks sunny and harmless, but it does not show the cutting wind, cold and nasty, that we pedaled our one gear into for an hour. Brrr. Once we hit the dirt, the wind was more at our backs and side and was quite a bit more agreeable.
It was enough to tire out Ed for a change. It was the first time I had seen him weaken like a mere mortal...did my heart good! SS will do that, but he had a blast on the stock XXIX, 2.5 pound tires, rigid fork, etc. I don't know how much those Stouts really weigh, but I picked up the front wheel and it is one heck of a gyro going on there, I will tell ya.
The XXIX really caught my eye. I have plans to replace the Monkey for SS duty and the clean lines of the Raleigh impressed me. I had never seen one or read about it much, but it has all the stuff on my short list of features: Steel, EBB, SS only, great tire clearance, and it comes in an XL that gives me a 25" TT. I want that length for next time in both SS and FS, but it is hard to get in a Large, rigid, off the rack frame. I measured the XL and the standover is comparable to what I have with the Monkey, so I am used to that.
Add that frame to the list of potential new suitors for my affection.