I was on the phone with the folks at Richard's Bikes in Illinois again today. Apparently both the Ellsworth Evolve (the one I pre-ordered) and the hardtail Enlightenment 29er are not going to be available for certain until April to May.
That's simply too late. Back to the drawing board on the bike-buying decision. Grumble, grumble.
After thinking long and hard and "seeing what the pros ride" I've returned to the desire to buy a hardtail that either has carbon stays (aka firmtail) or something akin to a soft tail with 1" suspension. I'm going to trust that with the right materials, that teeny bit of suspension combined with the larger wheels will be enough cushion.
So I asked myself a somewhat loaded question: Why not titanium?
And wouldn't you know there's a site built specifically to answer that question... http://www.whytitanium.com/
If I'm truly looking to build a purpose-built endurance-racing bike, then there is no reason not to go Ti. Other than the obvious one. But isn't a frame made out of a light, strong, absorptive, corrosion and impact resistant material that can outlast its owner worth a couple extra hundge?
On the scale of over-indulgence, the decision to buy a titanium bike has to rank only slightly lower than the decision to buy a custom-made titanium bike sized specifically to your own body's dimensions. We talk a lot about "lifestyle purchases" that not only are positive for health and happiness (like cycling) but that also encourage more use and greater, more ambitious goals. That's what I'm looking to make. A purchase of a bike that will not only be wonderful to ride at TransRockies, but also a bike that will be begged to ridden in many other epic races and self-supported adventures that lurk around the next corner.
Also, there is the fact that no matter what bike one buys, it's still a lot cheaper than boating, golfing, mountaineering, and numerous other sports and hobbies. Not to mention a lot cheaper annually than smoking or a nasty cocaine addiction. Actually, is there anything that isn't cheaper than smoking? Someone who smokes just one pack of cigarettes a day in Washington state spends $2091 per year on cigarettes.
Wow. When I put it that way, it kind of makes bikes made of what some jokingly refer to as "unobtanium" seem downright affordable.
Like I said, back to the drawing board...