Sunday, April 01, 2007
When you ride a bike, what are you riding? The shoes, and pedals, the seat, the frame, the shifters? When I took my new bike out for the first time everything was so different I didn't know what to think. I'd never ridden brake/shifters before. Not once. The Ultegra pedals feel different than my old Mavic Look knockoffs. The seat isn't the one my rear is used to. The wheels even sound different as they hum on the pavement. How can I evaluate this bike? Is different better, worse, or just different?
Tricia went out with me and helped me shake down my new toy.
This bike is one cm smaller than my last bike, but feels bigger. I think it's because the brake/shifter hoods have a larger, longer platform than my last bike which makes me feel more stretched out.
Going from 7 freewheel to 10 cluster is great. The Ultegra shifts like a dream, it's amazing smooth and quick. I still have to think about it too much, as in "Big lever moves to larger sprockets, I want a lower gear, so push the big lever on the right." But I'm sure it will feel normal soon.
We rode in big wind, which made the ride both slow and fast. On one stretch we had a huge tail wind and a mile downhill where I broke 35 and got to try that 11 tooth cog. I may never need it again. I'm still thinking about changing it for a 12-25.
My other bike, an '87 Cannondale, is all aluminum with big 'ol tubes. This bike has carbon forks and makes the ride is so much less jarring. I'm really surprised how much difference it makes when I travel over highly "textured" roads.
But the thing I notice most, and like most, is that this bike is so light. Combined with the American Classic wheels is just jumps when I apply power. Going up hills is more fun, and a bit faster than it was. It could just be the famous placebo effect, but I don't think so.
Still, getting this new bike turned into my bike is going to take some time.
EVENING UPDATE: After 2 rides I broke down and started adding junk to my clean ,sweet ride. Pump, water bottle cage and bottle, seat bag. I guess I need that stuff, but the bike is so much cleaner with it.
NEXT UP: Sigma wireless computer. Maybe a TV and a trailer with a hot tub.