Friday, September 26, 2008

test ride #3

Bill called last week to let me know he gotten in a 56 WSD for me to test ride. I had some time to go in a try it out today. I walked in the shop about 1145 and immediately ran into Kelly--we had some trouble locating the bike and he ended up having to call Bill to straighten things out. Turns out he had ordered a 1.5 instead of the Madone 4.5 for me to try, just to get the fit dialed in. I don't blame him--it's a pretty weird size to be ordering a high performance bike in, just for a test ride.

Anyway, Kelly pulled the 1.5 and got me on the trainer for a quick fit. Man...a WAY taller bike than I have ever ridden! Believe it or not, after watching a few pedal revolutions he raised the seat even higher. Felt pretty good. The reach was appropriately short, but I still felt like I had to reach "downhill" to get to the hoods, so he took it upstairs and switched out the stem. Then I was ready to roll.

I headed outside and struck off in the direction of the nearest climb (not far at all). Immediately I noticed how much more upright this bike had me sitting. The ride was pretty responsive, even though it was an aluminum frame. Not very aggressive, but definitely comfy. I even felt upright in the drops. I hit the hill and shifted down (nothing remarkable there--a 1.5 is spec'd with Tiagra, YUCK), then climbed up the ~1/2 mile climb to the top. Felt pretty good--handlebars were wider than I am accustomed to. I cruised around a bit at the top, and then turned around to head down...the true test.

Descending...was pretty good! I felt stable enough that I didn't ride the brakes much at all, and I didn't have to shove my butt way behind the saddle to take pressure off the front wheel.

Despite the fact that it was an aluminum frame spec'd out with lower end components, fit-wise it was possibly the most comfortable bike I've been on.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Two posts in one day!

Just to keep it all straight, while it is fresh in my mind.

Test ride #1 (last weekend): Trek Madone 4.7, standard size 54. It felt weird--my first experience on a full carbon frame. I could feel definite "squishiness" which I am now informed is "vertical compliance." Definitely responsive--I could feel it jump forward when I first hopped on the pedals. Was I in love with it? I'm not sure. Bill looked me over on it pretty thoroughly and then ordered a 56cm WSD for me to try. It just came in yesterday, so I will go back Sunday and see if it sings to me.

Test ride #2 (20 minutes ago): Specialized Roubaix Expert, standard size 52. I was a bit skeptical of the smaller size at first, but it turns out that Specialized geometry is designed to set the rider in a more upright position, conducive to longer rides. I took off on this bike like a shot--it damn near jumped out from under me when I first hit the pedal. I have to admit--this is a damned sexy ride. Light, responsive, crisp shifting. A little more $$$ than the Madone--in fact, way outside my original budget. And I feel a bit guilty--sorta like I'm cheating on the Trek boys with a bike that is younger, hotter, and can go all night (day?). Hmmmmm. Maybe I should have them build/spec out something a little more upscale for me to compare the Roubaix to. Argh.

Argh. Shopping for big expensive toys is fun but it also makes me want to tear out my hair.

finally a blip on the radar...

After a busy summer, I think it's time I re-enter the blog-o-sphere...

Fall season is in full swing and I'm coaching again.

After coasting on WF long course fitness for close to a year, it's finally fizzling out and it's time to recharge to training program. I'm on an extended hiatus from training for any events and from long runs in particular. Instead I'm going to try and bring up my cycling skills a bit.

First...get back to strength training. Started a new 6 week cycle yesterday of single-leg strength and flexiblity.
SS #1: (SL squatx12 each + GH raisex12) x2
SS#2: (12/12x horizontal woodchop + 12x b.board plank) x2
SS#3: (SL HF squatx12 each + 45#GMx12) x2

and, um, butt totally hurts today. Sigh.

Second...replace my blasted tiny little bike. I must say goodbye to little Eddie. I'm having a potentially sweet ride assembled for me at Trek (turns out I am a funky size, who knew?) and in the meantime will try to test ride a few comparable bikes made by Bianchi, Specialized, Cannondale, and Felt.

Third...ride more. Yeah, need to figure that one out.