Sunday, October 14, 2007

Road Bike! What a feeling!

I took my new vintage Univega to Berkshire Bike and Board today to see what it needed to be roadworthy. As we looked at it closely, it seemed that almost everything was in like-new condition - new tires, chain was not stretched, brake pads unworn. We filled the tires and there were no leaks. I bought a new seat (the old one was trashed) - I got the kind designed for women, with a convenient cutaway in the middle. I also got a floor pump with a gauge and some chain lube - I did zero maintenance on my old bike all summer - never even checked the tires - so it was about time. (I also got a big can of Cliff Shot drink and some chocolate mint gu's - I'll report back on those shortly!)

So just now I took it for a brief spin - just near the house, probably no more than 2 miles total, up and down a few medium hills. I was concerned about 2 things: that you can only sit in the all-the-way down position, as the brake levers are set down at the bottom, and that it only has 12 gears - I'm used to the upright mountain bike position, and I rely on granny gear on my Trek, which has 21 gears. The gears weren't a problem for the short hills I did - I felt an amazing amount of power and speed, compared to the old bike. The riding position will get very tiring, though - after only 10 minutes my hands and arms were starting to feel it. I guess I'll build up the mileage slowly, and get some gloves.

Another concern will be shifting - the shifters are on the down tube and they don't move easily so I'll have to have one hand off the handlebars and really put some force into shifting - it threw me off balance a bit.

The whole thing felt so different - I felt the road differently - it was stiffer, maybe? I felt the bumps more, but not in a bad way. The seat was interesting - much narrower than on the trek, but I think I'll like it. The cutout definitely helps! (I wasn't wearing bike shorts or any padding.) And it was FAST - I felt I could really get up some speed on the downhills, if I let myself (which I didn't.) I haven't put a computer on it yet - I figured I'd wait to make sure i like it before I add stuff to it. But I think I want to ride it for a few months - as long as I can this fall and next spring - to really give it a chance before I put down money on those Giant OCR3''s or 2's I've been coveting. So I guess I should move my seat bag, bottle holder and computer over!

Any suggestions for getting used to the position, or softening the stress on my hands and arms? Or do I just have to toughen up?

1 comment:

LBTEPA said...

Also you might want to spring for a fitting, to make sure your seat is the right height/forward position etc.
You can just zoooooooooom better on a road bike than on a mtn bike - so much fun!