Saturday, February 20, 2010

It was all about the bike today: big ride, testing new rides, and retiring an old friend.

So far, I have felt like all season with my three disciplines, Swim, Bike, and Run, that the biking has been lacking in comparison to the swim and run, even though I do spend the most amount of time on the bike. I guess it has a lot to do with most of my bike miles this year have been on the trainer where its much harder to motivate yourself to go harder, like you can do so easily on the swim and run. Maybe that's why I feel like the biking hasn't been coming along as well?

That started to change, TODAY.

The stars aligned this morning! The sun was out and shiny, the temperature hit the low 40's and there was a little wind (which was fine). So I got outside for my first "real" long ride of the season for an almost 41 miler. I of course took out the time trial bike and tried my best to stay consistent and conservative, while trying to keep up a little speed. I think it worked! My legs were shot by the end of the ride, but mostly my shoulder and butt hurt the most. I did my new favorite time trial route:

Look at all of those flat sections! It was haul ass city!

But after the ride ended, the day was faaaar from being over involving riding bikes. I headed over to the local bike shop and tested out some Cervelo road bikes that I have had my eye on for awhile. I tried the S2 and R3.

I first want to say that both bikes are phenomenal. Probably the nicest road bikes I have ever ridden. They are both super light (like around 16 pounds!!!), both the same price and ride sooooo nice. But I did find some differences:

The S2:

A much stiffer ride = more instant acceleration. I hit the gas first going up a hill and BOY did the bike respond. I actually had to shift into a harder gear to maintain the same cadence. On the flats (good thing there was a traffic speed checker thingy right there) I easily hit 25+ mph. This bike just wanted to go FAST. There was no "softness" in the frame or pedals upon acceleration. It also handled sooooo well. Going around a sharp turn was effortless and felt like I was carving on my snowboard. The frame is very aero and the top and downtubes are similar to my P2.

The R3:

Not as much of a stiffer ride. However, its a much more leisurely ride. I immediately wanted to call the bike the Relaxing 3. Going over bumps felt like butter. The bike was a bit lighter, but upon acceleration on the hills and flats I felt this "softness" like all of that energy I just put into the pedals kinda evaporated. It still went fast, but there wasn't that "crispness" that I felt with the S2.

Overall, it was the stiffness of the S2 and the softness of the R3 that made the biggest difference. I can liken it only to splitting wood. It was like splitting a red oak log vs a poplar log. Splitting a red oak log is this super satisfying "crack" and instant split whereas splitting a poplar log is like hitting a sponge that will only bounce an ax back at you, which is VERY UNsatisfying. However, if you were to ride 50-60+ miles I guarantee you your body is gonna feel more wrecked on the S2 rather than the R3.

If you can't already tell, I much more prefer the S2 because I would be hitting the hills and sprinting the flats HARD on that bike. I am done with soft frames! haha!

And now for some sad news:
My Trek 5000 has been a great bike to me. I went up Mt. Ventoux in southern France two times on it in the summer of 2005, but unfortunately the bike frame has been too big for me (hence the chronic back pain over the years). Currently there is a super short stem on it which is not ideal for proper bike handling. It is my first carbon fiber bike and has been a great joy; it's just time to retire it. Now the bike isn't going anywhere. I will always have the bike and will use it as a backup. Can't get rid of something that took me up Ventoux two times! Those are cherished memories!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, a new bike, that is VERY exciting, cant wait to see pictures. Congrats on the retirement of your other bike, that's a big deal!


Don't be shy! Leave me a comment!