- I didn't time it too carefully, but I'm certain the trip took less than an hour. That's fantastic, as the bus ride takes about 1:15, and my previous bike commutes were something like 1:05 -- 1:10. So I'm going to give the new bike credit for 10 minutes. And that's with a couple red lights that seemed a little long to me.
- The ride home took 1:08, rather than 1:30 (the ride home is a net climb, end-to-end). That's much better: I can justify times like that for a workout, but I have trouble justifying 1:15 each way just sitting on the bus, when I can drive it in less than half an hour.
- The old bike has front shocks, and I didn't really realize how much effort that added. Without those shocks, there is a noticeable change in the effort to move the bike. But then, I discovered just how rough my bike route is this morning. My arms were a little numb from shaking over one stretch.
- I love disk brakes. All the hype is deserved. They let you control the stopping so much better. I can ride down a hill at a controlled pace now: not just either ridiculously slowly are all-out fast. This might be one of those things from which there's no going back.
- The handlebars need some work. I've been contemplating switching out my bars for something more ergonomic, but I might just add some bar extenders. At any rate, the short T-bars are rough. After about 6 miles, I was getting pretty numb in the hands. I like the bar extenders on my old bike, although the vertical angle is wrong: the variety of hand positions makes riding just a little more comfortable. This could take some research: extenders make me feel like I'm going to get caught on something, but bare T-bars are just too Spartan.
- The trunk and built-in panniers are a nice shift of weight from my back to the bike. The weight doesn't actually change---I need to haul the same number of pounds up the hills---but it seems to be better situated than in a backpack. A friend has offered me a used messenger bag, so I'm looking forward to trying that too. I've been riding with a really heavy laptop bag, but now that I have a company-owned workstation, I'm not hauling that laptop anymore. This is a good thing. So maybe the messenger bag will be even better than the trunk, or maybe I'll find they compliment one another well enough I use them both at different times: there are advantages to both methods, and strong proponents of each.
- I already moved my tail-light up from the rack to the back of the trunk bag. I might need to move my water-bottle cage too. I think I prefer it on the lower tube, rather than on the seat tube. I'll probably need to just add one, rather than moving what's already there: I might be really dry come summer time.
- I don't like the grip-shifts on this bike. I like grip-shifts in general, but the ones on this bike are distracting. They have a little indicator needle that moves, and always makes me shift the wrong direction. This is difficult to describe in words, but maybe a picture helps:
From Bikes New and Old
The problem is, the needle moves with the grip, but it's in the wrong place: it looks like it should move against the grip, rather than with it. It's counter-intuitive enough I keep shifting up rather than down, etc. A little electrical tape could be the perfect solution to this problem.
- I like the smoother, narrower, higher-pressure tires.
So yeah, this bike is great. I'm really excited to get back on it tomorrow morning.