Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Maiden Voyage

So today was the first day I rode the new bike to work and back. It was everything I hoped it could be.

In particular:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.


Stace' said...

It's got pegs, shocks, LUCKY!!!

Ames said...

Did you take it on any sweet jumps, yet?

freedomnan said...

So glad you got that!

freedomnan said...

So glad you got that!

Shan said...