Saturday, April 02, 2005

Stress Test on the Fuji

Did a 51 mile ride today, about 35 of which was with the club. The wheels, which had been giving me so much trouble before, seem to have settled down and gave me no trouble despite the pounding I was giving them. I know Grant says there's not much difference between bikes and frames when it comes to weight, but let me tell you, the 10 pound difference between my Heron touring bike and my Fuji was the difference between me being able to hang on and accelerate with the fast club riders at 28-30mph, and being dropped on the first rolling hill we came across. Sure, I don't think a pound or two makes a difference, but 5 pounds makes a world of difference, and 10 pounds --- it's like having an extra couple of pounds of muscle!

On the climb I worked full bore (the bike is geared so high that I have no choice other than to work really really hard) and went up the hill at speeds between 6-9mph, a full 2-3mph faster than I was able to manage before. Half of this was due to the weight and the other half was due to the position Terry's given me: it's a position further back and lower and he's right about me being able to recruit more muscles when I need power --- I was spinning up the hill in a 36x27, and my cadence was a full 10-20rpm faster than the folks I passed, even the ones with lower gears. I am extremely pleased overall with the bike. It is light and everything I wanted a light bike to be.

I am not so pleased with the stock saddle. I think it's a bit too narrow, but more than that, the cloth fabric top grabs my bike shorts and causes a ton of chafing, which has rubbed my bottom a bit raw. That saddle will get replaced! And of course, the stem has to show up --- the low position is making my shoulders and neck sore.
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