March 7, 2012

New Bike Notes

My ride today called for rolling hills so I headed to Granite Bay with my coworker for a nice ride on quiet country roads. We passed horses, cows, sheep, llamas, and goats and a lot of really nice homes. It was so nice to ride somewhere other than the bike trail! I rode mostly on my handlebars as it was windy and had a lot of hills, but at the end we had a nice long gradual downhill that let me get down in aero and cruise at 20+ mph : ) The route we rode is the bike course for an upcoming Oly race. It's definitely not easy, but at least it's quite scenic! I ended up riding a bit longer than I had scheduled but it was a lot of fun and great practice on my new bike.
 home of a nice long hill
As I mentioned before, it's amazing how different my tri bike is from my old road bike. Here are some things I've noticed so far:
  • handling - The handling is a little touchier than a road bike, especially when in aero. I've found that the trick is to steer from the elbows when down in aero rather than with your hands.
  • feel - This is a very welcome difference! Everything just feels very smooth with this bike. Vibrations from the road aren't as magnified and pedaling, shifting, etc. are smoother, too.
  • shifting - This is something that's going to take some getting used to. On tri bikes the shifters are located at the end of the aero bars, which is great if you're in aero, but kind of a pain if you're riding on the handlebars. I found this especially annoying on my ride today that had a lot of rolling hills and required regular shifting.
  • aero - This is easily still what scares me the most, although I'm slowly getting better as I practice getting down in aero. The funny thing is that a tri bike is designed to be most comfortable in the aero position (and it is), but it is a little disconcerting to be crouched so low and far forward without easy access to the brakes, which are located on the handlebars. I'm still working on going downhill, climbing, and taking turns in aero.
  • speed - As I mentioned a couple times before, it's amazing how much faster this bike is! I don't know if it has to do with the geometry or what but with the same effort I can go 1-2 mph faster. My position on the bike also feels much more efficient; my legs don't seem to fatigue as fast and I seem to get more power out of each stroke than on my previous bike.
With all that said, I really am loving my new bike! I definitely still have a lot to learn and practice, but so far things are going pretty well. Once thing I've found to be helpful is confidence. While I'm still pretty nervous when I'm riding, especially when I'm in aero, I keep telling myself to own it and not be timid. The only way to learn is to try!

In other bike news I ordered some new pedals (Shimano 105s) and installed them last night. I'd previously had dual-sided mountain bike pedals (didn't know they were MTB when I bought them). My chiro thought that the cause of my foot-ankle issues a couple weeks ago was from too much twisting in my cycling shoes. Then when I went to buy my bike the guy who fit me commented that he saw a lot of movement in that foot. He explained that triathlon-specific cycling shoes tend to be less structured on the upper than regular cycling shoes, and also being so old it just looked like they were allowing too much torsion in my foot. So I'm planning on investing in new shoes soon, but in the meantime I got new pedals. Getting in and out of them is actually pretty much the same as my old ones, but I do like that I don't have to worry about them being turned to the right side in order to clip in like I had to with my dual-sided ones.


  1. Oh it looks so nice and warm there...

  2. I love all the tri info you write about! Great to hear. Oh man alp the gears and brakes on the aero bars...that would take some getting used to. Love the new bike!

  3. I haven't had a chance to ride the new CDA bike curse yet but there are some good hills in plenty of opportunity to get down in aero and cruise down those hills. Have fun get acquainted with your new bike.

  4. Aero seems very intimidating to me, but it sounds like you're getting used to it pretty quickly!

  5. nice pics! such a warm winter we are experiencing...

    1. i know...i hope it doesn't mean an excruciatingly hot summer!