Sunday, May 3, 2015

takin' the monster up coppermine

On yesterday's ride, we got to talking about hill riding; I was concerned about taking on hills with the Krakow Monster, since it has downtube friction shifters (Dave C, who's been around bikes for decades, said "What? You mean shifters?", reminding me that for decades, riders had been using friction shifters for all their riding), and another rider talked about wanting a light bike in the hills.

Discussions of bikes and weight make me irrational. So today, before breakfast, after forty-odd miles yesterday and bein' on my feet much of the rest of the day at the party, I took the Monster on this ride.

Some facts about the Monster:
  • It weighs 30.5 lbs., plus water bottles;
  • It has flat pedals, not "clipless";
  • It has downtube friction shifters, as noted;
  • The tires are 30mm, inflated 70psi front and 75psi rear.
With all that, today's ride compares favorably with this ride and this one on the Yellow Maserati, the "fast bike". No, not as fast, but the difference is as likely to be tiredness, no breakfast, and bigger, softer tires as it is to be bike weight.

So before you drop $3,500.00 or more to be faster on a new bike just because it's lighter*, be sure that you've taken care of some other stuff first:
  • Make sure you're in good physical shape;
  • Make sure your bike fits (you don't have to go to Hart's for a Guru fit, but everybody who's done it has been impressed with their results); and
  • Make sure you've honed your riding technique.
And don't expect me to be rational when you talk about lighter bikes. (grrrr.)

*The proper reason to buy a new bike, as far as I'm concerned, is "because you love it." 'Nuff said.

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