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  1. #1
    Senior Member Pinyon's Avatar
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    Another New Bike

    After almost 3 months, I finally paid off and got my bike out of lay-away. I bought a Specialized Allez Elite Compact (50/34 compact crank). After putzing around with it on the wind trainer for over a day, I took it out for its maiden voyage this morning before work. I took it on my standard 49-mile training route that incorporates some hills, rolling hills, and some prairie on the way back to town. Here are some pictures.

    The the dam behind the Colorado State University football statium, located near my house. A short hill, but is a rude awakening when I'm just getting started at 5:45 AM.


    A picture from beside the dam, looking at Horsetooth Lake and side-view of the rock formation that gave it its name.


    My new bike at the parking lot for the hiking trail that goes up to Horestooth Rock (nice, clean bathrooms at the top of a steady 2-mile climb).


    Flag-stone quarry that is the namesake for this little town of Masonville, Colorado.


    One of the last cherry orchards left around Masonville. The whole valley used to be full of cherry orchards.


    Heading back onto the prairie, there is this little ridge called the Devil's Backbone in Loveland, Colorado.


    Looking back towards town and the Rocky Mountains, from a few miles out on the prairie, on the way back to town.


    The compact crank is taking a little time to get used to. My older bike is a 52/42 in the front, with six 14-28 cogs in the rear. I'm not used to having 9 speeds in the back yet. It is a lot easier to maintain an easier-on-the-legs cadence with all of those extra gears. The difference between the front two chainrings is also much greater, and I can tell that I'll be using the smaller chainring on hills a lot more often than I used to on my older bike (switch over in the middle of the cassette, rather than using it only like a bail-out gear).

    I forgot to add that it is a real kick in the pants! It springs forward faster, stops better, has more comfortable hood-covers for my hands, has a much easier bail-out gear for steep sections, and goes faster downhill. The smaller cogs in the back allow me to go faster than I used to downhill. I used to spin-out at about 30-32 mph on my old bike, depeneding on how my legs felt (spin out faster at lower cadence and speed when tired after a hill, etc.), but the new bike allows me to propel the bike forward upwards of 36-37 mph. Also, I just flick my finger, and it switches gears. No more paying extra-close attention to the road to make sure that I don't swerve when changing gears on uneven pavement in traffic. I like it a lot!

    Have fun out there, people!

  2. #2
    Clipless faller rainycamp's Avatar
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    I got the exact same bike in February. I see you also did what I did--changed the saddle from a white one to a black one. It's a great bike, and I really like the compact chainrings.

    BTW, I visited your neck of the woods in 2005, and drove (not rode ) through much of the same country as in your pictures. I'd love to ride it someday.
    2008 Specialized Allez Elite Compact
    1981 Raleigh Super Record
    Trek 4900 MTB
    My blog: "Bike Noob" http://bikenoob.wordpress.com

  3. #3
    Senior Member rollerdavem's Avatar
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    Nice bike, nice ride.

    I think the black seat looks pretty good, but then I never saw the white one.

    I guess I'll take your word for it, guys.

    RD
    "It's NEVER too late to do the Right Thing. Oh, and while you're up I'll have a cup of coffee, thanks." -- Rollerdave

    My helmet policy

    2008 Lightfoot Roadrunner Magnum delta trike "Eagle"

  4. #4
    Senior Member badgermac's Avatar
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    It's a beaut! Here's to many happy miles!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Pinyon's Avatar
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    I got them to switch out the white saddle, for a black Alias 155. I have wide seat bones. I also have an Alias saddle on my other bike. I really like how they fit me. Those, and a couple of the wider Terry saddles fit me really well.

    I hear that Austin is a great place to ride too, rainycamp. But I've never lived anywhere that had nicer riding than here. Beautiful scenery, both flat prairies and mountains that are within just a couple of miles of town, semi-big town or small-city jobs available (population is about 175,000, and only a little over an hour away from Denver), bike/snow-plow lanes all over the place, mostly non-agressive drivers that don't actively hate you being on the road...


  6. #6
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Nice, I like the blue!

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    For a few pics there I thought you were going to be a tease and not show us that sexy bike

  8. #8
    Chubby super biker bdinger's Avatar
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    VERY nice ride. Obviously you are enjoying it, keep putting the miles on it that it deserves!

  9. #9
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    Is Ft. Collins that big now? I still thought it was around the 100K mark. I have a lot of family that lives there and the surrounding areas.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Pinyon's Avatar
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    I heard that population number from a speaker on the college campus. They may have been including the 25k students, and the un-incorporated county areas between us and other small towns within the same county, or even the populations of some of those other smaller towns. The whole place is pretty much one sprawling mass of suburbs that merge together from the smaller towns of Wellington, Bellevue, Laporte, Timnath, to Windsor, and the south-end of town has sort of merged with Loveland now too. Before the speech, I was guessing at least 150k, and not counting the college students.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Pinyon's Avatar
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    I took my new bike out for a ride with a few hills yesterday. I love it. I can maintain over 60 rpm on all but the steepest hill sections around here (about 18% slope or greater), and only need to use the easiest 2-3 gears with the small chainring on hills over 8-10% slope. And the best thing, is that I can go faster downhill than I used to. The 50/11 combination allows me to push harder up to about 36-38 mph before it does not feel "worth it" to me, and I just coast. Pushing faster during the easiest times to pedal feels like FREE SPEED. I love bombing down hills, and pushing it a little bit.

    Have fun out there!

  12. #12
    Downtown Spanky Brown bautieri's Avatar
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    Purdy bike and great scenery too, congratulations on getting your Allez out of the clink.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Pinyon's Avatar
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    I decided that there was nothing for it, that I just had to start training for hills in ernest. This hill route is hard for me right now, but I'm hoping that it will be my "easy hill" route by the end of the summer, like it was last year.

    I took the new bike out for a 52 mile loop-ride up over the first couple of foothill ridges, back over those same ridges, along the hills on the dam road, and then over Bingham Hill in town. Most of the climbing was done in the first 11 and last 18 miles of the ride, with rolling foothill ridge-valleys in the middle. Here are a few pictures.

    Red sandstone hogback ridge over a slope of sagebrush, mountain mahogany, and mountain-prairie grasses.


    Another picture of my new bike, with my work clothes in the commuter bag. I had to replace the stock carbon seat post with an aluminum model to use the seat post rack. It rides a tiny bit harsher, but being able to take along my work clothes for a long morning commute sometimes is worth it.


    Looking out over Loveland Reservior, with the bottom ridge of Buckhorn Canyon in the disatance.


    I think that I will be riding a lot of hills this year, with that new compact crank. It rocks.
    Last edited by Pinyon; 06-06-08 at 11:40 AM.

  14. #14
    Senior Member BigBlueToe's Avatar
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    Very nice! I've looked at the same bike, but I don't think I can justify another bike with the current state of our family budget: two kids in college, and my wife wants to put in a new patio. Some people just don't understand priorities!

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