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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 06-15-13, 10:31 AM   #1
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: Chester County, PA
Bikes: 2013 Fuji Absolute 3.0 - 1998 Trek 800 Sport
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New Bike and new long ride!

Well... with the Performance Bike 30% back in points sale going on, and Father's Day this weekend, I was the recipient last night of a brand new Fuji Absolute 3.0 Hybrid/flat bar road bike.

After we got home from the movies last night (Star Trek: Into Darkness - my one word review: meh) it was nearly 11 o'clock, but I wanted to ride the new bike for my long ride, so I spent a couple of hours prepping the bike... moving my Ergon GP3 grips over, mounting the ANT+ cadence/speed sensor as well as the Garmin watch mount and my Wahoo ANT+ iPhone case (I am a total geek with sport technology and I actually run both the Garmin and the Wahoo App to track each ride).

Everything worked out well and I had the bike all ready... by 1:30AM. I had my alarm set for 4:30 so I could be on the trail by 6am.

I picked the mostly flat Schuylkill River Trail for today's ride. The trail runs right beside the Schuylkill River and right in front of our corporate offices. I planned to park at the office and head in to Philadelphia along the trail... passing behind the art museum and back to Conshohocken.

That went very well, though my average speed was a bit slow because I made several stops to tweak some things and dial in the seat height a bit more. When I got back to the car, I had covered 22 miles, and I felt ready for more, so I continued on the trail all the way out to Valley Forge National Park and a trailhead just about a mile past the park exit on the trail. I stopped and rested there for a few minutes and then headed for "home". By the time I got back to the car, I was just past 46 miles for the morning, and I couldn't let that go... so I rode 2 more miles back toward Philly, turned around and turned over 50 just as I exited the trail for the parking lot.

My first 50 mile ride. It took me 3:27 minutes to cover that distance (14.46 MPH average). The average was brought down a bit by congestion on the trail as the morning wore on... it was absolutely beautiful here this morning, and EVERYONE was out for a ride or run or walk.

From an elevation standpoint, this is very similar to what I'll be riding on July 14th... perhaps a bit more elevation change... though no real hills to speak of. The new bike is definitely faster than the old trek - I had a couple of miles that averaged over 18 mph for the whole mile and had a top speed on flat ground of nearly 22mph.

All of this was without the large sprocket in front... I need to adjust the high limit stop a bit as the chain was lightly rubbing the derailer when it was in the big gear up front - regardless of which rear gear I had selected. I probably could have ridden with it for a while, but I figured I wasn't spinning out the gears anyway, so why ask for trouble.

I absolutely LOVE the bike and it was a great deal at Performance this weekend. (after netting out the performance club points, the bike was $280) It isn't a high-end bike, but I am definitely glad I didn't jump on the Walmart bike I was considering a couple of weeks ago. This is easily 3 or 4 times the bike for twice the money.

So, I'm not scared at all of the 65 mile ride on July 14th... now I'm actually considering the 100 mile option. I know it would be a very big challenge to double what I did today, but I think I could do it. I am loving the fact that I just had a 3 1/2 hour workout on the bike (burning 3500 calories based on HR-based calorie burn calculations - reality is probably more like 3000) and I feel pretty fresh... a run that long would wipe me out for the rest of the day... perhaps for the whole weekend.

Well... anyway, I took some pictures on the ride and of the bike when I got home...

The Schuylkill River along Kelley Drive near City Line

The back side of the Philadelphia Museum of Art from Martin Luther King Drive

Hillside path leading to the Pawlings Road Trailhead near Valley Forge

The new bike 34 miles into its service

The obligatory white garage door photo

My "dashboard" with watch and iPhone (I keep a 7200mah external battery in the triangle frame bag and run the USB cable to the iPhone...
I could easily go on an all-day ride and have enough battery power to keep the screen on and music playing)

Closeup of the Ergon GP3-L grips/bar ends. I'm still tweaking the angle of both the grip and the bar ends, but it was pretty comfortable for the long ride today... I'm not far off of where I want them.

Tomorrow is a local West Chester ride for Cancer... just 10 miles, but with the wife and kids as well.

The 50 miles today was the only workout of the week for me... hopefully work and weather won't get in the way of workouts the rest of the week this time.

That's it for now!

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Old 06-15-13, 10:53 AM   #2
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Congrats on your new bike and your 50 mile ride! Once you get the bike set up the way you like, you'll be doing 100 for sure!
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Old 06-15-13, 10:55 AM   #3
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Nice bike and nice ride!

I visited Philly early in the year, it was cold
but I had a lot of fun. I also rode parts of
the Schuylkill River bike path:
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Old 06-15-13, 11:04 AM   #4
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You proved that New Bikes are Fun Bikes.
[SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]

Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
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Old 06-15-13, 11:35 AM   #5
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Very nice video. You can tell that it was cold... even though it was a bright, clear day you practically had the trails and bike paths to yourself.

I'm glad you enjoyed your trip. I love Philadelphia. I was born in Camden - right across the river from Philly (just about a mile or so from where the Battleship New Jersey is moored now) and have lived in the region all my life. I love the Philadelphia area (even if my Phillies are on their way to a miserable season right now).

Thanks for sharing the video.

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Old 06-15-13, 12:37 PM   #6
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That is one sweeeeeet bike. Liked the pics too.

Cycling....if you're not having fun, you're definitely doing it wrong!!
Please visit my ride video page at....
Go Red Riders!!

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Old 06-15-13, 03:47 PM   #7
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Love that bike. I have a trek DS 8.2 that I love, but am slowly hating the suspension for a commuter/daily ride bike. Wish I would have looked at that Fuji. How is it handling little bumps and things in the road??
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Old 06-15-13, 05:40 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by stevenlsmith87 View Post
Love that bike. I have a trek DS 8.2 that I love, but am slowly hating the suspension for a commuter/daily ride bike. Wish I would have looked at that Fuji. How is it handling little bumps and things in the road??
Truth be told it is a bit harsh, but that's to be expected I think.

I'll ride with the tires as is for a while and may eventually put 32 tires on the wheels
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Old 06-20-13, 03:04 PM   #9
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Performance Bike posted the bonus points to my account, so Tuesday I went there at lunch and bought a pair of spd-compatible shoes and pedals.

I got the Giro Junction shoes and the Forte (Performance house brand) Boulevard pedals so I have clips on one side and platforms on the other side since I'll be riding once or twice a week with my wife and kids just for recreational purposes.

Last night I went out with them for a ride, and wore the Junctions since I wanted to try out clipping in.

The first few times were VERY slow to accurately get my foot on the pedal and took me quite a while to get the hang of it.

I only fell over once... I was riding behind my daughter on the MUP, talking to her about hand signals... I'd explained left and right turn (with your left arm) and had not yet told her about stop... when she stopped short right in front of me. I slammed on the brakes, and as you might expect, forgot to unclip. I didn't hit her, but I did do the classing slow-motion fall over to my right as I wondered why my foot was stuck to the pedal.

No harm done, I got back up, and we finished the 4.5 miles.

This morning, I went out for my normal 8-ish mile daily ride and wore the shoes again... for my first full-speed ride. I've heard of anywhere from 5% to 15% better power transfer from your legs to the drivetrain when clipped in. Well, I've ridden this course about 5 times so far, and with the hills I've never beaten 14 mph on the 8 mile loop... until today. I rode it in just over 32 minutes (about 90 seconds faster than I have done before... for a 14.5 mph average)... not quite 5% faster, but I'm still learning the right way to pedal when clipped in, I think, and I'm not really feeling like I'm getting all the extra power I eventually will.

One interesting thing about the cleats in the shoes... I installed them pretty much straight on the main axis of the shoes... even though I noticed that there is some leeway for having the clips off-angle by a couple of degrees.

When I first clipped in, my initial reaction was that I needed to adjust the left shoe's angle a bit... not so much that I needed to stop to do it right away, but before I tried a long or hard ride.

Well, but the end of last night's ride, I was aware of something... the angle didn't seem odd any more, and I didn't have any soreness in my left knee. Most of my longer, harder rides end of with some mild soreness in my left knee that goes away 1 - 2 hours later. Since it just seemed like a minor annoyance, I wasn't too concerned to really investigate it.

After this mornings, hard 8 miles, I was again aware of no more soreness in the knee.

So I'm wondering if my "natural" alignment of my left leg on the bike was actually slightly out of alignment, and the shoes/clips are forcing my foot/knee to be in a mechanically better position.

Anyone have a similar experience?

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