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Old 06-22-06, 02:43 PM   #1
stapfam
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Thoughts on the Dark Side

Now have had the road bike long enough to evaluate the worth of it. To recap- I am a Mountain Biker but decided to get a Road bike to enable me to ride a bit more in the evenings in the Summer. I got a Giant SCR 3.0. Have not seen it in the US catalogue so presume it is a European model- but as the OCR is dropped in Europe this year- presume that it is the replacement bike. Alloy frame and about 2lbs lighter but the range seems to have similar spec to the OCR. Cost of my cheapest model in the range is about $800 so a not a great deal of high spec parts fitted.

OK its a starter bike but so far I am pleased with it- and that includes the stock saddle that I thought would be the first thing to change. Using brake levers to change gear with took a bit of getting used to and so did the riding position. It has a triple ring of 52/42/30 and rear 8-speed cassette of 12/26. Thought this would be a problem but did a ride last Sunday and although the gearing is higher than my MTB- I found myself most of the time in the 42 sprocket and up the 15% hill- the 30 /26 was just about low enough. Had to get out of the saddle to keep the cadence sensible but I knew that the higher "Lowest" gear would take some getting used to. It rode well and I am surprised. Riding position is comfortable- even when I did get down into the drops on the fastest part of the ride, and only slight problem was control at slow speeds on the top of the bars. On the hoods was better but weaving in and out of other riders on some of the hills did cause me a few handling worries.

I am used to narrow tyres from the road use on my MTB but I did not appreciate the Hard ride that comes up through the Straight pull spokes on the cheap wheels. Reckon a spare set of wheels may be on the cards for next year. I have compared the set up of this bike to my MTB and saddle position is the same- and hand position on the MTB equates to mid position between the top of the bars and the hoods, although the road bars are about 2" lower. Reckon that there will be some slight adjustment but riding position seems to be nearly there. Actual riding appears just as enjoyable as offroad- although it is completely different. Speed is a lot higher and the High gearing is not noticed on pedal effort- till you look at the computer. Donít notice the increase in speed- except downhill where the acceleration hits you. Brakes still work on new rims and blocks so no comment on them yet. Same with the gear changes. No difficulty in changing and no crunching yet. Dare say that will come as wear appears, but the changing is not as crisp as the XT that is fitted to the MTB.

So far so good. I cannot see this road bike replacing any of my Offroading, but I can see it adding to my rides. So easy to get the road bike out and do 20 miles or so in the evening. I can also see it adding a different dimension to my riding. I know I am not out there to race or do high mileage on it, or even do a ride at a high average although that will come later. What it will do though is get me out more often. As to me turning into a roadie- Don'ít think so- but when and If I ever get fed up with going out on the hills with all the cold and rain with no grip up the 15% hills that go on and on and --. I might change my mind.
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Old 06-22-06, 03:40 PM   #2
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Hey, Stap....I'm with you, at least mostly. I'm a rodie who started MTB riding last winter. I have the same feelings you do although in reverse. The change of pace when I ride is great and I have a blast figuring out the technical riding stuff, well except for the bangs and bruises. I'll always be a roadie first but the other side is good for me.

For me however, the fact that I can hop on my road bike and ride 50 miles easily is a huge thing. It sorta makes me think that I could live without a car if necessary.

Ah, well....welcome to the dark side.
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Old 06-22-06, 03:43 PM   #3
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I am glad to read your post, since I'm basically doing the same thing and am about to buy my first road bike since an old Schwinn 10-speed of 25 or so years ago. I am a bit concerned about the riding position, but am going to work with the LBS to make sure that it's set up the way I like it. I'll let you know my impressions when I get it in a couple of weeks, although I'm not that experienced a cyclist overall to be able to offer any "expert" opinions on gear ratios, etc.

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Old 06-22-06, 07:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stapfam
As to me turning into a roadie- Don'ít think so- but when and If I ever get fed up with going out on the hills with all the cold and rain with no grip up the 15% hills that go on and on and --. I might change my mind.

Let me see if I've got this. You bought a road bike; you're riding it - probably more miles than most people who own a road bike. You say it allows you to jump on it and do a quick 20 miles in the evening.

Stapfam: I hate to break the news to you, but it's too late. In many circles you've crossed the line. You're already, among other things, a roadie.
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Old 06-23-06, 09:32 AM   #5
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I have also succumbed and Fallen to The Darkness. As a reward for selling my old boat, I bought myself a new Specialized Sequoia Elite for Father's Day. Fun bike, not too serious as roadies go, but fun. Still trying to adapt to drop bars after using my beloved North Roads. It's a little lighter than my 520 and is, as Stapfam says, easy to get out there and rip off some quick distance. So far this week I have close to 120 miles on it. The cheap Milano saddle is surprisingly comfortable but does develope hot spots. A Brooks will soon follow, and The Darkness will be complete...
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Old 06-23-06, 01:48 PM   #6
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stapfam,

Different bikes for different strokes!

While I don't ride off road (too dangerous in my opinion to do as a solo rider), I do have a very stocky C-Dale with 26 inch semi slicks to ride on our very rough dirt roads. The C-Dale has a head shock and seatpost shock and I appreciate both as I descend at up to 40 mph with all the ruts, loose stones, pot holes, etc. I ride it about twice a week. But the other 2-3 times I ride, I use my 26 year old Schwinn road bike on the pavement. Both types of riding I find to be a blast! I know you will too.
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Old 06-25-06, 08:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stapfam
I am used to narrow tyres from the road use on my MTB but I did not appreciate the Hard ride that comes up through the Straight pull spokes on the cheap wheels. Reckon a spare set of wheels may be on the cards for next year.
I assume 23mm tires came with the bike. Try 25mm tires before you go through the expense of different wheels...
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Old 06-26-06, 12:43 AM   #8
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I assume 23mm tires came with the bike. Try 25mm tires before you go through the expense of different wheels...
Came with 26 Kenda's. Then on top of that- Went for a road ride with a couple of my MTB mates yesterday. Just to keep them happy- we did take a trail or two. Wheels did stand up to it but I do have severe doubts about the inhouse hubs being able to stand up to a great deal of punishment.

Incidentally- we do have one fit rider in our group. He was on the MTB and me on the Giant. Long drag of a hill that goes to 10% at the end. He decided to go for it. Sat on his wheel at 20mph on the long drag. Got to the 10% and just just left him. May not seem fair -an MTB against a road bike but 20mph on the drag shows how fit he is. Only thing was- he got a bit peaved at being overtaken on his hill. Wouldn't talk to me for the next mile. (Or perhaps couldn't)
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Old 06-26-06, 06:06 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stapfam
Came with 26 Kenda's.
That almost sounds like the bike is intended for cyclocross use...

Just checked the Kenda site. Your tire sounds like the Kwik Roller Sport 700 x 26 at 110psi. They do have a 700 x 28 at 50-85psi in that same family.

www.kendausa.com
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Old 06-27-06, 10:34 AM   #10
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The Dark Side? How could the pure form of cycling be considered "the Dark Side"?
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Old 06-27-06, 11:59 AM   #11
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Rinse the dust off your off-road bike occasionally. It will get a bit moody as its use declines.
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Old 06-27-06, 12:35 PM   #12
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Rinse the dust off your off-road bike occasionally. It will get a bit moody as its use declines.
Funnily enough I looked at it tonight and it has dust on the rear wheel. Where the chain grease has hit- The trail dust had collected. Time to clean it I suppose.
On the cyclocross side- That sounds "Fun" Mud with speed. And it had hit my train of thought already. Now where can I get a 700X 4 rear tyre.
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