Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Austin, TX
Bikes: 2008 Specialized Allez Elite Compact, 1981 Raleigh Super Record 10-sp, Trek 4900 MTB
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Rainycamp's new bike: ride report
I had planned on a longish ride in the country today, but a cold front is due here tonight, and the winds are kicking up in advance. Gusts have hit 36 mph, so I figured instead I'd ride on the Veloway, a bikes (and inline skaters) only path at the south end of town. The path is protected by trees or bushes for most of its 3.1 miles. It's less than three miles from my house, and I do a lot of riding there anyway.
Here's a look at the path. The Veloway backs up to a residential subdivision.
The new Specialized can do things the old Raleigh couldn't do. Like handle a stiff headwind. The compact crank gives me more options to handle hills and wind resistance. It can get knocked about in a sidewind, though, and you must stay alert. It's also a little skittish going into turns. With the Raleigh, when pointed on its line, it stayed there. The Specialized will lose the line unless you concentrate. I've found that looking in the direction you intend to turn helps keep the bike pointed on the right line.
Most of the other bikers out there today were roadies. The gusts may have kept the mountain bikers at home, altho I did see a few.
I seem to be in a good position on the bike. When I'm on the hoods, the handlebar blocks my view of the front axle, which I'm told is a good indication you're fitted correctly. The drivetrain (105 rear, Tiagra front) shifts smoothly. The Shimano SPD-SL pedals give a bit wider platform than my previous pedals. The seat - a Specialized Alias - is firm, but fits my sit bones well. As long as I stand up every 20 minutes or so, it's fine.
The stock seat is white(!). I had the bike shop swap a black one, which they did gladly.
All in all, I'm very happy with the new bike. It'll get tweaked a little at the end of the month, when I bring it back for a free 30-day checkup, but those tweaks will be minor. I'm looking forward to many more miles than I put in on my previous bike. Cherry pie for dessert tonight.