Ride #2 on the rent-a-Roubaix
The sun finally came out today so we took off around 12:30 for what was supposed to be an "easy" ride just to give me more practice with the shifters and testing the reach. I wanted to stay on flats and avoid steep hills.... just practice reaching for the brakes and shift levers and getting my back and neck accustomed to the feel of a more lean-forward position. I told Hubby to lead the way since he's the one with a mirror.
We took one of our favorite streets about a mile away which is mostly flat and has wide lanes and plenty of room to ride without having to dodge cars. We ended up at the entrance to a nice bike path (bikes only!) about 10 miles away. Very soon after we left home I was proficient at shifting without having to think much, so I could concentrate on other details about the ride. I noticed I was rarely having to shift anyway because the bike took off so easily from a stop.
We followed a couple of roadies along the bike path until we took a left turn and headed north. We continued north for a long distance which was a long but low climb. Climbing is MUCH easier and enjoyable. The most obvious difference between the two bikes (this and the Cypress) is the lightness and the ease of acceleration.
Without a bike computer we don't know exactly how far we went, but we made a rough guestimate of 30 miles based being gone for 3+ hours with a few short stops to drink, eat a food bar, and make a quick phone call. (How fast do you typically go on a leisurely (not racing) ride on a CF road bike?)
The most pain I felt was in my thumb joint, not in my wrist. By the end of the ride, my left hand was tired overall and squeezing the left brake lever for more than a couple of seconds was difficult and a little painful (again mostly in the thumb joint). I need to work on the strength in that hand, and a shorter reach should help this.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the ride and the bike and I felt comfortable on it today. It was much easier to climb and maintain our speed in the headwind which we always encounter when we head home from the east. I love the speed and acceleration of a MUCH lighter bike.
Though the reach was more comfortable for me today, it is still too far. My hands are not small but I need an easier/shorter reach to the brake levers like what comes on some WSD bikes.
I do love the ride of the Roubaix and I think I have found my bike -- if the 54cm is a good fit for me. After having put about 40 or more miles on it in two days, I feel satisfied with this bike and I have a lot to tell the fitter and the LBS owner when we meet on Tuesday.