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Old 01-19-11, 06:48 AM   #1
McQz
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N+1 x 2

My bride joined me in retirement on 1/2/11. Now we are free to travel, play, or just veg to our hearts' content. Naturally our thoughts turned to what bikes to take when we are on the road. We have Ruby/Roubaix road bikes, Rockhopper MTBs, and a couple of bents. All fun bikes, but which ones to take on the back of the SUV when we are pulling our Casita or on the back of the Mini when we are plastic-camping - hmmm? The road bikes are light and wonderful on paved roads - not so great on campground dirt, gravel, whatever. The MTBs are FUN in the dirt and can go anywhere, but they are heavy and slow on the road.

We visited Absolute Bikes in Flagstaff (our nearest BIG CITY) and began eyeing different wheels, tires, and whole bikes. They had just received their '11 Specialized TriCross Sport bikes. After giving it a test ride each, we retreated to Winslow for prayerful thought and discussion. Last Wednesday we ordered a pair of TriCross Comps. We took delivery yesterday and will be taking our maiden voyage today with a trip to Clear Creek or the Little Painted Desert (I'm leaning towards a picnic at CC which is only a 12 mile round trip, rather than a 35 miler on a new bike.)

I'll post our impressions later, but I've been awake since 3:00 a.m. itching to get out and ride. I've gone over both bikes removing stickers etc. and now there is nothing to do but wait until the sun comes up and the thermometer starts to climb from its present 27f reading (oh yeah, I'd better wait until my bride is up and ready to ride)
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Old 01-19-11, 09:39 AM   #2
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Congrats on the new bikes. It's great you can both enjoy ridding and retirement together. Enjoy.
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Old 01-19-11, 09:48 AM   #3
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My wife and I have been riding Tricross Comps for several years. They are great all purpose bikes. Good on both the road and packed trails. They also make good light touring bikes.
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Old 01-19-11, 10:57 AM   #4
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You Can buy lights for night riding
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Old 01-19-11, 11:09 AM   #5
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Great choice of bikes and a great area to explore. Enjoy!
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Old 01-19-11, 02:46 PM   #6
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We took our first ride on the Spec TriCross Comps this morning and had a great time. We rode about 13 miles, starting on local streets, transitioning to dirt/gravel/rock, back to an unmaintained bike path, back to very loose dirt and gravel to a HILL, back to road, and then about 6 miles of our regular road ride.

The bikes, with 100psi, rode very smoothly on the local streets and accelerated well to keep pace with and cross traffic. The 700x32 tires got a nice bite in the dirt/gravel and absorbed the rocky bits nicely. We rode the bike path mostly in the saddle and the same tires still at 100psi smoothed out the bumps and dips well enough and rolled through the broken bottles that were unavoidable without walking without punctures.

We transitioned to what was basically a 4-wheel/dirtbike track and were having fun slipping and bouncing through the single and double track... until we came to THE HILL. Maybe with a 24T front and a 38T rear it might have been doable. Perhaps if we had been able to accelerate on the uphill runup to 12-15 mph we might have had the momentum, but we both walked the 10 yds or so to the top before we clipped in and resumed riding. We were very grateful for the walkability of our new Spec Tahoe shoes.

The bikes weigh in at 22 # with pedals and H2O cages, but no other extras. We may have found a way to mount our Garmin 705s to the handlebar stem, but there is no room on the handlebars, which is where we mount them on the road bikes,so we didn't have them for this ride. Therefore speeds and distances are courtesy of my Samsung Galaxy S Verizon cell phone. (I wish Garmin offered a stem-mount!) The geometry is a little more relaxed and upright than our road bikes and that results in a more relaxed ride, even on a nearly 30 mph descent. This was very apparent on a level stretch where we were protected from the wind and rode a block or so no hands. The wide flat bar top provides a very stable and comfortable upright position and the suicide levers offer remarkably good stopping power with very little diminution over the main brake levers. Compared to my Dura Ace and N's Ultegra STI setup, the 105s are noticeably stiffer shifting with a longer throw for the shifts to larger cogs/chainrings, but they are still quite positive. We discovered that some trim was necessary on the front derailleur when shifting to the lower gears on the rear, but nothing earth-shattering.

Overall, we had a throughly joyful ride on a day with moderate winds and temperatures in the mid 50s. We are looking forward to many joyful miles around our fair city and wherever our travels take us.

Last edited by McQz; 01-19-11 at 03:15 PM.
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Old 01-19-11, 03:02 PM   #7
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Nice report. Reads like the two of you really enjoyed the inaugural ride. I'm surprised that you ran 100 psi in the tires. I run 55-60 psi on the road and <35 psi on dirt in my cross bike's tires. For me the lower psi allows for some suspension and added traction on the rough and gnarly bits.
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Old 01-19-11, 03:25 PM   #8
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We don't have much experience with lower pressure tires - we tend to run our MTBs at 65... We are used to the 120 psi in our road bikes and really like low rolling resistance, especially me with my clydesdale tendencies... The sidewalls list 50 as the minimum, so we'll ratchet it back for the next trip into the dirt and see how that feels. However, our next ride will probably be on the road bikes to see how N's new Gore cables feel on her Ultegra brifters.
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Old 01-19-11, 03:37 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Allegheny Jet View Post
Nice report. Reads like the two of you really enjoyed the inaugural ride. I'm surprised that you ran 100 psi in the tires. I run 55-60 psi on the road and <35 psi on dirt in my cross bike's tires. For me the lower psi allows for some suspension and added traction on the rough and gnarly bits.
+1 I found a reference posted here a while back to a study that showed lower pressures are better. It had a nice chart for front a rear tires based on rider weight and tire width. For the 32s I am in the 55-60 range also.
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Old 01-19-11, 04:25 PM   #10
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Donheff,
If you know where to find the chart, I'd appreciate a push in that direction - in the meantime I'll do some hunting.

I've always loved Sam Johnson and now that my wife has joined me in retirement, we're living the dream!
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Old 01-19-11, 04:51 PM   #11
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Donheff,
If you know where to find the chart, I'd appreciate a push in that direction - in the meantime I'll do some hunting.

I've always loved Sam Johnson and now that my wife has joined me in retirement, we're living the dream!
I'm not sure where I saw the original study. But Google found an article that appears to use the same chart:
http://janheine.wordpress.com/2010/1...-and-pressure/
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Old 01-19-11, 04:56 PM   #12
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Tire pressures depend on the weight of the rider, lighter riders need less pressure to keep the tire from bottoming out.

See Psimet's pressure calculation in this thread. The front tire can be at 90% or less of the rear tire pressure. For instance, I'm about 170 lbs and use 95 front, 105 rear on 23c tires. That's a little below Psimet's formula. It doesn't feel any slower than running 110/110 or 120/120.

Bigger tires can be nice. I also have an old 1970s Raleigh with 1 1/4 inch tires, that's about 32 mm. When I ride it, I get used to being able to ride over anything on the road--manhole covers, expansion joints, etc. Then I have to be careful when I get back on my road bike to again avoid those things.

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Old 01-19-11, 05:35 PM   #13
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We may have found a way to mount our Garmin 705s to the handlebar stem, but there is no room on the handlebars, which is where we mount them on the road bikes,so we didn't have them for this ride.
Your LBS should be able to get this handlebar accessory extension:



Just mention QBP ...
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Old 01-19-11, 05:54 PM   #14
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Thanks! I found Sheldon Brown's treatise on tires and his less scientific approach yielded somewhat higher figures, but similarly lower than I have been using for years. We will be taking a ride tomorrow on our road bikes and I'll be reducing the pressure to the top end of the graph, at least as well as I can tell with these old eyes.

I think I might plan a series of test rolls on a local hill using our Garmins to track max speed and elapsed time over a given distance while we decrease pressure by 5# increments. That will have to wait for a little warmer weather so that we can beat the wind and not freeze to death in the process.
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Old 01-19-11, 06:23 PM   #15
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McQz, Just to be certain, I'm not advocating riding a road bike with less pressure. I made my comment about the cross bike tires. I usually ride my road bikes @ 100 front and 115 rear. In cross races I'll ride as low as possible 28/35 if possible, as long as I don't bottom out, for traction/suspension. On my mtb I'll attempt to ride the 29'er @ 25/30 if possible. I made my post to your psi thinking about the non-paved riding you did.
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Old 01-19-11, 08:51 PM   #16
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Congrats on the great new bikes. Have fun!

Sorry to pile on, but I'm not sure which sounds more outrageous, 100 psi in 32mm tires or 65 psi in MTB tires. Sounds like you are planning to try lower pressure on the Tri-Crosses, but I would suggest you try 40 psi next time you ride your MTBs offroad. You'll have a much softer ride and much better handling and traction. I bet your tires are bouncing all over the trail with 65 psi.
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Old 01-20-11, 09:24 AM   #17
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Okay, I could probably find pictures myself, but isn't it a rule around here that if you get a new bike(s) you have to post pictures?
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Old 01-20-11, 11:07 AM   #18
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Congrats on the great new bikes. Have fun!

Sorry to pile on, but I'm not sure which sounds more outrageous, 100 psi in 32mm tires or 65 psi in MTB tires. Sounds like you are planning to try lower pressure on the Tri-Crosses, but I would suggest you try 40 psi next time you ride your MTBs offroad. You'll have a much softer ride and much better handling and traction. I bet your tires are bouncing all over the trail with 65 psi.
You settle into a tyre pressure with you- the type of track/road you are riding and the conditions.

I won't say what pressures I run as it will Hi-Jack the thread- but you will find out what YOU want to run.
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Old 01-20-11, 12:51 PM   #19
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I apologize for my faux pas I'm sooooo embarrassed! How will ever live it down? I think I'll have a Guinness and put it in perspective

Here are a couple of pix of our new rides. We have ordered Topeak racks as well as new pedals, which should be in next week. For now I've swiped the MTB pedals and we're not carrying much on our rides. Our bikes are nearly identically set up. 52cm frames with the same shorty stem. The only significant difference is that mine has about a cm more seatpost peaking out.





We set N's up with the Garmin mount (we only had one in the parts box) on the handlebar stem using the handlebar mount, the included angled piece, a 1" piece of 5/8" hose, and slightly longer zip ties. We had the shop swap out her stock saddle for the Spec Deva, which is the saddle she runs on her Ruby Pro.

I've ordered a QBP stem extender as well as another GPS mount for my bike. They should be here by Monday.

Based on earlier discussion, I've reduced tp to 75/68 for me and similarly adjusted N's. (If I gave the psi you'd be able to deduce her weight, which would land me in the doghouse and it is getting down well below freezing right now. I wouldn't live long enough to get back in her good graces!)

Last edited by McQz; 01-20-11 at 12:55 PM. Reason: added tire pressure information
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