I took a 2nd ride today on the 54cm LHT, a longer ride to verify the fit. This ride included traffic and cornering. No hills on my test ride but with the gearing they shouldn't be a problem -- anything I could do on the hybrid will be easier on the LHT. Again, I loved the bike, the fit, and the way it rides. It feels sure-footed, just the way I want to feel on the road. The low, sure-footedness of the bike is just what I was aiming for. And the shop offered a deal I'd be a fool to pass up.
Definite changes I'd make:
Saddle - I told myself that my next bike will have a Brooks saddle, most likely the B17. I'd LOVE a dark brown leather saddle on the blue frame, but Brooks doesn't make the B17 in dark brown (only honey and black). Of course, black is obviously nice on this bike, but I love brown leather. I'm not sure the honey color would be the best choice on this blue frame and I'm trying to find good photos to convince me one way or another.
Bars - I do not ride in the drops - ever. Due to a wrist prosthesis, bending my wrist sideways to reach the brake levers while in the drops is painful and definitely not recommended. This is non-negotiable so I am not willing to compromise on this issue. That said, I'm considering:
- Trekking bars - However, with the stock stem my hands may be too close to me and might require a longer stem. How might this affect the handling on this particular bike? Are they suitable for bar end shifters?
- H-bar - I like the look of the H-bar; I placed it over the stock bars as I sat on the seat and liked the hand positions it provides. This bar would bring my hands a little closer to me than they are on the hoods, the same distance I'd like to achieve. He recommended MTB brake levers on the sides (underneath) with the stock bar-end shifters placed just in front of them. That sounds like a very comfortable arrangement.
- Bullhorns - This seems like the ideal bar for me since I like everything about road bars EXCEPT the drops. With the shifters on the ends and brake levers underneath.
If I change the bars, then I also need to consider the Grips and bar tape - to match (or not) the saddle. He recommended MTB cork grips and matching black cork tape for the bars (if I go with the H-bar).
Pedals - Clipless SPDs with a platform cage on one side. I have Shimano M520 SPDs (multi-release) on my Roubaix. I generally don't pedal during turns; my inside foot is up around 12:00.
Changes I'm considering and other add-ons:
Tires - WTB Slickasaurus currently on the bike. Any comments on these? I want excellent puncture resistance and good performance on typical city streets with an occasional gravel trail. Not necessarily city slicks, and I'm not planning any loaded tours in the near future.
Bottle cages, wireless computer.
The biggest decision is the bars for greater comfort (not upright, but a little more relaxed than riding on the hoods) and the best configuration of bar-end shifters and brake levers on each one.
No matter how long the ride, at heart I am primarily a recreational rider who likes to look around, wave/smile at people, and just have a good time whether I'm riding 5 miles or 100. For me, it's not about the speed..... it's all about the fun.
Is there anything else you would consider or change?