First ride on a proper road bike

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First ride on a proper road bike

Postby MattyK » Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:30 am

As a background, my interest in cycling is almost exclusively for practical reasons - commuting to work, towing the kids around to the park, etc. Not into it for the sport/racing/fitness etc. So my rig is a ~14 kg flat bar commuter with the works (and a hub gear); slow, but gets me there every day rain or shine.

On the weekend I met up with my brother and some of his friends in the Barossa Valley after they did the BUPA Challenge (if you saw a guy in a pink tutu, that was my brother). Anyway, he loaned my his bike for a loop through the hills - we did about 35km through Tanunda, over Menglers Hill, Angaston and Nuriootpa.

The bike is a Look 585 with SRAM Red and weighs about 6.5 kg.

I knew it would be faster and more efficient, but honestly I was completely blown away by how much more efficient it was, and how quickly it would respond to acceleration. Ergonomics was OK for something that wasn't set up for me - probably a size too small, though it did feel very stretched out on the hoods. Shifting was OK, though the front D was a bit recalcitrant and crunchy. The saddle was very comfy despite looking like a medieval torture device (Selle SMP composit). Decently stable on the downhills. Brakes were so-so - I much prefer my over-servoed disc - but never needed to use them in anger. Probably the main issue there was just accessing the drop bar levers.

Overall a very fun experience, I didn't walk away sore and didn't embarrass myself/get dropped.
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by BNA » Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:50 am

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Re: First ride on a proper road bike

Postby g-boaf » Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:50 am

Road bikes will always feel different in braking after a disc braked bike. But after that, they are addictive and very fun. But from 14kg to 6.5kg must feel outrageously different. :D
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Re: First ride on a proper road bike

Postby MattyK » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:01 pm

Yeah, back on the commuter today was a grounding. It accelerates in the same way that pulling a car with an occy strap would - ie, eventually it's going a bit faster. The LOOK was just instantly going faster as soon as you put weight on the pedal.

Speaking of pedals - road pedals can get bent. SPDs for life.
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Re: First ride on a proper road bike

Postby g-boaf » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:09 pm

MattyK wrote:Yeah, back on the commuter today was a grounding. It accelerates in the same way that pulling a car with an occy strap would - ie, eventually it's going a bit faster. The LOOK was just instantly going faster as soon as you put weight on the pedal.

Speaking of pedals - road pedals can get bent. SPDs for life.


So, when are you getting a road bike? :D
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Re: First ride on a proper road bike

Postby MattyK » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:41 pm

When I could either justify it, had space to put it or time or reason to ride it... It was a fun experience but it would make as much sense as putting a Ferrari in the driveway.

I'm curious to know if there is a dominant reason for the speed difference, or is it just a sum of all the parts combined (drivetrain efficiency, weight, rolling resistance, aero position, frame stiffness). What makes the biggest difference and what makes the least?
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Re: First ride on a proper road bike

Postby g-boaf » Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:26 pm

It's everything - aero, light weight, all the parts and pieces put together. But the light weight is the biggest difference, along with the drivetrain efficiency and aero, compared with a non-road-bike. On a road-bike, you were probably a lot more tucked down as well - which also makes a difference

Just makes a road-bike really fly. And you riding a heavy bike, you are used to that, so putting you on a light weight bike and the feeling is hey, this is pretty good! :lol:

But at the same time, my road bike, I put a different set of tyres on it, and it was like riding through superglue - they were sort of like all-weather tyres. They were so slow in comparison - swapped them off really quickly.
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Re: First ride on a proper road bike

Postby MattyK » Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:52 pm

Yeah, squared off Schwalbe Marathons aren't the fastest... could save half a kilo there
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