open topic, for anything cycling related.
8 posts • Page 1 of 1
Last Sun, I was invited as part of our group to participate in a ride around the Royal National Park, courtesy of the Giant Sydney store.
Basically, Giant offered each of us the opportunity to try out a Di2 equipped Giant bicycle, on a 40 km ride including a support vehicle should there be any mishaps.
We all arrived at Audley Weir around 7am on Sun morning. It was a bit chilly, but all the Giant bicycles were already there waiting for us.
Basically, Giant assigned each of us a Di2 bike of the right frame size (either a Defy or TCR) and then adjusted the bike to fit us.
I received a TCR, which I liked a lot (my first road bike Tweety was a TCR, so I immediately felt at home). I rode it around a few times and was pretty pleased with the gear changing - it was all very smooth and precise with no "clunk" - even when climbing uphill.
We all rode out of Audley Weir back to Princess Highway, then rode out to Waterfall, and came back into the National Park and rode back to Audley Weir.
For those that are unfamiliar, the climb out of Audley is very steep and I had some trepidation as I was on a standard crankset. Fortunately the bike was quite easy to climb on and I had no problems.
Once we got to the highway, it was familiar territory as we regularly ride out to Waterfall and back from Centennial Park. This photo (taken from the Giant Sydney Facebook page) showed how much we enjoyed ourselves:
However, almost as soon as that picture was taken, the grin was wiped off our faces. Ray, who was riding beside me, made the mistake of commenting that the pace was too slow. Almost immediately, our ride leaders (from Giant) told us to crank it up - it was going to be a sprint, and shot off into the distance.
Ray and I valiantly tried to close the gap, but we were both struggling. The Giant rider took pity on us and slowed down to allow us to suck his wheel. Another Chris joined us and we were the only survivors. As a breakaway group of 4 we rode out to Waterfall and waited for the rest of the bunch to catch up. For me, that was a really good test of how the bike would respond under pressure, and apart from the fact that I was not as good a rider as I thought I was, the bicycle reacted well.
On the descent into the national park, I went in a bit too fast on some of the corners and had to brake. The person in front of me was braking hard - lesson learnt: never be too aggressive on a descent you don't know well. We both learnt that lesson quickly. Despite that, the bike handled beautifully and confidently.
I wish I had recorded the ride (forgot to bring my Garmin) because on the flat part on the route, I ended up doing a bit of a TT and I was flying. I have no idea how fast I went, but honestly it felt like one of the fastest TT efforts I have done.
I used up so much energy I didn't realise there was another ascent before the end of the ride, and my legs started cramping. Embarassment - two other riders caught up with me and I was left limping. Fortunately I recovered sufficiently to make it back.
All in all, it was a wonderful day, and certainly opened my eyes on the potential of Di2. I found myself changing gears a lot more often and finding the optimal gear because it was so easy. I can definitely see how it can be an advantage in a race.
The only negative (and I have to put in a negative otherwise I will sound like a Giant commercial) is that I thought the front of the bike vibrated and rattled too much on a rough section of road. Neither of my current bikes (Bliss and Cadel) are as rough as that.
Anyway, hope you like reading this ride report (or sorts).
Good review. Bike shops/manufacturers are onto a good thing I reckon having these demo days where riders can take the bikes for a blast around their favourite area for an extended period of time. Even if you went there as a joyrider with no inyention of buying it can plant the seed and perhaps in 6 months time that ride will turn into a sale. A LBS near me will only let people test ride bikes around the shop carpark while heavily supervised by staff.
Could be the tyre pressure was too high on the front. And if not, could be tuned out to some degree with lower tyre pressure.
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