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Re-Cycle

25 Jun

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One of my bikes I have always loved but I’ve never really loved riding. Know that feeling? Beautiful frame, pretty color, just a classic bike, the 2010 Jamis Aurora Elite.

aurorablue

 

The frame is Reynolds 631, with a sloping chromoly lugged crown. A thing of beauty, and a ride that smoothed out the rough roads around here. What didn’t I like? The disc brakes, the fenders, the toe-overlap and the too-long reach, mainly. The 50cm frame was just a little large, but the next size down was a 47cm – too small. A Goldilocks dilemma, with no “just right” size I opted for the 50cm.

I adjusted to the slightly too tall frame, but I never adjusted to the sluggish ride. So much slower to accelerate than my Scott road bike, and consequently over the years I rode this beautiful looking bike less and less. My plan was to sell it and buy something like a Trek FX or similar.

Fast-forward to May.

Since I rarely rode it anyway, I decided take it to northeast Ohio and keep it at my mother-in-law’s so I’d have a bike when I visited. With my commitment to RideEveryDay I wanted to make sure I had access to a ride when visiting and I’d buy the FX or something similar to ride here.

Additionally I decided to spend a few bucks (turns out more than a few, but isn’t that always the case with us and our bikes) and make it more to my liking. A few weeks ago I took it to my LBS of late and replaced the disc brakes with calipers and the 90mm stem with a 70 to improve the reach. I also had to go to a narrower tire so I switched to 25mm Gatorskins. The fenders were a joke so I removed them plus the rack. I may get a seatpost mounted rack.

The result? Well, the bike isn’t going to my mother-in-law’s any longer because I ride it almost exclusively now. Sorry Rocket (my Scott). The difference in the ride is nothing short of amazing and has me questioning what took me so long.

The biggest difference? Has to be a tie – between the improved acceleration/ride quality and the improved cockpit and comfort. I LOVE this bike – and now I LOVE riding her.

The moral of the story:  if you have a bike that doesn’t quite do it for you, before you sell it and buy something else maybe try to see if you can make it right.

www.loveofbikes.com

2010 Jamis Aurora Elite – For The Love of Bikes

www.loveofbikes.com

2010 Jamis Aurora Elite – For the Love of Bikes

 

 

Spring Training

28 Apr

April is winding down and so is 30 Days of Biking. Yesterday was the biggest test yet for my allegiance to the cause.

It rained all day and evening, heavy cold rain. Cats and dogs kind of rain. I put it off as long as I could then donned my rain jacket and pants for a really quick spin on the bike. Just enough to call it a ride. Barely.

We had two nice days of riding over the weekend. Amazing how easy it feels on Rocket the road bike after the daily slogs on my nameless mountain bike or Condor the commuter. I decided to do all of my Monday – Friday rides on the heavier bikes and save my zippy road bike for my longer weekend rides. My thinking was and is to use the slower, heavier bike rides to build my fitness and the longer rides would be easier as a result.

It’s working. I felt the benefits of this strategy on both rides over the weekend. Both rides were noticeably easier than they were in March. Granted I’m riding more, every day now, and that’s part of it, but I think a bigger part of the improvements are from the daily training on the beefier bikes.

Some of it is mental – some part of everything is mental – and I’ll take it but there’s no question, in my mind at least, that it is easier to go fast and long on a road bike.

Don’t get me wrong, I love riding all three of my bikes, but for different reasons and purposes.

Anyone see it differently or employ a similar strategy for early season rides?

Here’s to 22

30 May

Three days – three rides.  Nothing intense or long just commute type rides and a ride around the neighborhood on my touring bike Condor, named after one of my heroes – Anne Mustoe’s bike

My position on Condor needed tweaking, I felt too stretched out.  The frame is a little large for me, the smaller size down was too small – the Goldilocks syndrome.  Unfortunately the “just right” is probably a custom frame which I might actually spring for in the not-too-distant future.  I do love this bike though, she’s steel and pretty and a nice bike.  I just wish she was a little shorter in her top tube.

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Nice weekend and nice rides, albeit windy ones. Oklahoma has to be one of the windiest places on earth.  Which is why I get so excited when we have those all too rare light/no wind days and mild temps.

Tomorrow the winds are supposed to come down and I hope to get out for a ride

I enjoyed commemorating my 21 year bicycling anniversary with my 3 little rides and 2 posts here .  It’s nice to reflect back don’t you think?  I always have a thought or two or ten about how different my life would be if I hadn’t rediscovered cycling as an adult.  So glad I did!  Still hope to hear from more of you on how you got back on the bike as an adult or on it for the first time. 

Hope you had a nice Memorial Day weekend and a chance or two to ride.

KATY Trail Sights

24 May

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For the Love of Bikes Blog by Susan Lash (2009 - 2014) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at www.loveofbikes.com.