Fizik Antares Saddle Review

Fizik Antares Saddle Review

I have about 18,600 miles in my Fizik Antares saddle. The first one I bought used from a friend that I ran on my Bianchi 928 SL. When that frame died I built my De Rosa and put a brand Antares on it.

Overall I love it. Fitting a saddle on my road bikes is one of the most important things I have found that makes riding comfortable.  I have done rides as long as 127 miles and never had a problem with this saddle.

Pros
Super lightweight. Very comfortable for a racing saddle.

Cons
The new one I bought for my De Rosa the front cover came off in the first year of riding. I do not suspect this is common as my other Antares probably has over 20,000 miles and no problem. I wrote to Fizik and waiting to hear from them.

Cost. These Fizik saddles are expensive, but if you are racing or putting a lot of miles in and want a great seat it’s worth the money. List price is $400 US, but you can get one for as low as $319 US.

Overall: highly recommend.

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Time for a New Schwalbe ZX Tire

Time for a new Schwalbe ZX

Had this happen a few miles from home. I love the Schwalbe’s, but they definitely do not last super long. I deal with it for the ride, but if you ride these it’s the one drawback.

What it looks like on the inside
flat tire inside the schwalbe zx road bike tire review

UPDATE: I took this tire to Gary at Bodacious Bikes in Easton, MD where I purchased the tires and he called Schwalbe and apparently they are seeing this issue in 2-4 of this model tire out of a 1000. They are good about things and are covering it under warranty. If it happens to you before you say some four letter words and jam it in the trash, save it and take it back to your bike shop, they should cover it.

Biking Heart Rate and Polar CS500 Review Update

Since getting my Polar CS500 earlier this month I have started to try and train in different heat rate zones to build different areas of my fitness. Mostly right now I am reviewing what my heart rate is over the course of a ride and changing around the works outs based on the findings. I hope to move to a more formal program as I progress, but given I need to get in as many miles as possible to start building a base I am winging it for the time being.

Today I logged 48.4 miles with the Tour de Easton Bike Club. Our scenic ride brought us through Easton, Oxford, Trappe, Hillsboro, Goldsboro and back to Easton. I saw my heart rate reach 205 beats/min which was a little scarey. I am wondering if it was real or if there is an error percentage on this heart rate monitors. I will be keeping an eye on it. One thing is certain, I have a ways to go yet with my fitness and am thinking I am going to want to drop some weight.

While the Polar CS500 has been pretty cool, I have been having a beck of a time getting it to synch with my computer. I am on a MacBookPro and maybe that has something to do with it, however it was synching fine for a while. I read the Polar forums and it seems other have the same trouble. I think I am going to get Polar tech support on the phone tomorrow because I’ve invested enough time trying to trouble shoot it myself.

Giro Ionos Road Bike Helmet Review

Giro Ionos Road Bike Helmet white silverI originally bought Giro black helmet back when I started riding earlier this year. Given the heat I decided to get a new helmet in all white. I read around more about helmets and Giro appears to be on the best in the business. I went to their website, read about them all and decided on the Ionos model is white/silver. What I’ve learned about helmets as a result of researching buying a new one is that the more expensive models allow more air to flow through the helmet as a result of more advanced materials that are used in the construction. Thus you get a lighter helmet where they can allow less material to get the same protection which in turn allows more air flow and in theory lets your head breath better. Important stuff when riding in the heat that is for sure.

I searched around on prices and the best I could find was on Amazon. I checked with my local bike shop and told them what the price I found was, told them if they could get close I would buy from them because I could rather support the local guys if I could. Shop would not budge and was at least $50 more, so I rolled with Amazon. I have worn it a few times and it’s made a big difference, not only is it a lot cooler, but it is also lighter and has a little better fit. It is an upgraded model from my first one. So far pretty happy with the fit and weight.

 

What I Learned When Buying My First Road Bike

When I first set a budget when setting out to buy my first road bike I figured I would just set a price and go from there. My target was $1,800. From everything I read I could get a decent starter bike in that price range. So I set out and as I already posted found the Jamis Ventura Elite. It came in right around that price with tax. Great, goal accomplished, I hit my target budget…….wrong. Here is what I did not account for because I did not know what I did not know.

For a road bike you need clip in peddles, they are the best option to maximize your effort. Fine, I added them, I landed a set of Looks in the mid price range, translated a little over $100. If you get clip in peddles you need biking shoes. Biking shoes come in as many varieties as bikes and in as many price ranges. I knew nothing about bike shoes so I opted for a beginner pair. Translated a beginner pair of Specialized, hit the cash register for about $125. You need water when you bike and thus you need water bottles, OK ones $5 each, you need at least two on your bike and maybe an extra, ding ding $15. You need a way to carry your water bottles on your bike, translate that to water bottle holders. Get cheap ones for $9.99 and they will be heavy and add a lot of weight, if you do not care plan on $20, if you care, which did, plan on getting carbon fiber and paying at least $45…each! I got mine on Amazon because they were the best price I could find. The ones I found were the lightest out there called Topeak Carbon Fiber Waterbottle Cage, $90.

Having fun yet? It’s not over.

Then you need riding shorts and a few jerseys. I took the advice from everyone and bought the best I could afford, sitting on your butt on a small seat for hours will remind you that the bitterness of a sore ass will remain long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten. $100/pair for good riding shorts, at least that much, more for bibs which apparently the pro or experienced riders use. I opted for regular shorts to start. Another $200.

Biking jerseys I learned as like fashion clothing. With out going into it too much, plan on paying at least $50 jersey if you find them on sale. I found mine on Amazon at OK prices.

If you want to log your miles and cadence which apparently is a good idea, you need a computer. I got a cheap one to start that does not do your heart rate, but does miles and cadence. $79.

Gloves, you can not ride with out gloves, your hands will get sore, so I am told. At least $20 for a starter pair, I got two $40

Helmet. For me not an option not to get. Given I figure I will only get one head I bought the best I could afford, a Giro. $150. There are better ones that are apparently lighter, too hard for me to tell if they protect you any more then others, but it’s all about weight in this sport I am learning.

Bike light. I tend to try to be as safe as possible. I used to ride a Harley and learned real quick how cars can not see things on two wheels on the road. I opted for a blinking right for the rear seat. $15

Bike pump. You need a decent one that has a guage. I got a Specialized, $45.

Tire repair kit. You need a spare bike tube, multi tool, manual compack bike pump and CO2 cartridges with the attachment so you can get it on your tube stem.   Then a bag to carry it all. Or you can carry it in your back pocket of your shirt, I opted to start with a pouch for the back of my seat. Let’s call it $25 all in depending on the type of portable pump you get, they come in all shapes sizes and price ranges.

Socks. I did not have any low cut socks so I bought cycling socks. A few bucks a piece, you can probably get decent ones at Target if you wanted, I went for the “cool” look.

I’m not going to add up, but you get the idea of the other stuff you are going to need if you get into road biking. Don’t do what I did buy a bike that fits your budget number, figure in this stuff, subtract it from your budget and then you will have an idea of the price range of the bike you can afford.