I was reading some bike blogs yesterday while all my rides from the week were updating on Strava and Garmin Connect and came across the quote from Ernest Hemingway about bike riding on JaxMeowMeow’s blog (you should check out if you are a hill climbing fanatic, Jax started climbing hills on a fixie and is now dominating some big climbs with gears in Southern California) . A group of us were talking about just this thing the other day. The places and things I have seen on two wheels are things I would have never noticed driving in a car or even a motorcycle. If you bike you get it, if you don’t you need to experience it to understand it. There really is no better way to explore places then on two wheels.
By trial, error, word of mouth and/or logging a bunch of miles we all figure out what roads not to take because it seems to have a bunch of crazy drivers. Some roads are just inherently dangerous for biking for one reason or another and seem almost a magnet for bike crashes. Thanks to this site cyclists can now find out what roads to avoid with maps of bicycle crashes in all the major cities. It’s pretty cool and worth checking out before you get on two wheels in these major cities. Be safe out there!
I’ve been contemplating building a Bianchi Oltre carbon frame that I have or selling it and buying a complete steel frame bike to have for fun. I’ve been going back and forth on the issue of weight. The paradigm that is ingrained in my head, as probably with most bike racing/riding enthusiasts, is lighter is better. Truth to that answer is dependent on the terrain that you are riding. If you are going to be doing a lot of climbing it probably matters a lot, if you are going to be riding on the flats probably not as much.
This morning I was reading a post on our forum from a fellow member of my bike club who did an experiment. He is 10lbs over racing weight and did our club ride on his steel bike and then did the ride the same week on his carbon bike that is about 4-5lbs lighter. Outcome for him, he got dropped the first group ride and finished in the top on the second. His take away, the bike matters. Not all that scientific because of all the other variables, was his sleep, eating, hydration, motivation etc… all consistent or not. Who knows, but it’s interesting. There is something to be said around having more of your energy transferred to the back wheel and the stiffer carbon bike definitely facilitates much more energy or watts to be transferred into forward motion.
I then came across a “scientific” study that attempted to answer the question if a carbon bike really is faster then a stell bike, or rather does weight or much does bike weight matter.. Check it out over a cup of coffee if you want a good read. If you do not have the time to read it, the summary is that in the study it made little to no difference when comparing the two bikes.
What’s your take? Post below. I’m still on the fence, although given my riding terrain and the fact that generally in the first 7 miles of my weekly training rides I’m covering 800+ vertical feet of climbing and averaging about 2900+ ft a ride, a lighter bike might be a better fit. The Bianchi just might see some road time.
I did not realize that BMW had a line of bikes until I was in a BMW dealership recently checking out the new 2 Series and saw the new roof rack that came out this year and attached to it was a BMW Cruising bike. The new bike rack is interesting with an arm that stabilizes the bike up top, interesting take which maybe I’ll comment on later.
Anyway, this cruising bike designed by Ramon Pico seems pretty cool and for a cool EUR 899 it seems fairly priced for a get around town bike. Check out all the details and even a video.
I was surfing around and somehow stumbled on to some freestyle riding by Nicole Frybortova. Pretty cool stuff!
Synchronized riding…come on man!