Jul 11

waffen-1Yesterday I picked up my new bicycle. It is a BMC Gran Fondo GF01. It has Shamal Campy wheels, Super Record Campy components (compact chainring, 12-29 cassette), Look pedals, Continental 4-season 700 x 28 tires.

I had extreme hesitation taking the bike out, since I really felt washed out on the last ride (see my last post), and hadn’t ridden at all otherwise since my right shoulder dislocated (again, see my last post). I also had not ridden hard in over a month, from before Jonny and I went to Germany.  I had visions of my wheels slipping out, and re-crashing. The memory of the e-bike incident stuck hard in my head with numerous flashbacks. So, I approached the ride with extreme caution. My highest speed was 64 km/hr. I purposely attacked a series of hills having 18-20% grade. I went a little over 68 km. The ride can been seen on my Garmin page

Assessment. . .

1. It’s the most comfortable bike I’ve ever ridden on. Many of the roads were in terrible shape, and the bicycle handled bumps quite nicely. The frame has enough give to give a smooth ride.

2. The handlebars were several centimeters closer to me than I’m used to. I’m not sure if that is good or bad.

3. Shifting is awesome.

4. I bicycle is very comfortable on hills. It has a slight tendency on the steepest hills to want to do a “wheely”, but the bicycle is also the most comfortable I’ve ever ridden while peddling in the standing position.

5. The bicycle has incredible response to pedaling. This was a most favorable feeling; when you kicked up speed, the bicycle was not sluggish in accelerating.

6. Downhill handling was comfortable. Though I could have gone faster, never did I feel the bicycle wobble or give a sense of instability.

So, I think it was a worthy purchase. I still love my Steelman, and will use both bicycles.

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2 Responses to “Maiden Voyage of Gran Feuchto”

  1. Nicholas Shelden says:

    Sounds like a typical light bike, except the comfort part…have you riden a early 1970’s steel bike? I have a few if you want to try. That blue cruser I bring to church sometimes is the most comfortable I’ve ever riden-I meant it that way. Your ride sounds like one of my typical pleasure rides, and good numbers! With a light bike, ride on the brake hoods more, and you’ll have less handling problems on hills–and you’ll climb faster (I couldn’t help but notice the up-hill/speed-loss correlation). Carbon fiber doesn’t wobble much, that’s true. But it will wobble if you clear 37-ish (average top limit for carbon road bikes, racing models are designed with that in perspective). I leave you with this: steel can always go farther than you are willing to take it, but carbon will lose a turn and crumple at highway speeds (and disappear into dust if you hit a pole).

    • My other road bike is a Steelman that is a light-weight steel frame with Campy components. Bicycles that I owned in the 1970’s were all Schwinn, and not terribly comfortable. The Steelman is great for stability but doesn’t have the quick response and hill handling capabilities of a carbon-fiber.

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