Sunday, February 22, 2009

Another Route

Yesterday we cycled along our usual route with an addition of a new path on the Rockaways. The Rockaways is a very good place for cylcing as the roads are in a good condition, the traffic is very low and traffic lights are a few. Our trail length for yesterday was 17.5 miles and for the first time our average speed has exceeded 10 mph.

On the negative side of things I keep getting pretty sever pain in my elbows. The problem seems to be the fact that the fit of the bike is not right for me. I keep having to reach too far to the handlebars which forces my to keep my arms extended and elbows locked.

I keep thinking of getting a bike for myself for these and other reasons, but I’m not really looking forward to spending more money on one. If we keep doing this and the pain does go away however, we will buy another one. I really like Cannondale CAAD9-5. Specialized Allez is another alternative, but I’m leaning towards Cannondale.
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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Specialized Sequoia

Specialized Sequoia road bike.Our cycling adventure continues. It became clear that the first bike we bought for Alena needed to be replaced. We wanted something in the similar class of what Brian landed me.

Brian gave me a few pointers in respect to what to look for — Shimano componens, preferable 105 or higher. Aluminum frame, carbon fiber fork. The frame should be around 56cm — which pretty much excludes all feminine bikes.

Specialized logo.I ended up doing a lot of reading and researching. First we started looking for used bikes on eBay and Craigslist — nothing decent was showing up. Then I decided to get a no-name bike from an online source. After that I thought that we’d rather pay more money for a bike from a company that stands behind their product. And the smartest decision of all was to actually avoid buying online and just got to a local shop.

Specialized Sequoia.And exactly that we did yesterday after work. We happen to be lucky to have a cycling store 5 minutes away from us with a great reputation which people come to visit from all parts of NYC. And after our experience there we know why.

Shimano Tiagra rear derailleur.After my research online I decided that Cannondale CAAD9 5 would be our choice. A lot of great reviews, even though it was a bit more than we wanted to spend originally. The local store of ours also quoted us the lowest price out of all the stores I called in the area — $1225.

When we got to the store though the store owner suggested a different brand — Specialized. The reason was that we needed to get a rather large frame for Alena’s legs, but that would make the reach (distance to the handle bars) too big. This particular frame actually had a shorter top tube length.

Shimano Sora brake and shift levers.He spent over an hour with us showing us different models and letting Alena try them. The one he recommended was very comfortable for her. After that he took a bunch of measurements on some special machine to make sure it’d be just right for our pickup the day after.

The only thing that I wasn’t sure about was the components. They were still Shimano parts, but not 105, but a step or 2 lower that that — Tiagra and Sora. They also did have the same exact frame with 105 components, but it was over $300 more and the owner was pretty damn sure that I don’t need to spend that money. He said that it was my decision, but he was sure that the cheaper version was perfect for Alena and there was absolutely no reason for us spend more money.

Rear wheel.We were convinced — Specialized Sequoia is what we went with. It cost us $769.

Today we came back and he had the bike ready, fitted for Alena. He took it outside and made Alena ride it 6 or 7 times back and forth making small adjustments, making sure it was perfect. Even if we could find this bike cheaper somewhere online the service that was provided to us was just invaluable. I can’t remember having such a satisfying experience buying anything.

Specialized logo.We bought a couple of other accessories — helmets, some padded shorts, bells and went out for a ride on the bicycle path near Belt Pkwy. We had an awesome time. Lots of fun and enjoyment, even though the weather was horribly cold.

If it wouldn’t be for our first cheap bike buy and Brian landing me a great bike — we would never have a clue how much a good bike means. I’m very thankful for all the help Brian has provided.
In: Gadgets & Gear   Tags: , , , ,
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