Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Choosiness

I'm on the hunt for a new road bike. Actually, I've never owned a road bike before. But, I love road biking. As I get more serious about my biking, I feel it i necessary to upgrade my bike. A trip to my neighborhood bike shop, and a couple of well-placed questions, helped me understand that riding a century (100 miles) on a hybrid is just bad form. On a hybrid one is sitting upright in the bike, as if one is sitting in a wing chair. As a result, instead of using one's glutes to help pedal, one is instead propelling the glutes - and the entire erect torso - forward against the wind. By shifting one's bike style to a more traditional road bike, one shifts one's posture so that the glutes now help generate power, rather than being lugs that get carried around as if they are the queen.

Armed (gluted?) with this knowledge, I have become more committed than ever to buying a road bike. But, which one?

Bicycling magazine has its 2007 buyers guide on the newsstands. And, I found a cool website with user reviews of road bikes. I have a list of bikes to research, and a list of criteria by which to judge them, including:
1. Maintenance records
2. Price
3. Component parts
4. Flexibility of stem and seat post (can they both be adjusted)?
5. Weight
What else should I be looking for?

On my hot list are:
  • Trek 1000
  • Giant OCR
  • Schwinn Fastback Sport.
And, BMG wants me to check out cyclocross bikes as a transition between my clunky hybrid and a road bike. I am certain the list will get longer before it gets shorter.

Some things I've already learned from reading on the web.
  1. The Trek 1000 is probably not such as great bike.
  2. The OCR2 is better than the OCR3 for only $150 more (average) retail).
  3. It is likely that, if I LOVE LOVE LOVE road biking on a real road bike that I'll want to upgrade significantly within two years.
  4. It is likely that, whatever bike I choose to buy, I'll need to switch out component parts to customize it to meet my needs.

My goal? To have a new bike by early April, when it will be snow and ice free outside, so I can start to train outdoors as well as indoors. I'm shooting to be ready for my first century ride on May 20th, when Charles River Wheelmen do their Spring Century.

2 comments:

Jeff said...

Glutes is spelled glutes.
Bikes is spelled bikes.
Cyclocross is hardly ever spelled.
Yay bikes!!!

Clownface said...

I fixed the spelling. Thanks!