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New bike!

heathpack

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Howdy TUGgers. You might recall me posting before about my bikes, my main squeeze, The Magic Bike and my lovely back-up bike, The Sparrow.


Magic Bike:

9B720B35-C8EF-4525-8F18-05559430D056.jpg



The Sparrow:

074A635C-AE91-4EED-B289-3EF0AA913ED8.jpg



Well, now I have a third bike, the weird & wonderful Grasshoppa:


E9A3931E-1431-4CEC-816A-DB38A8388113.jpg



More about the bikes in the next post...
 

VegasBella

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heathpack

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The Magic Bike's specialty is long-distance climbing rides. I rode it to a women's 9th place finish in a gnarly series of races this past spring. Three races over 6 weeks, spaced 2 weeks apart, with a total of 335 miles & 34,000 ft elevation gain. Ninth place does not seem too great, but my goal was a top ten finish which was pretty ambitious for a newby like me. I was very very happy with it. The first of those races is still to-date the freakinest hardest ride I've ever done, 124 miles and 13,000 ft of elevation gain, done at a race pace. Just totally gnarly.

The Sparrow is my back up road bike but is totally lovely unto itself- just a quick, light little bike, fun for riding madly around town with my friends. I've recently made a number of upgrades to the Sparrow- namely electronic shifting & some nice race wheels- suddenly I love to ride this one too.

But the thread is about the Grasshoppa, my newest bike. Grasshoppa is a time-trial bike, which means it is a go-fast race bike. A time trial is a race against time. You compete against other people on any given day, but the race starts are staggered by 30 sec to a minute. So it's not head-to-head racing like you see in a mass start race. Time trials are about being aerodynamic and producing power, they're usually run on flat courses. It's very technical how you ride then, mainly it has to do with understanding physiology and parcelling out your power perfectly to ride at your maximal pace without causing too much build-up of lactic acid. Many features of the Grasshoppa are present because of its purpose as a time trial bike- for example, the aero bars and the wheels which have a specialized aerodynamic shape. Grasshoppa has special gearing designed for TTs and a power meter that measures my pedaling force which makes it easier to parcel out my power 'just so' during a race.

I might sound like I know a lot about time trials, but I'm actually a newby. I rode my first TT back in June on the Magic Bike, came in second place and was immediately hooked. I bought the Grasshoppa in July and have been getting used to it ever since. I rode my first TT on it last week and hot damn I actually won the thing! No one was more surprised by this than me. ;)

Next race is in a week from Sunday, I still have a little more gear to get for Grasshoppa and I'm not sure I'll have it in place in time. This next race will have tougher competition, so I'm not expecting too much- I just want to ride it well from a technical perspective & beat my current personal best 20k time.

That's it, just love my new bike and thought I'd tell y'all about it. :)
 

heathpack

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wow, those are some great looking bikes. May I ask how much they set you back?

I'm going to buy a used road bike soon. I found this cool site that's like Blue Book for bikes: http://www.bicyclebluebook.com/SearchBikes.aspx


You don't want to know!

Magic Bike is a BMC brand and the model is called a GF01, it's an expensive bike and has been upgraded into the very expensive category.

The Sparrow is a moderately priced bike, a type of race bike called a Trek Madone, that I bought used and didn't need to upgrade very much.

The Grasshoppa is an inexpensive bike, a Fuji Norcom Straight. But with a TT bike, you pretty much start pulling parts off the bike right away and replacing the parts with other stuff. This is because the way you interface with the bike (ie your aerodynamic position of the bike) is so important and there's no way a bike company could sell a bike that works for everybody. So the Grashoppa has been upgraded into the expensive category.

The pictures above contain around $20,000 of bike flesh, I kid you not. But I ride a lot, 10-12 hours per week.

This is how I feel about cycling:

7F4D2E49-FD0A-4485-845C-F503DAE3F0D2.jpg
 

MULTIZ321

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Hi Heathpack,

Congrats on your newest bike - Grasshoppa. Love the name. May the winds be at your back for the next time trial race.

Thanks for sharing your recent bike news and the pics. I spent a few days on the Oregon Coast in July and also did a side trip in southern Washington State to see Mount St. Helens. I was surprised by the number of serious bikers in both locations and the elevations didn't seem to deter them.

Best regards,

Richard
 

heathpack

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Hi Heathpack,

Congrats on your newest bike - Grasshoppa. Love the name. May the winds be at your back for the next time trial race.

Thanks for sharing your recent bike news and the pics. I spent a few days on the Oregon Coast in July and also did a side trip in southern Washington State to see Mount St. Helens. I was surprised by the number of serious bikers in both locations and the elevations didn't seem to deter them.

Best regards,

Richard

Thanks, I love this new bike. Which is saying something because TT bikes are not built for comfort, they're built for speed. Lots of people who ride TTs don't ever love their TT bike the way they love their road bikes, a TT bike is often more akin to a race tool for a lot of people. So I'm lucky.

Cycling is very popular, even these intense climbing races I did had hundreds of participants. Maybe only dozens of people did all three races, but each sinlge race was very well-attended. Its pretty remarkable, given the difficulty of the races.

Cycling is a great sport too because it's inherently social, you want to be with other people if something goes wrong out on the road. So you wind up with zillions of cycling friends and people are forever setting up rides. I ride multiple times a week at 4:30am and there is even a core group of us who ride together at the crazy hour. We call ourselves the Nightcrawlers, lol. It's healthy for the body but also the brain and socially. A really awesome sport. :)
 

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Healthpack...my hybrid doesn't look as rad as your Fuji but I upgraded it yesterday. I bought a new seat saddle! I've rediscovered cycling and touring in the last few years as my osteoarthritic knees have largely curtailed any impact activity like jogging and tennis. Cycling is easy on my knees and while I'm just riding for fun and exercise, it's given me a new lease on keeping fit as wear and tear on aging joints has curtailed many of the activities I used to engage in.
 

ace2000

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The pictures above contain around $20,000 of bike flesh, I kid you not. But I ride a lot, 10-12 hours per week.

This is how I feel about cycling:

7F4D2E49-FD0A-4485-845C-F503DAE3F0D2.jpg

I ride about as much as you and I don't quite feel like the picture here. I only spent $200 for my hybrid bike, could that be where I'm going wrong??? Only kidding! Happy to hear you're still riding and enjoying it so much! :)
 
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heathpack

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I ride about as much as you and I don't quite feel like the picture here. I only spent $200 for my hybrid bike, could that be where I'm going wrong??? Only kidding! Happy to hear you're still riding and enjoying it so much! :)

I bought my first bike around 4 years ago for $37.50 at a garage sale. It was not so much fun but I think that's mostly because I didn't realize the left shifter controlled something different than the right shifter, I thought the two shifters were just a convenience thing. So I rode that heavy bike in the big ring only for about a year until I finally said "this bike stinks" and I decided to buy a "nice" bike.

I bought a Trek Lexa C, which is an entry-level aluminum road bike, for $600 new. *That* bike I liked (maybe just because the guy in the shop explained about the big ring and the small ring and how to use all the gears!?!). It's 8 speed and relatively heavy and now it seems to me to have a harsh ride. But it took me pretty far, through my first century ride and it brought me to my current bikes.

So I think you can have tons of fun on pretty inexpensive bikes. I'm just become something of an obsessive bike aficionado at this point. A lot of these expensive bike features that I have greatly increase ride quality/enjoyment for me. But totally unnecessary to still ride well.

Just back from this morning's easy coffee shop ride, we had a lot of fun!



PS That's me in the blue jersey.
 

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Very nice pictures.

After college I thought running shoes were expensive.

Hopefully I can get back into it.
 

silentg

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My DH and I love riding bikes, we need to get back into riding, when the weather gets cooler. also playing golf together is fun.
 

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My DH and I love riding bikes, we need to get back into riding, when the weather gets cooler. also playing golf together is fun.

Golf is why I don't ride more. Can't kick the addiction.
 

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A wonderful sport. Enjoy it, and sounds like you are!

One tip since it appears you're relativity new to the sport, and wish to improve - ride with those that are a level up from your ability. Riding with those equal to or less will hold you back. Then, continue the process of moving up in rider levels as you continue to improve. No worries about riding with your friends since you'll make plenty of new ones. ;)

Have fun.

Btw, if you don't mind me asking, how tall are you?
 

heathpack

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A wonderful sport. Enjoy it, and sounds like you are!

One tip since it appears you're relativity new to the sport, and wish to improve - ride with those that are a level up from your ability. Riding with those equal to or less will hold you back. Then, continue the process of moving up in rider levels as you continue to improve. No worries about riding with your friends since you'll make plenty of new ones. ;)

Have fun.

Btw, if you don't mind me asking, how tall are you?

Well, actually...

I have a cycling coach who I totally love. I actually just do whatever he says in any given ride. I have power meters on all my bikes and specific power targets that I need to meet during my workouts. Sometimes it's tough interval workouts, sometimes it's a power range to stay in during the ride, sometimes it's "JRA" aka Just Riding Around, which means ride however I feel like it. There is an overall game plan that coach keeps to himself, I just get a week of workouts at a time. But he wants me to work hard or not-so-hard or to rest according to his prescription. He doesn't care who I ride with, or if I ride alone, or put my bike on a stationary trainer, as long as I do what I'm supposed to during the ride. Lack of progress is not a problem, he is an extraordinary coach and truly one of the best people I have ever known.

Don't get me started on my bike fitter. I love and respect that guy just as much, he is a master at getting my position "just so" on all the bikes. Unbelievable guy, the kind of guy who gets flown in to France in the middle of the Tour de France to tweak the pros fits. Then I go see him for some minor little issue on the bike and he spends 90 minutes with me making sure everything is perfect and then refuses to take any money for the visit. "nah, it's just a follow-up."

I'm 5' 5". Why do you ask?

Knocked another minute off my 20k TT time today, after knocking 2:20 off it last week. I was pre-riding a race course for a race I'm doing next Sunday. This new bike totally rocks. :) :) :)
 

Phydeaux

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Knocked another minute off my 20k TT time today, after knocking 2:20 off it last week. I was pre-riding a race course for a race I'm doing next Sunday. This new bike totally rocks. :) :) :)

You need to give yourself more credit. Good equip is fine, but the rider makes the difference. ;)
 
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