Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Weekly Update?

I guess I am on the weekly update schedule these days.

I did something yesterday that I haven't done in several years; I rode a geared bike. I rode three, in fact. It was Cannondale Demo Days, and demo I did. I rode a Rush 500, a XT-level Scalpel, and the semi-mythical Carbon Rush.

I last rode a geared bike in 2003. That bike was equipped with SRAM grip shift. The bikes I used yesterday had SRAM trigger shifters or Shimano duel-control. So not only was I trying to relearn how and when to shift, I had to master two different shifting systems.

My verdict: The Rush 500 is a tank. The suspention worked great, but it was heavy. I liked the Scalpel; it felt snappy and fairly light. The longer top tube was a good fit for my riding style. I was not blown away by the Carbon Rush. Don't get me wrong; it is a nice bike. The suspention was set up for someone 30 pounds heavier than me, which made the ride somewhat harsh. It was light, but light for a full suspention bike isn't *really* light. For $2500, it would be a very good bike. For $5500, I'll buy two Santa Cruz Superlights and go endurance racing.

My take-away from all this? Geared bikes are ok, but I prefer singlespeeds. The drivetrain added a ton of weight and made all kinds of noise. And it didn't seem to make me faster. The only upside was how easy the ride was on my knee (and the rest of my body). If the knee isn't 100% by spring, I'll have to revisit this topic.

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