Now, Where Was I?

After healing up a week I was looking forward to riding the new Madone.  Saturday featured gale force winds, so I postponed the grand depart until Sunday.  I am still nursing some injuries, including a large bruise and scab on my left knee and some slight pain in my left hand/wrist.  I decided to take it easy and go for a spin in the country near Nokesville.

Immediately, I was reminded what a brand new bike sounds like.  I try to keep my bikes well maintained, but I never quite get them to the point like when they were brand new.  The Madone was as silent as a submarine.  There was literally no noise whatsoever – just the whir of the tire rubber on the asphalt.  The shifting was perfect – just a touch and it moved.  Very nice.

The ride was excellent, with the carbon behaving as advertised.  Fizzhogg had it right when he said the biggest difference would be on the hills.  I definitely had a little more kick on the climbs than I’m used to.  The ride was very smooth and at the same time very familiar to me since I was riding on the same saddle with the same drive train and the same geometry as my old bike.

The Madone's First Action Shot

My one complaint concerned the angle of the brake hoods.  The handlebar is rotated slightly more forward than what I am used to, which means the brake hoods are almost level with the ground.  This is a tad aggressive for my tastes, so I’ll be adjusting the handlebar about 10 degrees so the hoods are more upright.  Other than that, it ran like a champ.

Now it’s time to get back on track for the year.  I am still slightly ahead of my 2011 mileage pace despite the week off, but I wasn’t able to get in a long ride in preparation for next weekend’s 58-mile Vasaloppet.  Still, as long as it doesn’t pour rain all day, it should be an easier event than last year.

Rocking My New Lid

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25 thoughts on “Now, Where Was I?

  1. The helmet matches the new bike. It’s a great looking bike. Glad you got to put some miles in and that the bike is all you expected. You’re looking great! Very fit. Compare your wordpress profile pic, with your picture in this post. You look leaner and fit. Hopefully, you’ll do a post on the effects that this year or two has had on your health.

    • The matching helmet is completely coincidental. It was the last one of its size on sale at Performance Bike. Still, that’s kinda cool. You’re very kind with your compliment. I still have a way to go. Hopefully, I’ll be at my target weight by the end of the fall!

  2. Bravo for the quick recovery, and thanks for the note on my blog. I survived fine but (irony alert) my left hand is too sore to grip the brakes. I went for a short ride anyway because when you fall off a bike you’re supposed to get right back on. I’ll be doing the Halfvasa. See you in the blueberry soup line.

  3. Glad you appreciate the new carbon ride, Steve. By the way, comparing the 2.1 and Madone photos at right, I don’t see much difference in hood angle. Did you change the 2.1 later? My advice: stay aggressive. You’ll get used to it soon enough and you’ll gain a bit on wind resistance (my God, I’m sounding like Coach now!) by keeping them horizontal.

    • You make an excellent observation, Gerry. When I eyeballed the wreckage of my 2.1 (now in bits and pieces in my garage) the hoods appeared to have a slightly different angle than the Madone. But when I look at the pics on this blog they do appear to be nearly identical. Perhaps the discomfort was simply my injured wrists complaining. I’ll give it a few more weeks and see how it goes. Thanks!

      • Try this, Steve. Measure the distance from the tip of your saddle to the back side of your bars on both bikes. If, as you say, the geometry is identical, the distance should be the same. Also, you could measure from the ground up to the top of your saddle, then the same to the top of your bars, take the difference, and that will determine the drop you have between saddle and bars. It sounds like you might be stretched out a bit more on the new bike, thereby putting more weight on the front end. Or more likely, I’m talking out my arse again…good luck!

      • The LBS made those measurements when I bought the Madone. I watched them do it and am comfortable that the bike is set up like the 2.1. I’ll wait a few weeks for my wrists/hands to return completely to normal before I fiddle with the handlebar. Thanks for the great advice!

  4. Cor! Nice new bike! Sounds as though it’s smooth and lovely. Every cloud… etc etc. Good luck for many incident-free miles. Some anti-inflammatory cream might help that left hand/wrist pain.

    • I have never served under a master maintainer and will not acquire the necessary maintenance skills until I do so. I’ll just enjoy it while it lasts and settle for “pretty darn good” when it comes to that.

    • Tough call for me on the reflectors. I am fully aware of my dorkiness, but I noticed the 2.1 wheels had a little difficulty staying true after I removed them. I guess the reflectors put a bit of tension on the spokes and removing them caused the affected spokes to loosen. Plus, I suddenly have an intense desire to maximize my visibility to automobiles.

  5. Congrats, and love the matching lid. You are ready to ride that beast on the runways of Milan!

    When do you get the red and black kit?

    I will be interested in your rides once you are fully healed. We Madone brothers must stick together. Maybe I can make it out your way sometime this year.

    • I think I’ve shot my cycling budget, so the red/black kit will need to wait a bit. If you’re in the DC area, please let me know and perhaps we can arrange an impromptu Madone Club meeting and ride!

  6. The bike looks brilliant and as several have pointed out already, the rider is looking lean and mean to boot! Aside from the wheel reflectors, which obviously have to go, you may also want to remove the rear cassette plastic chain protector. Your set up will look a lot cleaner!

    • I suppose you’re right. I’ll say this about reflectors: cool cyclists don’t use them because they want to look like racers and racers don’t need them because they travel in packs during the day, often on closed courses. I don’t travel in a pack and occassionally not in the day and my courses are never closed.

  7. So glad you are enjoying the new ride and that you’ll still be able to do the Vasa. I’m thinking new bike sound is like new car smell — you enjoy it more while it lasts because you know it will be fleeting!

  8. I am sure the Velominati would have something to say about having the ‘bars tilted too much 🙂 I am with Gerry, stick with it if you can and only adjust if necessary…
    Good to see you back out on the road again..

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