I never had a bike as magnificent as my road bike. The thing was a beast of speed! And everywhere I went, I got comments on how good the bike was. That never happens to me otherwise. I tend to ride fairly arbitrary bikes of dubious provenance. But this thing was a bike competitive cyclists would happily ride. But it wasn't to last!
There were four issues with this bike: the first one was its emphasis on speed rather than comfort. I'm sure this is a lovely bike and smooth asphalt, but my commute was a bit more bumpy than that. And going over bumps on the super rigid road bike is not very comfortable. And I always felt like I was about to get a puncture if I would ride over a bump.
That brings me to the second issue: the narrow tyres meant it was a complete nightmare to fix a puncture. It is hard to get these tyres off, and almost impossible to put them back again. And that makes having to do a repair on the go unnecessarily stressful.
Then there were the handlebars. This bike is made for speed, and if you want to be speedy you want to be aerodynamic, so the handlebars were very narrow. But that meant it was difficult to stay stable in strong winds. Winds coming from the side would quickly become uncomfortable! And this is a windy country.
Then there were the disc brakes. They were extremely noisy! And it seems there was something wrong with them, and the bike repair shop seems to have fixed it the last time I brought it in for maintenance, but it did affect my riding comfort considerably before that time.
The last thing was the gears. It's a road bike, so it has pretty big gears. You want to be able to go very fast while going gently downhill. And you don't really have a small gear for going up the hill, as on a bike like this you want to go up that hill really fast as well. And I am more into comfort than into speed. There is quite a lot of downhill between where I live and where I work, and yes you can do that quicker if you have a big gear, but I tend to not go at full speed anyway. My commute is full of dog walkers, and if you go to fast risk running into a canine. And if I have a steep uphill bit to do, I'd rather get up there while not getting unacceptably sweaty than particularly fast. So all in all, I better off with smaller gears.
Altogether I suppose it is clear I shouldn't have had a road bike. When that became abundantly clear, I bought a gravel bike. I did notice the downhill bits were slower on this bike, but otherwise I was really happy with its performance. I happily bounce over bumps in the bicycle track, the wide dropped handlebars make the bike still comfortable when it is gusty, I can get up hills without issue, the brakes are silent, and if I have a puncture (as already happened) fixing that is not a problem. So altogether I am really happy with the switch!
But what to do now with the road bike? Keep it for in case? Sell it on? I decided on the second option; I figured there must be someone out there who can use it for what it is intended for, and have a blast with it. And it worked! I put it on Facebook marketplace, and after a while bloke got in touch who was interested. It turned out he wanted the buy it for his girlfriend who was about to have her birthday, and who intended to take up triathlons. I think she will appreciate it a lot more than I did! I really hope she will have lots of fun with it. And does well in the races.
So I am now back to normal; on bikes that won't impress a single bike connoisseur, but very content! Everybody wins.
|Picture from my 'for sale' ad|