Saturday, October 27, 2012

Cycle Touring Day 210

Ahead of finally getting back on the road tomorrow, now that the new bike has arrived, today I took it out for a couple of test cycles today, just in case a wheel falls off or something 50km away from here!

The last time I was cycling, it was in hot and sunny Barcelona, today though, back near Poitiers, it's bloody freezing out. The winter cycling clothes will certainly be residing in the easier-to-get-access-to front panniers from now on! It took until I was already undertaking the first test cycle to realise it though. Christ my ears were cold!

By doing two test cycles I wanted to see how the bike handled compared to the aluminium Specialized Tricross I had before. This new Kona Sutra is steel, so I wondered how it differed and if I would be able to notice a difference even.

Unladen, I didn't really notice much of a difference at all but was delighted that the Kona still felt like riding a road bike rather than a possibly cumbersome tourer. My fear was that the ride would feel completely different when I wanted to go for a ride without all my gear, but I am happy to report that it doesn't at all. Fully loaded, the steel ride certainly felt a lot firmer and more responsive almost immediately. Being aluminium the Specialized often felt quite "spongy" and unresponsive.

Materials aside, it will take me a while to get used to the different gear changing position, I think. Previously I had brake lever/gear shifters and they were a dream to use. Changing up and down with my index and middle fingers felt so natural. With the gear levers now at the ends of the drop handles, one has to keep taking ones hands off of the bars to change gear. This is not too much of a hassle on the flat, but when climbing I can envisage it becoming a real pain. The beauty of the brake lever/shifters is that you can change front and rear derailleurs at the same time. A feat which is now impossible.

Only time will tell if these new rims are really suitable for the job, so the only thing that needs addressing right now is that saddle. Even on the 38km I did today, I was starting to get a little uncomfortable. The only other problem at the moment is not having a stand. Although I intend to order this Click-Stand as soon as I can.

"Breathe better with maize. One hectare of maize absorbs the CO2 emitted by 18 cars", apparently. It doesn't say over what period of time though, unless that's in the small print which I couldn't read. Maybe it's over the lifetime of the crop.

Fully loaded and all set, ready to get back on the road once again. It's a real pain at the moment though, not having a stand.

Elevation and Statistics

Click on the elevation profiles to explore the route maps in RunKeeper

Daily Totals
Distance : 37.73km
Cycling Time : 1 hour 45 minutes
Max Speed : 48.5kmh
Max Elevation : 155m

Cumulative Totals
Distance : 7,126.55km
Cycling Time : 421 hours 15 minutes
Max Speed : 70.8kmh
Max Elevation : 2001m


  1. I hope you enjoy the new bike. It will take some time getting used to it, so keep taking these test tours. Do post about your experiences with it on the blog.

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