- Started mountain bike riding casually (once or twice a week) a couple years ago. Due to a shoulder injury I am no longer able to lift weights, play basketball, golf or any other activity that requires a lot of movement from the shoulder (especially motions above my head).
- When we move to Fort Worth last May I bought a road bike, mostly because we live right next to the Trinity Trail system – a great networks of 40+ miles of trails through Fort Worth. I bought a Specialized Roubaiux Expert. A very nice bike, particularly for long rides. At the time I expected to really get into century rides and other long distance riding, I had no interest in the “race” season.
- Fast forward one year and 7,000 miles later and I am officially a cycling junkie and now ride about 200 – 250 miles per week. I also purchased a USCF racing license and now race on a pretty regular basis. I am currently a Cat. 5 racer (the lowest level) and need 4 more races to move up to Cat. 4. From that point moving up is strictly based on how well I do (could move up to Cat. 3 after winning 3 or 4 races, or could stay stuck at Cat. 4 for the rest of my life). So I have been itching to get a new bike that is more suitable for racing and on Father’s Day Jess gave me the greenlight to get something new.
I orginally got a Kona King Zing frame on the Internet and picked all the components I wanted separately. I had the guys at Panther City Bicycles do the build for me and Bernie did his usual fantastic job. However, after a couple rides I realized the frame wasn’t really what I was looking for. This is why it really helps to do all your cycling purchases with your LBS (local bike shop). I’ve made my living on the Internet for 8 years now and buy almost anything you can imagine online; however, when it comes to bicycle parts/components it really does pay to go local.
So I found another frame that I thought my fit the bill at Fort Worth Cycling – a Kuota Kredo. James did a great job on the fit and I couldn’t be any happier with the bike. The Goatneck on Saturday was the first long ride for the new steed and it is surperior to the Roubaix in a few areas:
- Lighter – The bike before pedals is right at 15 pounds, which is ridiculously light.
- Stiffer – No more flex in the bottom bracket. When push the Kredo, it goes.
- Handling – This is maybe the biggest change for me. The Roubaix always felt soft and uneasy in the corners (not what you want when you are racing in a crit), but the Kredo really does take corners like it is on rails (pardon the overused expression).
- Wheels – the wheels I have are Easton EC70 (a 38mm carbon clincher wheelset). They aren’t available to the public yet, but I was able to get an early prototype set from the Toyota United pro cycling team (long story). The deep section wheel really does make a difference when you are riding 20+mph. Hopefully they will give me a slight edge when I ride with the group out of FW Cycling on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. BTW, if anyone is looking for a fast weekday training ride in FW, this is it. Average is in the mid 20’s over the rolling hills of the I-20/I-30 service roads. We take off from the shop at 6:45 a.m. sharp. It works great for me, I leave the house just after 6 a.m. and it is about 8-9 miles to the shop, we ride 30 miles and a fast clip, then 8-9 miles home. It’s pretty cool to be able to ride almost 50 miles in the morning and still be in the office by 9 or 9:30.
- Looks – Yeah, it looks pretty cool. This bike just looks fast hanging on my garage wall.
So now there are no bike-related excuses. If I don’t ride well, it isn’t the bike, it is the engine 😉