Sunday, July 14, 2013

Back in the saddle again…

Hi, Mike here the guy who hardly ever bothers to post anything on the blog (that will change in the near future I will be doing a coffee review as soon as I try out the second roast a coffee roaster in NY sent me). After a too long of an absence I decided to get back into biking for two primary reasons one because I enjoy it and second I hope to be in good enough shape that I can enjoy it once Levi is older and will hopefully be enjoying it as well. To me biking is a escape and a way to enjoy the outdoors and work out. I prefer to bike alone or in a very small number of people (really no more than one is ideal). The reason for this is you can set your own goals and if you feel like slowing down you can or if you feel like pulling that hill and smoking a previous time record that you set the last time you rode up that hill you can cut loose and do so without leaving others behind. I will admit it is harder to set time aside (esp. if you work and do school both) however just do what you can. Gone are the days that I can just up and bike 15-20 miles but I can do 2-10 without falling behind with everything else. No I will not go pro that way but it’s better than not biking at all and if I have a chance to go on a longer one I will jump on it.

Before you start biking you have to acquire some equipment. The first and most logical would be the bike but before you do that you need to know how you will be using the bike. Roads, trails, or both? Once you know decide where you will be riding then you can begin your bike search. I highly recommend reading reviews and gathering information on several bike make and models. Pick at least five that would work for you and then start looking in looking bike shops etc. and try to purchase used. A lot of people purchase really nice bikes and then either tire and give up or upgrade (All my bikes were purchased used Trek SingleTrack 930, Cannondale F600, and the Trek Pilot 2.1). I am not a fan of hybrid bikes I think they are too heavy and you would be better off getting a good quality but lower end mountain bike and swapping out the tires etc. to make it more of trail bike. I did this with my Cannondale F600 basically all I did was put a more comfortable saddle on it, swapped the mountain tires with the nob tread for a more ride friendly tread, and removed the clip pedals and replaced them with standard bike petals. End result a nice light bike to ride casually and use on trails. I primarily ride on the road anymore and my current road bike is a Trek Pilot 2.1 (I don’t believe Trek makes these anymore all I can find on their site is the 1.1). I can not say enough about the quality of a Trek bicycle.  I would recommend them to anyone and they make all levels for any rider. Another thing I would recommend is Nashbar at They have great deals on clothing, parts, and helmets etc.. I recently purchased Shimano R540 road pedals from them for 33.99 every other site I checked had them for 70.00. The only thing I do not overly like about the petals is that they have to be right side up for you to clip into them. With my old petals it didn’t matter you could clip in on both sides. I use the Nashbar brand jerseys but I am not crazy about their shorts I prefer Pearl Izumi shorts. My shoes are Shimano R087 road shoes (I prefer Shimano shoes/petals). I went with a no name for the helmet I chose an Ascent Strada based on the reviews and I am happy with it. Below are some pictures of my bike and if anyone has any questions about what to look for or how to get started please feel free to ask, I love to talk bike.


The bike (with the old petals)


Yes Trek has seen some Tour De France action (Lance!)




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