Saturday, September 10, 2011

Introducing Trek 1.5 road bike

Introducing my 2011 Trek 1.5 road bike.
I haven't posted a blog entry in a while, so I guess I'll start with something that happened soon after my last post in July--I bought a new bike! It's a Trek 1.5 road bike with a 62cm aluminum frame with H2 geometry (for racing, but not elite racing) and a carbon fiber seat post and front fork to help with shock absorption. I've ridden the bike more than 100 miles since buying it, and I can say it is a lot of fun. It is zippy and smooth. It can take corners very tight, and I have reached a maximum speed of 42.0 mph going down one of the steeper hills near my home. It's my racehorse, both figuratively and literally. Well, not literally really, as it is still a bike. But I bought it for competition in the triathlons I have started to do. I continue to use my old Trek 700 hybrid from 1991 for running errands, commuting to work, and riding on gravel bike trails. This new road bike I only use in races and when training for races on paved surfaces. After riding the new road bike on a route that I often took with my old hybrid, I found that the new bike has resulted in around a 1.5 mph increase in my average speed. The hills on this route are short but steep. The new bike's gearing system (50/34 crank and 9-speed 11-26 cassette) really doesn't help me climb hills any better than I can do with my triple crank 21-speed hybrid, so the improvement comes more on the flat topography (not much of that around here!) and the downhill segments.

Note the new cycling shoes, too. I had to buy those since wearing regular athletic shoes do not clear the chainstays at the rear tire (see previous post). My cycling shoes are mid-priced Shimano mountain bike shoes suggested by the bike shop. Road bike shoes have no tread on the bottom, so they cannot be worn safely when dismounted from the bike. I got the shoes with tread so that I will feel free to dismount and go for a walk if I want. Of course, I haven't done that. But I could. For example, in June 2012 I am planning to do a 150-mile ride as part of a fund raiser for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. If my friends and I stop and get lunch at a restaurant in the middle of the ride, I won't have to worry about slipping on the floor. Have I convinced you yet? Doesn't matter. The shoes are great, even if "true" cyclists get the type of shoes without a tread. 

I have determined that I will never have the top racing equipment. Like all hobbies, there are many levels: beginner, intermediate, advanced, and steps in between. With each increase in skill level, there is a concurrent increase in the price of equipment used at that skill level. For instance, my new entry-level bike cost only a fraction of what I would need to spend for a high-end racing bike with state-of-the-art components. I'd love to have a $5,000 bike but my skill level does not warrant that. So it's an interesting situation for my personal finances: as I get better at cycling, I'll need to get richer, too. Both situations would be welcome!


  1. you have to start somewhere... i started with a similar trek as well.. and the the swimmer pics demonstrate typical bad swimmer posture... thanx for stopping by!

  2. Thanks Heidi. Just to be clear to everyone else--Heidi is referring to photos she posted of other people on her blog. She is not saying that photos of me show bad swimmer posture. I've got a personal swim coach and he's watching my back! (that's a pun, now that I think about it)