Ever since Chuck got his road bike, I have been very jealous. When we go riding together, he works half as hard to go so fast that I can still barely keep up, and when I commute to work on my heavy mountain bike I get passed by every road bike that somes along. I rode Chuck’s Felt for a mile or so once, and even though it was a bit scary because I was too stretched out on the Chuck-sized frameset, I was quite impressed by it’s speed and ease of handling.
And so after two months of twice-weekly commuting on my mountain bike for an hour fifteen minutes in the morning and an hour in the evening, I spent yesterday trying out road bikes all over San Diego. After two bike shops and test runs on Trek, Specialized, Felt and Giant bikes, we swung by UC Cyclery (conveniently located quite close to my office) where I did a little more extensive road testing and tried an alternate frame size on the Specialized models, and finally ended up with the Specialized Ruby Elite in gloss white.
During my test run I got to ride up the main hill of my commute, up Gilman Drive and Villa La Jolla Drive – it’s only about 200 ft of elevation gain over 1.5 miles according to MapMyRide, so a small hill in the grand scheme of things, but it is the most prolonged uphill on my normal ride. On the Ruby though, it went by like a dream – I was barely working up the stretch on Gilman, and the section with 6% grade up Villa La Jolla was far easier than on my mountain bike too, even with the higher gearing on the Ruby’s compact crankset.
Zephyr checks out the new bike
Even after getting the bike fitted at the shop, there are a lot of changes to get used to between my old bike and my new one. I took it out for a practice spin this morning, and covered 7.75 miles in 35 minutes, as compared with one hour that I recorded for that route on my mountain bike in April – zippy! I can’t wait to try it out on my commute on Tuesday.
Specialized Lithia Saddle
My Ruby basking in the sunlight