Just a quick post to describe in slightly better detail the amazing piece(s) of technology that are helping get me up those crazy hills and stay upright on equally wicked descents.
I ride a 2012 Cervélo R3. It’s a 61cm frame (I think that’s as big as they make them) which, although I am only 6’2″ fits me well because I’m not the most flexible person in the world. I have hamstrings tighter than snare drums and the afore-posted lower back limitations. That said, I have a suspicion that I may try to go down to a 58cm for my next bike.
I run a full SRAM Rival groupset, which is mid-range from what I understand, and serves me well. Sure I’d like the finely-tuned SRAM Red or Shimano Ultegra or Dura-Ace, but I’m not deserving yet.
The crankset is an FSA Bright 50/34. This is something that down the road I will look at improving to something lighter and stiffer.
In the summer I have a SRAM Red cassette installed on Zipp 202 Firecrest carbon clinchers, which were bought in anticipation of all the climbing I would be taking on this season heading into the RBC Gran Fondo Whistler, and in years to come. Indeed, their stiffness and lightness have been blessings. I have Continental Grand Prix 4000 tires on the Zipps. My winter/wet/trainer wheels are the stock Fulcrum Racing T’s that came with the bike, and Vittoria Rubino slick tires.
I have two Arundel Mandible carbon bottle cages painted in the Team Garmin-Sharp argyle pattern, which nicely matches my frame colours.
My saddle is a Fi’zi:k Ardea, which is the next item I am going to replace… Without going into too much detail, the saddle is not ergonomic and extended rides or seated sessions are leaving me uncomfortable.
I have Shimano 105 pedals, which are entry-level, but absolutely fine since they have little impact on the performance of the bike overall. More often than not they are the first thing to hit the ground in the odd case that I go over, so they’re doing the trick just fine for now.
Plugged into/onto my bike is a Garmin 800 bundle with cadence, speed and heart rate monitor with full GPS. I’ve had mixed emotions about this unit – mostly positive impressions but the odd time my wheel magnet doesn’t read properly mid-ride and I lose my speed readings. Other times my heart rate readings are off. That’s wireless technology for you, though, I’m sure.
I don’t have a ‘winter bike’ as many hardcore enthusiasts do… I’ve often assumed that winter bikes are de facto older ‘summer bikes’ that get relegated to winter duty once a new, more prized bike is purchased. However by buying a carbon frame from the start, I might never have a winter bike, since I can’t imagine torturing my Cervélo with winter rains, salt, gravel and the like. That’s fine however; at this point in time I am quite satisfied to retire in the winters and relegate to time on the trainer in front of the TV. We’ll see if that changes though.