Saturday, September 27, 2008

Bike Shopping Foray #4

Recycled Cycles today [Yelp].

Today was one of those really pretty fall days. Had a great eight-miler this morning, a nice hilly course with a neat view off of the Aurora Bridge [MB], went to the Farmer's Market, and then did a little work. Decided to take the bus down to the shop because the Huskies were playing Stanford at home and traffic was likely to be difficult (parking even worse). An amazing amount of purple walking around today (too bad they lost—broken thumbs, concussions, sheesh, how civilized are these fields of friendly strife?). 

Walked in and boy was this shop busy. It took only about 5 minutes to get the attention of a salesperson, Kirsten, and we went to look at what they had:
  • Kona Jake the Snake
  • Surly Cross Check
  • Salsa La Cruz
OK, the Kona is aluminum and I didn't bother with it because I don't want (or like) aluminum frames. As none of the Surly bike were in my size I decided to take the Salsa out for another test spin: this one was a 53 cm bike instead of the 55 I tried the other day. Nice clearance, etc.. 

Headed towards the UW along Boat Street, past Agua Verde and the Medical Center to the Salmon Spawnin Pond, and along the Montlake Cut. There is a grassy hill that is kind of steep with a dirt trail in it. I wanted to feel how this bike handled on the grass and what it was like climbing in the lowest gear. I did have to stand and mash (this would have been easier had I been clipped in) but it wasn't too hard. Got to the top in short order, turned around and bombed down the hill, going over the trail and onto the grass as fast as I could. The bike handled very well and the size was actually better than the 55 cm I tried the other day. Paid attention to the handle bars too and decided that I am not really a fan. The drop actually felt a little small for my hands but the bars themselves were wide enough to torque back and forth. Putting a triple on this would be a bit of chore: new front derailleur and possibly a new bottom bracket (which also means cranks too). Might raise the price well beyond list. 

Let's just say that I was more impressed with this bike during this ride than I was the first time around. It could be because I have spent the week riding cross bikes and have a sense of what to expect. Blasting down that hill was just fun!

Not much else to tell about this trip, except that I had a fun time riding the bus back home. Such a nice day to people watch and NOT drive. 

Ballet tonight, PNB's "All Tharp" with two world premier pieces. I am excited.

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