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First Road Ride and a Question(7 posts)

First Road Ride and a QuestionGTRider
Apr 22, 2001 3:45 PM
I picked up my Allez today and proceeded to ride back to Downtown Seattle.3 minutes into the ride its starts raining,no worries i grab my rain jacket and put the fenders that i brought with me.So i continue on,first thing i notice is that my palms are hurting.That went away after about 15 minutes.Shifting is easier then thought.So i hit the bike path and the first thing i do is sprint.All i can say is WOW!!Talk about moving.The first path and i am on the road and i start climbing.Wait a minute wheres the other path????Somehow i got lost and kept climbing.I am not much of climber and 30/25 was killing me.But it was nice to get out of the saddle and climb.So i crest the hill and see the point where i need to be, so downhill i go.You know i really did'nt know what i was missing till i tucked.the speed was a pure high.Get to the bottom of the hill and something does'nt feel right,I look back and i got a damn flat!!!!!MY FISRT DAMN FLAT!!!!!!!!!!I am sure it is not going to be my last.But i was not looking forward to changing the tube because of the nightmares i have heard about road tires being a pain.Luckly specialized was nice enought to put kevlar tires on.I tell ya, working with those were easier the working on MTB tires.So with that done i continued my ride without any other problems.So i am looking forward to riding to work starting tomorrow.So now to my question.I am of heavy weight.(240lbs)The spokes on the wheels are 15 gauge SS.I am better off rebuilding with 14 gauge or will the 15's be fine.I know i will start losing weight again but i like to better safe then sorry.
Thanks for any input.
Great speed, eh?boy nigel
Apr 22, 2001 4:56 PM

I'm glad you're digging the non-knobby experience and the smooth speed road riding permits (and with noticably less effort). Sorry the flat happened so soon, but it had to happen eventually, right? :)

Hill suggestion: Think of the hill as a giant. Don't attack its feet, attack its head. Don't kill yourself at the bottom; gravity will take its toll (and remember, you're no flyweight, so it'll be a bit tougher initially). No offense meant by that, BTW. Start hills in a gear you're pretty sure you can spin fairly comfortably in up the hill (your wide gearing will help you greatly with this). Begin a hill in an easier gear than you think you'll need. As you climb (sitting down), the grade will slow you a bit, making pedaling harder. At this point, shift up one gear and stand for a little bit, rocking the bike gently, and positioning yourself OVER the pedals on the downstroke, so all of your weight comes down to help you turn over the gear. When you tire a bit of standing, sit and shift down a gear again, spinning a bit easier. This is a common road-rider technique for hill climbing. I use it, but then again, I love hills. :)

RE: the spokes. 15-gauge spokes should work for someone your weight. Make pretty sure they're not loose every couple rides. 14s would probably be better, yes, but the 15s should work. Just don't go down any curbs or bash them around on railroad tracks (slow down before the tracks, if you have any around). Ride carefully as you should anyway, avoiding big ruts in the road and glass, etc. You should be fine. Ideally, you might want 14s and 36-spoke wheels, but I think you'll be safe with what you've got. (I'm no shop expert, however; just my opinion.)

Enjoy the bike, and again, best of luck and fun.
re: First Road Ride and a QuestionBruno S
Apr 22, 2001 5:02 PM
All 2000 Allez have defective rear 15 gage spokes. If one breaks your LBS should replace all of them for free with 14 gage spokes. If your Allez is 2001 I would wait to see if they hold.

Another thing, to avoid flats make sure the tires are at least at 100 psi which is the recommended pressure. You must have a floor pump with a gage to do this. Small mtb pumps will not work. The tubes that came with the bike should be ok, invest in a good pump.
re: First Road Ride and a Questiondustin
Apr 22, 2001 6:09 PM
i've got a 2000 Allez and i've never had problems with the rear spokes. how are they defective, and is it something i should look out for? i weigh 168 if that helps any. oh yeah, i've also never had a flat on my road bike, and i've had it about a year. lucky, i guess...
re: First Road Ride and a QuestionBruno S
Apr 22, 2001 7:36 PM
I never had a flat in my 1 year old road bike either. The rear spokes start breaking after about 800 miles. It will not cause you to crash if one breaks but if it happens the LBS has an obligation to change all of them and Specialized will pay them for it. If you look in the archives you will find many posts about the Allez and the rear wheel spokes.
re: First Road Ride and a Questiondustin
Apr 22, 2001 8:42 PM
hey man, thanks for that info. knowing me, i would've probably gone out and bought some new rims 'cause i really want some Spinergy's.
re: First Road Ride and a Questionfuzzybunnies
Apr 22, 2001 5:59 PM
you shouldn't have any problems with the spokes, but when you come accross obstacles like potholes or really rough pavement stand up with your knees slightly bent and less damage will be done to both wheels, with enough practice you should be able to finess most rough spots. TTFN