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Which bike to use for a century?(8 posts)

Which bike to use for a century?jrogers
Oct 7, 2002 6:59 PM
I am riding from Middlebury, VT to Williamstown, MA later this month. I currently am riding my road bike - a '98 Cannondale R1000, a CAD 2 frame with full Ultegra. In my dorm room here I have sitting a brand new Empella Bonfire cyclocross frame that I was planning on building with parts from the C'dale and some new stuff as well. My question is, which bike would be better for this ride. I do not think I will have time to build the Empella, try it out and then build the Cannondale back up if I don't like it. Differences between the two frames are not monumental- both are aluminum frames that probably aren't the lightest anymore. Both have 2 bottle mounts. The Cannondale is a bit more aero with the carbon bladed fork compared to the Empella's round, wider aluminum fork. However, the more relaxed angles and (though this is speculation since I have not built the bike or ever ridden a cross bike before for more than 5 minutes) upright position of the Empella make it seem like a better choice for a killer all day ride. I am sure both would be fine for the job but I have to consider 2 factors- I have limited time and have to either build one or the other and I want to pick the bike that will get me to my destination the most efficiently (taking comfort and control into account). This is made even more important by the fact that I will be riding alone and there is no chance that I could just turn around. I am riding to see my girlfriend at Williams College- this is a point to point ride, not a loop. The terrain is mostly rolling hills with some really long, flat sections and probably one or two decent sized climbs but no serious elevation gain.
reliabilty and comfortDougSloan
Oct 7, 2002 7:03 PM
Use the one that foremost is most reliable and second is most comfortable. Speed will depend on that far more than things like the aero qualities of the fork. Don't go making last minute changes before a long important ride unless you really have to.

I like Doug's advice...jtferraro
Oct 7, 2002 7:25 PM
I'd personally go w/the C'dale, especially if its the bike that is already built up and the one that your used to. Sounds like a great ride, as I'm familiar w/the beautiful Williamstown area! Have fun!

I like Doug's advice...jrogers
Oct 7, 2002 7:54 PM
Well, I am not leaving til the 24th so I can get used to the bike no problem. I mean, I just got my Cannondale up here 3 days ago after not riding it for 3 months or so. As for the comfort, I am kind of assuming the Empella is more comfortable because of the riding position it *should* have. Believe me, I know that comfort is the most important thing here (reliability is a small issue seeing as both frames are in good shape and the same wheelset and components will be used) as is evidenced by my sore neck from riding. Hmmm....with the information on the roads that my father just sent me (long stretches with no shoulder, very narrow in spots) I think a more stable bike would be beneficial.
EmpellaEager Beagle
Oct 8, 2002 2:01 AM
I'd go for the Empella, with some road tyres. It's nice to have a more upright positon for long rides, and if you aren't doing too many hills the weight isn't an issue.

Plus you'll have the 'pella ready for the cross season too.

Having said that, if you can flip your stem on the dale, or you don't have too much drop anyway, that'll do the job. The CX may be a better bet for rigging a rack on if you are going to do that.
Oct 8, 2002 2:50 AM
This ride is no different than a regular ride. Except that it is much longer. Go with what you know. Use the Dale. Hey, if it works for those Saeco guys....


Ps - if you decide to add some miles to your ride to W'town, take a left on Rte 2 as you approach town, head towards North Adams, and then climb Mt. Greylock (highest peak in Massachusetts) from the North Side (a 10 mile climb, wicked steep too) and then descend to the South Side and head back up to Williamstown on generally flat/rolling roads.
Route of tripjrogers
Oct 8, 2002 8:29 PM
I don't think I'm going to want to add too many miles to the trip but I was thinking of trying to eliminate some of the southern part of Route 7 if I could. According to what I know, the last 40 or so miles of rt 7 is narrower and without a shoulder. If you know the area, could you possibly speculate on how bad it would be to ride this stretch and if it is not a great road, what an alternative would be?
Reliability ... Ride the Cannondalepmf1
Oct 8, 2002 9:40 AM
You have not ridden the cross bike enough to know it very well. And its not even built up yet. So if you hastily built it up, there would be little or no time for a few test rides to get things just right.

IMO, a century ride is not the place to test out new equipment. Especially a solo one-way ride. What if you're 54 miles into it, and you discover that the cross bike is not very comfotable. Or worse, you're in the middle of no where, and the BB you didn't install tightly enough goes out.

If the CD is built and working fine, ride it.