A couple weekends ago, I met up with Taichung City slickers Michael T. and Drew K. to go shopping for a new bike. After checking out T-Mosaic and a Specialized shop we were off to 185 Warehouse in Dakeng. There I test rode one of their house brand [Generation 2 Cycles (G2C)] bicycles – an aluminum alloy frame with carbon chainstays, fork, and seatpost outfitted with SRAM Apex. I talked to the product manager James Murray, who is one of only six people I’ve ever met in Taiwan that’s taller than me and he told me they had a large frame available, in the color of my choice, and could outfit it with SRAM Apex for under $45,000 NT.
I went to back to 185 Warehouse three days ago with Michael to pick up the new bike. James made some fit adjustments for me and made sure everything was working properly before I left for the 40km ride back to Nantou.
Apex’s 50/34 Crankset and Front Derailleur
The clipless pedals – a set of Crank Brothers were inherited from Drew. I had no trouble getting in and out of them initially until faced with a traffic light with (gasp!) stopped cars and scooters. I got my right foot off the pedal no problem but shifted far too much weight to get the left one off. I made eye contact with a woman with her arms around the waist of her boyfriend on the scooter next to me. She was definitely contemplating putting her hands up to prevent me from falling onto the two of them. Luckily, the left foot came out just in time to catch my fall.
The Apex shifter with DoubleTap technology
I found the improved power transfer geometry of the road bike to be much easier to maintain a speed of 25km/hr than my previous MTB, which would get about 15km/hr at the leisurely rate I was peddling through Taichung City and the municipality formerly known as Dali City.
Yesterday, I took the bike out for a test ride up my favorite workout route up to the Pingding Sacred Tree. The route was slightly different than usual, here’s a map of the route on Bikemap. It’s not a long route by any stretch of the imagination, but has some nice scenery, a steep climb, and is void of traffic.
Climbing to the Sacred Tree was a little harder than usual. I did more pedal pushing with the road bike than I am accustomed to with the MTB. I also needed to hop off the bike a couple times to shake out my legs. My body isn’t used to climbing on a road bike and quite frankly – I’m really out of shape.
I used to take descents with reckless abandon on the MTB up until Cathy became pregnant with our daughter. Since then, I’ve been riding downhill much more conservatively than before. Monday was no exception on the new bike. I didn’t know how it would handle the curvy descent into North Jhongliao so I mostly kept my hands on the brakes the whole time.
Somewhere on the 投17-1 [actually, exactly where I took the picture above], I set one of my CamelBak insulated water bottles down after drinking from it and rode off without it. I drove back after the ride to go look for it but it was long gone.
I have one major regret about buying the road bike – and that’s that I don’t have any free time on weekdays to ride!