Saturday, 28 April 2012

Is This The Perfect Second Bike?

My plans to buy a 'winter' road bike, and possibly a touring bike, have had to be shelved.
As the kids are getting bigger I've had to agree that we don't have room for them at home, so I've been looking out for an all rounder second bike that isn't too heavy but has flat bars for commuting, and I've discovered this:

Wilier Weekend Bassano

9.4Kgs, 105/Tiagra groupset, Shimano RS10 wheels, mudguard/rack mounts.

Commuting? Yes
Touring? Yes
Winter road bike? Yes
Sportives or Audax? Yes
Shopping? Yes
Pub? No

There are a few rivals around but most seem to be heavier.

The only problem is that there aren't any Bassanos in the UK :(

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Holiday Rides in Gran Canaria

I hired a very light Cannondale Super Six with an Ultegra groupset from Free-Motion bike hire while in Gran Canaria earlier this month. Got to climb the local mountain four times and you can see the ride profile here. To say I'm not the world's greatest climber would be an understatement, so I was pleased enough to make it to the top. The ride starts with a very gentle uphill alongside the valley's river-bed and then you come to this sign:

From there on it's a bit of a challenge for those of us who aren't Jon Tiernan-Locke, but it's worth it for the views along the way and the feeling of achievement when you reach the top. I'm sure some of the slopes are steeper than 12% as they seemed more severe than that steep one in Richmond Park. The climb up Ditchling Beacon outside Brighton is about 700ft whereas this is around 1300ft so I wasn't surprised when the guy at Free-Motion said quite a few people had returned the bike and asked for a different cassette to help with the climb. I would have as well if I'd realised it was 11-25 (I have a hill friendly 12-29 on my Ribble).

The shifting, courtesy of Shimano Ultegra, was extremely smooth.