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Test riding the new road bike

I got my new Trek Madone 5.2 on Thursday.  My team sponsor, Trek Bicycle Store Boulder, hooked me up.    I’ll post few pics and describe it in a new post shortly.  This post is about its maiden voyage.

I haven’t had a new road bike since 1992 or 93, when I was sponsored by Specialized, thought my local bike shop.   I got a steal Aliez.  It was a great bike and fit me well.

After I stopped riding for a while, it was all about the mountain bike when I did ride, so I sold my Aliez to a good friend, who still has it by the way.  When I started racing again, I picked up a used Cannondale from a family member.  I have no idea what year it is, but I’m guessing late 1990’s (97-99) probably.   After a few good rides I realized it didn’t fit me well, but I made it work for the last 4 years.    It’s been beat down pretty hard, with endless hours of winter trainer rides, and wet mountain dirt roads.

I’ll post a pic of the old bike later.

Now about the ride.  I didn’t have a lot of time, so I decided to do a common route, to Nederland and back.  Once I hit the asphalt, I could feel the difference.   I’ve been riding a size 60, but the new Madone is a 58,   so I was already more comfortable.   Before I get a chance to warm up, I have a short .5mile hill, but today we have a little headwind.  I felt that bike slice through the wind and move easily up the hill.  I wasn’t having to work hard, as I was spinning in an easy gear.

After the short climb, I have a fast decent before I hit the first incline.  I did notice that my downhill speed was reduced because of the compact gears were not enough and I spun them out.    I’m OK with that, I think.  we’ll see as I get more used to them.  I wanted the compact gears to help with the big climbs around here.

As the ride went on I still felt very comfortable.  I was able to ride fast in the corkscrew sections of the hilly road with easy and confidence.

I wasn’t working super hard, hitting the hills in zone 4 (lower range) and had a headwind.  At the 11 mile mark of the ride, a location where I check my tiime if I’m trying a PR, I was already 3.5min faster then my best.   I was surprised because I wasn’t trying to beat my time.   I contribute the speed to the lightness of the bike,  the direct power put into the pedals transfer right to the road.

When I got to Ned I was almost 5 min faster then my fastest time.  Very encouraging.  I turned around to make my way back home.  It’s mostly up hill, going from 8200ft to 9300ft over 15 miles. There are 4 descent climbs which I usually hit hard when I’m in my build phases.

I continued to be comfortable,and enjoyed the feel of the ride.  The last climb is always the toughest part, usually a strong head wind coming over the summit (the highest point of the peak to peak hwy) and a good grade.   I got to the top in 1:36hr,  7 min faster then my fastest time.  Amazing.   Needless to say, I think this machine was a great investment.

I can’t wait for the next ride.

View the ride profile from training peaks here.

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