Sunday, March 18, 2012

Mlle Moto's First Day Out v 2.0

It started out as a rainy morning, and the forecast was a 60% chance for rain and thunderstorms, but we loaded up the bikes and headed over to the Greenbelt for a much needed bike date.

By the time we got there it had turned out to be a gorgeous day! The forecast was way off. Sunny, in the 70's, barely a cloud to be seen. Good day to test out the latest changes to Mlle Moto.

We chopped off about an inch and a half on each end of the bars. They were so long before that I really had to move my hands back a lot to change gears. They still feel a little on the wide side - about 20 inches center to center. I think if I can find something a little less than that I'll be more comfortable. But, as is these are still more comfortable than the drop bars that were on previously. Towards the end of our ride I was starting to get stiff in the base of my neck. I'm wondering if this has anything to do with the handlebars, the bike itself, the reach, the kind of ridding we did, or just that I haven't been riding more than a couple of miles a day for the last 6 months. I'm hoping it's the latter. When I first start out it feels great. Everything feels like a good fit. So, I guess we'll see what happens over the next few rides.

I wrapped the bars in Origin 8 cork tape. This was the only thing I could find locally as a quick "need it now" wrap. Also, I dont want to go and wrap these in cotton tape and shellac them knowing that I'm looking for other bars. The cork tape isn't bad though! Easy to apply, quite comfortable and not horrid looking. I can live with this for however long I need to.

As for the ride. We rode around 14 miles. A nice slow, enjoy the scenery, chit chat sort of ride. We got a few miles in to discover that part of the trail was closed off do to some serious road work:

It didn't really stop us. Just picked the bikes up a carried them around all the construction and carried on.

I only took advantage of a long straight flat once to see how she handles going fast. It was great! And fun. This bike is spritely. Easy to accelerate. I didn't really change gears much on the ride, even up thd hills. She just goes up them almost effortlessly.

However, I am beat. 14 leisurely miles kicks my butt on this bike! I went for a little 10 mile fast and hilly ride on the Fuji last weekend and didn't feel it. Very strange. I hope I get to take this one out again soon.


  1. Glad you guys got out and enjoyed it too! My son and I have ridden here around Bristol for each of the last 3 days (Sugar Hollow's wooded trails,then some grocery runs yesterday,and home-Steele Creek,around some singletrack and back home today,14.54 miles worth today).

    I'm LOVING this weather (still loving having moved to the Tri-Cities too)!!!

    The Disabled Cyclist

  2. Maybe your positioning is too bent over...I've been studying your bars. What about flipping the bars so your hands will be higher than the seat?

  3. anniebikes - I can raise the bars to get them up higher, no prob. And no need to flip (oh, the unwrapping! Ugh...) Which I think I may try. As is they're a little higher than the drop bars were in the drops with the stem as high as it could go. I think I'll try raising them to be even with the seat and see how that goes. If not, I'll still have room to move up. :) I also found that I was more comfortable riding with my hands in the curve of the bars. But I can't reach the brakes from there (usually with mustache bars the brake levers would be mounted out of the curve, but these are the wrong type of levers for that. I'm searching for new levers.) :)

  4. Seems like a perfect bike date!

    I am so confused on positioning and fitting a bicycle. Sometimes I get a little sore from riding Betty Foy, but I don't know what else I could adjust or try. But I don't want to pay for bike fitting. Those are so expensive!

    Hopefully you can find the perfect fit!

  5. Just caught up with reading your blog posts. Great job on the bike and I hope you find what's making you uncomfortable. Is the top tube longer than what you are norm ally use to?

  6. Hi Sue! The whole bike in general is a bit too big. It's a 53cm and I probably ought to be riding something around 48cm. That's why you'll notice that I have the saddle all the way down. It doesn't feel like it's too long. I've got a really short (60cm) stem. I'm going to give my drop bars a try again. Maybe with the bar end shifters and aero levers I can find something more comfortable.

  7. Catching up too! Like how it's coming along. And I'm a sucker for "flipped" North Roads. (I use quotes because North Roads were originally intended to be "drop" bars, but then someone figured out what great upright bars they made when put in the upright position.) A nice mix of French and English! And yeah, you can probably find some newer brake levers that work better.