Sunday 15 May 2011

Scott Speedster S30

Yesterday I picked up my new bike. A Scott Speedster S30. In the tradition of naming Oliver I had to name this bike as well. As he is a Scott Linzi (my Scottish wife) suggested Angus so Angus it is.

I had originally wanted an S35 which is a UK version of the S30. I think all it adds is mounts for mud guards. I don’t think I am going to be adding mud guards to this bike and there were no S35s in stock anywhere so an S30 in fine. I have added a pannier as I need it to take stuff into work but I plan to use Oliver when it’s very wet or icy in the winter so mudguards on this bike are less important.

When I picked the bike up from bikelab the pannier had already been added and the bike had already been setup for me based on my bike fit that I had done last week. I had also asked for SPD pedals for my cycle shoes and for a couple of water bottle cages.

I had also ordered a Garmin Edge 800. I had wanted a cycle computer like that for a long time. I did have a plan to write an application that did most of the same things for my phone but I just never got time and it would have never been quite as good. Ordering this with the bike meant that I could negotiate a discount so it was sensible to order at this point.

I was a bit nervous about riding a proper drop handle bar road bike. I was concerned about a few things with a road bike:

  • bent over riding position causing legs to hit gut all the time
  • sore back from being bent over so far
  • saddle comfort
  • gears not low enough to cope with hills

I still struggle with hills a little more than most cyclists as I still have a bit more ballast than most to lug around.

I had possibly foolishly decided to cycle back from bikelab on my brand new bike that I was not used to. I also took a bit of a detour through Richmond Park:

The route was about 11 miles all in so long enough to work out how well I was going to get on with the bike.

I was surprised how well I got on right from the off. Bikelab had obviously done a great job setting the bike to my requirements. The bike also felt really easy to ride, the power train felt much smoother and much easier to get the power to the road.

Pretty much all of my concerns were unfounded. I’ve done about 27 miles on the bike since I got it and have been very surprised with the saddle comfort. In fact I think my backside is more comfortable on this bike than my hybrid! My back has also been fine and my gut doesn’t get in the way at all!

I have gone up a few inclines, the steepest of which was 6% and I have still not had to go down into the lowest front sprocket so I still have some low gears in reserve for steep hills like Ditchling Beacon that I am going to come across on my charity ride.

The only problem I am having on the bike is getting sore hands and arms. My hands are already adapting and I didn’t have a problem with them today but my triceps are getting quite sore. They’re not used to my arms reaching so far forward and taking some of my weight. I am pretty sure that this will get better quite quickly.

I am also not quite as confident nipping through traffic as I feel a little unstable because of the sensitive steering.

I did a second ride on the bike today:

I was marginally quicker on this route than I was on the hybrid but only by about 5 seconds! I am actually quite pleased with this though as today on the road bike it was quite windy and I had half my rear brake on for the first half of the ride. My legs were also pretty sore from a hard ride I had on Thursday and the rides I have done since then. I should be able to go much quicker when I am better prepared.

I am very happy with my new bike and am looking forward to comparing my commuting times on it compared to my hybrid.


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