Posts Tagged ‘Trek’

My new ride – Specialized EnduroSL Comp 2010

// December 14th, 2009 // Comments Off on My new ride – Specialized EnduroSL Comp 2010 // Information

On Friday I traded my Gary Fisher Big Sur 09’ with a brand new Specialized EnduroSL Comp 2010.

I have learned many different things about myself and about cycling in the course of the last three and a half months. Simply put, I love this sport.

The problem I had is that I went through a frustrating and expensive process to put me on the right bike. See, I had 4 bikes during this short time period. From a Trek 4300 2010, to a Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo 09’, to a Gary Fisher Big Sur 09’, and finally to a Specialized Enduro SL Comp 2010. The whole thing could have been easier on me if I had a clue about cycling when I went to buy my first bike, or the understanding that an uber Clyde like me must check few basic things in a bike just to consider them to be fit. My experience could have been different if the bike store I first entered would have fitted me on the right bike instead of selling me a Trek 4300 (the front fork was for show only). And instead of trying to squeeze me for more cash trying to fit me on other bikes that cannot fir me (the Gary Fishers are very aggressive on the geometry of the bike) would have give me a good advise on which actual bikes I should get. Now I understand they do not have a clue about Clydes and what should or should not work for them.

Uber Clydes like me should look for a bike designed for Freeride, Downhill and/or All Mountain ride. Some key parameters to look for are:

  • A strong frame that can sustain abuse
  • Relaxed geometry
  • A 160mm front fork
  • Strong rims with good spokes to carry the weight

The Specialized Enduro has it all. Once I have finished the test ride I fell for it (I tested few bikes that day). It was the first bike I rode which immediately felt right. I could finally feel the front fork is doing its job (Rock Shox Lyrik 1600mm), and that the rear shock (Fox RP2) is effective even when a heavy guy like me sits on the bike.

On Saturday I rode 24km with the bike. I still need to adjust it here and there, but overall it was a great ride. I cannot wait until I get the bike out the next time (the weather here is tricky these days).

I truly hope that ‘small’ people like me would learn from my experience, and the hassle of being hassled would be saved for them.

Getting a Bike (Part I)

// December 2nd, 2009 // Comments Off on Getting a Bike (Part I) // Information

I admit it. After deciding that I need to get a bike all I wanted was… to get on a bike. It did not really made any difference to me what brand would it be, how would it look like,  it was the urge to start riding.

This was a mistake.

See, a big guy can’t just climb on any bike and start riding. The weight is a big factor and there are some bikes (especially on the low end side) that would not fit a Clyde, or an uber Clyde like me. The frame, rims, wheels, tires, and the fork are the immediate suspects to check. But, see, I did not know that…

I live in Israel. Bikes are being imported from all over the world, and practically we have all the major brands represented here – Trek, Specialized, Mongoose, GT, Scott, Niner, Fisher, etc. You name it we have it.  Sometimes it seems to me that people that used to run a grocery store now have a bike store… So much variants, so many choices, and not so knowledgeable!

The first store I got into sells Specialized, Haro, and Raleigh bikes (it turns out they also sell Santa Cruz frames but that was only known to me weeks later). Did they looked at me and ask all the right questions? Did my weight was part of their consideration suggesting me a bike? – Absolutely not. They had entry level bikes and that they wanted to sell.

The second bike store did the same thing to me. Although they showed some more interest in my weight, it certainly did not play any part in offering me the right bike. All they wanted to sell is the entry-level bikes they got there.  And they were successful. I got a Trek 4300 bike. Why did I get it? At that time it seemed to me that they ask me knowledgeable questions, and that they are really trying to fit me a bike according to my weight.

Some of you may say that this is a nice entry-level bike. It might. But not for the uber Clyde.

See, one of the things that a Clyde needs to check is the front fork. To see whether its weight can be sustained by the front fork. Sitting on the bike, the front fork, when opened and not locked, should sink in by nothing more then 15%-20%. If it sinks more then that… it is not a fork you should use.

After riding the bike on asphalt roads near my house for about a month and a half I performed my first trail ride with my father-in-law. A 16km/10mile ride. I discovered that the front fork, a Spinner 300 w/coil spring, as it appears on the Trek web site, is simply useless.

This was not the worse part. The day after I went to the bike store, to those folks who imports Trek bikes that sold me the bike, and they admitted that they sold me an entry level bike which has a front fork that may not do too much good for me. I was amazed. I wanted to invest in a good bike. A bike that would be good for an uber Clyde like me, and instead I got an entry level bike that does not fit my weight.

In Getting a bike part II – What did I do next? and What bike did I get as a replacement?