Monday, 25 August 2014

My Road Bike

My Norco Valence A1 is my very first road bicycle.  When I first started shopping, I literally didn't know anything about these bikes.  So I started reading lots of reviews and tapping the sage wisdom of forum gurus far and wide.

The very first thing I learned?  Not all drop bar bikes are created equal.  At the time, a touring bike, an endurance bike, a race bike and a cyclo-cross looked the same to my untrained eye.

After doing more research and thinking about what sort of experience I was looking for, I opted for a road endurance bike.  Not a race bike nor a touring bike, but somewhere in between.

Armed with information, I went to bike shops and started test driving.  When I first tried out the Norco, it seemed like a perfect match.  I was very comfortable on it and it seemed to be extremely responsive.  It had an aluminum frame but packed a front carbon fiber fork and seat post to help dampen road vibrations.  If I had liked carbon more and wanted to burn a bit of cash, I could have gone for the Valence C1 but I am a big lad and just feel safer on aluminum.

I test drove several bikes, before and after trying the Valence.  But once I had tried the Valence, every ride after was just a comparison to how great the Valence felt.

The group-set (gears, derailleurs, braking) use Shimano 105 components almost everywhere (the cassette is a 10 speed Shimano Tiagra).  Most bikes in the Valence price range come equipped with Shimano Tiagra group-sets.

So far I've had this bike for a little over a month, and I've clocked over 1000 km on it.  I've gotten further than I ever have, faster than I ever have, with a lot more comfort.  And I've been enjoying it every inch of the way, even the painful ones up a steep incline.

I feel like I need to hit a high level of fitness to take complete advantage of this bicycle.   I know as I drop weight it will be easier to go faster (more muscle for power, less weight to log around overall).  Since cycling is an activity I enjoy, its a great catch 22; the more I enjoy it the better it will get!

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