Sunday, August 10, 2008

Weekend Rides With the Brands Group

Saturday morning a did a quick loop to Jones Beach and a couple of laps of the Tour de Parc circuit in Cedar Creek before heading over to Brands for the Saturday morning group ride. We had a dozen or so riders show up. Jamie distributed cue sheets this time with a new return route. After heading east on the LIE service road, as ususal, we would return via Vanderbilt Ave. and Half Hollow Hills Rd. instead of the LIE south service Rd. A good variation with lots of hills and less traffic.

I was part of a group of four that was off the front of the main group when we got to Vanderbilt. I got dropped after the first couple of hills but the guys waited for me and we kept together until Sweet Hollow Rd. They headed North for another 5 miles through West Hills but I took the more direct route back as I had a 10:00am conference call for work. Still got 53 miles.

After cleaning the bike, I headed to Brands for a few odds and ends: chain lube, degreaser, a new water bottle [thanks Tina]. I also decided to treat myself to a new saddle. After 24,000 miles the old one was looking a bit worse for wear and I had also been wanting to get a true racing saddle. After checking out the selection and talking with Jamie, I settled on a fizik Arione. Not the super lightweight version but definitely more performance oriented than the Specialized B/G that originally came with my bike.

Got an e-mail last night from Mike that a few of they guys were going to meet this morning for another hill ride. I joined Mike, Bob, and James and we headed out on a similar route to yesterday except that we returned on Wolf Hill Rd. instead of Vanderbilt. We also did the West Hills loop twice. A more reasonable pace than yesterday but still some challenging hills. We kept our little group tegether for the whole ride and I ended up with another 50 miles. It turned into a good recovery ride.

3 comments: said...

I'd like to know your thoughts on the fizik Arione saddle?

nickm said...

My initial impressions after just two rides, a 50 miler (3 hours) and a 13 miler (45 minutes):

1. I notice the difference of not having the center pressure-relief channel. Not uncomfortable but there is a difference.

2. The cover is "stickier" than my old Specialized. No sliding around. It might take 1 or 2 tries to get seated just right but then you stay put. I will count this as a "plus".

3. The saddle looks narrow (because its longer, I guess) but the seating area is about the same width as other saddles.

4. There is less padding, this is a race saddle, after all. But the shock absorption is very good. Even on bumpy washboard, I was surprised on how smooth it felt.

5. I have the basic Arione, with Kium rails, still fairly light weight at 225g.

6. Fit and finish is great, it looks very well made. Hope to get at least 24K miles like my Specialized.

Only 4 hours on the fizik, but I think its a keeper. Somehow, I feel a bit more "agile" on the bike with the more minimal saddle. I was a bit concerned about not having the center channel, but no ill affects or discomfort after 3 hours. We'll see how it feels after a century, with 5 or 6 hours of saddle time. Overall, it has a "high-performance" feeling, which is what I was looking for in terms of a new saddle. YMMV said...

Thanks Nick for the info.