Tag Archives: Malvern Star

Road bike on the way!

I can’t believe it – I’ve now spent more on a bike than a digital SLR body!  How did this ever come about?   Why didn’t I just buy a D700 🙂

After a year or so of pushing my Diamondback Apex mountain bike around Perth and 6 weeks of rides increasing from 26kms to 40kms, I’ve decided to take the plunge and get a road bike.  A little zippy carbon one with a 105 groupset and entry Mavic Aksium wheels.  I’m sure that should be more than I need for the next few years!  (Don’t tell wifey that there’s even more expensive bikes and components to upgrade to later!)

So which one?

I really couldn’t decide.  All I know is that my budget was just over the $2k mark and I wanted to get the best “bang” for the buck, so after considering the Merida Road Race 905-COM, runout Cannondale 6 Carbon 5, Trek 2.3, Felt F75 and Giant TCR Alliance, I decided to go with the Malvern Star Oppy C5.   Yep, the brand name might be shunned by experienced rideres, but I couldn’t find a better deal – I really don’t know how Malvern Star are doing it besides just not making as much profit as other companies.

For anyone who’s reading this who is thinking of getting a road bike, just remember that there are accessories to add onto the cost – like clip pedals, shoes, pump, tube, drink holders, clothing, etc.  It all adds up!

Looking forward to my first big ride on the weekend!

By the way, if you’re interested in looking up prices to compare, the best place I’ve found so far is here:   http://www.bikeexchange.com.au/

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Cycled to Freo!

I did my first 40km ride on the weekend – all the way to Freo and back!  Turns out my average speed over the whole trip in the end was around 22 km/h.  Not that fast really, but considering I’m riding a 5+ year heavy mountain bike with semi slicks and no clips, and sticking mostly to a cycle path with some windingness and stop/starts for traffic, it’s not bad.

One of the guys that rode with me had a bike computer and gave me some updates while we were cycling – on some longer flat straights, I was doing about 30-32 km/h!  That did feel good 🙂  Unfortunately it didn’t last long.

But the difference between the effort I was putting into my mountain bike, and my 2 friends’ road bikes was very noticeable – especially up hills.  They just zoomed past me, while I felt like I was lugging up a bag of potatos.  I know I’m still not as fit (only my 6th week riding), but I’m 99% convinced I need a road bike now to make it more enjoyable, go faster and cover more kms.

I’m confident I can now finish the 30 km HBF ride.  But the question is – if I buy a road bike in the near future, will I be able to complete the 60 km ride?

I’m guessing there’s 2 factors – the time it would take (can I ride for that long), and could I output the right amount of energy (really coming down to – what would my average speed on a road bike be compared to my mountain bike if I put in the same amount of effort).   And so I started looking up the average speed for mountain bikes versus road bikes.  Of course there is no real definitive answer, but “people” seem to think it could add at least 5-10 km/h for the same effort (eg. http://highwaycyclinggroup.wordpress.com/the-average-speed-page-how-to-find-your-average-speed-what-is-a-good-average-speed/).  

If I take the bottom end of the scale, 5 km/h means an average of 27 km/h, so 60 kms means 2 hours 12 minutes of cycling.   At the top end of the scale, 10 km/h more means an average of 32 km/h, so 60 kms means 1 hour 52 minutes of cycling.  

I know my Freo trip took nearly 1 hour 50 minutes – so I know I’ll need to work on cycling longer.   Friends also say that average speed may be higher for the HBF bike ride since it’s a straight track on the Freeway (no stopping/starting/obstacles besides bikes) and there’s typically very low wind resistance due to the number of riders around you.   Of course, I could try to do 60 km on my mountain bike – it would just take 3 hours 🙂

Oh well, I just need to train with a few more 2 hour rides in Perth.

And figure out which road bike to buy!  Got my eye on an Oppy C5 at the moment…