Bike Bike Guy

Spare Tire Already Included!

The Road Bike

2011 Trek Madone 4.5

My baby. Bought it as a motivational tool when my old bike was stolen in May (“hey, you have this really nice, expensive road bike now. Get out and start riding it!”) So far, it’s working.

Components:  all Shimano 105 except the brakes, which I just upgraded from Tektro R540 to SRAM Red. The Tektro brakes are not impressive, and are usually the one main weak area called out in reviews of this bike. I was originally going to just upgrade them to 105′s or maybe Ultegra, but Summit gave me a good enough deal on the SRAM that I went for it.

Tires:  started out with Bontrager R1 700×23′s, which are decent race-ish road tires. After a nasty double puncture that damaged the sidewalls, I upgraded to R3′s which were very nice to ride (120 vs. 60 TPI). Unfortunately, when you’re my size you get a pretty large number of pinch flats on skinny tires, even running at or slightly above the top recommended tire pressure. The R3′s were fun to ride, but less so when you end up on the side of the road changing a flat every other ride. After talking to my LBS, I’m currently riding a RXL All-Weather Hard-Case in the back, with a Race Lite Hard-Case in the front, both in 700×25. I can definitely tell a difference in the weight and rolling resistance, but (hopefully) this will be a more durable combination until I can get to a reasonable weight and go back to the R3′s.

Pedals:  Shimano 105 SPD-SL. I’ve gone through a fair number of pedals looking for the right ones. Started with generic platform pedals, then tried the SPD dual-use ones (platform on one side, SPD on the other). Finally settled on these, although I’m still getting them dialed in. Can’t consistently clip in from a dead stop just yet. At some point I may take a look at something like the Crank Bros or Speedplay pedals, but I’m pretty happy with the SPD-SL system so far.

Computer:  Garmin Edge 500.  This thing is great. It can use GPS for speed/distance, but also talks to the DuoTrap speed/cadence sensor built into my frame for better accuracy. Also talks to my heart rate monitor so I can see how hard I’m working. At the end of the day, I plug it into my Mac and upload the data to Strava to see how awesome I was (sarcasm).

Random Stuff

  • Bontrager BackRack Lightweight rear rack. Sits on the skewer and attaches to the rear brake bridge. It may be insane to put a rack on a carbon road bike, but it beats carrying my laptop on my back in the mornings, plus it detaches with one screw. I take it off for “real” rides on the weekends.
  • * no-name seat pack with the bike shop logo (it was on sale) * Axiom PowerBag2 head tube bag * two bottle cages with Clean bottles (which rock)

    Loving this bike so far. Lance would turn up his nose at it, but I ain’t exactly going to be riding in Le Tour any time soon. It’s light enough for me, and it’s fun to ride. That’s enough for now.

    I’ll probably eventually upgrade some more components (probably the wheels first, then the derailleurs/shifters), but at this point it’s much, much easier (and cheaper) to remove weight from me than the bike, and the 105 setup is definitely working well enough.