Normally Jon and I get together to ride about once a year. You see, I reside in western Oregon and he does not. When Interbike rolls around, we make the time to ride together. This year, though, the stars aren't aligning very well, and Interbike is looking like a no-go for both of us. I cannot tell you how bummed this makes me, I'm trying my best to move on each day and not wallow in my despair.
Friday, September 11, 2009
To alleviate this somewhat, I rounded up the family and we made the trek to Jon's abode for a brief visit. While there he and I were able to get in a fairly lengthy mountain bike ride. Jon was riding his Jekyll and I was riding an older F4000 hardtail. While riding--and since--there were something that struck me about our different riding styles.
- He prefers short travel bikes. I prefer something with a little more give.
- Jon likes to climb. So do I, but I prefer the resulting downhill.
- He is more of a roadie than I am. He's even shaved his legs, while mine remain wonderfully hairy. Neither of us use a visor on our helmets, though. There are limits.
- Jon is more of a weight-weenie than I am, though I do enjoy light bikes.
- My Jekyll was set up with more relaxed angles, while his is decidedly more upright.
- We have different tastes in saddles, wheels and handlebars.
This last one has been particularly beneficial for us. It is do to this last difference that many, many parts have shipped between us over the years. He'll have a saddle that doesn't work for him, but does for me. Or, I'll have a set of wheels that is more his style and he'll have a set that works better for me. We'll swap. These exchanges just wouldn't be possible if we had the same tastes in gear.
The latest exchange was a shock that he wanted for his Jekyll and handlebars that I wanted for my road bike. The bars in question are FSA K-Wing carbon bars.
He didn't like the bend--he prefers a traditional round bend--and he didn't like the bare carbon tops. I happen to like both, after all, the gigantic bar ends on my mountain bike are bare carbon, too. Because these bars are 31.8mm, I also needed his stem, my old stem was 26.0mm. I finally got out and rode on them today and I really like the shape of the bars. They fit my riding style perfectly. I found the flat bar tops to be just the right shape for climbing. I also like to rest my forearms on the bar tops while descending--somewhat dangerous, so I don't recommend it--and these are much more comfortable than round bars.
I spend so little time in the drops that the bend doesn't affect me one way or the other. It's fine.
Unfortunately for Jon, he has yet to try out the shock due to an oversight of mine. While carting the shock to him, I failed to bring the required mounts.
The mounts are in the mail, honest.