Monday, October 29, 2007

Summer of the Langster has come to an end

I started out in the spring looking to change up my excercise routine. I was getting burned out on the gym and I did not want to waste a nice summer day lifting weights in side a dark gym. Since I had started taking spinning classes as a alternative cardio workout it started to make since that I should look into a single speed track bike instead of a full road bike as I was originally thinking of.

The decision was made that I would only go to the gym on days when the weather was not good for riding. The plan was a success! My computer says that I have riden 1600 plus miles since I installed it. I think I already had put more than 1000 miles on the Langster before I installed the computer (Cat Eye Micro Wireless). It definitely reversed the gym burnout that I was experiencing.

While I lost some size in my upper body I did build up my legs. I think I gained about 5 lbs which was kind of unexpected since I had expected to lose weight. Of course the reading on the scale is just a meaningless number. A body builder once told me the only thing that matters is how you look in the mirror.

I know that the experiment has ended since I rode both yesterday and today. While the sun was out it is starting to get cold here on the North Jersey Shore. We had frost over night. On Sunday's ride I wore a long sleeve heavy jersey and shorts. I was not super uncomfortable but I did cut my route a little short once the sun was starting to set. I wanted to be back by 5 PM but it started to get colder at around 4 PM.

Today's ride was even colder. The temperatures were in the low 50s at mid day. I wore my long tights that I bought to ride across the Golden Gate Bridge and up to Marin County in February. At first I thought I could get away with only wearing my fingerless road gloves but after two test rides around the lake I knew I ended to get something warmer on my hands. I went through the coat closet and I found a pair of gloves that would go on my hands and still fit underneath my riding gloves. They were not a matching pair and I think they were women's gloves but I did not have time to get to a store since my window of riding opportunity was going to a short one.

I am finding that riding in the cold is much harder and strenuous than riding in the warmer weather. I have found myself at a lower energy level. On Sunday I only got in about 37 miles and today I only got in about 29 miles. Both rides were not fun at all. Although I do feel like I have worked out.

I have been holding off on purchasing a lot of winter riding gear. I am not sure how often I will use it especially once ski season starts. Since this is the New Jersey shore and not Syracuse we should still have several weekends left of 50 to 70 degree weather. I bought some glove liners after I finished my ride today. I do not think I will be getting out riding as the temperatures get below 45 degrees so I should be good with what I have.

I do want to get a better bike for next year. I think I have decided on a Specialized Tarmac. The only question is which model model. The Tarmac Elite appears to be a good value. The two shops I have talked to have told me that they will be able to sell it for $1750 - $1775. This is a good price for a Shimano 105 equiped carbon frame bike. The Tarmac Elite is a new model for 2008. It looks like it is supposed to replace some the Allez models that were dropped for 2008.

The real decision comes when you start looking at the models above the Elite. Once you start spending $1500 - $2000 it is always easy to justify spending "Just a couple hundred more". That is usually when it starts to snowball.

I am starting to move away from the Elite and up to the Comp Double. I was originally looking at this bike when I bought my Langster. I was originally going to get a Scott CR1 Team but I wanted to look at the Tarmac. While I ended up with the Langster I have been thinking I would like to have a Tarmac was well. I have not priced this bike yet but online price is $2400 so I am thinking the shops will sell for around $2100. I think this might be my winner for 2008. The Tarmac Expert Ultegra pictured above is listing out at $3000. I talked to one guy on the road who had a 2007. He had great things to say about it but he also worked for a Specialized Dealer . It is certaintly an option.

At $4000 list the Tarmac Pro Double picture above is definitely out of my price range. While it would be nice to have a full Dura Ace Group bike I currently have other priorites and it would be hard to justify. I am not sure it would make that much of a difference.

So far none of the dealers around me have any 2008 Tarmacs in stock. They all have them on order but they have yet to come it. Since I am in no hurry and I am not expecting to buy anything until the spring I can wait until some of these start showing up on the sales floor. Toga Bikes in New York usually has a good supply so I will have to stop in next time I am in Manhattan.

I really do not want to move away from single speed riding. In fact I want to start riding fixie but not on the road. Unfortunately, the closest Velodromes to me are between 90 and 120 minutes away (Kissena in Queens and Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania). Specialized is not offering a complete S-Works Langster for 2008. They are just offering a S-Works Frame for $1100. The bike pictured above is the 2007 Langster S-Works which retails for $3800. I have heard that Specialized still has these available. I might think about this if I lived closer to a track. However, the 54 Langster Comp that the Peddler is willing to sell for $800 is a better investment. If it is still there come spring I may make it mine. Otherwise the Bianchi Pista Concept or the Felt TK2 is another way to go.

Off to Richmond, Virginia for the week. It is supposed to be warmer the rest of the week but I still will not be able to ride. Hopefully it stays nice into the weekend.


brettok said...

Sounds like you put in some good mileage over summer. The Langster certainly got a good workout. Winter riding can suck, but if you can put up with the cold, when summer comes around again you've got a good headstart. Although I'm sure it gets a lot colder there than here. A Tarmac would be a nice addition to your quiver, I have an 06 S Works, a nice bike. I rode it when I was back in Aus recently, but didn't bring it over to NZ, so the Langster has been getting ridden a lot again. It's a whole different experience, I think I really benefitted from the one gear because I was going pretty well on the Tarmac when I rode it. But as they say, "how many bikes is enough? One more!"

Flametop59 said...

I keep coming back to the Tarmac. The Peddler really pushes Cannondale but they do not impress me. Since I was happy with the Langster I am inclined to stay with Specialized. I am not all interested in a Trek.

I would have rode even more but I got stuck traveling at the end of the summer. In fact I missed a good riding day today since I am in Richmond {reading my emails and posting my blog instead of doing my expenses :) }.

We will see how winter goes. I am pretty sure I am going to stay off the roads when it gets to close to freezing. Not worth slipping on the ice and putting the bike down.