Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Sirrus Hybrid Steps Up.

Well, I finally wore out my monitor Monitor pass. I took it into the shop on Monday to have its chain and chain wheels replaced as they were so worn the chain was resting on the wear indicator pins. In the meantime transferred all my commuting gear to the Sirrus hybrid.

Up until now I had not had an opportunity to really ride this bike for any length of time as it took a lot of "dialing in" on the equipment side of it; however, after a full commute I can make a few conclusions.

Compared to the Monitor Pass it's considerably lighter and I rather like the frame fit a bit better. However, I still haven't quite dialed in the ergonomics of the bike yet. This model of Sirrus has a suspension seat post, but I don't think they had 179 pounder in mind when they put it on this bike. Although I have the seatpost set at the right height compared to my road bike when it is actually loaded up with my weight it collapses about a half-inch. So before I can ride the bike again I'm going to need to adjust the seat post.

Speaking of seats, it has one of specialized's synthetic ergonomic seats. it wasn't quite as comfy as my Brooks Conquest, but surprisingly it worked quite well and it does have the advantage of tolerating the occasional thunder shower much better than natural leather. so for the time being it will remain; however, somewhere down the road I may ditch both seatpost and seat for a rigid seatpost and a Brooks Flyer.

I also had opportunity to test my planet bike Cascadia fenders. As I was getting close to home this afternoon I got caught in a small thunder shower and also hit a number of deep puddles; however, both myself and the bike stayed quite dry from splashes and splatters. Compared to the fenders I have on the monitor pass the longer mudflaps of the Cascadia's are well worth the money. I definitely have plans to get a set of Cascadia mudflaps and put one on the front fender of the monitor pass and the other on the front fender of the trike.

I'm still not too comfortable running 700c wheels on Houston's streets. Many of the expansion joints abutting the storm drains on Memorial Drive are exactly the same width as a 700C rim. I did not have the same apprehension while riding on 26 inch rims. The Monitor Pass feels a lot more tolerant of Houston's road imperfections; however, I will say this much the Sirrus hybrid did account for itself well on the rougher sections of Alabama.

It was also quite refreshing to be on a bike that was geared for the road as the Monitor Pass was always geared a little lower than I liked.

One thing I am going to change is the E3 Cycling Cyclocomputer. The speed display on it is beautiful; however, I discovered that the distance measuring capability is only accurate up to a 10th of a mile compared to a 100th of mile common on a Cateye. I also have to flail around on the buttons to get the information I'm looking for. I found it to be not very intuitive compared to a Cateye. Also, some of the finer markings washout under LED light (like distance, MPH, and ATM) which I never had that problem with Cateyes.

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