Thanks to the kindly gents at the Trek Midtown shop, I am now the proud servant of a Powertap SL+ hub mounted to a DT Swiss 415 rim. Thanks, Jake!
Here's the thing: I hate it. And here's why: it's hard. 60 and 90-minute "easy rides" feel much, much more difficult with power data keeping me honest.
See, when I "spin" endurance miles on the trainer, I HAVE to watch something on TV. But the distraction of the TV is a true distraction; my cadence tends to slow as my body tries to sneak in some rest while my mind's occupied by football or old bike races. Sometimes, I unconsciously spin too hard when the action on the TV heats up. And spinning too hard is just as counter-productive as spinning too easy.
Problem is, training with heart-rate doesn't immediately catch the change in tempo, so a few minutes elapse before I realize that I've slowed down or sped up.
Not so with power data. It's instantaneous. So all those little fragments of rest that made the workout truly "easy" in the past are now themselves a thing of the past. Holding a near-constant wattage--even one that's just on the lower end of LE / Zone 2--is pretty challenging. And that's a good thing, right?
The calories expended seem about the same, but perceived exertion is harder. Perhaps I need to re-calibrate my Garmin computer to calculate caloric expenditure based on watts rather than beats per minute. Hmm....
|2009 Fisher Presidio. It's SOOOOO pretty.|
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Okay, enough with the wattage-wonkiness. How about an aesthetic debate?
Here's the long-awaited solution to my 'cross / winter bike dilemma: the 2009 Gary Fisher Presidio.
After eliminating the Surly Cross-Check and 2011 Presidio from contention because of their weight and geometry, I was about to order a Soma Double-cross -- literally 10 minutes after Jake asked me, "Have you ordered your Soma yet?"
I hadn't. I don't know why. I had the cash. The distributor had my size. I had the parts spec. picked out. But I spent two weeks stalling and dithering because I just wasn't SOLD. You know that feeling of certainty? Of, umm, love? I never felt it for the Soma. We'd been on a few dates and had a few laughs, but in my gut I knew she just wasn't THE ONE. I was so uncertain that I called Trek about ordering their aluminum XO2 instead. That bike would've been solid and reliable, but it also felt like kissing your sister. (I don't have a sister, so it would've been like kissing YOURS. And I doubt many readers of this blog have smart, sexy sisters. If you do, don't tell ME. I have enough problems.)
So I was going to order the Soma. And probably enjoy building and riding it. But I knew I'd always wonder, "What if?"
Then Jake Rasp came to the rescue. Good old Jake: builder of wheels, dispenser of advice, quipper of witticisms, courtier of Cora. After asking if I'd ordered the Soma, he told me Trek had emailed him a list of old back-stock items they were trying to move, including a 59cm Fisher Presidio in gloss black.
I nearly kissed him. And he's nobody's sister.
The 2009 uses a different geometry than the 2010 and 2011 bikes. The 59cm will fit me better than either of the 58 or 61 sizes that are currently available. The 2009is also built of True Temper Platinum OX steel, a much lighter and more responsive material than Fisher's current tubing. And the frame was made in Wisconsin, which, as a scholar of "localism" in my intellectual work, I really like. It's a "Midwestern" bike for a Midwestern season: winter.
I ordered SRAM Rival shifters, crank, and front derailleur. The rear derailleur will be SRAM Apex in order to accommodate the 11-32 cassette I might use if I ever tour on the bike. Brake calipers will be Avid Ultimate, and I'll install a Ritchey bar, stem, and seat post that were left over from my first race bike.
Here's where I need some aesthetic advice: what color should I choose for the bar tape, saddle, and cables? Should I go with black for an all-around stealthy look, or should I use white for a bit of bling to accentuate the white markings on the frame?