Modern Road Bike – The Modern Road Cyclist
Who is the modern cyclist? Perhaps you are a friend who rides with us on a typical Sunday morning. For our group, the route varies week to week, and thanks to Augie’s uncanny ability to judge the vibe, is often determined while we group up. Rides range from 30 to 75 miles, and meander from the coast to the beautiful rolling hills that make the greater New Haven area so fun. Predominantly of a social nature, our rides are contained and lighthearted, though it’s not uncommon to pick up the pace on big roads or on crushable hills knowing we will regroup at the top. Laughs, stories, and coffee breaks are all par for the course. In a bubble, we’re all pretty much the same, enjoying a bike ride together with friends.
When you zoom in however, our cycling resumes are quite different. Kristin races criterium around the state. John D rides brevets around the globe. John P competes with the fastest riders in the area on the Tuesday Night Sleeping Giant smackdown. Anne keeps herself warm by slipping baked potatoes in her jersey pockets on the Great River Ride weeks after tackling D2R2. Chris rides up the most famous mountains in the cycling world like Mt. Ventoux. Mark tackles the mountains featured in the Tour of California. Mary tours all over the Northeast from New Haven to Montreal. Bill and his crew will revisit Mt. Etna in Sicily. Jack flirts with 10,000 miles a year, every year. Rhona trains for the Closer to Free century while raising more money for cancer than you would ever believe. The Velo Femmes are focussing on team trial events. Each rider has a unique calendar of events.
A modern bike has to match the needs of the ever changing modern cyclist. Those needs vary wildly from rider to rider, and only one person can tell you which need is most important. While fit and performance are the top two priorities for most, weight, durability, aesthetics, build kit, aerodynamics, tube selection, adaptability, and where it is made can be equally important to others.
The modern road bike doesn’t have to be everything to everyone, it has to be everything to you, the modern road cyclist.
What events are on your calendar? What will you need out of your bike? How would you rank their importance? Are you willing to compromise?