Gimme an S...
This past weekend Snowcatcher and I ventured out to the Chatfield Reservoir area to enjoy the spring-like weather blanketing the Denver Metro. For a change of pace, I decided to ride my steel-tubed Serotta. The last time I threw a leg over her probably was back in 2002. I purchased the bike on 06 February 1996. Hence, it would be a 20th anniversary ride as well. Most components are original; however, the carbon fiber forks are not original and have a story themselves. That being, I crashed into a rock retaining wall on Colorado National Monument after losing front traction on icy hard-packed snow. The crash results included backward bent (destroyed) original forks. About a year ago, I performed a lube, bearing, cable and anything else requiring some maintenance go-over on the Serotta. See overhaul Part I and overhaul Part II. It was due time for a ride.
Steel is real! A quality steel frameset feels the road working its way through the tubing. It's something you feel as part of the bike. Difficult to describe, it has a silent, soft "buzz" to it. When the road surface changes, the "buzz" also takes on a new element. On the other hand, steel can be a bit corpulent by current standards. Scaled, the Serotta weighs in at 21.5 pounds (considered a tad heavy). The carbon fiber bike I normally ride weighs in at 16.5 pounds. Albeit super light, carbon fiber just doesn't have the road feel steel offers. Carbon is highly muted with the occasional pothole thud. The Serotta still has "man gearing" from when I was a bit younger and stronger. I give solid Uhg to climbing with the 53/39 front and 8-speed 12/23 rear gearing. I've become weak pedaling around on compact 50/34 front and 10-speed 12/28 rear gearing. I attribute the latter gearing to mountain riding. However, I know better than to cop out.
The fastest speed I've attained by bicycle is 63 miles per hour with the help of the steep, north dam road below Horsetooth Reservoir, just west of Fort Collins, Colorado. The descent was comfortable on the Serotta. However, I would not be comfortable at that speed on my carbon fiber bike. I've had my carbon bikes into the 50-mile-per-hour range, and it was not comfortable; albeit very exciting. Following are some additional pics from our ride. Let's continue with a nice active beaver pond in the Chatfield area. Enjoy!
A cozy beaver lodge.
It was a big sky day at Chatfield.
A good ride usually includes several miles of gravel grinding.
More snow is forecast for the coming week. We enjoyed the temperate calm while we had it!