Friday, January 15, 2010

Rockin the Vitus

Glen, Nate, Tom and I took a ride today. One of my favorite loops: Joe's Loop. It was not an ideal time of year to take this ride. We hit some huge pond/puddles, mud, and ice. Also, not ideal for the Vitus maiden voyage.

But guess what? The Vitus ruled. The tiny slick sew-ups did not rule in the soft mud, but the bike was a pleasure to ride. What a cool bike.

I had some surprises today:

1) The bike was not whippy at all. In fact, I don't think it flexed as much as my 747. Surprising. right?

2) Narrow tires are not always bad. I've ridden 25mm rock hard tires before and it's not fun. These sew-ups were still too narrow/hard for my liking, but they were heads and tails more comfy than the few awful 25's I've ridden before. Glen is digging through his stash to see if he can locate some 28mm-ish tires.

3) Giant chain rings, while really hard to push, do make sense when you really want to hammer. And you can't "hammer" on a bike with 46 tooth big ring like you can on a 53.

4) Even for a galoot like me, a light-ass bike does matter. Maybe it's all in the head, but this bike is just so easy to ride fast.

5) Aluminum frames don't all suck. Which leads me to the bigger surprise.

The world of bikes is not as black and white as I regularly attempt to enforce on my thinking. I f'ing love riding bikes. Pretty much all bikes. Some I love riding way more than others, but all bikes have something to offer. And some even have stuff to teach me, if I'm open to it.

I don't know what the deal is with this day and age, but it's so easy to get polarized about EVERYTHING in today's hyper-ass world. I want the bikes, the riding, and the bike people I hang with to be free of that. I think my New Year's resolution is to have less opinions about bikes. Force a clean slate. Everything bike-related doesn't have to fall into either a good bucket or a crappy bucket.

Riding -- and really genuinely loving -- the Vitus today has illustrated all of this stuff to me.


Anonymous said...

So, you're one of those anti-polarization people?

"all bikes have something to offer. And some even have stuff to teach me, if I'm open to it."

What kind of kumbahyah commie bs is that!

Them's fightin' words!

Nice looking bike, though.

rory said...

and so John said, "thou shalt have one 53x39 geared race bike" in the stable".

and the people rejoiced.

John Speare said...

BTW: Nate has a funny post about our ride today. It's on his PRIVATE FANCY-requires-permissions-to-veiw blog. So ask him for access and maybe he'll open it up for all some day. He's as funny a writer as he is a dude. His contact info is maxruckus at yahoo dot com

Miles said...

I have found that for me at least, the best way to keep an open mind about bike things is to stay away from mailing lists and and forums, they just seem to breed close mindedness and intolerence. I also find that the more I ride the less I really care about what I am riding as long as I am out doing it. When I cant ride I think about the bikes way too much.

Dan O said...

Those old Vitus frames are cool. I wanted one "back in the day", but never scored one.

Great to see one back in action again.

Anonymous said...

The important thing is to just get out and ride. It doesn't matter to me what you ride, just ride. I have talked to more than a few people who are intimidated to ride on a regular basis because they feel that they don't have the right bike. Or the right clothes for that matter. I just ride, ride, and ride.


Anonymous said...

Cool bike! I saw you guys coming down high drive from inside a car. Blah.

Anonymous said...

John, Mrs. Abacha of Nigeria would like me to thank you for sharing my email address with the world.

Viking Bar

Anonymous said...

I have that same Vitus in the annodized blue (60cm) with less than 1K on the frame. I put SunTour Superbe Pro components on it with two sets of wheels (1 Ambrosio elete clincher set, 1 Camp sew-up set). I've heard all the talk about the innovative Vitus frame and you have to question the truth vs. the legend. I tend to swing towards the truth. I rode this bike back in my late-twenties. All I knew back then was 52/40- something up front with 11/22 in the rear.

John A. said...

Great post. I have three very different bikes. A Specialized Roubaix Comp, a Specialized Globe upright, and a $79 cruiser from Big 5; and I love riding all of them.