Posted by: Ian | September 12, 2010

Contact points

Emily’s Yukon is apparently on its way from Holland to London and I await news of the dispatch of my Zephyr – or at least most of it. All of the contact points are already at home, having been ordered separately, and lie unconnected, shuffling from room to room around the house as things get tidied.

I’ve chosen 3T ErgoNova Team handlebars. Recommended by Barry at BespokeCycling, I’ve been riding them on the Felt and like them very much. They’re relatively compact front to back and top to bottom and suit me well. When Barry said I’d find the transitions of hand position around the bars easier I was sceptical – after all, moving my hands from the hoods to the drops or to the tops was never a big calorie burner – but it’s true. Along with adjustments to my bike set-up, it’s led to me having less backache. I’m not sure that the black and red colouring goes too well with the Zephyr but I can’t be fretting about that.

I’m sticking with SPD pedals, specifically Shimano M770’s. I’m sure proper road pedals would give me better transmission from leg to crank but the ability to walk without fear of a comedy mishap more than compensates. Besides, new cleats mean new bike shoes, and always having to worry about getting the right shoes for the right bike in the right location.

For my perch, I’m trying a Fizik Arione. They always get so well reviewed that I felt like trying one. If I don’t like it I’ll switch over the Charge Spoon from my Amazon or the Specialized saddle from my Tricross, both of which are perfectly fine. The Fizik is a customisation option with the Zephyr but one of the Sales staff told us that they were out of stock and waiting for it could significantly delay my order, so I bought one online.

I also have my wheels sitting ready at home, although the Mavic Elite rear wheel that’s propped up in the hallway will go on the Felt so that I can transfer my Mavic OpenPro with its CycleOps powermeter hub to the new bike. On the front I’ll be running a Mavic Kysrium Equipe, which sits next to the Elite. Both are shod in my favourite Conti GP4000S tyres, although I’ve been getting enough punctures to prompt me to consider alternatives, at least on my fixie commuter, with winter coming on.

So all I need now are the bike parts that connect the contact points and the wheels, and move the ensemble along. I hope to hear from Van Nicholas in the next few days.

The Zephyr is one of five Ti bikes reviewed in the current issue of Cycling Plus. It awards them all ratings of 9 or 10 out of 10. The fact that the Zephyr “only” gets a 9 makes it look less good by comparison but there’s nothing in the reviews themselves that dampens my enthusiasm or makes me wish I’d chosen differently. Besides, it looks better than the other bikes. The other 9ers look clunky to me and the two 10-score bikes look, to my particular eye, dull.

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