Test ride #2 on the Motobecane road bike was not so much about the bike but rather a test of the engine. Fueled in large part by the excitement of new bike I decided to throw down an all out effort and set a base line for my fitness at the beginning of this riding season. I chose the Richland County B & O Trail as my course. The flatness of rail trails can be tedious but I take advantage this as it makes it very easy to maintain a steady peak output without the fluctuating heart rate that comes naturally while riding the roads. I parked at the southern end of the trail which is something I don't usually do. From this end the trail gradually climbs in elevation. The gradient is almost imperceptible but I wanted to stack the deck in my favor as much as possible and take on this part of the trip while fresh. There was a light breeze coming from the South-East that caused a headwind on the second half of the ride but at least I had the knowledge that I was traveling slightly downhill all the way back. I felt great the first hour but as the miles racked up past twenty I could sense my power fading. The last five miles were not very pleasant at all. I was working like a dog to keep the pace arrow pointing up. All in all test ride #2 was a huge success. The bike rode fantastic but I am just as pleased with my performance this early in the season with so few rides under my belt.
Spring is in the air finally!
I did make a couple small adjustments to the bike since the initial test ride. The Motobecane is about a half an inch shorter at the top tube than the Lemond so I swapped out the short 70mm stem I had been using and went to a 90mm length. This change dialed in the reach and after raising my seat a bit I am reasonably satisfied with the machine-man interface.
There is one trait of the new road bike that I want to note that I didn't notice on my short first ride. I believe Motobecane nailed it with their choice of head tube angle and carbon fork supplied with the frame. Because of all the storms and wind we have had lately the trail surface was littered with small twigs and branches as most of the trail is tree lined. As I gently weaved around the debris I noticed a very neutral feel and absolutely no twitchiness in the handling. After my slight input lean to arch around a stick the bike smoothly returned to it's original course. The bike loves to roll.
Distance: 30 Miles
Ride Time: 1:56
Average Speed: 15.4 mph
Max Speed: 22 mph