Sunday, July 05, 2009

First Ride on the Singular Swift 29er

While it's fresh. This morning I hit the South Kettles on my new rigid, steel framed, Hayes Stroker, Sun Ringle disc-o-flea, Sugino crank, Phil ebb, 19T endless kickass cog, Singular Swift via the Peddler of Prairie himself. Here, in no particular order, are my thoughts.

It was a beautiful day. I abstained from any brewed beverages last night for the full, early rise effect of getting more riding in. I was going to go for a 5am alarm, but once we were home and crashed it was later than I thought. So, 5:30am would have to do. Jump in the rain-box, grabbed my stuff, made some espresso, and one trip back in for my forgotten ipod, and I was out the door minutes past 6am.

At Muir and ready to ride about 7:30, I tweaked things and just made sure it was all ready to go. Tightened up the pedals. Realigned the front brake, fixing the UFO sound. And one red loop just for warm-up and grins.

The momentum of the ride is incredible. The bike wants to go much faster than me. It doesn't lose speed, save when I am braking or heading up a hill. When I'm "just peddling along" I feel like I'm going faster and much easier than I was on my old bike. (insert tidbit about 15 years of improvements in bike geometry advances).

It took me a bit just to get used to how it felt over bumps. I'm accustomed to a squishy old front suspension. I'm much more upright on the swift and could lean in and bend my elbows. Though, I felt I had to duck quite a bit more.

The good and bad of uphills. The momentum factor had me speeding up some hills and struggling on others. It seemed much more difficult for me to buckle down and hurk the rest of the way up the hill once it was too steep. This could just be a matter of finding the right spot to be in when I am climbing. Also, I'll guess the wider bars on my list will help the up hills.

Dare I say, everywhere else was a win/win. I won't talk times because mine are pretty slow. But, my first loop was a medium effort with a few short stops for a sip of water (not long enough to let the mosquitoes gather). It was at least 5 minutes faster than my last loop on my old bike, where I was really pushing it. I went for loop 2 and wore out at the end. I did well the front half, but wore out on the back half.

The big win, I was grinning most of the time. Which is what counts.

If I didn't mention it before, a big thanks / shout out go to the folks that helped me put this together (and listened to my whining waiting for it).


And of course my wife.

Now I just gotta get this thing out to a ride/race or two before the big Fat Tire. I'll have to chat with my council about Levis.


sugs said...

That sure did take you a long time to get together...aren't you glad that you finely did!

Head Honcho said...

Finally getting around to reading some blogs, and thanks for the kind words! I'm sure glad you enjoy the bike! I'm working [kind of] of a way to get to your part of WI for ride. I'll be sure to ring you up when I do!

Anonymous said...

Nice review. I am thinking about getting a Swift. Do you still like the bike?

jwm said...

Anon, i love the bike. I would buy one again in a second. Last year I did a few races (WORS/wems/chequamegon 40). I was comfortable, improved, and had a ton of fun.

This year I added a Reba fork. I'm still getting used to it, but I'm sure it was a good move. Easier on the wrists.

29er single speed steel is a total blast. Singular has done it right with the swift.