New ride, again

It’s been more than 19 years, but I finally bought a new road bike.

Since 2004 I’ve been riding the same beautiful bike. I haven’t logged every moment on it, but Strava says I put at least 16,000km on it. Much of those were outdoors on bad US roads so there are some signs of wear and the fork has started creaking. Since Rouvy got me in the saddle more often and it’s always been a little big for me, I began considering upgrades.

It’s hard to avoid cobbled pavement here, so vibration concerns led me to the Specialized Roubaix. Yet Shannon added some aesthetic judgment and I gave in to the temptation to upgrade; 7 months later I now have this Aethos. It’s beautiful, with only subtle graphics and an understated finish and classic tube profiles.

I ordered without a test ride, trusting the reviewers’ relentless praise for ride quality. They were not wrong.

Above all, it feels familiar. I fell into jinba ittai after only a few kilometers. Compared to the LeMond, the buzz of high frequency vibrations is somehow different, but I struggle to explain how. It’s like the road still reaches me, but with a higher voice. Major bumps feel even more different. There is no dampening as an active suspension would provide, but less rebound so the recovery from each shock seems faster. Power transfer is similarly solid, I detect no slack between pedal and pavement. The steering feels a slight bit less twitchy, but is still plenty responsive.

This immediate comfort is a testament to the lasting quality of the old bike, and the design of the new one. I may be set for another 2 decades on the road.

I posted this in July 2022 during week 2525.

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