Sunday, June 20, 2010

Test riding a Ticino

LGRAB: Summer Games - Learning Experiences: Test ride a different kind of bike than you normally ride

While at the SLC Farmers Market, my friend Karen needed to run across the street to Bingham Cyclery to pick up some lights for her bike. While there, we spotted the Electra Ticino. Test ride, anyone?

One of the challenges for this segment of the LGRAB: Summer Games is to test ride a different bike than you normally ride. Well, my friends, a Ticino is definitely different from my Adelaide.

First off, the weight. I picked up the Ticino and thought I had turned into Wonder Woman. It was so light. Even after months of carrying Adelaide up and down my apartment stairwell, I still feel every pound of her every day. What makes the Ticino so light is that it's made out of aluminum instead of steel. Depending on your point of view, that could be a good or bad thing.

Next off, it's a smaller frame. At six feet tall, I've come to a very important realization in my life. When something is "One size fits all" it means "One size fits small." The bike guy raised the seat as high as it would go, and I still could put both feet flat on the ground.

Then came the actual test ride. (Side note: Does anyone stress out about test riding bikes at bike shops? As I get on the bike, I have this fear that I'm going to all of a sudden forget how to ride. Or not know how to handle this new bike. What's worse, all eyes are on me, which means I'm going to crash spectacularly. Anyone? No? Oh well.)

I have one word to sum up the See?

On the Ticino, I felt like I started with super speed. With Adelaide, there's a gradual working-up-to-speed process upon starting. Also, the Ticino quickly responded to turns and had a really nice break set-up. I really didn't get into the gearing but that is to be expected just going around the bike shop's building.

Basically, it was fun to be fast. And if I'm being completely honest, I've been considering a mixte-type bike for my bicycle stable. A bicycle that I could use on longer rides. I already have one in mind (and it comes in "Kara-size" too!), but it's been hard for me to just pull the trigger. That's why I was really interested in trying a bike that would be somewhat similar to it and see how I like it. (I can already hear my parents and others saying, "Another bike?!")

Don't get me wrong. I love my Adelaide. She and I have very thoughtful rides. Memorable rides. She is my about-the-town girl. But there is something about flirting with fast.


jane said...

I totally agree - I have a lovely dutch style bike which i adore, but it's actually not a lot of good when i am in a hurry or when i have big hills to climb. Fortunately I have two mixte bikes as well, for those moments for when i feel like whizzing! Ticino looks so pretty - shame it's not tall enough for you. Look forward to seeing what you decide to do - and remember, the number of bikes you need is universally acknowledged as n+1, where n is the number you currently have. So true! I remember the sigh of relief i heaved when i read that at first!

Oh yes, and I totally know what you mean about the fear of test ride humiliation. SO MUCH TO GO WRONG!!!

Erin said...

I can now see how firmly you are committed to this bike lifestyle and I say...pull the trigger.

Sigrid said...

Yup, the Pash is awesome, but there are limits. I seriously want an in-between bicycle (between the road bike and the Pash) that is pretty, but that I can zip around town quicker and faster and further and still be casual (no cycling gear), but the budget does not allow this year... Good thing is, in the last three years I have seen the options multiply in the US, so I think this is and will be possible as opposed to when I started looking for what turned out to be the Pash. Good luck and know you are not alone!

Hi Jane! :)

Diane said...

WHAT? Another bike! Good grief Kara--I do believe you are smitten!

Jacey said...

You're a busy biking girl! I love the fast, blurry picture.

Jeff said...

I told you how easily it is to get addicted to bikes. I suspect this is just the beginning.

Durrett Family Band said...

This is getting to be like the Great Purse Obsession of 2002. Remember "Purse Free in 2003"? We'll have to stage an intervention soon. "The Bike Wean of 2013"? Not quite as catchy?

Heidelweiss said...

It's okay, Kara. Be smitten. It's for your health. That bike looks mighty fun.

knitseashore said...

I started out with a hybrid bike (which I still use on messy road days in spring); it probably isn't as heavy as a "townie" or commuter bike. Still, our rolling hills in CT are always a challenge, so when I was, er, "influenced" to get a road bike, the lightness of it blew me away!! I think it's mostly aluminum with a carbon fork (Chris' racing friends tend to go all carbon, which is even lighter). For anything more than 10 miles with hills, Grace is the way to go. Now that I am finally used to the curved handlebars and clipped in pedals, I wouldn't trade her for anything. I am developing a secret love for flying down long, gentle hills (as long as there's no corner at the bottom).

I wish I had your bike basket in your previous post on our trip last Saturday! I need to figure out a better way to shop while on the bike. Maybe a handlebar pack would be good?

Love all of your cycling challenge posts! Very inspiring!