Last year I decided to start road riding seriously again. I dropped a chunk of change on a nice titanium frame roadbike, and rode the RAMROD with a good friend, actually, by the end it was more like 20 good friends in an extremely fast paceline who didn’t mind that I couldn’t pull through until mile 120 when I underwent some kind of reincarnation.
This year, with work picking up, I felt significantly less motivated to log 70 miles in the AM before work, and the hours working restricted me to 2 fast laps around Mercer Island in the morning, for a whopping 32 mile ride, 28 if you don’t count the 5 mile limp to work. Mercer Island is still a great course to ride, there are 2 stop signs in 10 miles, and it’s up and down, twisty and turny. And at 5:30 in the morning, the only traffic you see are people walking their dogs and other cyclists.
Still, I was getting kind of burned by the repetitive route (and had no time to go longer / different), and halfway through the summer I decided to get some tri extensions.
Wow, what a difference. All of a sudden I was stretched out low and fast and moving much faster than I did when I was riding the hoods. I loved being in that super stretched out position.
Being a geek, and especially an equipment geek, I started drooling at all of the fast tri bikes I saw, and wondered about how I could convert my current rig to reflect my current riding style — after all, I was never in the drops anymore, and to be honest, drop bars with tri extensions seem too cluttered to me.
I was all about to spring for a standard base bar, new brakes, new shifters on the end of the tri extensions, and all that jazz, when I read this article, which really nailed both my riding style and a much simpler solution that would let me keep my STI shifters and be able to shift while climbing, which is about the only time I shift a lot. It’s not going to kill me, especially since I’m very non competitive, to reach over to an STI lever and shift while in the extensions. And those Deda base cow horn bars are a measly $59 dollars. Which is only about 20 Lattes (converting to Latte$ is a great way to justify anything).