Last night, before heading out for an evening ride on a day that was supposed to have been a rained out day off, I put my 38 mm Ican wheels on my Trek for good (and changed out my brake pads, obviously). I’ve got a set of Ican Fast & Light 50’s coming tonight for the Venge.
It has long been a rule of mine, if I need something to write about, buy a new bike.
Friends, it works.
Not so drastic this time, though. A new set of Ican F&L 50 wheels is vastly less than a new bike and I can probably squeak at least a couple of posts out of them.
With the Trek, I’ve been chasing the Venge ever since I brought it home. The “good” wheels have always gone on the Venge so it’s always been much easier to ride the Venge fast. The difference between the 38 mm Ican’s and my normal 25 mm-deep alloy Velocity wheels is surprising.
First, we all know (or should be so lucky) the difference in ride quality, going from an alloy frame to carbon fiber. Well the difference going from alloy wheels to carbon fiber is just as nice. Carbon fiber hoops (especially being able to go from 23 to 25 mm tires at the same time) make a grin-worthy difference in ride quality. Second, the speed I’m capable of holding between the two wheelsets is equally smile inducing. In other words, my old Trek 5200 just got a lot faster.
As for the Venge, the Fast & Light line of wheels has upgraded hubs and uses Sapim CX Ray spokes and wider (25 mm compared to 23 for standard wheels) rims for an improved ride quality and better aerodynamics with my favorite 26 mm Specialized Turbo Pro tires. Put all of that together in a wheel and my new 50’s will be lighter than the 38’s. That means I get improved ride quality, better aerodynamics on my aero bike, with faster bearings… and no weight penalty. It just doesn’t get any better than that, my friends.
So I went out for my ride last night with a giant smile on my face and had a hard time containing my enthusiasm. I’ve been tired lately – a lot of miles, no rest, and not much in the way of active recovery days (though I did finally have an easy day Wednesday). We’re going to have fantastic weather this weekend and I only needed 98 miles to hit 1,000 for the month… with a ride Friday (tonight) and the potential for two big days on Saturday and Sunday, I didn’t need the miles – maybe even should have taken a day off. On the other hand, in six months I don’t want to think back on any days that I could have ridden but chose not to.
So I pumped up my tires and rolled out… and the Trek rode gloriously. Before I knew it I was at 19-1/2 mph for an average. I could have sustained it, but I gave myself permission to not want to. I dialed it back and enjoyed the much improved ride. Until it started raining. Well, there was a chance, and in Michigan, if there’s a chance you can get wet, you probably will get wet. It wasn’t horrible, though. It was a hot, muggy afternoon and the light rain felt quite nice.
That is, until the rain started picking up.
I cut two miles off my route and made a bee-line for home. Well, if bees rode in lines that followed roads, anyway. I also rode out of the drizzle. About a mile east of where I was when it started and it lightened to a dull sprinkle, then stopped altogether. It was perfect. The bike almost had a chance to dry out on the way home, though the sprinkling did start and stop again a few times.
Now this evening’s ride, if my new wheels show up in enough time to throw them on the Venge, will hopefully be something to write about. We’ll see.