Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘Trek 520

Bike Ruminations

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You all know how much I like making decisions. I have a touring bike that has served me just fine for the last couple of decades, my trusty Trek 520. One reason I’ve had it this long is that replacing it would require deciding what else to get. Another reason is that I don’t like to spend money if I don’t need to.

My trusty Trek 520 circa 2008.

My 520 still works just fine, seeing as how I’ve upgraded the drivetrain components and replaced wheels through the years. However, my body isn’t working as well as it did when I first purchased that ride oh so long ago and today’s cycles now offer motorized assistance to offset shortcomings in leg strength and stamina.

I am seriously tempted. So tempted, I’ve been doing some shopping this week. It’s been both inspiring and disheartening.

First, let’s get this out of the way. Prices! Oh. My. Gosh. I think they should offer loan programs like auto dealerships do.

That said, I have saved up for this luxury, so I could feasibly buy at almost any price right now if it wasn’t for my being so spending-averse. I refuse to spend five digits for a two-wheeler, even if it includes electronic pedal assist.

Given all that, I was able to narrow my choices to a really snazzy Trek Domane+ that I feel would suit me just fine. The thing is, that model, in my frame size, is non-existent until longer than I want to wait. Factory lead time right now is about 8 and a half months, and given the state of supply chain issues of late, I don’t have any confidence that the length of time won’t almost double.

I wonder how many Shimano components are stuck on ocean liners waiting in lines at ports right now.

There is an alternative to waiting for my preferred choice. I could consider a model that is more readily available. The Allant+ looks less like my road bike and more like my mountain bike. My initial reaction is that I wouldn’t be as comfortable on it riding for hours on end, but then the addition of a motor helping turn the crank makes it hard to judge how I will actually feel by the end of a long day.

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I would add bar ends to provide alternate hand positions. The Allant includes a headlight and taillight. The Allant model I would choose is $250 cheaper than my Domane selection and has more oomph from its battery/motor combination. The power assists are from different manufacturers: Bosch vs. Fazua. However, the Allant’s increased power components contribute to the bike being twenty pounds heavier than the Domane. In addition, I do have a psychological hangup about wanting to ride 700c wheels on the road. I’m guessing I wouldn’t notice the difference of the only slightly smaller wheels on the Allant.

Did you follow all that?

TL;DR is that it is not a straightforward choice of pros and cons between what I want and what is actually available near term.

Decisions, decisions.

I am thoroughly seated on the fence and ruminating, enjoying not spending a penny on a new bike until a decision is finally made.

Of course, I could still choose to ride my 520 for another year and accept the delayed gratification if I order my preferred Domane+…

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Horse Approved

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Last evening, I stopped off at a paddock gate after one last attempt to ride my body into preparedness for the adventure that begins on Saturday. I wanted to give the horses an opportunity to understand why I would suddenly disappear from their lives next week.

They took turns inspecting my mechanical steed.

Mix wandered over first, approaching from the far paddock. She smelled the handlebars and then the bag on the back. Her curiosity satisfied, she moved aside so Swings could have a turn.

Same drill. Handlebars and then bag, and that was that. All good.

Mia showed up next but she had to wait while Swings stood facing away from my bike and contemplated things.

After Swings yielded her position, Mia resumed her approach.

Lacking the same confidence as the others, Mia got just close enough to decide my contraption was startling and she quickly altered her course toward one of the hay bags hanging near the barn overhang. It was as if she was attempting to pretend that was what she intended to do all along.

I think all of the horses could tell that I would never be able to pedal that cycle as fast as they used to run. It poses no challenge to their stature.

Next week I will be sure to appreciate the fact that I don’t have to feed or clean up after my bike every day.

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Written by johnwhays

June 16, 2021 at 6:00 am