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I had been shopping around to buy a tri-bike. I couldn’t afford to buy a high end carbon fiber, pro level race bike. But I figured I might find a deal on an entry level tri-bike. I shopped around the net, and found some pretty good deals on Felt tri-bikes and tri-bikes made by Jamis. Then I found a listing at Jenson USA (jensonusa.com) for a 2006 58cm Jamis Comet for $739. It was a closeout. It had an aluminum frame, carbon fiber forks, Shimano 105 components. And it was the size of bike that my inseam indicated would fit me. All in all it seem like a great deal on the bike, and that it would be exactly what I was looking for. I did soem searches on Jenson USA, and most people gave them glowing reviews. So I decided to order the bike.
I found that a pro-build was included for free. I wasn’t sure what that was. I thought that they might put the bike together for pickup. But since I live 3000 miles away, I was having it shipped. But I did research and found a probuild is where they put the bike together, tune it up, adjust it, check it all out, then take it apart again, just enough to ship it. The web site said to allow 3 days for the pro-build. I ordered the bike on Friday 5/2. The bike was shipped on Thursday 5/8. So apparently the pro-build took longer. The bike was scheduled to arrive on Thursday 5/15, which it did. I opened the box, and found the bike very professionally packaged for shipping. Here is what it looked like out of the box:
Bike packed for shipping

I carefully started cutting the zip ties to remove the various parts. I first set about attaching the aerobars. This was the hardest part. I ended up removing the clipons and re-attaching then a couple times so the cables were routed properly. Next I attached the front brake, and then installed the front wheel. For a moment I thought they had forgotten to include the skewer for the fron wheel. But I looked inside the big box and found another smaller box which had some more parts including the skewer. The front brake was adjusted to tight, and even with the brake release flipped open, I had a tough time getting the wheel on. I made a small adjustment to the brake cable. I also set about adjusting the brake so it was lined up to close on the rim evenly.
I installed the seat/seatpost. I set it to 30 inches height from the center of the crank. This is the proper height for me based on my inseam measurement. I hadn’t tightened it enough, and it slipped on my first test ride. I reset it, and tightened it more, and now it seems solid.
I found one of the rear brake pads was completely loose. I positioned it and tightened it. Since this is a race bike, I removed the reflectors! Nothing says you don’t know what the heck you are doing like having reflectors on your race bike. I pulled the Shimano M520 pedals from my mountain bike and installed them on this bike. I may look at buying regular road SPD type pedals, or I might stick with the 520’s. Not sure yet.
When I got everything together, I took it out for a test ride.
My new bike all put together

As I mentioned, the seat slipped, so I reset it, and tightened it more. The rear derailleur was slightly off, and was trying to switch into a different gear occasionally. I adjusted the index slightly and fixed that. The front derailluer was installed at a wierd angle and was shifting wierd. I loosened it, line the derailluer cage up with the rings, and tightened it. I then adjusted the limiting screws and had it shifting smoothly. I also tweaked the aerobars a little. I moved the arm rests out about a centimeter each. I might move them a touch more.
Another test ride.
Test riding my new bike

I am sure I will spend more time on the bike making adjustments. Especially to the aero bars, getting the angles right. I am hoping to go for a long ride on Sunday if weather permits. I will bring my tools in case I need to make some on-the-road adjustments.

Overall my experience with Jenson USA was good. I think the pro-build could have been a little better. I think the bike should have been shipped a little sooner based on their “allow 3 business days” note. Would I buy another bike from them, or other stuff? Yeah, I would.

I was spinning tonight to the Spinervals 24-Hillacious DVD. Whenever I shifted into the big gear on the front, and the smallest cog on the back (13 teeth), I would get a very annoying squeaking. I didn’t get the squeaking on the next cog up (14 teeth). I only got the squeaking on the smallest cog, and only when I was really cranking. I had gotten this previously and I had lubed everything up. It helped for a little bit, but not fully, and not for long.
So tonight after multiple sets of cranking I was getting very annoyed with the squeaking. I kept trying to figure out what was causing it.
I noticed if I pulled the shifter back a little, but not enough to shift it back to the 14 tooth cog, the squeaking went away. After thinking about it, I started wondering if it was the derailleur pulleys that were squeaking. I paused the DVD, got off the bike and examined the rear derailleur. I tightened the limiting screw and found that it was way out. Maybe it had worked its way loose. I adjusted it down to where the derailleur would shift to the smallest cog, and the pulleys would line up. This worked and the squeaking was gone.
I got back on the bike, hit play on the DVD player, and finished my workout. It was a good workout. I am hoping to go for a 45-50 mile ride this weekend. Hopefully on my new bike which is scheduled to be delivered tomorrow. :)

For my ride yesterday, I wanted to ride some place, have breakfast and ride home. I wanted to ride about 40 miles total. I didn’t want anything with lots of killer hills, but not flat either. So I started playing with Google Maps, and found the town of Newark was about 19 miles away. I knew there was a McDonalds and a BK there. I knew the roads, so I knew the terrain wasn’t too killer, but would still give me a good workout. I used Toporoute.com to doublecheck the terrain, just to make sure there were no major surprises. The hardest hill is always going to be coming back to my house. I live on a hill, so no matter what direction I ride, I will have a steep 225-250 foot climb at the end of my ride.
Now that I am trying to increase my time and mileage on the bike, I will probably be playing with google maps and other tools a lot to find interesting bike routes. I would like to be doing 50 plus mile rides every Sunday morning. I think that would be doable, and add to my conditioning.

I have been searching on info about aero bottles, or where to mount regular bottles. There is a ton of information out there. They have done various wind tunnel tests, and the results are very surprising. One of the best pages I found was here:
http://www.slowtwitch.com/mainheadings/techctr/waterbottles.html

I was amazed to learn that having one bottle mounted on the down tube was more aerodynamic than having no bottles. But having a bottle mounted on the seat tube was less efficient. And having a bottle on both the down tube and seat tube was much worse!
I was also surprised to see that having those behind the seat bottles that you see on tri-bikes was also aerodynamically worse. Apparently the air flows over the riders back and hits the bottles.
Having a single earo water bottle such as the Profile Design Aerodrink System. This seemed to be the most aerodynamic, and actually improved the bikes aerodynamic properties. And the bottle holds 32oz of water. It looks like the bottle will work by itself with certain Profile Design aero bars. But will need an adaptor to work with other styles. The bottle with bracket costs about $25.
Another style of aero bottles that I have seen are the Profile Design Razor Bottle System/Bontrager Speed Bottle and Cage/Arundel Chrono Aero Carbon Cage and Bottle. These are all similar. I have read they improve the aerodynamics of the bike. But as much or more than the single round bottle mounted on the downtube? I haven’t been able to find wind tunnel tests of this yet. These also only hold about 20-22oz of water. They are also kind of expensive at around $50-$60. But would it be better than a 32oz round bottle on the downtube? A round bottle cage costs like $5, and I have gotten the bottles for free at races.
I haven’t decided anything. I will probably stick with my round bottle, and mount it on the down tube. I may look into the Profile Design Aerodrink System too. Of course, I found a review where a guy trashes this system too:
http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/cms/article-detail.asp?articleid=975
Who knows!

I am selling my recumbent. It just really wasn’t for me. I did a Sunday morning recumbent ride with the local club. The guys were kind of wierd. Nice, but wierd. I just couldn’t see myself hanging out with them. And I guess, I enjoying riding an upright race style bike more. I ordered my triathlon bike, and am still waiting for it to be shipped. Anyway, I have my recumbent listed on craigslist.

Here is the ad description:
This is a great short wheel base recumbent bike made by Lightning Bikes in Lampoc, California. Lightning recumbents are known as being fast, and also being excellent climbers. The Stealth model is still built, but now under the name “Phantom”.
I enjoyed riding this bike. It was fast and comfortable. But I already have a bunch of bikes, and am more interested in riding a triathlon style bike.
This would make an excellent touring bike, but would also be fun just to ride around. As I said, it is fast and comfortable.

Specifications:
Year: Late 1996.
Color: Sky blue.
Size: Adjustable for rider height – 5’2″ to 6’8″.
Frame Tubing Material: 4130 chromoly.
Shift Levers: Grip Shift.
Crank Set: Sachs 28/38/48 teeth.
Rear Cogs: 7 speed, 11-28 teeth.
Saddle: Lightning Ergofit aluminum rails (padded seat with mesh back).
Handlebars: Lightning welded aluminum.
16″ front wheel.
26″ rear wheel.

Someone wanted to come over this weekend and look at it.

******
Added 5/9/08
SOLD!

A guy came over last night to look at it. He rode it up and down the road a bunch of times. I was asking $700, but he offered $600, and I took it. He kept asking why I was selling it. I kept telling him that the recumbent just didn’t fit my personality. That was the truth. A race type bike just fits me better. I want to do an Ironman next year. So I bought a tri-bike. That is more my speed. The recumbent was just taking up space. I hope he enjoys the bike. I am guessing he will.

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