Monday, November 19, 2012

Gunnar Sport Ride Report

I finally got a chance to ride my Gunnar Sport for longer than my 10 mile commute.  I knew some real miles would reveal the truth behind my choice to go with the Gunnar as detailed here, and I wasn't disappointed.

It was a perfect fall morning.  Cool, crisp, with no winds.  I decided to head west and take some detours along the way such as along a great wooden bridge going over the Truckee River.  The word of the day was definitely comfort.  The cushy Jack Brown tires soaked up the bumps and rolled nice and smooth over any chop I encountered.

Yet remarkably the bike doesn't feel pokey.  Yes, I can tell a difference when trying to wind it up to speed as opposed to my Della Santa.  But the record hubbed/DT swiss wheels felt solid and quick and my cruising speed felt fast, or at least as fast as felt necessary at my current fitness level.

Likewise, the handling was not as sharp as the DS.  But it was still precise enough and responded to my body language as I maneuvered the bike.  I haven't taken the bike on any sustained climbs over 5 miles but can tell it won't feel as spritely as my pure racing bike.  But then, I knew that going in and that was the plan.  This bike is built for the long haul and carrying a bit of practical weigh along the way.

The cockpit has been set up with a bit more of an upright position for all day riding and touring and better ability to survey the street and traffic as I ride to and from work.  It's a shame every day when I roll up to my job that I can't just keep riding.

One of the interesting things about the fit is how quickly my body has adapted to the slightly higher position while riding.   Both my road bike and my cross bike are set up in a comfortable but lower position.  By comparison the Gunnar Sport feels somewhat like I'm pushing a shopping cart.  This balance threw me off a bit when I would normally jump out of the saddle up a short incline rather than staying seated to power up the hill.  That's not a bad thing but I'm looking forward to trying out the bike on a long ride or a credit card tour.  I suspect that is when I will feel the full benefit of the bike's stability and comfort.

All in all the bike felt somewhat similar to my old Bridgestone RB-1 except more comfortable, lighter, and a bit more nimble.  That's a pretty good mark to hit.

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