Have done a couple of long rides recently on my old BZ (Before Zinn) bike. Was an interesting excercise.
In short – I hated it – and it re-affirmed my love affair with my Zinn Dolomite Ti with it’s 210mm proportional length cranks. I used to absolutely love my old road bike – but my Zinn has spoiled me.
So – I’ve done a couple of 100km+ rides. The old road bike has 175mm cranks – and I figured I’d be fine with that as I’ve been doing a bit of riding on my Hase Pino Tandem that also has 175mm cranks. But I wasn’t fine. On the road bike I was on a reasonably quick group ride with some fit riders, and on the tandem (which is a heavy big beast of a thing) I’m tootling around with my kids. Nothing remotely like the same thing.
The thing I found was that I was back to struggling…
Both rides were reasonably flat – and I could hang with the group on the flat without much problem – but what hills there were – I was out the back immediately. On the Zinn – I can keep up on with the weight weenies on rolling hills (longer hills is a different story). But the rolling hills, and even small rises that the Zinn’s proportiional length cranks flattened for me – I could feel again. And the surges and accellerations that you get in a group of road riders – I was struggling with again. I remember when I first got my Zinn – that one of the biggest revelations was when I was racing – and how the accellerations that used to spit me out, became manageable. And that was immediate. The week after my first race on the Zinn – I jumped up a race group – and the following week – up another group. So here I was back on shorter cranks and immediately stuggling again with accellerations. And these things add up over a 100km ride.
So absolutely – without any doubt whatsoever – there is no going back for me! I will be back on my Zinn with relief and reaffirmed respect for what it enables me to do.