The first day I decide to take out the GIANT for its inaugural ride with its new owner, it decides to rain, albeit at the beginning of the ride down by the beach. I sought shelter from the ever imminent el chapparon (downpour) just in time and ten minutes later I was back underway.
It would be a gross understatement to say that the GIANT is better than my old MMR. Bike manufacturing technology has obviously come along way since the heady days when aluminium and chromoly ruled the racing roost, where many thought of carbon as a cheap plastic alternative that would never last. The GIANT firmly stands heads and shoulders above the rest.
The bike is responsive, too responsive, something I had no issues with on the MMR. At 59cm the MMR was steady and sure if perhaps a bit slow, more gentile, while on the other hand, the carbon wonder twitches and darts at the slightest touch. I’ve almost come a cropper on two occasions already. This is not a complaint about the bike, more a realisation that I have lost touch and need to seriously polish my cycling skills. A lot to learn about this marvel of modern cycling technology, I must.
Back to the first ride. I noticed after only a few kilometres in that my right knee was not sitting comfortably at all and a dull pain was slowly surfacing to the right of the patella. Now, I had been using a pair of old Look Delta cleats on the MMR the GIANT was fitted with a pair of Shimano R540s so I went and bought a second pair and fitted them to the GIANT and transferred the old Shimano pedals from the GIANT to the MMR. Look Delta cleats have a 9° float whereas the Shimano have 6° – I was worried that my new purchase would be in vain and I’d be stuck with pedals I no longer needed! Needless to say I made many a google search to solve the problem and fretted during many sleepless nights that I would not be able to ride with knee free pain! But, my worry was misplaced and after a few minor tweaks, made by re-positioning the cleats on the shoe and also raising the seat post, I was surprised at how quickly the problem resolved itself. If you find yourself in a similar situation don’t give up, just persevere and you’ll get there.
I’ve now ridden over 1800km on the GIANT and haven’t had a quibble from my knees. There has been the odd occasion when I have had some pain but that might have something to do with climbing 28% gradients with 39-28 setup. More about that in another post…