I’m all in favor of no-cost or low-cost fun. I always have a batch of DVDs and books checked out from the local library, and I take frequent advantage of the free music performances around town and out at the wineries. Some of the benefits of such practical frugality include saving money for mortgage payments and subsidizing my daughter as she completes her university program, as well as developing an awareness of free or cheap entertainment options in the community.
Not that I have anything against spending money. In fact, sometimes you just need a new tool. That includes new tools to help one better enjoy those no-cost/low-cost activities. Which is how I came to be the owner of a new Giant Defy Advanced 2 adventure bike. Best Bike Zone in Paso Robles started their clearance sale recently, and I’ve been riding more and more on dirt/gravel roads recently. Put those two together and, voila’, I have
a new tool to help me enjoy those strade bianche.
Here I am with Carol Fleury across from the Templeton Feed & Grain at the Sunday morning start of the rides sponsored by BBZ. Carol and her husband Steve own BBZ.
Today I rode the new bike on one of the lovely routes out among the vineyards east of Templeton. It was all pavement, but I varied my route a bit at the end to include the two-mile-long dirt and gravel stretch called Moss Lane. This stretch is part of the Eroica California route and is well-known to me since I have ridden it on two different straight up road bikes, as well as on a mountain bike, and also use it as a hiking route.
My take-aways from the shakedown ride:
- This bike is not going to be as fast on pavement as my titanium Litespeed Vortex, and that’s OK because that is not what I bought it for. It’s going to be much better on dirt and gravel than the Litespeed.
- The initial setup was pretty close to spot-on, I don’t think I’ll need to tweak anything much, if at all.
- Nonetheless, some things need to change:
- I was running too high pressure in the 700×25 tires for Moss Lane, so it was a bit jarring. I’ll be getting some wider tires (it will accept up to 700×32) and run lower pressure.
- The white bar tape is starting to get grungy after a single ride. Who puts white bar tape on a bike that goes on dirt? Black is the new white.
- The mostly white saddle is going the same path. It’s comfy enough for me, but did I mention that it’s mostly white?
- The frame paint scheme is fairly sedate compared to many contemporary bikes – mostly black, less white, with some greenish details. Just barely acceptable to my tastes for spare ornamentation. Even so, I simply don’t care for most of the white expanses or any of the green parts, wishing it was all black to begin with. I believe those places will get painted over before too long and just the white Giant logos will remain on the head and down tubes. Hope that doesn’t void the warranty.