Surosa Toledo Pro Vs Ribble Audax Review .

27 04 2010

Today I decided to write a review of 2 popular Audax bikes, Allow me to start with a bit of backgroud that explanes why I have both of them in my stable.

2 weeks ago,after hitting an unseen dirt track on my Ribble and breaking a spoke I was forced to use my Townsend while the Ribble wheel was in for repair.

This caused my commute home to take 45 mins (I Can do it in 27 mins these days)

This was because I didnt have brakes, or gears, or wheels that didnt wobble, I was forced , because of how bad a shape it was in to avoid the main roads. I decided then that it had to go and I had to get myself a new “Back Up” Bike.

I set about looking on eBay for another Ribble, however the only ones at a decent price were either REALLY old, or poorly specc’ed. Almost giving up I searched Surosa, there was ONE listed, however it was just 2 miles from me, the only downside was the seller was asking £480 for it !!!!!! It didnt sell and after some hard negotiations he agreed to sell it to me for a little over £350, and here it is.

Surosa Toledo "Pro"

It stunning and pretty much brand new, its the same spec as my Ribble but has much more recent components, this blog post is designed to review both bikes and give an idea what they are VS each other.

Ribble Audax Review:

Ribble Audax

I have rode the 2007 Ribble Audax for approx 3500 miles since I purchased it in August 2009.

It has been a great bike that I use every day, the Mavic Open Sport wheels are not the best, however have taken my 20+ Stone pretty well with just 4/5 broken spokes in 3500 approx miles of riding. It has the older style shimano tiagra groupset and while its been reliable its felt at times, clunky and industrial,

I am at the stage now where I can cruse along on the flat at 20/23Mph on this bike all day without any problems.

When I stand up to accelerate it feels livley, however the back end does sometimes feel a little too lightweight and has at times lost traction when I was stood up and cornering at the same time.

I fitted a Fizik Arione Saddle and I have to say its the single most comfortable saddle I have ever used (I have even owned a brooks saddle and didnt enjoy that)

For £300 ( Although was an eBay purchase it was BRAND NEW !) its been an fantastic BARGAIN and really is a great bike.

Looks 4/5

Comfort 3.5/5

Performance 3.5/5

Durability 4/5

Surosa Toledo Pro Review:

Surosa Toledo "Pro"

WOW This bike was purchased as my “Back Up” but riding just the 2 miles home I knew it was FAR too good for that.

The Toledo has a slightly sloping top tube. The geometry gives the bike a more upright and relaxed riding position for better long distance comfort.

Equipped with the 2009 shimano tiagra groupset shifting is smooth, quiet and precise.

The wheels not only look good they also feel pretty good too.

It often felt today like the Surosa was under geared vs the Ribble as I felt I was going slower but spinning the cranks at the same cadence, however every time I looked down at my Garmin Edge I was doing between 19 and 22 Mph, It wasnt under geared, it was just a much more relaxed ride, so much so that I rode 15 miles with a 16mph average.

The first 13.5 Miles were done with a 17.8 MPH average, however it was a bloody hot morning and I didnt bring a drink, so I had to stop for one, by the time I was done I had cooled down and took it easy the rest of the way.

The Surosa doesnt look as light as the Ribble thanks to the oversized tubes, however my average today was quicker than ever (Until I had stopped that is).

Those oversized tubes give it an AMAZING look.

Looks 4.5/5

Comfort 4.5/5

Performance 4.5/5

Durability ??/5

Surosa VS Ribble:

The Ribble inspires you to sprint more. The Surosa allows you to ride faster for longer and harder, between the 2 the clear winner is the Surosa, more comfort, better  geometry and that Black finish looks the DOGS !!!!.

The other issue is that the Surosa feels more agile yet sure footed when you do feel the need to sprint,

I will be using my Ribble as my new Back Up bike and the Surosa will get a beating every day, that actually saddens me a little, as I had lusted after a Ribble for so long and while I had it, it was the best bike I had ever rode.

The Surosa now takes that title and I suspect a Surosa, not Ribble, will be my next bike purchase when the time arises.

Providing that the Surosa’a durability lives upto that of the Ribble’s……

Gaz

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Ohhhh Such A Long One, Longest Cycling Week Ever !!!!!!

23 04 2010

Wow, Thats been a hell of a week. Time for a recap.

This week has felt the best I have had on a bike in a very long time, In January my body and confidence took one hell of a beating, for quite a while afterward I wasjust doing 6 miles each way to work, but over the last few weeks my body and confidence have been getting much stronger, resulting in my longest ever commute week.

Monday:

Coming after my best week on the bike was a grey, cold and windy Monday morning, but as it was dry and I was ready to kick on I decided I was gonna put some serious miles in……….1 mile later it was raining, HARD, with a head wind, by the time I had done 4 miles I just wanted to stop and get to work, but I would have been a good hour early so I pushed on after 8 miles I decided enough was more than enough and fed up I scooted off the beaten path to work, Finishing the day on around 20 miles after getting a decent homeward leg in.

Tuesday: Marathon Number 1

I felt like a caged animal having to give up short of 10 miles the previous morning so with the weather dry and looking like it was gonna stay that way I set off, and I intended to more than make up for the previous days failings and boy did I do that

In the morning, before a full days work I rode for a total of 22 miles with a 14mph average and in the evening I cycled the long long way home giving me my first 32+ mile commute.

Wednesday:Another Matathon Day

Still feeling strong and over the moon about Tuesday I set off for a nice long ride again, by the end of the day I had once again cycled more than the distance of a marathon.

Randomness from Thursday Evening.

Thursday:

Felt tired and sick in the morning so took a short way to work, duked it out with and dropped a roadie on a black trek, that gave me all the medicine I needed to ensure I cycled the long way home again in the evening salvaging the day at a little under 20 miles plus to quote the great Lance Armstrong

“Pain is temporary, but quitting lasts forever….”

Friday:

Nice morning, sore legs, after just 4 miles I needed to pull over for 30 seconds, my legs were screaming out at me, decided to continute with an extended commute but not a 20 mile + one, Glad I did as 10 mins later my legs were back in fine form and a little outside Manchester, in a urban area I found this weird and wonderful playgroud, it was sooo out of place I just HAD to photo it.

Oasis In The Urban Jungle

Actually its pretty hard to see but its a tyre swing made out of trees, amazing.

Friday evening I once again took the long way home ending with a sprint finish…………………….What a great week…….

Miles 138.21 mi

Ave Speed 14.2 mph

Ave Cadence 77 rpm

Calories 12,966 C

Max Speed 35.5 mph (Garmin says 239.7 Mph, However we should assume that is not correct LOL)

Max Average Heart Rate 139 bpm





Variety is the spice of (Cycling) life !

17 04 2010

and what a great cycling week it has been.

After watching Eddie Izzard (ed iz running) where he ran marathon after marathon, I decided I want to, wherever I can attempt to cycle a Marathon a day, its not a “Goal” as I know I wont be able to always do it, so I will class it as a challenge.

Monday I set about my new daily target of cycling a Marathon in a days worth of commutes and headed out to Didsbury and through Old Trafford, Meeting a work collegue in Manchester and then finally arriving at work, notching up a decent 17 miles, a little too low for a marathon and I finished the day on 23 miles, not a marathon but better than the minimum of 13 miles I actually need to get to and from work.


Tuesday I did a new route, carrying out a bit of a covert ops on something and then headed off to sports city, the last 5 miles of the commute werre done at an average of 16.5 Mph, No marathon as I ended the day on 17 miles but I had a decent turn of speed.


Wednesday morning was a little more of the same, not a huge distance but once again I was getting quicker, however I did a new way home as the traffic on Hyde road was 101% gridlocked, and all seemed good, it was extra miles and some pretty quick ones too, however the bike didnt feel quite “right” turns out the path I went up (cycle lane) had some nasty, spoke smashing rocks, DISASTER for my goal of the week !!!!!!!

Thursday was FRUSTRATING, I had to take the Townsend and ended on 13 miles for the whole day, I didnt have brakes or gears and got dropped by a folder, WORST CYCLING EXPERIENCE  EVER !

Friday, Friday was a GREAT DAY !, Friday morning I had intended to go to Stretford, however I wanted even more miles so looked for and found another new route.

All the way from Gorton to Didsbury a guy on a Peugeot and I were flying along at between 21mph and 25mph, he looked shocked everytime he looked back to see I was still there, but in truth I was strong and fresh after only doing 13 miles the day before, and finally on the last corner before we parted I dropped him, I got a little lucky as he ran wide but he didnt get a chance to come back. We nodded the nod of respect at each other, he went right, I went left and the rest of the journey was just amazingly enjoyable after that 😀

Friday night I went another new way home and covered 10 miles, added to 18 in the morning and I had done 28 miles in 1 day, more than a marathon, RESULT !

Today I wanted to nail 120 miles for the week,so out came the turbo and off I went.

Turbo Time

Stats for the week are:


Miles 120.25 mi

Ave Speed 13.4 mph (Lower than normal thanks to the Townsend)

Ave Cadence 74 rpm

Calories 12,966 C

Max Speed 35.5 mph

Max Average Heart Rate 147 bpm





A Marathon (4 Day) Week In Review

9 04 2010

and WHAT a week it has been too !

The 4 day weekend was broken only by my attempt at a Biggest Loser Challenge, While thinking about that weekend, just how AMAZING was Cancellara in the Tour of Fladers ? (Pic Below)

Fabulous Fabian

Anyways onto the important stuff….ME 😀

In the past few weeks I have been slowly upping my mileage until passing 100 miles (in a week) last week. This week feeling fully rested I exploded out of the blocks with a bang…….Cycling further and faster every day, feeling stronger and stronger and not once finding the going tough….Remarkable considering I have cycled over 90 miles in just 4 days.

Rock'In Ribble

So here are the stats for 4 days worth of cycling to work:

Distance: 91.82 mi

Ave Speed: 14.1 mph

Max Speed: 33.2 mph (Garmin Connect says 77.9 Mph, Took me a while to find the correct figure)

Ave Heart Rate: 145 bpm

Ave Distance/Day: 22.87 mi

Quite happy considering that the minimum I needed to do this week was 48 miles.

and why do I say a Marathon week in the title ? because today I cycled a total of 26.61 Miles…….A MARATHON !!!!!! (well actually thats more than a Marathon but hey, I’ll take it)

I still have time to pass 100 miles again before the start of next week……Maybe it will be attempt 2 of the biggest loser challenge that pushes me over the 100 miles? who knows ? for now  I need a well earned rest.

OHHH as a quick additional point, I was looking at Garmin connect and my average speed over a month has gone up 3 Mph (Figures for March) since Oct last year and my Cadence is up from an average of  63 rpm to 79 rpm (over a month)

Gaz





My Attempt At A Biggest Loser Challenge. Attempt 1 Lives Changed FOREVER

4 04 2010

Yesterday I attempted a challenge that I saw on The Biggest Loser a couple of weeks ago.

The Challenge was to cycle a Marathon, 26.2 Miles on a turbo trainer in the fastest time, the winner got $10k. Ok so I wasnt racing for $10k but I was racing to see how far I had come and a little bit of pride, my confidence took a knock when I had my accident and I have been trying to find it the last couple of weeks.

The fastest time set by the winner on the show was 1 Hr 17 Mins, with last place setting a time of 1 hr 41mins.

Now all of the contestants on the show apart from the last place person weigh LESS than I do. With that in mind anything under 1 Hr 40Mins would be respectable.

I set off pretty hard and was holding 26 Mph for the first 20 mins or so, but before too long I was slowing to 20/22Mph I was struggling to keep a high speed/cadence and keep my heart rate low enough that I would blow up.

but soon enough I had passed the finish line, I was unsure if I had beaten the 1 hr 40mins target I set myself, I was exhausted, it has been such a long time since I rode at such a high cadence/speed and it had really taken it out of me.

So the stats:

Distance:  26.64 mi

Ave Speed : 22.8 mph

Max Speed : 35.2 mph

Time: 01:10:06

So I had beaten the WINNERS time by a full 7 mins….Why then do I say its attempt 1 ?

The reason is that I actually rode 2 sections of 13.1 miles and 13.5 Miles , so I now know I have it in me, all I need to do in attempt number 2 is ride both sections at once, then I can see if I can keep the pace up non stop.

Remeber all but 1 contestant in this biggest loser challnge weighs LESS than I do (as it is now into week 11), they all train for 8 hours per day !!!!!!

Next time is MY TIME.

An OLD Turbo Trainer Picture.

And in other news:

This weeks cycling stats in total:

Distance: 102.41 mi

Ave Speed: 14.3 mph

Max Speed: 35.2 mph

Ave Heart Rate: 141 bpm

Ave Distance/Day: 9.31 mi

Gaz








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