Felt Carbon Z3
This is my pride and joy, it’s the one thing that I have spent the most money on and if we talk about returns on investment in terms of enjoyment and freedom this is the one. As the name suggests, it is a full carbon racing bike. This was something that I happened across at my local bike specialist shop down the road, I was originally going to go for the Felt AR 5 which is more of an Aero design with a really aggressive riding position. It was this riding position that put me off in the end, I wanted something on which I could be semi-comfortable in the saddle but also get the full benefits of a racing bike. Upon testing the AR 5 I found it comfortable for about 15 minutes until I could start to feel it in my shoulders a bit. I’ve always had more mountain style bikes so for my first road bike I didn’t want a drastic change, something to help me get into road cycling rather than something to put me off – it seemed like the AR 5 would have done the latter.
Per chance I happened to see the Z3 out of the corner of my eye – and it was half price, the dream of any dad on a budget! I’m in love with this bike, it’s light (8kg without GPS and bottle etc), it’s comfortable, it fits me and most of all it was within my budget. It has a full Ultegra group set, decent carbon wheels and carbon seat post and it also beautiful. Since I got the bike in July 2017, I haven’t had a huge amount of time to get out on it (one of the themes you will probably see quite a bit) but now the weather is improving again I will be in the saddle a lot more often.
Bergamont Metric 5.4
I like this bike, it’s nothing special but I’ve had a lot of fun with it. I’ve had it for a few years now and it has been used to not only get me around the forests where I live but it has also helped me get the shops when we didn’t have a car and has helped me get to the station when I was running late for the train. It is by no means a “great” bike but it’s good enough for me, it is solid enough to zoom down hills in the forest and is light and strong enough for me to be able to pull the trailer with my daughter in it.
What’s great about it is that it has front suspension that can be locked from a switch on the handlebars, this means that when I’m towing my daughter and I need to go up one of the many hills where I live, I am able to lock it out and make sure all of the power I’m putting out is going to forward momentum rather than being lost in the suspension. I’m not going to be doing a review of this bike as it’s not something that I’m going to be using for fitness etc, but you may see some photos pop up here and there.
Garmin Edge 1000
The Garmin Edge 1000 is not the latest GPS cycling computer out there but it really is excellent, it is consistently reviewed highly which was the reason I got it. I wanted something that would not only be able to tell me where I have been but I also wanted to be able to know where I am going, this little machine does it quite well. It has turn by turn navigation as well as a map view so not only can I see when and where I have to turn next but I can also see where my journey ahead is going to take me. You create the routes on the Garmin website with their pretty decent tool and send it to your device, it’s really as easy as that. The latest one is the Garmin Edge 1030 which features visually better maps, a better screen and a better battery, at some point I’m sure I will get one but for now I’m quite content.
Can Strava be considered tech? It’s on my phone so I guess so. You know what Strava is, anyone who has ever wanted to know where they have ridden or run will have heard of Strava, it’s one of the (if not the) biggest social platforms for runners, swimmers and cyclists there is and is able to provide you with very in depth workout analysis. This information is particularly useful for anyone in training or just wanting to improve their sporting ability, it is able to track and calculate everything from calories burned to power output to average pace to even your fitness levels. I did use MapMyRun but found that the analysis just wasn’t quite in depth for me, I’m no scientist but it was all just a little too simplistic – Strava is where I’m going to be staying for the foreseeable future.
There’s not much else for me to put here, I’m relatively brand agnostic when it comes to clothing although I do like the fit and quality of the Gore gear. I have a couple of Gore jackets, one windproof and one waterproof although the waterproof one was bought when I was about 15kg heavier so is now more of a parachute and therefore an hinderance. I also have a couple of sets of Gore bibs and a Specialized thermal/windproof bib but other than than it’s just whatever is on sale and whatever fits at the point of shopping
My helmet and shoes are also nothing special, just what fitted the best. It’s a Giro helmet and the shoes are made by Shimano but I couldn’t tell you anything past that. I don’t even know if my cycling loves have a brand, I bought them from a Chinese website for $2 incl. shipping and they are just excellent – they do everything that a pair of gloves need to do!