Sunday, May 27, 2012

Neo is The One

But first, an apology to all the people arriving to this blog thinking they will be reading about The Matrix. I wouldn't be surprised if after all these years there is still interest. It's a classic movie for sure and one of my favourites, hence the title of this post that is directly related to the main character of the Matrix trilogy, Neo, played by Keanu Reeves. However, Neo in my real world is my Cervelo One bike that I just bought a week ago, so the Matrix related stuff ends here. If you want, I will help you leave this blog with a link to one of the best fighting scenes from the first Matrix movie in which everyone gets a hint that Neo may be The One. There you go, click here for the exit, and enjoy!

For those who stayed, I introduce you to Neo:

I bought Neo thanks to a private ad on Kijiji, a transaction that was not devoid of a good amount of drama and back and forth with both seller and Endurosport representative as you notice that the description of the bike in the ad is highly inaccurate (bike was described as an all-carbon Cervelo P2 2009, but the reality is that this bike is an aluminium Cervelo One 2002 as described here). I am still not convinced that the seller acted in bad faith, but somewhere in the past 10 years someone described this bike inaccurately and one or more people got fooled, including me. After talking to my friends experts in bikes and the shop where I had it fitted for me, the conclusion was that this was still a reasonable deal, so I didn't raise too much of a stink. With no paperwork for the bike, either concealed by the seller, or the previous seller, or who knows who, there isn't much that can be done. All I hoped for in the end is a word of apology from the seller after proving her that her that the ad description was totally misleading. Oh well, you cannot expect everyone to recognize their errors, either intentional or not.

Moving on, Neo (The One as in Cervelo One, get it?) is now mine and I intend to cherish our relationship for many years to come through training rides in the countryside, up and down the hills and in triathlons for as far as I'll feel comfortable riding him (ok, now that sounds dirty), be it 25, 50 or 112 miles. I am sharing a few more pictures below to give you a view from all angles.

For the tech inclined, the specs are below:
Frame Construction : TIG-welded
Frame Tubing Material : Aluminum
Fork Brand & Model : Cervelo Chord
Fork Material : Carbon fiber composite w/aluminum steerer, aero crown

Component Group : Shimano Ultegra
Brakeset : Cervelo dual pivot brakes, Dia-Compe 188 TRI levers
Shift Levers : Shimano Dura-Ace bar-end
Front Derailleur : Shimano Ultegra, braze-on
Rear Derailleur : Shimano Ultegra SS
Crankset : Shimano Ultegra, 39/53 teeth

Pedals : Shimano XC
Bottom Bracket : Shimano BB-6500, 109.5mm spindle
BB Shell Width : 68mm English
Rear Cogs : 9-speed, 11 - 23 teeth
Chain : Shimano CN-HG72, 1/2 x 3/32"

Seatpost : Aluminum, 27.2mm diameter
Saddle : Fizik Arione
Handlebar : Cervelo base bar
Handlebar Extensions : Syntace Streamliner
Handlebar Stem : Ritchey Logic Pro
Headset : 1 1/8" integrated

Hubs : Spinergy XAero Lite
Rims : Spinergy XAero Lite, 24mm light semi-aero, Clincher Only
Tires : 650 x 23c, Continental GP Triathlon Vectran
Spoke Brand : PBO

After getting fitted on the bike by a specialist and purchasing my first pair of biking shoes, I was ready to take him outside. We had two rides together this past week, a negative split of 1h on Thursday and a longer workout with 5/1 intervals for 2h10 on Saturday.

Neo rides beautifully although I think we still need more time to get ourselves acquainted. For the first workout I spent most of the time in aero position trying to get comfortable without reaching for the brakes all the time and it was rather interesting I should say. Equilibrium seems to be a notion that needs revisiting, especially when getting passed by aggressive drivers and dealing with cross winds. That, and the new clipping/unclipping action that allowed me to test the hardness of the asphalt when I tried to stop and press the traffic light button in order to cross the road at a large intersection. Thank goodness it only happened once because the scrapes and bruises I got from this fall should be enough to remind me to unclip properly for a quite a while.

It looks like it was a good lesson learned. For the second ride, I managed not to fall off the bike and to keep a good pace in all conditions, safely alternating between upright and aero positions in what is my longest ride to date, 55km (those 100km in a day I did in my teens don't count, I was a bit crazy back then). 

Feeling really good about my future with Neo. Our first official challenge together will be next week's Ride for Heart 50km, then the Toronto Triathlon Festival in July for 40km. Until then, I leave you with my first photo with him, just before my second bike workout. Ciao!

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