The bike now has Ultegra 6700 brakes on it, and a new Fizik Antares saddle. Much nicer to ride for a while, and much more confidence inspiring – there is decent grip when cornering and it’s got really good stopping power especially when coming from ~55kph down to stopped. I took it on a shakedown cycle with the new brakes installed to start the bed-in process. I’ve read that the 6700 should not be mixed with the 5600 105 shifters, but I disagree – they feel great to me. There’s a slightly longer level travel for sure, but with toe-in set correctly at between 0,5 and 1.0 mm this means a nice progressive grab on the rim. Full on emergency stops with the GP4000s tyres are good enough that stoppies will be possible if I try hard enough, and that’s a good sign from the braking effectiveness point of view.
With the new saddle onboard and the updated brakes starting to bed in I went on a looping cycle around Castletroy, in the search for a nice loop that is pleasant to cycle with as little problems as possible. I’ve found that the cycle lanes on the south side of Castletroy (Groody link road, Monaleen Road, SchoolHouse Lane) are not suitable for cycling a road bike at normal speeds (20-35kph) as the surface is rough and rattley with broken surfaces and really poor path-road interfaces. Some places on the paths are rough even at walking pace! I’ve found it is better for my safety to be on the road and able to maintain speed and visibility for roundabouts instead of possibly surprising some poor motorist. Some of the cycle paths are good for kids and people ambling along, but not really for commuters or sport cyclists. It’s a pity that there is little desire to fix the problem and less cash available to implement the fixes. Then again, with a County Council that in all their [lack of] smartness put a pedestrian crossing within the average modern car braking distance from the exit of a roundabout across two lanes – there’s little hope of getting sane and coherent cycle paths that go from A to B.
It was a pleasant enough road cycle, and one of the best bits was accelerating away from cars at the Golf Links Road traffic lights by the Spar, and overtaking cars on the way down to the roundabout! Just under the road speed limit in the are so all legally too.. 56.7 kph according to Node2, 56.09 kph according to Cyctastic.