Thursday, 5 December 2013

On One/Planet X? It's 6 of On One, Half a Dozen with the Other (Planet X)

I've not done a post for a while, I've been a busy little biking bee. What with the MTB orienteering, work and kids it's hard enough to fit time in for rides, let alone writing about it.

However, there is one itty-bitty thing that just has to be worth making the time for - a lovely new addition to my growing little family...

I know I've only been riding 6 months, but you know what it's like, the n+1 syndrome hits as soon as the bike bug bites and aside from slowly building a single-speed, I've been yearning after a nice road bike to keep the Rinky-Dinky Pink Panther (my mtb) company. Plus, I reckon she deserves the odd day off for a well-earned rest over the unforgiving winter months (a real meanie of a season to certain mtb components, as I am rapidly discovering).

Ever since Planet X added the Pro Carbon Ultegra to their stable, specially for us girlies, I have been mentally salivating over the thought of it (sorry ladies, it's now a SRAM Rival set up, we pounced when the Ultegra groupset was advertised on it, and had to pay up front then wait 7weeks for ours, so as not to miss out on the Ultegra)...
                                                                   Lady Penelope

Well, after a lot of hard work and hard saving, viola! Meet, bike number 2, my Lady Penelope. Yes, she's another one from the Planet X/On One family and if you have come across myself and the other half (cycleofaddiction) before then you won't be at all shocked by this. This one makes 6, with a single speed currently being built for yours truly which will make 7!

You just can't argue with a carbon complete build with full Ultegra all coming in at a penny short of a grand. They added my pink bar tape on request (no extra charge...and yeah, I had to get some pink on there) and Dave swapped out the standard Stratos stem and seatpost on the men's Pro Carbon for Dave (well it would have been mean if I got a nice new road bike and Dave didn't), for a rather nice looking Deda stem and seatpost that he'd spotted in store, all for no extra charge. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, it came with full carbon finishing kit and a Prologo Women's Nago Evo Dea saddle, rrp £119 (here's a link to Wiggle where you can get it for £76.79 at the mo)...lovely saddle, but it didn't suit my shape unfortunately and I've got myself another Selle Italia SLR Lady Flow, but in black and pink this time...why mess with something if it's what works for you? So I'll be selling my Prologo off towards the Crimbo fund!

The USP for Planet X/On One is their unmatched value for money, they really do make things possible for those of us with realistic budgets to consider (more's the pity).

I just have to give a mention to the Speedplay Light Action Chromoly pedals, I couldn't believe my luck when I saw that they came in pink. The Light Action, as opposed to Dave's Speedplay Zeros, are designed with the recreational rider, like myself, in mind. Ultimately, this just boils down to plenty of float and an easier engagement/disengagement, which suits me fine with the few little nervous foibles I have as a still-learning rider. The main difference between the Zero and the Light Action is all in the spring mechanism, housed in the cleat (whereas most clipless systems contain the spring within the pedal, Speedplay's is in the cleat). Both have a good level of float, however, the cleats to Dave's Zeros can be adjusted and set with the riders own desired level of float - from full, right down to zero, hence the name, Zeros! But, the best thing about all the Speedplays is the double-sided entry (not to mention the cute little lollypop look, fab in pink!)

Anyway, I've been out on her a few times (I've only just got her registered onto my Strava though so my road rides still read as mtb rides on there) and it's different from mtbing that's for sure, but I still love it. I was as nervous as hell at first, over-thinking the twitchiness of the 380mm bar, as opposed to the new, wider 700mm bar that I'd just swapped onto the mtb. However, no probs - it's all good! Perhaps the narrow bar that I'd had on my mtb for so long gave me a bit of practice with handling (I'm not the most graceful of riders, basically operating a philisophy of plough on and through - tough if anything gets in the way), but now I find certain skills from each bike help me a little on the other.

We've even invested in a turbo trainer (I might review that one next time, 'cause I know there are tons of them out there and it was a real difficult choice to make, especially if you buy online, like we do a lot of the time) and on those vile days when you really do not want to be out there, I've been fixing her up to the trainer and giving it some welly in front of the telly!

Finally, we made one last little investment, in a Shimano tubeless wheelset each, after spotting one on a road bike in the Planet X shop, we knew that after going tubeless on the mtbs and knowing the benefits, we just had to go for it...and we got two wheelsets and tyres etc for around £400 for the lot, not bad - plus we've already relegated one of the original wheels to a designated trainer wheel.

So, I'm off out on my nice new road bike, feeling mega-fit after the turbo-trainer...might whizz past you later!

Happy riding.

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