First road bike since '97: Vilano Forza
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  1. #1
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    First road bike since '97: Vilano Forza

    Well, after reading Bachboost's thread about his Tuono, and recieving some top shelf info/advice from some of the guys here (regarding fit, etc.), I decided to go ahead and purchase the Forza from Road Bike Outlet via ebay, at $360 to my door. I've got to say I'm very pleased with the purchase as well as the bike. It was very well packaged, all shiny bits (frame) were wrapped in a protective foam "paper". All parts were accounted for so late Friday night I assembled it and did a very basic fit. Wheels are true and the rear derailleur is dead-on, though the front needed some work as did the brakes. I spent Saturday adjusting the mechs and fit and felt it was good for a test ride Sunday. I ditched the platforms and toe clips that were included in favor of a pair of LOOKs that I scored on the 'bay for $22 shipped and added n a Cateye Astrale cyclocomp. Maiden voyage was just 8 miles with a few stops for "tweaks" to the brakes and handlebars. Otherwise it went off without a hitch and my "front porch fit" seems to be fairly well dialed in.

    FWIW, I purchased the 56 cm on the advice of a LBS operator who I discussed my plans with. We did a basic fit in his shop aboard a Trek, though I don't recall the model. I showed him what I was looking at as well as the geometry chart and he was fairly comfortable suggesting a similar 56. A shop I visited prior LOOKED AT ME and said "54". That was it. This guy did a fit as best he could on a bike with very similar dimensions and offered to set it up for me if need be. He'll earn more of my money from here on out.
    pics:


    Nice curved stays.

    Astrale.

    $22 LOOKs with Lake shoes in background.

    Stablemate.
    Last edited by sxharr05; 08-15-2010 at 09:04 PM.

  2. #2
    Cycling induced anoesis
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    Congrats on your new bike, very nice!!

    Smart thinking on the part of the LBS that took the time to size you and offer advice based on the geo charts you provided. That's good business and planning for the future, because cyclists don't stop spending money after their bike purchase, There are always 'accessories'.

    Speaking of which, great choice on a bike computer. Cadence is very important, especially when starting out in the sport, so monitor that and try to keep it above 70, but vary (above that) with terrain. Also, if you don't yet have a hemet, saddle bag/ wedge and essentials for repairing a flat, that would be my next suggestion, because in that event you aren't going to be walking too far, too fast with that clipless pedal system.

    Keep us updated as you build saddle time...

  3. #3
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    Thanks, PJ. I honestly haven't ridden without a helmet since '89 or so. For the time being I'm just using my mtb helmet, but plan on purchasing something with more ventilation. As far as the bag and tools, got that covered too. Used to have the bag on my mtb until I started using a hydration pack. Picked up a few tubes when I grabbed the cages and bottles along with new CO2 canisters.

    I've gotta say that even in my short ride on Sunday that "feel" came back fairly quickly. It was mostly flat with a long slight + grade and a short steep climb, as well as a long descent which brought a smile to my face. The handling was as predictable as I could expect after so much time away. Never did I, nor the bike, feel over-matched, never missed a shift, and once I re-adjusted the brakes it stopped when I wanted it to. Oh, the "fit and finish" is flawless as well. Gonna try to get out again Tuesday morning, though today was my first day of work after 9 off, and it's a double.

  4. #4
    Resident Curmudgeon
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    That's a very nice looking bike. Congrats!
    Before you criticize someone walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you criticize them you'll be a mile away & you'll have their shoes.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Versatile
    That's a very nice looking bike. Congrats!
    Thanks! Further updates coming as weather/time permit.

  6. #6
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    I've been doing three mile rides on my 8 pm "lunch break". It's not much, time-or-mileage-wise, so I go hard. So far so good. No issues at all with the bike. Solid ride, solid performance mechanically. .............Gonna try for a twenty-miler Sunday, see who gives up first. Man, this is soooo much easier than MTB on the road. haha. And the best part, for me anyway, is that I'm really looking forward to the rides.

  7. #7
    Cycling induced anoesis
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    Quote Originally Posted by sxharr05
    I've been doing three mile rides on my 8 pm "lunch break". It's not much, time-or-mileage-wise, so I go hard. So far so good. No issues at all with the bike. Solid ride, solid performance mechanically. .............Gonna try for a twenty-miler Sunday, see who gives up first. Man, this is soooo much easier than MTB on the road. haha. And the best part, for me anyway, is that I'm really looking forward to the rides.
    Sounds like you (and your new bike) are doing pretty well. Just keep in mind that 20 miles is something you're not yet used to, so it might be wise to temper your enthusiasm and not go quite as hard.

    IME notching up miles and effort in steps still builds fitness, but also minimizes the all too common overuse injuries.

    Good luck, and let us know how it goes Sunday.

  8. #8
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    I appreciate your advice and concern. One thing about the route I have planned is that home is centrally located and there are plenty of shortcuts back in case I need to abandon the course. Either way, I'll enjoy whatever time I have out.

    Oh, and I just found out today that LA is holding a Ridestrong event not ten minutes (drive time) from home. I had actually considered altering my course to swing by, but there are some nasty climbs along the way. Not quite ready for that yet. Though I am SOOOO looking forward to the day that I am ready for it. I used to love a good hard climb back in my youth.
    Last edited by sxharr05; 08-26-2010 at 02:00 PM.

  9. #9
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    Well, Sunday was washed out. Got up at 7 and the roads were damp. Figured I'd give it another half hour or so. Alarm went off at 7:45 and it was pouring. Bah! So, I slept a little more, did some stuff around the house.................Seemed to be clearing up so I thought I'd get an hour or so in before work. Got all my stuff situated, mixed and drank the Cytomax, got changed. Came out onto the porch and it was black and thundering. I contemplated going for it until the deluge started. Guess I'll shoot for a short Monday morning ride as I have to be up early for a viewing/funeral anyway.

  10. #10
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    Today's ride

    was a good one. And the bike did very well. Hammered pretty hard in a few spots and dug in on some short and steep climbs. Bike is still functioning flawlessly and I'm quickly getting used to the "brifters", along with the handling characteristics of it. Felt lighter today. Maybe it's ME. Overall a very good ride. And for the first time I paid attention to cadence as opposed to MPH. Certainly helped with selecting gears for situations, etc. Kept it above 75 except for one short stretch, and around 82-83 most of the ride. 108 at one point (tucked on a descent) and 31.x mph.
    Route:
    http://beta.mapmyride.com/route/deta...pen_ive_done=1

    To be clear, I know 9 miles isn't more than a warm-up to most here. And maybe "hammered" was the wrong word to use. But considering I'm still "new" to this, I'm happy with it. Also, "taking the lane" is completely new to me. It feels weird to be on a bike in the middle of a lane at an intersection when turning left. Most of my road riding in the past was on dedicated trails or closed off routes. But I've noticed that everyone who passes gives room. Except for one guy who found the need to lay on his horn as he passed me. I just waved.
    Last edited by sxharr05; 08-26-2010 at 01:59 PM.

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