Specialized Roubaix Armadillo Elite Redux

Specialized Roubaix Armadillo Elite tire at 5835 miles (9390 km)

In February of 2013, I switched to a Specialized Roubaix Armadillo Elite for the rear tire of my De Rosa Professional bike.

Last month, I finished building up my Eddy Merckx Professional. After some research, I decided to use Continental Grand Prix 4000S tires on that bike. Because the Merckx is “new,” I’ve been riding it on sunny days. When the roads are wet, I’ve been riding my De Rosa Professional. There was a significant difference in the feel of the bikes. Except for the Merckx being 1 cm larger in the seat tube and the corresponding geometry changes, the bikes are similar, both probably made by De Rosa with the same brake bridge and bottom bracket shell.

I attributed the difference to the tires. I can’t complain about punctures with the Specialized Roubaix Armadillo Elite – I don’t think I got one in 5800 miles. As is evident in the photograph, it did wear into a large, squared off, contact patch, 9/16″ (14mm) wide. I switched the rear tire on the De Rosa to a Continental Grand Prix 4000S and the De Rosa no longer feels like a truck.

Vintage Saddles

Vintage Saddles

Vinage Saddles (clockwise from top left): Selle San Marco Rolls, Selle Italia Turbo, Selle Italia Flite, Cinelli Unicanitor, Selle San Marco Regal. These weren’t vintage when I bought them.

Bay Bridge Traffic Jam

San Francisco - Oakland Bay Bridge’s new East Span Bicycle/Pedestrian Path

I took a bike ride with a couple of thousand bicyclists and pedestrians on September 3, 2013, on the just opened San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge’s new East Span.

The 15.5-foot wide bicycle/pedestrian path on the new Bay Bridge almost goes to Yerba Buena Island, then ends. A section of the old bridge will have to be demolished before the path reaches Yerba Buena Island and Treasure Island.

There is access to the path from the Bay Trail that begins in Emeryville and from Oakland on Maritime Street and the aptly named Burma Road.

Tour de France, Stage 18, Gap to Alpe d’Huez

the road to Alpe d'Huez

Last Thursday’s Stage 18 of the 2013 Tour de France was 172.5 km (107.2 mi), from the town of Gap to Alpe d’Huez. This year’s route required the riders to climb up to the ski resort Alpe d’Huez twice, accending 1124 m (3687 ft) in 13.8 km (8.5 mi), an 8.1% average grade. The climb to Alp D’Huez is categorized Hors catégorie, a French term used in cycle races (most notably, the Tour de France) to designate a climb that is “beyond categorization”, an incredibly tough climb. (Wikipedia)