I was at my local bike shop just to take a look at bikes. I was also somewhat thinking about getting my first road bike. I was looking for a entry level road bike around US$500 or HK$3900. Of course, this is really the very low end for a quality road bike. However, I asked the shopkeeper any good deal on road bike and he points me to a heavily discounted LaPierre Sensium 300 CP Carbon Road Bike with Shimano Ultegra / 105 component for HK$8000 (US$1025) . There were cheaper LaPierre road bike there, the Audacio 300, 200 and 100. 300 for HK$6500 and the 100 at $6000.
The carbon Sensium looks like the best deal. It is originally listed for about HK$14,900. So it’s about 40% off.
One problem though, there is only one size, XS. I looked up LaPierre’s website and at around 173cm, I should be in a S or M bike.
The shopkeeper told me it’s the best deal and the size difference isn’t such a big deal. He let me try it and then a S bike. The S bike felt better. However, the Sensium has a carbon frame and an upper grade of components with Ultegra and 105 sets.
I finally caved in and bought the Sensium 300 CP. And it’s actually the right bike I am looking for, a comfortable endurance bike for long ride and gear sets for climb. The carbon frame is a big bonus.
I took the Sensium for a ride the next night. I was trying to go for a ride before the sunset but I forgot to install a bottle holder when I bought it so I had to get it installed before going for the ride. I just don’t like putting a bottle behind my back pocket.
The sun was pretty much gone when I got the water bottle holder installed. I went for a relatively flat 25 km ride. It’s my first road bike so I was playing with the gear shifting and braking around. The shifting was smooth and precise on the big rig, less so on the small rig, but that was probably I wasn’t use to using the road bike shift lever. I was still trying to understand my bike.
Acceleration was way better than my LaPierre Raid but the funny thing was, my max speed was 34kmph, not much faster than I was on my LaPierre Raid mountain bike. Some people say it’s the body fitness, not the bike; and I think they are right. But it was after work so I was tired to begin with. I might need to do another ride on a weekend to see I could go faster under better condition. However the Sensium is quicker and accelerates faster. There was a stretch of straight road when I shifted to the biggest rig and I was like whoa, “That is fast.”
Climbing up the bridge took much less effort than the Raid mountain bike. On the Raid I had to pull myself hard on the handlebar but not much on the Sensium, I was just pedalling, had a few seconds out of the saddle but it didn’t require much upper body. The only thing was, there wasn’t a long stretch of straight road from Fanling to Tai Wo and I didn’t want to worn myself out going all the way to Tai Po and Shatin.
One thing though, my palms got a little sore and tired from resting on the handlebar. I am still very new to the road bike handlebar. I am checking it if it’s my positioning, bad posture, or bad fit. The bike shop guy, Maxis, said that because it is an XS frame and I am actually more of S/M size I should get a longer stem. I told him I will try it out first before shelling another HK$330 for a 110mm stem instead of the 90mm one installed now.
I am also wondering if the handlebar is too narrow for me.
I will keep this updated.