LaPierre Sensium Wet Terrain Experience

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Once Hong Kong hits spring, it’s unpredictable wet weather time. And it’s summer now so it’s humid and hot with occasional thunderstorm and heavy rain.

I had been wanting to ride the Sensium onto the Tolo Harbour bike trail before the sun goes down and finally I had a chance. I just happened to get a Wednesday off and to I thought to myself, “Yah, finally a day to ride in daylight next to the sea.” However, it started raining. I waited for the rain to stop and started riding.  I found out that riding a road bike with smooth 700×25 tires is a bit tricky on wet terrain if not dangerous especially where I live with bumpy and some broken paths.

I watched GBN’s How To Ride In Rain And Wet Weather and How To Corner In Wet Weather videos (which are very informative and recommended) while I was putting my gears on before I heading out.

I knew that drainage cover/ drain cover, basically all metal with water was going to be very slippery and I tried to avoid them yet I still hit them and I felt my rear tire losing grip them few times but luckily I was able to stay balanced but the real tire did sway side way. It was scary, I didn’t want to crash my brand new carbon frame  bike within three week. I actually ran into the side of the road into the fence when both my tires skidded.

The experience is very different from riding a mountain bike with fat 2 in. wide tires. With a mountain bike I could just roll on anything, small broken tree branches, whatever debris, sand, dirt, trash and of course drain covers. It will be slippery of course but I got my powerful disc brakes and much better grip. Also I am not afraid of hitting things with my aluminum frame. I crashed my aluminum bike a few times and there are only a few paint job scratches as a result.

The worst thing was that I popped a tube. I don’t know what I hit but the the front wheel just lost all the air and I had to walk 25 minutes to the nearest bike shop where they changed my tube for HK$70 (US$9), pretty cheap really but I can get a tube for US$3.

Then I was on my way again to Tolo Harbour. The trail path is so much nicer at Tolo Harbour bike trail. It is horrendous at Fanling with all the pot holes, dirt and mud. My bike was actually quite dirty already. But somehow at Tolo Harbour trail the sun had quickly dried most of the pathway so I could accelerate up to around 30 kmph.

Midway to Shatin,  I started to get hungry and found a restaurant right by the harbour that serves lunch with a mini salad and soup bar. I parked my bike against a tree and because of the wind, it fell. My heart stopped a bit. Ouch. There was a mark with the bike’s pain and there was a very very slight concave mark on my upper tube of the frame. Carbon is fragile. You have to be really careful about where and how you park. I thought it was sturdy, obviously not.

I continued to Fotan and rode back to Fanling.

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The bike was dirty and I found a public toilet to clean it. It actually got everything I needed: water, soap and even a sponge. I used my water bottle to carry the water and took about 15 minutes washing my bike. At the end of the 50 km ride I was totally wet from rain and sweat, a nasty combination.

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I am still getting used to the drop bar and still don’t feel comfortable with it. I tried wearing gloves and it helped, but only a little but I rather not wear gloves because there was just too much moisture. The guy from the bike shop told me to put on a longer stem from 90mm to 110mm. I don’t see how it would and that’s a HK$320 (US$40) worth of part

 

 

 

 

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