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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    2

    Specialized Ariel?

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    So, I am new to biking, but with this early spring we are having here in Michigan I cannot wait to get out and start. I have visited several LBS's but not quite sure what I am exactly looking for. I want a bike that is versatile, that can do a little bit of everything. I may be going a sprint tri this summer...nothing too serious, just a goal to work towards. Anyway, I think I have decided on a Specialized Ariel (WSD) or the Cross tour. Any thoughts on these bikes? Anyone have one or any advice?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    4

    What did you decide?

    Hi there,
    I am also new too cycling and recently tested the Ariel. Did you decide to get that one? If so, how is it working out for you?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Okla-HOME-uh
    Posts
    6
    Hey bcandy,

    I'm not the original poster but...I've had my Ariel for almost a month now. :-) I ride about 4 times a week--3x on dirt/rock and once on pavement. It's been a great bike for me. It had been 10 years since I had ridden and I didn't have any problems. Do you need a bike that can run on both?

    Michelle in OK

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    4
    I was hoping for something that I could ride around the city paved bike paths but also take on packed dirt trails in the surrounding area. It sounds like this might be a good choice. Are there any downsides to the ariel? Did the handlebar grips bother you at all? Did you change them out?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Okla-HOME-uh
    Posts
    6
    The Ariel should handle both surfaces easily. I haven't changed anything...she is as she was made. The grips don't bother me, though I don't have anything to compare it to. :-) I was getting a little numbness in my pinkies at first, but once I got over my initial nervousness and stopped SQUEEZING, that went away.

    The only downside I have found is that the gearing is low enough that I can't pedal fast enough on a down-hill...my husband zoomed past me, yelled, "keep pedaling!"...and I had to yell back "there's no resistance!" LOL On the other hand, the gearing is low enough that I can get UP _any_ hill around. (My husband joked that I could probably climb a wall with that gearing.) I don't know how to classify hills as far as categories or grades or anything, so I can't tell you what kind is too steep to keep pedaling down...but his bike computer said we were going somewhere around 35mph, if that helps at all.

    Michelle in OK

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Scotland!
    Posts
    66
    I nearly bought the specialized ariel. I found out, though, that there are two versions of the bike - the cheap one and the expensive one, and the cheap one which I would have got, had front suspension but it was unable to be locked out.

    I figured it would be useful to have suspension that could lock out/be adjusted so I looked elsewhere

    If that doesn't bother you though, I'm sure it would be excellent!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    4
    Quote Originally Posted by Lesley_x View Post
    I nearly bought the specialized ariel. I found out, though, that there are two versions of the bike - the cheap one and the expensive one, and the cheap one which I would have got, had front suspension but it was unable to be locked out.

    I figured it would be useful to have suspension that could lock out/be adjusted so I looked elsewhere

    If that doesn't bother you though, I'm sure it would be excellent!
    Excuse my ignorance since I'm new to biking, but why would you want a front suspension that could be locked out? Also, what bike did you end up with?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Scotland!
    Posts
    66
    Quote Originally Posted by bcandy View Post
    Excuse my ignorance since I'm new to biking, but why would you want a front suspension that could be locked out? Also, what bike did you end up with?
    I'm new to biking as well but I went on advice I received from several bike shops. Supposedly front suspension takes the energy out of your pedalling, so when you're pedalling the work isn't all going to the wheels, some is going into the suspension. This is particularly relevant on uphill stretches, when your energy will be used to compress the suspension.

    It's useful to lock it out on smooth sections of tarmac and uphill to get the most out of your pedalling. Great for bumpy sections of road, but I personally wanted the flexibility of locking it out

    I ended up with a Giant Roam 2 W and so far it's been excellent.
    Last edited by Lesley_x; 06-06-2010 at 03:07 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Boise, Idaho
    Posts
    1,104
    Quote Originally Posted by Lesley_x View Post
    I'm new to biking as well but I went on advice I received from several bike shops. Supposedly front suspension takes the energy out of your pedalling, so when you're pedalling the work isn't all going to the wheels, some is going into the suspension. This is particularly relevant on uphill stretches, when your energy will be used to compress the suspension. .
    No one told me about this when we bought bikes a few years ago, but I sure noticed it! I used to tell DH that the suspension was sucking up all the power!

    I've gone back to my old hybrid for grocery runs and riding with the grandkids, and have a lovely road bike for the really fun rides!

    Karen in Boise

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    4
    Quote Originally Posted by Kano View Post
    No one told me about this when we bought bikes a few years ago, but I sure noticed it! I used to tell DH that the suspension was sucking up all the power!

    I've gone back to my old hybrid for grocery runs and riding with the grandkids, and have a lovely road bike for the really fun rides!

    Karen in Boise
    Interesting. Could you estimate how much it cut down on your power? Wouldn't this depend on how the suspension was adjusted? I would love the input of others on this issue. Since reading your thoughts, I've googled the issue and found that some riders don't bother with lockout even when their bike is equipped with it. Is it worth the additional cost?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    271
    Not only does it use some of your energy input to go up and down instead of forward, it is kind of annoying when you stand up to pound up some nasty little stretch of hill and your forks are bobbing up and down, especially if you are on sealed surface at the time.

    That being said, I rarely, if ever, lock out my fork on either bike (even my urban commuterised hardtail - you never know when you are going to come across a kerb you need to huck) and on the odd occasion I do have the presence of mind to think to lock it out (it would have to be for a decent climb I knew was coming) I almost always forget to unlock it until I am in the middle of some hairy descent and wonder why it seems so ugly!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Boise, Idaho
    Posts
    1,104
    Quote Originally Posted by bcandy View Post
    Interesting. Could you estimate how much it cut down on your power? Wouldn't this depend on how the suspension was adjusted? I would love the input of others on this issue. Since reading your thoughts, I've googled the issue and found that some riders don't bother with lockout even when their bike is equipped with it. Is it worth the additional cost?
    I have no idea how to estimate, but I knew it was happening. I felt like my bike was "squishing" under me rather than responding to the energy I was feeding it. When I was riding up a hill, it felt more like the bike wanted to go into the hill...

    Perhaps different adjustment would make a difference, but my bike with the suspension fork isn't equipped that way...

    Karen in Boise

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Scotland!
    Posts
    66
    Quote Originally Posted by bcandy View Post
    Interesting. Could you estimate how much it cut down on your power? Wouldn't this depend on how the suspension was adjusted? I would love the input of others on this issue. Since reading your thoughts, I've googled the issue and found that some riders don't bother with lockout even when their bike is equipped with it. Is it worth the additional cost?
    I wouldn't say it makes the bike a complete no-no, just a little less versatile. On the bike I bought I can adjust the hardness of the suspension and lock it out. Locking out does make a huge difference to speed and ability to climb hills effectively. It depends whether it is something that bothers you. I spent a little more to allow the bike to last me longer.

    I don't lock the suspension out for every hill, just the ones where it's appropriate and I'm not carrying speed into it, because 90% of the time the roads where I live make suspension a necessity. But I do find it frustrating trying to climb a hill and I feel like all my input is compressing the suspension rather than propelling me up the hill.

    It's interesting that one of the bike shops told me to go for a hybrid with no front suspension! Glad I didn't take that advice now

 

 

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