Where the rubber and my ass meet the roads

I have  just made some part changes on the R002-SS machine in the form of a new set of tyres and a different saddle. When I was putting the together the bike, I had pre-ordered a bunch of parts in anticipation of the build, and tires were on the list of those parts. Being that I had ordered the 23mm width wheels, I wanted  25mm tires to take advantage of the wider rims and increased rubber patch on the road.

Unfortunately, the Continental Ultra Sports I ordered in the 25mm size showed up as 23mm wide tyres. When I had called the vendor to ask what happened, they informed me that the 25mm’s were out of stock and wouldn’t be restocked for at least a month or more. So, I went ahead and begrudgingly kept the 23mm’s.

So, in keeping with my ‘frugal’ nature, I was holding out for a sale or closeout on some decent 25mm tires. Then, last week nashbar was having a sale on Vittoria Zaffiro Pro Slick Tires. I ordered myself up a pair of the 700×25 folding tyres at $14.99 each plus $6.99 shipping, for a very reasonable $36.97 in total!

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Vittoria Zaffiro Pro Slick Specs:

  • WEIGHT:   251g
  • SIZE:             700 x 25
  • TPI:               60
  • BEAD:         Folding

TPI wise, the Vittoria’s come in at 60 threads per inch per tyre and are also, obviously, a bit thinner than the 84 TPI Ultra Sports. With about 459 miles on the R-002/R-022 and the Conti Ultra Sports,  I can attest that they have performed very well. When cornering hard, grip is predictable and very good. Wear is moderate as well. As far as the tire profile is concerned, I was surprised to see that the Vittoria’s are about a 1/16th of an inch taller than the Ultra Sports.

What this means in the way of handling and feel remained to be seen. I have not yet rolled on the new Vittoria’s. I do have confidence in the Vittoria’s to perform as good or even better than the Ultra Sports, and I will put the Vittoria’s to the test for sure.

Another item I had pre-ordered was the saddle and being the cheapskate that I am, I went ahead and purchased a Vader 104 for a measly $8.64 on ebay. It is surprisingly, a very decent saddle. The Chinese made seat is comfortable, looks good and of course, uber cheap! The down side? a whopping 320 grams!  Well, I figured it was time to start seeking out some different and lighter options. Right then, off to my go-to site, ebay once again. I had missed out a few good auctions of some Selle’s and Fizik’s. But did manage to snag a Selle San Marco Spid for $36 bucks with free shipping. It’s used, but barely and looks virtually new. The Spid comes in at 210 grams, a good 110 grams lighter than my nine dollar Vader!

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As far as comfort goes, believe it or not, the Vader just edges out the Selle. Hard to believe, I know. But the Selle is fairly comfortable at that. Since I have a rather fat-free ass…my sit bones need some decent support! Finding a good saddle is one of those trial and error deals that could take a long time…in fact, it could even take one years! A decent seat that is not too heavy will almost surely be a compromise, like everything else on a road bike. You want all out comfort? Okay, then if a 20lb bike doesn’t make recoil in horror…go for it!  While I’m not trying to be completely ‘weight-obsessive’ I do want to keep this bike in the 16 +/- pound range…

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3 thoughts on “Where the rubber and my ass meet the roads

  1. deals are to be had on ebay i scored a nicely broken in brooks b17 for 35$ for my single speed coffee bike , I’m how ever kinda leery of buying saddles i haven’t tried out first before hand, i popped for full retail for my wtb silverado but it felt the best I’ve ever had a saddle felt

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    • No doubt, ebay has been a haven for affordable cycling products! That Brooks sounds like a comfy barka lounger! I wish those comfy saddles were a bit lighter…

      I agree, that shelling out big bucks for a saddle you can’t test out is a crap shoot. I’m still searching for that elusive light, comfortable saddle!

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  2. Pingback: R-002 Tyre Test Summary | The Road to Revelation

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