cycling · fitness · gear

Catherine gets acquainted with her new e-bike

With some relationships, you just swan dive in– no hesitation, no second-guessing, no shilly-shallying about. Other relationships, however, take time to develop. They require nurturing and cultivating in order to blossom.

Yes, I’m talking about my new Lemond Prolog e-bike and me. Oh, we both came into it with the highest of hopes– meeting in the Lemond factory on a hot sunny day in eastern Tennessee. Honestly, after taking the first tight corner with it, smoothly as silk, I was in love. We set out together back to Boston, with me driving and it resting in the back the whole way.

Once we got home and settled into the routine life of a woman and her new bike, I started to notice things. Of course I switched out the saddle for one I prefer, but the fit wasn’t exactly what I was used to. The Lemond Prolog is a flat-bar bike, with a monocoque one-piece handlebar and stem, which means it can’t be adjusted. I did get the wide wide handlebars cut at the factory, but they need to be much more narrow. After riding it a few times, it was also clear I need new grips with bar ends to offer more options for hand placement (I’m more used to the downturned handlebars of a road bike).

The bike with my saddle, new bottle cage, built-in fenders and lights, and too-wide handlebars. But it’s a beauty.

So far I’ve ridden it on the road, varied off-road paths of packed dirt, some muddy leafy sections in the woods and a teeny bit of twisty but smooth flat singletrack. Sarah was my companion for a lovely fall ride when I was visiting Ontario recently.

There’s a network of lovely paths that go by the rivers in Guelph and into some woodsy areas. My Lemond and I enjoyed trying them out, guided by Sarah and her trusty gravel bike.

I’m remembering how much I enjoy riding off-road; even gentle off-road paths are kind of thrilling for me, I admit. And the Lemond is definitely up for it. The carbon frame is strong and feels very responsive. I may get gravel tires for fall/winter riding, which is another option.

Two things I experimented with that I need to learn a lot more about:

  • which level of assist makes sense for me on different kinds of terrain;
  • how the battery will do on different rides with different speeds and assist levels.

There are three levels of assist (plus a no-assist option) with the Lemond. I’ve mainly played around with the first level of assist, but I haven’t taken on more demanding terrain yet. I’ve also not taken any very long rides, so battery power hasn’t been an issue yet. I bought a battery range extender that plugs into the bike and sits in a bottle cage (very handy-dandy design, by the way), which I expect to use on longer, faster and/or more demanding terrain rides. So I’m fully equipped, and the Lemond is ready to go with me as far as I can take it.

Will we be speedy? Will we ride long? Will we ride hard? Yes, to all of these. But when and how– I’ll be finding this out over the next months.

For now, we’re taking it slow. I’m enjoying the process of just getting to know each other. For the future– que sera, sera..

Hey readers– any of you taken on an e-bike recently? Or not recently? How have you settled on speed, duration, distance, etc.? I’d love to know how things went for you.