Spring upgrades for the road bike

A large part of my life revolves around bicycles. Bikes serve as a form of transportation to work, a vehicle for exercise, an excuse to get outside, a way to spend time with others… there are countless reasons to ride a bike. Which is why I have many bikes. Which is why I recently performed some maintenance on “The Madone.”

In 2005, I purchased a Trek Madone 5.2. It was an investment in the commitment to cycling. Before this bike, I rode an older steel-frame Schwinn. The Schwinn was (and still is) a great bike, but it was time to upgrade and invest in a vehicle designed for longer rides to distant destinations.

There is no way of estimating how many miles are on The Madone. “Countless” seems to be the only word that fits. Every year, the bike needs a new set of tires. Every other year, it needs a new chain. This year, it also needed a new chain ring for the crankset; the original crank simply wore out from use.

It also received a new rear cassette, an 11-28, one that provides a greater range in gearing. You change one part on a bike like this, and it alters the entire ride experience.

With a new chain ring, new chain, and new cassette, the bike is set to go for another decade, with added emphasis on the concept of “countless”.


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