I bought a new bike about a month ago – a full carbon Moda Interval!!!
My previous bike was a Scott Expert, aluminium frame, Shimano Sora group set. Bought it 10 years ago and the frame was cracked where it joins the seat post. It had travelled with me to Dubai and holidayed with me in Spain but I think it is gently giving up the ghost and needs a rest. (In fact the bike club in Dubai was one of the best things I did there.) It was fine for regular bike rides but I thought that if I am to enter a 1/2 Ironman distance event I want to be as comfortable as possible and, importantly, do it as fast as possible.
I’d been thinking about a new bike for some time. I’d also looked at the Ribble Sportive Bianco which is highly customisable and the Kuota Kharma. Both seem pretty good but I settled for the Moda Interval.
It’s noticeably lighter and stiffer, and pedalling up the hills in the Peak District – you can’t get away from them – is so much less of a trauma! (I was going to say ‘easier’ but it’s never easy.) It’s also so responsive. Whenever I’d read the word ‘responsive’ in bike reviews I’d never really understood what it meant, but now I know. I change gear or get out of the saddle and put my foot down and it races off. It would leave me behind if I wasn’t attached to it!
The Interval has a SRAM group set, a mixture of Apex and Rival, which is interesting in as much that there is only one lever to push to change both up AND down gear – it’s just a matter of how far you push it. One tap and it disengages the gear to higher, or down the cogs, and push further / harder takes you lower, or up the cogs. You know what I mean. It took me a couple of rides to stop trying to find the Sora thumb button to change down a gear but I like it. It reminds me of mountain bike gears in as much that one push of the gear lever can change you several gears in one step.
They’re also handbuilt in the UK. Not only that but in Derby, close to where I live in Derbyshire (excellent!) and where I work in Derby. Well, I never!
I was hoping it would give me wings and an extra 1-2 mph faster on average and it appears to have done just that.
The thing is I rarely do the same ride twice and given the hills around here a 15mph ride for me is good. For example on a 2 hour ride I might climb 500m and a 4 hour, 90km ride I did last weekend I climbed 1,200m. I think that’s quite a lot and considerably more than the event I’m looking at entering in September (I still have to take the leap and enter it!).
So, one route I have done a few times is the ride to work and back, and I did it again this week, 40kms each way. And guess what …? I beat my time to work by 10 minutes, and my time back by 15 minutes! Yeah!!! Woooo hooooo! This is about 2.5-3.5 mph faster than before. I was really quite chuffed, did an endo on arrival back home and gave myself a pat on the back.
The only thing I need to do now is improve my fitness!
By Robin Eyre