It’s not very often that I’ve got a bike to test, just adjust the saddle/stem, ride it for 4 hours and and totally enjoy a comfortable ride. That says a lot about the Lapierre S-Lite 500 I rode around the South end of the Lake yesterday. The more I rode the bike, the more I liked it. For the S-Lite series, Lapierre has “tube forms that offer more comfort, with 25% more vertical flexibility in the rear triangle for better absorbtion of vibrations.” That means it’s a vertically compliant frame that flexes enough to smooth out the ride. As I wrote in my initial review of the bike, it’s for a century like Seattle to Portland. That flex also transmits road vibration so it doesn’t feel dull and carves very well. Consquently, without all the stiffness, it’s not the fastest climbing or sprinting bike. You’ll need to wind it up towards the finish line and use that triple to get over the big climbs.
Man, I don’t follow the custom/chopper bike scene very much so I may be out of touch, but this thing is scuplture! Amazingly, you can even ride it (here’s proof). More photos and construction details here. You gotta take a look, the design process and details are great to see. For example: it’s a single, drive side chain/seat stay.
Having been arrested and prosecuted for a car/bike road rage incident, I try my best to just ride away from a-hole drivers, but yesterday when a motorist drove his car onto the bike path in front of me, I decided that was “over the f’ing top” and gave his Lexus a Love Tap. A Love Tap is a gentle reminder to a car that you’re nearby, that they’re in your lane, or have rolled past a stoplight into your path. Dude wigged out when he heard the tap on his trunk and I was all, “seriously dude you’re on the bike path with your car.” I rode away and he parked his car. Never saw him again.
It’d been a while since an altercation and the last incident was in Maui where ironically a hippie-driven, bio-diesel, end-the-Iraq-war-stickered Mercedes tried to run me off the road. I’d never yelled at a hippie before, but this went down harsh and could’ve ended badly, if I’d not backed off, and that was a straight-up defensive-protective measure. I later concluded it was karma for me flipping off this Mercedes the year before.
Tip: a good Love Tap technique is to pop a breakaway mirror. That’ll get their attention and not do any damage.
What’s your Love Tap story or worst incident with a car?
It was tough for me even to mount a bike with a triple drivetrain, but we’ve got a Lapierre S-Lite 500 and that’s what it ships with. I figured, I’ve been running a 25 cassette for a while and finally put a 26 on my bike with SRAM, I’ll try it. That doesn’t mean I’m like those dudes palling around on bikes in the Flomax commercials, even though I’m a Masters Racer that’s closer to middle age than I’d like to think about.