I take a lot of heat from friends for having a pink bike. The guy who sold it to me kept swearing up in down that it's magenta, not pink. I told him "Whatever, man. It's pink, but I don't care." Amanda (Boomboom) and another girl from work tied a bunch of pink ribbons on it one day when I rode it in, so that was kind of nice of them.yeah I hear ya. My Bianchi is getting ridden a bit but she's a total pig right now. I guess my neighbor is doing bike maintenance, so since I haven't had time to do it myself I might bring it over to him and see what he can do. You should get out and ride that thing even if it is pink!!
Funny you should ask. The women's team bike actually had pink flames. One of the other guys at the shop I bought mine at had one because he liked it better than the men's paint scheme.I hear ya, mine is that bright Bianchi green, er I mean Celeste!!! It's grown on me though. Does Giant have an alternate color for it like "magenta flame" or something. That way when they say "you ride a pink bike" you can say "no it's magenta flame"
They should have put on one of those figurine horns, maybe a flamingo!
12-25 is a pretty solid hill set up, I think the next possible would be 13-27 which really doesn't give you much. Si I think your close to maxed. Hills are such a specific thing. I'm king of the mountains when I ride by myself but I get with a group forget about it. You have to find your rhythm. As for the wheels hmmm if it's the older Dura Ace wheels they have a specific spoke pattern which you actually benefit with the Bontrager's. I think they are pretty comparable from what I remember. The tires are like buying motorcycle tires. As Joe has said, the Conti's are sweet but when your paying 30 or 40 bucks for a bicycle tire. Another important often overlooked piece, SEAT. It's a lot of testing but if you can get some help from the local bike shop you'll find one that you like. I use Fizik saddles with carbon rails and a carbon seat post. I've got Carbon bars, my frame is Aluminum with carbon seat stays and carbon fork.
Thanks for all the info. I've really had no problems with my current saddle, but maybe I'll look into some others. Maybe I just don't realize that it sucks or something. I'm really not sure what all the numbering for the gearing means or what it's supposed to mean to me, to be honest. Any way to give me a quick run-down?I second what Lance has said, and have a few things to add. The 53/39 is a pretty standard crank. Things are moving into compact cranksets (50/34) and that is what I have. That gives you more in the climbing end. 12-25 is also pretty standard. They make an 11-28 now, which would give you better leverage for uphills, and more speed in your 53-11 (vs. 53-12). As far as being good for climbs, your legs will tell you.
The Bontrager wheels are not stock for Giant. They're owned by Trek, so you'll find them on Trek, Gary Fisher, Litespeed (I think) and Klein. They're pretty expensive too, about $320 (MSRP) each. Aero wheels are heavy because of the shape, but you're supposed to gain some better aerodynamics from them. The Bontrager are about 1775g for the set. To put that into perspective, my Mavic wheels on my new Scott are 1550g for the set. About the same price but non-aero. The Dura-Ace wheels that came on it were probably about the same price, but non-aero.
The tires are OK, but I've never been a fan. The GP 4000s that I get are around $60 per tire, but worth it IMO.
As Lance said, SADDLE. That is the most important feature on your bike, and one of the few things you NEED to buy retail. The reason is because many have trial periods (make sure you check on this, do not get a saddle without a trial period). You need to try new saddles until you come across the "right" one. Keep in min, however, that it needs to be firm and needs to support your sit-bones. If the boys or the pee-pee go numb, it's not the right saddle (make sure it's level and only make minor adjustments). Your sit-bones will probably be sore the first few weeks, that's normal. Expect to pay anywhere from $100 - $200 for a good saddle.
Get padded shorts. The road-bike lycra kind. You'll look like a dork.
Finally, just ride.
Ah...well then my seat stay is carbon also. Almost everything on the bike is.I'm pretty sure although not positive that with the compact crankset is a new front derailleur since there is such a big drop. Everything else would just swap out though. You may need to chop a couple links from the chain. I've actually thought of switching myself, I don't know though.
Seat stays are the part that goes from the center of the rear wheel to just under the seat. Supposedly carbon helps absorb the shock through those. Chainstays are the center of the wheel to the crank (bottom bracket).