My bike is a Kuota Kharma, 2010. Got it as a year old model, saved some cash. I loved the look of it, so slapped it up. I knew very little about what I was buying, the parts on it, etc. I heard the word Ultegra so got that.
Now that I’ve put some miles on it, there are some things I don’t like, or rather that I think could be improved.
It came with “Kuota Race” calipers. They work, but they don’t have bite. I have since ridden a couple friends’ bikes with Ultegra calipers and they really stop! So that’s number one, have put in an order to get these calipers!
I’ve got a compact crank. One would think that would help me up the hills…. I also recently got a new cassette, a 28 for the rear. Still tough for some of these climbs to keep up a spin for me! Rumor has it that an SRAM 32 cassette will fit an Ultegra derailleur. Going for this upgrade to check it out!
Turns out that my current Ultegra derailleur is ‘normal’ and I need a longer one, called a GS. That will allow a big cassette in the back without fear of damaging the derailleur due to stupid shifting, which I’m perfectly capable of. So having to get this as well!
Soon to have lots of spare parts.
I’ve been going to see Taku at Alpha Cycles in Kitazawa for help on doing some wrenching. Very nice shop, and the coffee is quite good, made from freshly ground beans! Can’t beat that!
To be honest, I wanted to make this a Super Duper Loop, but was a bit tough going.
I got out a couple of guys I know to head out with me, also met Tim on the river to do a run. Got off to a late start and met a handful of other TCCers going out for another ride. Got off to a reasonable start up Arakawa. Unfortunately Tim was still recovering from illness so turned back near the airport, one friend also dropped off having done a decent run just getting back on the bike after some time off. That left me and Jeff, a guy I go skiing with, to finish the loop.
Well, after Kumagaya, Jeff hung in there till Tonegawa and then decided to find a train station. Tonegawa was slow going, I’m used to getting a nice tail wind to move along, but not today, a mild headwind all the way. Got a little stronger on Edogawa, then turned to being more from the east. I was pretty tired fighting the wind on my own, and instead of extending to Tokyo Bay, I cut it short and returned back to the start point.
I felt mostly all right (a good sign) but started to get a bit of pain in my left calf. Had left knee issues before, experimenting a bit with trying to keep my feet more parallel to the ground. I should probably figure out how I’m supposed to pedal at some point soon!
Following up on the Friday ride, I wanted to keep going with a big ride Sunday. The GS Astuto team looked to get together for some team practice around the rivers. Met up with a couple others including Anthony and Alex and also met Daniel. Eric was leading the charge.
Started out with some drafting practice. Was tough to keep the group together and eventually got strung out. By the time we got to Kumagaya we were down to Eric, Daniel and myself.
Had a great tailwind heading over to the Tonegawa and a mild tailwind going down it. Once over on the Edogawa it all changed, big headwind all the way down it. It was really tough, legs were feeling it quite a lot. I didn’t start the day as fresh as I would have liked.
Still, managed to get down to route 6, over the the arakawa and home. 178km in all. Great 350km+ for the 3 days….
I’m trying to get into shape and condition for some of the longer rides this summer. Went out for a ride with a friend of mine for Tomin no Mori in Okutama. It was a pretty tough climb, I thought, but managed to get all the way up with no stops. I did slow down a couple times when it flattened out to try to eat something. Turns out that is quite difficult, didn’t really get much to eat but managed to suck down a gel pack.
Instead of the normal return back the way we came, we continued up the hill past the Tomin no Mori rest area and up through around Lake Okutama and the long gradual downhill to return back on the Tamagawa.
Great ride, 173km for me, with almost 1900m of climb, which is the most I’ve ever done in a day!