Gordon King, Co-founder

Members & Machines on December 27th, 2011 Comments Off

Member Profile

Gordon King

Born – Honolulu, Hawaii.  Army brat – raised in Central and Western Colorado, Eastern and Western Virginia, Western North Carolina, North Mississippi and North Alabama.

Education – Masters Degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Alabama.

Occupation – Systems Engineering in Simulation and Training, Central Florida.

Riding – a USCF Masters and CAT5 road racer – need more points! Transitioned from solely mountain (all terrain) biking circa 2003 to road – have not returned to the woods much since!  Typically log 4,000+ miles per year in training.   Notable past races include Orlando/Avalon Festivals of Speed, Buttar summer Crit series, Buttar ITT series.  Typically shoot for 4 or 5 century rides a year.

Machine (1)

roubaix-resized

2007 Specialized Roubaix Expert – Rival Gruppo, compact crank, Look Keo carbon ti pedals, 11-25 cassette, Mavic Ksyrium wheels, Vredestein Fortezza Tri-comp tires, Fizik Arione saddle, wireless Polar CS200 HR + cadence computer, Specialized BG Pro shoes

Likes:

SRAM Rival Gruppo is superb – within 80 grams of a Dura Ace group.  I transitions back and forth between SRAM and Shimano bikes and it is amazingly effortless.  SRAM shifting seems a bit more “mechanical” than Shimano but the results are fluid.

Frame is bulletproof – Specialized makes a great product.  Very little frame flex under heavy power output, however good vertical compliance.  This bike absolutely CAN race crits – it is very nimble, neutral in corners to allow cutting inside just fine.  A great all-around bike.

Not-so-likes:

Even after thousands of miles, the Keos can be difficult to clip into.  Contrast that to previous singled-sided pedals I’ve owned such as A5.1s which were a snap, literally.

Polar is finicky – seems to prefer to pick up readings that are less than average pace, but slow to acknowledge upticks! (am I paranoid?).  Cadence and speed sensors must be VERY close to magnets (like 1mm!).  So washing the bike or transporting requires a re-check of tolerances before mounting up.

On the fence on the Ksyrium ES wheels – very light weight, good bearings, look terrific.  However at high speeds a bit draggy due to egg beater effect of those giant surface area “aero” spokes.  Great for climbing, but adds parasitic drag at high speeds compared to my AC 420s on my other machine.

Machine (2)

motobecane-resized

2007 Motobecane Le Champion Superlight – Shimano Ultegra gruppo, FSA SLK carbon compact crank, 11-23 cassette, Look Keo carbon ti pedals, Fizik Arione saddle, FSA carbon seatpost, Profile Design Ironman carbon clip-on aero bars, American Classic 420 wheels, Vredestein Fortezza Tri-comp tires, wireless Polar CS200 HR + cadence computer

Likes:

Surprisingly supple ride with just carbon forks and seat post.  Sprints like a demon – no frame flex every watt headed for the pavement.  Superb low-friction stock drivetrain.  AC420s bulletproof have not trued them in 4000+miles on the bike.

Good racing geometry – have used the bike in many crits – nice short cockpit, and very neutral in turns.   Also very flexible geometry – with a saddle like the Arione with a giant range of fore/aft saddle positions – a great ITT platform too.

Not-so-likes:

Frame tig welds are not very high quality – but hey this is not a high $ bike.  AC420s do exhibit some lateral flex under high power especially out of saddle – you can sometimes flex the wheel into brake pads under load.  However, a good tightening/trueing might nip this characteristic – it’s on my list of things to do!

Comments are closed.