Trek Valencia Experience : Ride #10 (of 10)
Ride Type: Moderate commute
Distance: 8.6 miles
This will be my last, formal, “ride experience” review of the Trek Valencia. That said, if you’re in the market for this bicycle have no fear as I’ll continue to include insight on the bike on a regular basis.
Last Monday, I awoke to wet streets and some light drizzle but decided on a “GO” for the commute with the commitment to take my time, ride with caution and keep speeds way down. That worked very well until I was cruising down a hill, doing about 18mph, and made the mistake of moving over to the right in my lane to be give some cars behind me “a little more room”. A raised section of uneven pavement knocked the wheels from under me and sent me and the Valencia flying through the air before crashing into the pavement.
Flying through the air?
The bike has absolutely no scratches on the right side that made contact with the ground. It did not scrape along the pavement – it was airborne – and landed on the right pedal (which was broken).
But enough about the crash…let’s look at some final insights on the Valencia:
- Pedals: The Valencia’s “weakest link”. It’s described as an “alloy pedal” but the center of the pedal is made of plastic while the ends (where the reflectors are attached) are aluminum. The folks at Bike World replaced the pedals with a set of all aluminum pedals that may be slightly heavier but have already noticeably improved my ride – my feet are staying put and I feel like I’m getting more power with each stroke.
- Ride Position: Love it! Nimble enough for fast downhills and flat cruising but upright enough to let you look straight down the road without torquing your upper back or neck.
- Brakes & Wheels: Wet weather handling is quite good between the disc brakes and the wider, 700×32 tires. I’ve been caught on smooth pavement at the beginning of a light rain before on my road bike with 700×23 tires where my every move felt like I was sliding. The choice of the beefier x32 width improves the Valencia’s ability to handle inclement weather.
In conclusion, it’s my opinion that the Valencia delivers a lot of commuter-friendly features at a competitive price point. If you’re in the market for a bike to commute to work, run errands and even go on a cycling tour, I’d give the Valencia a hard look.
Be sure to review my previous entries on the Valencia for more information.