Sedona Update: May 2021

It has been a while since I’ve went on a nice, long ride with the 2016 Giant Sedona. In fact, the last longest (5.8 miles) ride was back in February.

Before my ride, I made some upgrades to the Sedona.

In the previous (February) Sedona update, I just installed a new Continental DoubleFighter III tire on the rear wheel to replace the previous damaged Schwalbe Marathon.

Since, a lot has changed. I installed a new frame-mounted mini-pump to replace another mini-pump I misplaced. The old mini-pump eventually showed up, but this newer Blackburn/Bell pump works much better and actually works on Schrader and Presta valves.

I had the Sedona in for its annual professional inspection and tune-up. A new chain and set of brake pads were installed, but unfortunately not much could be done to fix the damaged crankset. While the bend was able to be bent back (roughly) into shape, it is still missing a tooth. Thanks to the effects on the bicycle (and other) industry caused by COVID-19, it may be months to a year before I can get my hands on a new crankset.

Not much long after, the Conti tire was damaged beyond repair. Some piece of road junk slashed a gash into the tire – which was too big to patch or boot. I had to go to Walmart and purchase a new tire, which was much skinnier than the other tires at 26×1.75″. (Because even tires and tubes are hard to come by in the era of COVID.)

Irreparable damage to the first Continental DoubleFighter III tire.

I also purchased a new light set for the Sedona, after the other light set started having issues. Instead of going all out, I ended up buying another cheap light kit from Wally World. However, instead of throwing my money away again on “toolless” or “strap-on” lights, I purchased a pair that mount to the bike using actual hardware. While that light set works fine, it is much dimmer and uses CR2032 batteries instead of traditional AA batteries.

Lastly, I purchased a bike rack. Since the Sedona won’t fit in the trunk or back seat of my Buick, I purchased a basic trunk bike rack to allow me to transport my bike without having to borrow my dad’s pickup.

The Sedona on the new bike rack.

The light set brings us to the modern day…

New Upgrades

The first new upgrade is tires. I was going to wait a while before upgrading the tires, but the old Schwalbe Marathon I have installed on the rear (which happened to be the very first Marathon tire I purchased back in November 2019) has seen better days. It had a hole in the sidewall and was beginning to look well-worn.

Because of the aforementioned COVID parts shortage, tire selection was very limited. Prices on some tires – the Schwalbe Marathon included – have gone up. However, other tires have held steady on prices – at least when they’re available.

One such tire was our old friend, the Continental DoubleFighter III. While I was reluctant to purchase two new Conti DoubleFighter III tires due to my previous experience, I did it anyway.

My previous experience with the DoubleFighter tire made me hesitant to buy a new pair, but I did anyways.

Continental makes a good tire, and my time with the previous Conti tire was cut short with an unfortunate chance encounter with a piece of road debris. Judging the tire based on that experience may be unfair. 

Otherwise, the DoubleFighter is a good tire that works well on many different surfaces. (More on that later.) The tire has a really good feel to it, handles well, and actually looks really clean on the bike. The DoubleFighter tire has nearly the perfect amount of knobiness to it.

The other upgrade to the Sedona was in storage. Removing the rear basket on the Sedona has made the bike much lighter, easier to work with, and better to ride. However, the rear basket provided me with storage space for things like a spare inner tube, patch kit, tools, etc.

$15 at Walmart later solved that problem. I picked up a Zéfal-branded bike bag that straps to the top tube and seat tube. The bag is big enough for a couple tools, tape, my patch kit, and a spare tube.

The Ride

To put the new tires through their paces, I decided to go on a nice, long journey on some local biking trails.

The Sedona, before the ride.

Since it has been a wet spring, the window for going out on rides has been limited. I chose to go out the day after mounting the tires – a cool, damp, gloomy Friday afternoon. The temperatures peaked at 55 degrees and there was the occasional sprinkle.

After gearing up the Sedona at the trailhead, I set out on the Greenway Trail in Jefferson City. I frequented the trail last summer, as it is an easy way to travel through town and rack up miles. The trail is pretty flat and has some scenic parts.

About half a mile into my ride, it started to sprinkle. I had thoughts to turn back around and wait for another day, but I decided to continue (with fingers crossed I don’t get caught in a sudden downpour) after seeing others using the trail.

Despite the gloomy and cool/damp weather, I still put miles on the Sedona.

The beauty of the Greenway Trail is that it connects to the Katy Trail. The Greenway Trail continues across the U.S. 54 Missouri River bridge, through Cedar City, and on to the North Jefferson trailhead on the Katy Trail. It takes some time to get to the Katy Trail, but it is worth it if you want to do more rural trail riding.

This is actually the first time I’ve been on the Katy Trail since my days in middle school, when I rode the trail almost daily during the summers. The Katy Trail ran right through my hometown of Boonville, allowing for easy access. Unfortunately, now I have to drive to a trailhead instead of having the convenience to ride directly to the trail.

After riding a couple miles on the Katy Trail, I decided I had enough of the gloomy weather and started the trek back to my car. On my way back, I was exhausted and started to slow down. Thankfully, I made it back to my car just in time.

The North Jefferson trailhead on the Katy Trail.

The Sedona ran well except for the occasional gear slippage that has become common. The new Conti tires held up well to the pavement and trails. The fresh mud from yesterday’s rain put them through their paces.

According to Strava, I rode 21.16 miles on the Sedona – making it my longest bike ride to date. My average speed was 8.4 miles per hour, which was impacted by being exhausted on the ride back to my car – as well as riding against the wind throughout some parts of the ride.

My goal is to log 100 miles by July 1, which shouldn’t be too difficult with the Greenway trail. The Greenway trail itself typically yields about 10 miles round-trip. Crossing the bridge and going to the Katy Trail trailhead yields another 5 miles round-trip.

This post written on the 1991 Macintosh Classic using Microsoft Word 4.0.