Sirrus offers performance without pomp |

Sirrus offers performance without pomp

Jordan Curet/The Aspen Times
ALL | The Aspen Times

I believe in function over fashion.That means wearing hats with earflaps, covering my nose with zinc oxide and taping up glasses that are broken – just some of the many things that make my nieces and nephews say, “Uncle Charlie, you’re sooooo weird.”

I feel the same way about bikes.I love to go fast and ride far, but I’m not a racer. I don’t go for the hunched-over handlebars, toe clips with special shoes, and I just can’t understand the sponsor-shirted, Lycra-wrapped, gearhead attitude – “Hold your line!”Whatever, dude.Enter the Specialized Sirrus, a nerdy step down from the racing world and a commuter bike that performs without all of the pomp.

I bought the bike new last year for $500 (it’s a 2005) and hadn’t ridden it much since I moved to Aspen in August. But since surviving last month’s Ride for the Pass I’ve been putting my Sirrus through her paces up to the Maroon Bells and to Ashcroft, and I’m loving it.Marketed as a city commuter bike, the Sirrus has standup handlebars, and though a friend of mine called the Shimano front and rear derailleurs “average,” the bike is light, shifts through the gears easy-peezy, and it rides smooth because of the thin racing tires.A bone-jangling ride along the Rio Grande Trail between Aspen and Woody Creek and another up the dirt road to Lenado proved what most online reviewers say: The Sirrus is best on smooth pavement. So I keep the bike on the road exclusively and save the dirt tracks for my mountain bike.

I’ve secured a lightweight rack and panniers over the rear wheel of my Sirrus and can pack warm clothes or a lunch, no problem.And I plan to add a front rack and take this bike for a long tour someday. I make no bones about the Pee Wee Herman flashing red safety light on the back, and I know that my wheezing figure in cargo pants and circa-1987 oversized helmet doesn’t turn any heads, but I do take some satisfaction when I ratchet past a Lycra-man on a designer racer.”Hold your line, dude,” I say with a smile.

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