Saturday, October 9, 2010

A Tale of Two Bikes

After my first Try-A-Tri in 2008 I decided that I was hooked on this sport and new that I would have to buy a more suitable bike.  In March of 2009, just before the start of the season I decided to pull the trigger.  On a whim one Saturday I decided to go to my local bike shop and "look".  I explained that I was new to triathlon and needed something other than a mountain bike to train and race on.  I didn't want to spend more than $1,000 and new absolutely nothing.  Given my height (I'm only 5' tall) they had one bike in the store that would fit me.  A black and pink Specialized Dolce.  It was on sale for $850 and they told me it would be perfect for what I was using it for.  If I stayed in the sport, I could look at perhaps getting a tri bike in a couple of years.  I must admit, I was smitten.  It was black and pink!  With flowers!  I paid my money and brought her home.

I didn't spend a great deal of time riding in 2009 but 2010 definately saw a huge increase in my mileage.  Sydney and I had joined the Windsor Triathlon Club and had started going out on WTC group rides.  We were double-dating with our husbands every Sunday and riding.  Our long rides started out at 40k.  Then we did 60k one Sunday.  Then on Canada Day we did our first 100k ride with a local group.  We rode 135k on the Civic Holiday.  And I struggled.  And I fell out of love with my bike.  The fit never felt quite right no matter how many adjustments were made.  All of my height (hahahaha) is in my legs.  My shoulders and upper back ached from reaching for the handlebars.  I couldn't ride in the drops for any legth of time because I couldn't reach the brakes and the Shimana Sora shifters meant that I had to click a lever with my thumb up near the hoods.

Paul, being the research fiend that he is had been reading all he could get his hands on about bikes, and components, and group sets, and fit.  He had also bought an entry level bike and was researching what the next step should be for us.  Near the end of the season we had the opportunity to go on a Cervelo test ride that was being held at a bike shop in Michigan that was about 30 minutes over the border from where we live.  I test rode a Cervelo S3 with Zipp wheels.  Heaven.  I wanted to marry that bike.  It had SRAM Red shifters that worked like butter.  No more heavy clunking of gears to shift from one to another.  The aero road bike design suited my build and frame perfectly.  Unfortunately, the S3 with Zipp wheels would be about $10,000.  A little out of my price range.  Instead, an S2 was in my future. 


She's a 2010 48cm Cervelo S2.  Full carbon (including the handlebars).  Shimano Ultegra groupset.  Fulcrum 5 wheels.  I added carbon fibre aero bars and had the Look pedals that Paul had bought me for my birthday last year (the red matched perfectly!).  I love her.  I big, red, puffy heart her.  The day I picked her up from the bike shop we went on a group ride and I instantly felt like a different rider.  I know that you still need the talent and horsepower to back things up.  I know that an expensive bike doesn't make you a better athlete.  In this case though, this bike just FEELS better.  I'm more comfortable.  The shifting is effortless and I can ride on the hoods, in the drops, or in aero and not feel my shoulders seize up.  I WANT to be on this bike and I've reached speeds on her that I didn't on Dolce.

I got my bike at the end of September and was only able to do a few rides and one race on her.  We have a 100k group ride planned for Monday but unfortunately the cycling season is coming to a close here.  I'll spend some time on the trainer this winter but I'm really looking forward to seeing what next year brings!

And now, I need a name for her.

No comments:

Post a Comment