Monday, April 25, 2011

Check Out My New Ride

Mine's a darker silver color, but otherwise looks the same. 58cm frame actually fit me without putting my seat post super high above the handlebars. And it didn't break the bank either. Looking forward to some weekend rides. (Although I guess to be a biker I'm going to have to learn to ride mid-week as well...)

I should also give a shout-out to Tip Top Bike Shop who found me a bike that fits and were generally awesome. And despite not having a bike that worked for me in the end, Montano Velo was also fantastic. I love finding great local shops!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

I Will Not Be Buying a Bike on Craigslist (And I Blame My Parents:) )

I've decided that I want to take up cycling and maybe do some more triathlons, so I'm in the market for a road bike. My 15 (+?) year old Trek mountain bike just isn't going to cut it on anything longer than a sprint tri.

I went to the bike shop down the street awhile ago where the guy who helped me told me I couldn't spend less than $1000 and told me he would pull a bike down for me without ever measuring me. I left.

After much Yelp searching, I decided to head to a bike shop called Montano Velo a couple of miles away. Yelp was right. The guy who helped me at this shop was phenomenal. He explained the pros and cons of triathlon bikes versus long ride bikes (one is steel and one is aluminum; I can't remember which), recommended the cheaper one, and proceeded to take my measurements to fit me.

Guess what? As if this would be a surprise to anyone, I am rather oddly proportioned. I flummoxed this man, as my leg measurements put me at a 61 cm frame, while my torso measurements put me at a 55 cm frame. This means that in order to get a bike that properly fits my legs, I would be overextended toward the handlebars.

The salesman pulled down two frames for me to see what he could do. After determining that one of the Bianchi's (61 cm) just might work, he actually put it on a trainer and then replaced the handlebar stem with a shorter one to see if it would work for me. Turns out it will do, although the handling of the bike becomes a bit more touchy, because the handlebars aren't really out as far over the front wheel as they should be. In addition I will be overextended on aerobars. He said that to get a bike to truly fit me, I would likely need to have one custom built.

At any rate he decided that the bike fit me well enough that I should go out for a test ride. About half way up the hill, I realized I had no idea how to shift a road bike. I found some triggers that did the trick, but turns out they only go one direction. After getting myself cross-chained, Matt and I stopped for awhile and examined the bike and tried to do some internet research to try to figure out how in the world to shift the other way. I was loathe to go back to the shop and admit that I had no idea how to use this bike and that I had gotten the chain crossed, but when we finally did, the salesman was so nice about it. (Who knew you would push the brake lever sideways to shift? That just seems ridiculous.)

We went out for awhile longer and I really enjoyed the bike. So much easier to ride than the Trek! I could get up hills and felt like my legs provided more power.

On a secondary note, the salesman also told me that aside from needing a custom built bike, I was actually built to be a cyclist. Apparently having really long legs and a relatively low weight is an ideal situation. So now I have something to live up to. Great.

Anyway, back at the shop, the guy actually recommended I not buy the bike, but recommended some other shops and brands I should try out before deciding on a bike. He told me to come back anytime, and we could even take the Bianchi out for half a day for a test ride. So amazing! I really want to buy his bike because he's so awesome (and it's only $600!).

Anyway I was too lazy and depressed about my foot today to hit up any of the other bike shops, but I have a feeling I will have to buy a bike at one rather than going for Craiglist. Apparently some of the frames will be better suited to accommodate my weird proportions, and I probably need a bike guru to help me figure that out.

So the quest continues. I figure I have about a month if I actually join TNT for the summer season. Maybe next weekend.