Sunday, July 05, 2009

Not Going Solo

My tri team is made up with the most un-helpful people you'd ever want to meet.*

I am still shopping for a shiny new bicycle. I have pretty much accepted that I will get a road bike rather than a tri-bike. We do a lot of hill rides, and unless you're a really strong cyclist, a tri-bike isn't going to be great at climbing. It has been suggested (over, and over, and over) that since I already have a road bike, I should get a tri-bike for races and keep my current bike for doing hills. Here's the problem: I DO NOT OWN A GOOD ROAD BIKE. It is made out of Uranium and molasses. It is big and heavy, and I may not be a speed demon but I have outgrown the bike. I want (deserve?) something decent.

Here's where my well-intentioned-but-delusional tri team comes in. I have been told - repeatedly by several people - "Oh, just get a Soloist, it can be a tri bike or a road bike." Here is their logic, and I swear they actually say this with a straight face: "You could buy a $3000 tri bike for races and another $3000 road bike for hills, or you could just spend $5000 on a Soloist. So you're SAVING money!" This makes sense to them; I'm saving money by spending $5000 on a bike. Funny thing, the sales guy at Triathlon Lab told me the same thing. Yeah, I bet he would love to have the commission on a Soloist. Suck it up, Joe Isuzu... ain't gonna happen.

I tested a few bikes today. Tried the Specialized Roubaix, and although anything and everything from France is spectacular, I don't like the name and I didn't like the way it rode. I also tried the Specialized Tarmac. A MUCH better bike, but also more expensive. Rode the Look 566 Origin. Again, pretty good. The Trek Madone 5.2 was by far the smoothest bike I rode, but like the Tarmac was a little out of price range. But the one bike that I keep thinking about is the Felt F4 SL. I don't have the vocabulary to explain the pros and cons of the bikes, but I just liked it, ya know?

There is a wildcard at play as well... The Kuota Kharma. It's about $1000 cheaper than the Felt, has great reviews, and I think it looks really cool. Kuota is a smaller name so it's harder to find physical stores that carry them, but if I can get my hands on one to test I might be ready to buy.

* In the interest of full-disclosure, once I explain to my Soloist-loving teammates that they're a few teeth short of a sprocket, they often offer more realistic advice.


Blogger Molly said...

LOL! Bike shopping is such a PITA sometimes, I swear. Our friends and family all seem to have Orbeas - dunno why but it's what worked for all of us.

Your Uranium and molasses comment reminded me of this video ("It's like riding a fucking anvil!"):

6:46 AM  
OpenID tryphoon said...

You are totally right about the Roubaix part. The name and the town are both ugly (I know what I am talking about, I lived close to there when I was a kid)! That alone should be a reason to NOT buy that bike!

11:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"un-helpful?" Come on!! Did I not tell you to visit Velo Pasadena - the FELT Dealer? And did I not recommend checking out the Kuota?

And, I only tried to talk you into buying a trik bike for like an hour! unhelpfull indeed!

geez... ;)


2:50 PM  

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