Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Tale of Two Bikes

On Monday, I went to this bike shop in town that has a great reputation and we know some of the folks that work there: Ajax Bike and Sport. My goal for going there was to pick up a road bike to demo for the day. I have a mountain bike, but don't enjoy mountain biking and wanted to try my hand on a road bike before I purchased. Ajax was also one of the only shops who had a demo bike small enough (i.e. women specific) for me to try.

So I get on the Specialized Ruby Expert, a $3,400 bike. It was a 48 cm frame, which seemed to be what was best for my mini status. I rode it for about an hour and a half and fell in love with road biking. I noticed a little wrist pain and lower back discomfort but attributed that to having never ridden a road bike and needing to get used to the form. I get back to the shop, and the salesman checks me out briefly and agrees that this size bike is good for me. We go through the options, and I settle on a lower version of this bike, a Specialized Dolce Elite. This bike was on sale for $1,100...which I was very pleased with because road bikes are PRICEY.

I take the bike home, very excited, and Jim is very excited at my purchase as well. I schedule an appointment to go back on Wednesday for the bike fitting (road bikes need to be set up right so you don't hurt things), and I decided not to ride it until after the fitting because I also needed to get my clipless pedals from hell put on.

So I get there on Wednesday morning, and the fitting guy gets me up on the trainer on my bike, and the first thing he says is: "you look really tall." Meaning: "I think that frame is too small for you."

So he makes some adjustments, and I go ride around a little, and then he pulls a 51 cm frame bike out and has me ride that a little. The bigger one actually feels a little better, so he puts me on the trainer on it and thinks that its a closer fit. I don't really fit either of them perfectly, but the 51 is closer. At this point, I have been at the shop for like 2.5 hours going back and forth just to determine which frame size is better...and of course the ONLY 51 cm bike left in the whole shop is twice as much as the first I bought.

At this point, we get on the trainer and he's trying to get my angles right, and we can't get there. So we swap the seat out because I liked the other seat better, and that helps a little. Then he decides the handlebar stem needs to be shorter, so he gets that from the smaller bike and puts that on. Finally, after four...yes, FOUR... hours I finally have a bike that's as close to right for me as I can get, at a budget busting price of over $2k too.

Who knew I was like world's most impossible person to fit a bike to...not to mention that now I know I can't ever walk in a shop and just buy a bike. But that's ok because I'll never need to, since this is what I ended up with:

Full carbon frame, Shimano 105 components...the Specialized Ruby Comp.

I am badass on this thing!

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