Since T and I have been doing a few tris this year, I've been curious about
1) if my bike fits me well
2) if a newer bike would help me out on the dreaded bike portion of the tri (definitely my weakest link).
So I asked some questions of a coworker who I know bikes a lot but he said he wasn't really up on the newest technology. So he referred me to a friend of his that owns a bike shop. Amazingly it's just down the street from where I get my hair cut. Granted that's still a considerable distance from my house, but it's worth checking out.
I went in there yesterday to take a look at some new bikes. Brought my current bike (maybe 10 yrs old?) with me so he could take a look. Okay, I had been looking online at some bikes, but still the prices are just amazing on these things. And I'm looking lower end of the spectrum. There are bikes way beyond $6-7k. Seriously, people buy these things?
So the guy looks at my bike, determines that my bike probably fits me okay, and we talk about what my gains might be on a new ride. After he has me stand astride a few bikes, he determines that I have 'really short legs' for my height and grabs two tiny bikes (48cm) for me to try out. One is a Cannondale and one a Specialized. He sets them up for me and throws all 3 bikes, one at a time of course, on the scale to compare weights. Yeah, I'm toting around about 5 extra pounds compared to a new bike, with the Cannondale being the lightest of the three. That's about 20% more weight than I need to be hauling. Damn. No wonder I'm so slow. Hahahahahahaha!
The guy at the shop, Ric, tries to explain the difference between the two bikes to me, and makes it simple. I think he could tell that I'm mechanically challenged and don't know squat about gearing, brands of components, materials, etc. He uses a car analogy. So both bikes are around 400 hp, the Cannondale is a Corvette and the Speciaized is a Caddy. So, a little whippier on the Cannondale, maybe better handling, but a more comfortable ride on the Specialized. I take both out for a spin and can actually feel a difference between the two bikes. Power of suggestion? Maybe. I'm enamoured with the Cannondale, but not quite ready to drop that kind of cash on an activity that I'm not all that thrilled with. I only ride because I have to...it's an inherent part of the 'tri'.
But with a new ride would I enjoy it more? T says "NO". She got a new ride, I think last year, and says it hasn't enhanced her enjoyment, or decreased her dislike may be a better phrase, of the bike section. A guy at the dog park where I take Bam said a new bike definitely made him enjoy riding again. Bah, what's one to do? The decision may be made for me as I might just be too cheap to spend the dough. The saga shall continue.