Finding the right bike for you

Recently, I decided it was time for a new bike. I’ve been really uncomfortable on my bike for a while and being a novice, I didn’t know any better. Now, uncomfortable can mean a lot of different things. For me, it was that I was that my balance felt off every time I rode. Whenever I tried to reach for my bottle or clip-in/out I was just off.

My old bike

This is my first road bike. An Orbea Aqua Dama 2012. This was the first round of “women’s specific bikes” from Orbea. A line they have since stopped making. Basically, they put a women’s saddle on a men’s bike. Which sounds ok, but depending on the person can have its issues.

For me, and I only learned this recently, your geometry can be “off”. So, the above bike has a very “aggressive” seating or high seat, low handles. Made for racing. Due to the fact that I have a larger chest where everything was placed I was unbalanced. Even though the size/height was correct the other things (steam length, seat height, reach, etc).

So, I started researching and shopping and riding. I spent 3 weekends going to bike shops, testing bikes, and seeing what worked. Then I narrowed it down to 2 different bikes and compared their geometry to the bike I currently had. I had already been bike shopping for my first bike and knew I had to go in with WAY more knowledge. If I was getting the wrong bike at least it would be my fault this time! Thankfully, I got to work with super knowledgeable folks and women to boot!

Most bikes have this info on their sites

Like I said, I rode a bunch of different bikes, asked a crap ton of questions, and in 1 case even asked about the model up that they had decided not to show me for whatever reason. It came down to a Cannondale Synapse and a Felt FRW5. What it really came down to was enjoyment. I LOVED riding the Cannondale and compared everything else I rode to that. It also didn’t hurt that it had better components and system for a better price!

My new bike

For me, it was which bike did I WANT to keep riding right then. Which one did I not want to get off of! It proved to be the right choice for me! I’ve ridden my bike now more frequently that I rode my old one. It has made me LOVE riding again. I’m not nervous, or unbalance, or afraid I’m going to fall! It is the right bike for me.

Me and my new ride

If you are in the market for some new wheels I highly recommend that you do your research, shop around, and ask lots of questions! In my experience, sometime bike shops (not all) will sell you what they want (or need) to move instead of what is the best for you! However, they can’t do that if you know what is best for you! Good luck!!

Virtually dropped??

So back in like April my husband found this super awesome deal on a Tacx trainer. He couldn’t resist it so I gave in and we now own this pseudo virtual reality trainer.

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My bike all hooked up!

Understand, we are not hardcore triathletes by any means. Typically, I dislike the trainer but I enjoy catching up on movies and stuff when I’m on it. This trainer however, adjusts based on the route so it makes me also pay attention to what I’m actually doing. Can you believe that?! I have to actually try when I’m training on the trainer, this is crap!

Anywho, the other day Jon shows me how to hook all the electronics up on my own. Then he says the most fateful sentence! “Just remember virtual rides aren’t no drop, they will leave you”

WTF? The virtual riders will peace out on me! That is one of the reasons I hate group riding cause someone is always that person that holds the leader back and it tends to be me! SOOO you are telling me that even the damn virtual rider thinks I’m too slow, this is crap!

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Jon’s bike with the computer setup

DISCLAMIER: He is requiring this so I don’t make him look like an ass. He did correct himself later and told me that the virtual riders left him behind so it wasn’t just me. Still, I think this is crap!

0 to 20 or #womens100

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This past weekend I went for a bike ride. This is the first time I’ve gone for a bike ride just for fun and not for some training reason! My friend Karen wanted to do the Rapha women’s 100  which from what I understand was a day to get women out and riding together! Works for me!

Now, I love the idea but I am/was no where near ready for a 100K (64 miles was what they were doing). I agreed to do 20 and thankfully the hubby agree to join me for the out and back. It was great. Karen, Jon, and I rode together and just chatted. We talked about the Tour de France, Ironman, work, Tri Equal, and all kinds of things. And while I wasn’t looking I enjoyed the ride!

We maintained an average speed of 13mph (which a year ago was my race speed) and when we got back to the car it was nice to see that my year off from triathlon was actually paying off. I’ve been focusing on getting stronger and faster instead of a race goal!

So thanks, Rapha for the confidence to get out on my bike more often and for a great 20 miles which will hopefully one day be 100K.

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