It's on...

Ignore the ugly tile (from the previous owner...)
 Sunday night around 3pm I am smiling ear to ear. I come home and can't wipe the stupid grin off my face. I just spent the past 3 hours riding, fitting and debating about which bike to take home with me. It was a tough call, after getting professionally fit on both the Blue Triad SP and the Cannondale Slice 5, as I suspected my body frame fit both just fine. It had to just come down to which one I liked better aesthetically and mechanically. I learned a lot about fitting --you read and get so much advice about how important it is to get fit to the right bike and how it can make such a big difference in your ride performance. I'm now convinced that as long as your body is proportional, most of these TT bikes will fit you fine. The only thing that is important is just finding the right size for you (54, 56..etc). I was reading and hearing so many different opinions on this matter and I think there's a lot of politics involved. Different bike shops, websites etc that try to steer you to or away from certain makes/models. For instance, Blue's are know to have higher front ends and tend to be for people with shorter torso's...Seriously? I couldn't see a difference between that and the Cannondale. I think the bottom line is to ignore everything you read and hear and just go out and ride the bikes. I wasted hours of research looking too deep into this.

Now, if you're pro and you're trying to shave seconds off your bike split, I can see the benefit of finding that PERFECT fitting bike. As an age-grouper though??? Reminds me of this guy that was bragging to a group of triathletes that he pees off the bike and run during races. He's a mid-pack age grouper. Really?? You're not pro dude, shaving 20 seconds off your time and scaring spectators is not worth that 226th place finish instead of 227. Sorry for the rants. I've come to find out there are a lot of arrogant/vain people in the world of triathlon. Runners tend to just let their legs do the talking, triathletes tend to talk with how expensive their bike is, how much gear they have, how many ironmans they've done...etc...Drives me nuts. And since I'm a triathlete now, let's talk about my bike. (Dammit!)...

So I ended up going with the Slice mainly because of how smooth the shifting was and the reputation Cannondale has (Blue is still fairly new). And I have to admit, I love the way it looks. As soon as I got home I headed out for a spin. It has been getting suuper windy in Temecula in the evenings lately. For some reason, the wind doesn't really bother me in running or riding though. I think it's mostly a mental thing for a lot of runners/riders that hate the wind. Two things that make me at ease with it. 1. Everyone in the race or workout is going through the same wind. 2. It's only going to make you stronger. Along with the bike I purchased my first Tri Shoes and after reading a lot of reviews I went with the Louis Garneau Tri Lite shoes which are ridiculously light and comfortable. I also went with the Look Keo Max Carbon pedals which blow away the mountain bike Shimano pedals I was using on the Forge. Speaking of the Forge, after getting my Slice I really wanted to do a Office Space number on that bike (like they did with the fax can see the clip here). With all the IT issues it gave me, all of those dropped chains, flat name it - I was done with that thing! I posted it on craigslist the next day and already have some interest.

So I head out on my first ride and I hope not to sound arrogant (I am a triathlete now) but I'm a lot faster than I thought I was. Riding Blue Steel about 100 miles a week for almost a year has turned me into a beast on the bike come to find out. It's kind of like when you used to play little league when you're on deck to bat and you put that donut on your bat or maybe swing 3 of them and as soon as you take that donut off and swing with your bat, it's sooo light and it feels like your swing is more powerful than ever. I'm experiencing the same thing with my bike now. 25 mph has never come so easy. Even in the wind I was hitting over 20 with little effort. It's amazing what the aero position can do for your speed.

After a quick 25 miler that night I headed out for a 50 miler the next morning on Memorial Day. It was beautiful! You always hear that there are two downsides to a TT bike. 1. Uncomfortable on long rides 2. Climbing. I wanted to put both of those to the test so I headed through Rice Canyon and Couzer Canyon to see what kind of efforts I'd have to put in. The results were great to say the least. I think it's because I've been so uncomfortable and miserable on Blue Steel for so long that this bike feels amazing on climbs and long rides. I was able to stay in the aero position basically the whole ride (including 90% of Couzer Canyon) and it felt great. One thing I read that will always stick with me is...Every time you are out of the aero position, you are better off with a road bike. Easy enough. It's funny, I got so many compliments on the road that day. Whenever I road Blue Steel with my mountain bike shoes, whenever I hooked up with a group they would look at me like I was funny...goes back to that whole vain thing. The way you look is WAY more important then how fit you are. So backwards.

It's amazing how much more enjoyable a ride can be with a nice bike. It makes the process fun and the fact that my IT doesn't hurt riding anymore makes me pumped to get back on the bike again. My running continues to hit new levels I haven't seen or felt since high school/college. I look at my fitness right now and I like to compare to where I was when I was younger. The past year I have been in my sophomore year of high school fitness, but lately I've graduated and I think I'm right about where I was as a freshman/sophomore in college as far as 8k/10k fitness goes (won't touch my 800/mile fitness ever again!). Swimming has been on hold the past week because I've had this really bad pinched nerve in my neck that seems to just be getting worse. I slept on it wrong one night and all the running/biking is not making it better.

Here's a few more shots of the Slice, thanks for reading!


Jack said...

Slick lookin bike OwlPellet, and an awesome read - thx for sharing dude!

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