After my lackluster tri, it was clear that I needed a new bike.Â
My old hybrid was great while I was learning about biking, but Iâ€™m going to be riding 56 miles after swimming 1.2 and before running 13.1. I need as efficient a bike as I can get. But Iâ€™m still going to be realistic: there was no way I was going to drop thousands of dollars on a bike when who knows how into biking Iâ€™ll get?Â
My budget for a new bike was under a thousand, but I was hoping to spend less than 900. I just got a nice expense check, and Iâ€™m selling my old bike, so the expense was almost too easy to justify. Iâ€™ve been in and out of my neighborhood bike shop, Zen Bikes, since I started tri training, picking up odds and ends. Theyâ€™re so helpful without being pushy, so I knew if I was going to get a new bike, it would be from them.
I went on a ride Sunday morning on my old bike. It wasnâ€™t great, but it wasnâ€™t terrible. I figured Iâ€™d just wander into Zen to see what was up. Iâ€™d peeked at a Giant Avail last week, and thought that I might be interested in that since my old bike was a Giant. I walked in and told them I was ready to upgrade from a hybrid to a road bike. They first made me straddle some weird piece of wood to get my inseam measurement so they could figure out what size frame I was. I have longer legs and a shorter torso, so I was measured for a medium-frame bike.
They first recommended a Felt bike. Iâ€™d remember seeing pictures of Victoriaâ€™sÂ and thought I was about to get screwed, but it ended up being $800. I asked if I could also see the Giant Avail Iâ€™d seen the week before.
But you canâ€™t buy a bike on sight alone, so they sent me out to test them. I took out the Felt first.Â
Key Differences (from hybrid):
- Higher seat:Â my seat was so much higher that my feet were barely brushing the ground on tippy-toes. To mount the bike, I just swung my legs over, and, ow. The higher seat and my lady bits had a bit of a collision. This did also mean, though, that the longer leg extension helped me use more of my leg to get power.
- Lower handlebars:Â Well, this was terrifying. Leaning over the curly handlebars puts you in a more aerodynamic position. The only thing Iâ€™d really liked on the Giant was the top bar lever brakes, because I felt they gave me more control, especially since the first mile or two of my ride will always be through city streets to get to the West Side Highway or Central Park. Luckily, these brakes were something they were just able to add on at the end.
- Balance: Iâ€™d heard people saying theyâ€™d tried to unclip and had leaned over to the wrong side and fell off, and didnâ€™t understand how. I get it now. You sort of have to lean to your right to unclip your left, but then real quick jump down to your left. I foresee falling happening real, real soon.Â
I went home, convinced I wasnâ€™t going to be bamboozled and buy right on the spot. I spent approximately an hour at home and decided I loved the bike and went back for it later in the afternoon. I ended up going for the Felt Z100. New Yorkers: this has nothing to do with my favorite radio station growing up. I also pushed really hard for a bike that didnâ€™t have pink on it since, letâ€™s be real, Iâ€™m already that girl. But this model only came in pink.Â
Iâ€™m still selling the hybrid, so let me know if youâ€™re interested! Email me at theodora at preppyrunner.com.
TELL ME ALL YOUR ROAD BIKE SECRETS.Â