[040] Leap of faith

Swim: 0 m/29,700 m

Bike: 1.6/77.7 miles

Run: 0/41.8 miles

Once an idea gets into my mind, it’s hard to get it out. So after this post and this post and this post, a seed had been planted. And it sprouted today in the form of a new tri bike.

As I noted before, I came across this bike at my local bike store on steep discount due to the fact it was last year’s model. With tepid approval from my wife and funding from Uncle Sam (who, at tax time, generously rewards the fact that I have a kid and a mortgage) I returned today to purchase the bike.

That’s right – I’ve never competed in a triathlon, but now I own a tri bike. Call it a leap of faith or call it stupidity, but I’m invested in this sport and I want to make my triathlon experience the best it can be. I just thought of the hundreds or even thousands of bike miles that await me in the coming months (and years), and this purchase started to make sense.

The bike is a 2010 Fuji Aloha 2.0 – an “entry-level” tri bike that sure cost a lot more than what I would expect from something dubbed “entry level.” I have seen nothing but favorable reviews of this model, which features carbon components on an aluminum frame and upgraded shifting mechanisms. It’s a ton lighter and more aerodynamic than my current bike.

After spending about a half-hour getting fitted at the bike shop today, I strapped the new ride on the car and brought it home with the excitement of a kid on Christmas morning. It had been raining earlier, but the sun had come out and I was looking forward to getting the bike on the road in the few free minutes I had before work.

My first impression – it’s kind of scary! The steering is very precise and sensitive, and it can be very difficult to handle when using the aerobars. (I later found out that aerobars aren’t meant for everyday riding because of the lack of control – they’re meant for flat, fast sections where there’s not much other traffic.) Also, the wind was very heavy today, and the light bike felt a little unstable in the strongest gusts.

What also struck me was the ease with which I climbed hills. I intentionally steered toward some steeper climbs in my neighborhood, and tackled them easily. The gear changes felt sure and solid. The brakes have a strong grip. It was a revelation.

This bike is set up so differently from my other bikes, as far as body geometry, that it’s going to take a little saddle time to acclimate myself to it. I want to get out on a quiet course where I’m not worried about traffic and can really focus on the ride. I want to really let it out and see how the speed and handling on the new bike compare to the old one. 

I think the timing has worked out well – not only did I get a 37% discount because it’s the beginning of the new model year, but it’s early enough in my training season to really become comfortable with the new bike before my first race in May. I hope to get in a longer ride this weekend to start getting a feel for what the new bike and I can do.

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2 Responses to [040] Leap of faith

  1. David H. says:

    I think it’s a very smart purchase, especially with the discount!

  2. Dang, I really need to pop out a kid, I’m paying in this year. No tri bike for me! I’m going to be the chubby girl on a mountain bike at my tri! Lucky you. I’m jealous. 🙂

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