Around this time last year, I bought what I considered to be my first “real” bike.
It was a pretty big deal for me, since the week before I had been riding around on this:
While I still stood by my anti-triathlon philosophy at the time, I eventually caught “the bug” just a few weeks after getting my new wheels. My cycling shifted from leisure to training and I ended up racing on the hybrid three times last summer, discovering in the process that I actually had some untapped strength on the bike (I placed 3rd in the females on the bike leg of my first duathlon, with the vast majority of competitors riding road/tri bikes).
It didn’t take long before I realized that triathlon would be a big part of my future and that it was time to consider buying another new bike. I’ve had my first REALLY real bike for several months now, but I’ve never shared how this one came to be mine.
- The first step was to decide what type of bike to buy. This was easy for me; friends helped me decide from the get-go that a tri bike would be the best investment since triathlon was the only reason I was buying it, and I intended to do long distance down the road.
- I started looking around at tri bikes to get an idea of what I liked and didn’t like, all the while trying not to get too attached to a specific model until I knew what would fit. (I was set on a Cervelo early on, only to learn that they are a “long and low” fit, not ideal for my longer legs and shorter torso.)
- I shopped around, test-rode a few bikes and looked online constantly. I quickly became overwhelmed by the options, even with tons of help from knowledgeable friends.
- I decided to hire a “consultant” who took my measurements and recommended a selection of bikes (various models under several brands) that would be suitable, along with prices, where-to-buy and other pertinent information. I paid $100 for this service and while it was likely unnecessary in hindsight (I didn’t end up buying anything from the list), I don’t regret it at all because it helped give me some guidance and direction when I was feeling completely lost.
- I ended up stepping away from the process slightly to focus on my fall races, and ended up hearing from a friend about a great discount that was available to me on a particular bike. It seemed like an incredible price on an amazing bike (though still higher than my original budget).
This bike in particular turned out to be the very first brand I had checked out (though the deal was not through the Trek store). I went to meet with the store and try out a similar model for fit (they don’t stock the actual bike I was considering).
- I left the store that day extremely tempted but confused. It seemed like a big risk to order the bike without trying it or even seeing it in person and I still had to decide if I was willing/able to increase the budget.
- I slept on it for a night or two, sought advice from friends, received approval from the hubs and went ahead and ordered it blind: the 2012 Trek Speed Concept 7.8.
(and subsequently had a slight case of buyer’s remorse and a minor panic attack…)
- It took several months to come in, which was fine by me since we were heading into winter anyway and I was counting on a Christmas bonus to pay for it. I finally brought her home at the end of December without any remorse or panic remaining. It was love at first sight.
Since then (and especially once I was able to start riding outside), I have not once for a minute regretted the decision or cost. It’s a fantastic bike that I absolutely love, and has served me very well so far. We are going to do many amazing things together.