April 15th, 2024

New Bike

tldr; I got a new bike and it's a rocket ship!

13 years ago I bought a low-end TT bike. It was a 2011 Felt B16 and it was a big purchase for me. The bike was a shiny black with neon and white trim. The tires, seat, hoods, and grip tape were bright white and really stood out. I don't know what I was thinking, to be honest. It just looked cool at the time compared to the other bikes on the market. It was also very affordable as I was ready to commit a little more to triathlon.

That Felt bike served me well over the years. Though there was a solid 8 years there where I didn't even ride it at all. Having Rheumatoid Arthritis (and not knowing it) made handling a bike painful on my wrists and then starting a family became my priority in life.

Fast-forward to having medication that has slowed the RA process down and the kids being older and needing less I'm back into triathlons and loving. Now, I didn't really need a new bike. I've only had to re-grip the handle bars and splice in a new gearshift cable. The seat could be replaced (aside from it being torn up it's not comfortable at all) and few screws or hoods could be cleaned up/replaced but other than that it works just fine.

It's just that the bike is over a decade old and technology has advanced. The economies of scale have progressed to a point where I can get more bang for my buck. Also, I just love bikes and having more is unreasonably fun for me. I'll use the Felt on the trainer still. I'm not ready to attach my new bike to it because riding it outside is so.much.more.fun!

The Newness

So on to the new bike. I wanted something that looked cool–because I'm vain–but also was an upgrade. While I love the look of Canyon's bikes, I'd rather support a local bike shop and get the added benefits of having mechanics familiar with whatever I ended up.

My local shop carries Felt, Cervelo, and Argon 18. There are probably more that they carry but those were the ones I was looking at.

I think I've moved on from the futuristic design of Felt bikes. They're just so wild looking. It was between Cervelo and Argon 18. I was pretty much set on Cervelo, being it's Italian and more exotic sounding but my size wasn't available. I went in to look at and try the Argon 18 and I loved it. There really didn't feel like much difference between the two.

In the end I went with the Argon 18 117e tri bike. I've got SRAM Force AXS derailleurs with electronic shifters (game changer). I also went with Reynolds carbon wheels that is set up tubeless. (I'm not yet sure how I feel about tubeless. We'll see the next time I need to repair them if I like it). I upgraded the seat to an ISM PR 1.0 50 series seat and OMG I've been living in the stone ages. My stones are thankful.

How Does it Ride?

It likes like a rocket ship. ¡Holy shit! The gearing set up is 48/35T which is nice for both climbs and flats. The very first ride I took had plenty of both and I felt like it was perfect. When the grade got up closer to 10% I was starting to feel it but I was there for such a short period of time that it was fine and over with before I knew it. On flats I had plenty of room. I have a lot of work to do to get stronger and so this will be the perfect set up for a bit.

One thing I noticed when it was windy was how light the bike is. It caught off guard a bit when the wind blew from off shore pushed to the right a bit. I'll take it though because I was flying. It's likely a combination of both my growth over the past couple of months and the bike but I was significantly faster on this route.

Final Thoughts

As I said earlier, I love bikes and every time I walk into the garage and see this bike I get the itch to go out and ride. Having a bike trainer is great for it's convenience but the fun of the sport is being outdoors, no doubt. I'm glad to be able to do this and look forward to my first race with the new bike in just a couple of weeks!!