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A Few of My Favorite Things, Part 2

I've hinted on my last couple of posts that I had another thing to add to this list. Everyone, meet Tony.





If I had to give my road bike a name, her name would be Louise (no offense to anyone out there named Louise). It just seems to fit her. She as an OK personality. She's a little on the heavy side, but she's very pretty. I don't know that I would really say we're friends. We're more like business partners. We just work together to get the job done. It seems like most of the time, I am doing most of the work.

Last Saturday, I met Tony. His full name is Tony Tequilo (as in Quintana Roo). I never meant for us to meet. I went into the tri store to buy some Enduralytes, and there he was. I don't know why I was compelled to name him Tony, but for some reason, I picture him as a person with a heavy Brooklyn accent and a strong Italian background. He's not big and rugged, but he is handsome, and I'm pretty sure he's tough as nails.

I should probably back up. Last spring, Steve won the grand prize drawing at a local duathlon. It was a Quintana Roo Kilo. Because he is an awesome husband, he had just gotten a new bike this year, and I was planning on doing IM MOO with my road bike, he decided that I should have it. Can you believe it?!? I'm pretty sure he's the best husband in the world. On Memorial day we went to the tri store to redeem the coupon. Unfortunately, the company had all of their Kilos on backorder. They told me I could upgrade to the Tequilo and pay the difference. Then they told me that the Tequilos were on backorder too. At that time, they said that they were told that the bikes would be in in August. They didn't know if it would be early August or late August (which obviously makes a difference when you're talking about training with the thing). I have been calling every few weeks, and the update has been the same: we don't know when the bikes will be in. We haven't heard anything. I called about 1 1/2 weeks ago, and the guy told me that we likely would have to wait till next year and get the 07 Kilo. I was bummed but had already come to the realization that I would likely be riding my road bike in Sept.

Imagine my surprise when I saw a Tequilo in my size at the bike store. I guess they had just gotten it in, but they probably won't be getting any Kilos in yet this year. I called Steve, and he said not to come home without the bike.

So... he is now mine. I'm pretty sure that I will be riding him in just 2 short weeks. I have taken him out on a few rides, and I've gotten the shifting down. The clipping in and out is the same, so I don't have to relearn that part. He still doesn't fit perfectly, and that will be my goal this week. I will hopefully be talking to the amazing guy who fit me to my road bike very soon.

I'm still a little nervous about making this switch so late in the season. I have done most of my training on my road bike, my road bike has more gears (27 vs 20), and riding my road bike has become second nature. On the other hand, Tony is lighter, hopefully faster (once he fits a little better) and has a seat angle that will should better prepare me for the run. He's also easier to shift mutliple gears at a time on the hills. At this point, I'm still not exactly sure what I am going to do. I'm going to throw in a hill ride or two this week (short of course) to see how he handles on the hills. This past week, I was just trying to get the feel of riding him. I took him for my 60 miler yesterday, and we did OK. My legs felt great on my 6 mile run, but I'm not sure whether that was because this distance was significantly shorter than my recent rides or if it was because the bike was easier on them.

Both people I've talked to in the local bike shop seem to think that I should be OK after 3 weeks of riding him. Any thoughts?

18 comments:

TriSaraTops

Wow, he's hot!

I'm no expert, but 20 sounds kinda low for those hills...? Can you get a 27 put on him? Then he's PUUURRFECT! :)

qcmier

In my humble opinion. Definitely not.

But he sure is hawt, and sounds like he's a charmer too.

E-Speed

I'm with Trisaratops, I wouldn't do it without the extra gears for those hills.

xt4

WOW that is a sexy bike. Those aerobars make me drool. Congrats on finally getting it in! That is one sweet Soprano.

My 2 cents: Run, don't walk, and get a 27 rear cassette. Less than 50 bucks, won't break your bank and you'll for sure want it on those hills. As for riding it at IM...man, I don't know what to tell you. If it were me, I'd be justifying every kind of way to ride it on only 3 weeks of (taper) riding. But that you haven't gone to battle for 100+ miles on the thing makes me nervous. I'd hate for you to get to mile 80 and just wish Louise were here. I'd also hate for you to get to mile 10 of the marathon and realize how tweaked out your body is from 112 miles in a new and unfamiliar position. If you were going from one road bike to another it would be different, but going from a road bike to a tri geometry is pretty radical. The fit, of course, is crucial.

Like everything else, it'll have to be your decision, and you'll have to feel great about it. I say: Whenever and whatever you decide, commit to it 100% and then put it away. No second thoughts or doubts - you have enough to think about in the next 13 (!) days than if you're on the right bike or not.

Congrats on a killer new ride!!!!

xt4

PS - 2 other cents - go to www.purelycustom.com and get a cool headset cap to replace the GEARWEST advertisement. I hate that they do that. At least make it a sticker I can easily take off. Unless of course you are sponsored by Gearwest. Or have an affinity for them since they did provide you with the bike. Or otherwise feel compelled to see their name every time you look down.

Flatman

mmm...nice.

IF (and I stress, if) you can ride it a bunch, then you might get away with it, but if you can't, stick with what you know will get you to T2...

RunBubbaRun

I ride a QR also, "TRUE TO THE TRI", nice bike.. I'll introduce TONY to "comet" at IMOO..

RunBubbaRun

Oh here is my 2cents, the TRI bike will be a little steeper ride than the road bike, it will effect how your body feels after 100+ miles if you are not use to it. Defiently your decision, but riding the hills is different also if you are not used to it. definetly get a gear you have trained with at IMWI course.

I say stick with what you know..

Lance Notstrong

Very hot bike!!!

I'm guessing you were saying 27 total gears vs 20 total gears and not that the biggest gear on the rear was a 20?

Did your other road bike have a triple on the front? When I went from a 52/42 on the front to a 53/39 on the front, I liked the gears better. It made climbing easier and going fast easier.

Pharmie

First of all, thanks everybody for the help and advice. I'm still not sure exactly what I'm going to do. It mostly depends on the guy who would fit me and whether he calls me back in the next couple of days. Otherwise, Louise may be getting all of the glory.

As you all may have realized, I am pretty much an idiot when it comes to anything mechanical on my bike. Unfortunately, the last 7 years of college have taught me a lot about drugs and have left very little time for learning about bikes. My current road bike has 27 total gears (3 front 9 back), and I'm not sure what the gear ratios are. I'm sure that some of them actually overlap, though. My new bike has 10 total gears (2 front, 10 back), and the back cassette has a max of 25. XT4, do you think I still need to upgrade? Nothing like last minute decisions!

triteacher

Hi SLS, thanks for putting this out there; I've been debating all season on forking out for a tri bike or sticking to my road bike. Keep us posted on every aspect of your experience, please.

Lance Notstrong

You should be able to climb most any hills (short of Alpe D'Huez) with a 39x25.

Chances are you are going from a 52/42/30 on the front to a 53/39......you'll like it, I did :-)

The weight alone should help. My new bike was 5lbs lighter and gave me 1mph more on my average speed.

xt4

If you stick with your road bike, your 3rd gear - the smallest in the front - will find you well fortified for IMWI (by the way - it's a "9 speed" - the 9 gears in the back. The tri bike is a "10 speed" - 10 in the back.) Your smallest cog in your rear cassette has 25 teeth so that's your last resort climing gear - and I really, really, really think you'll appreciate having a 27 tooth cassette for the hills at IMWI - especially coming off a road bike with a "granny gear" to get you up those hills. So if you decide to go with Tony, I'd have Gearwest get you situated with a 27 tooth cassette right away, so you can ride on it a bit. With a 27 back there, you'll have plenty of gears. Personally, I have a compact crankset on the front and 27 on the back - allowing me some reeeeaaaally easy gearing for those hills.

The weight difference between the bikes would, I think, be significant, as lance pointed out - especially on the second loop when you'll really be feeling it on those hills - anything extra you have to tow up those hills is just more work for your legs pre-marathon. But that's only part of the scenario - much much much more important is simply what you are comfortable on - physically and mentally. Weight savings, gearing, handlebar tape and the sign of the zodiac will all be meaningless if you're dying out there because you're on a machine you're just not dialed into with.

Jet me an email if you want to talk more - I'm no expert at anything, but am happy to share my experiences and thoughts...

xt4

PS (I tend to postscript a lot of thoughts, no?) - remember that in fitting for the tri geometry, you'll be putting your body in new positions, and even slightly new positions can make new demands on muscles. To that extent, even a few centimeters difference from what your body is used to could (not would, but could) affect not just your cycling (obviously), but your running - hip flexors, glutes, hamstrings, lower back...the whole connected shebang (think of how Wil was having a hip issue for weeks just from, she thinks, a slightly off saddle height). Often people get fit early in the season, then let their muscles acclimate for 4-6 weeks, and then fine tune the fitting. You would, of course, be missing that opportunity.

All of which, as I sit here thinking about it, is I think my way of saying: too many unknowns to the equation for my tastes. If it were me (and it's not), a week out, I wouldn't get on a new machine unless I had no alternative at all. I (with heavy heart) make a motion for Louise...

But that's just me. Me and 'Blue will of course cheer on whatever machine you decide on!

(Okay...I'm monopolizing your blog now...all apologies...going back to my own blog now...)

Pharmie

X,

No worries on the monopoly. Thanks for all of your help. The bike fitter guy sent me a slightly confusing email today, but I think he was trying to tell me that he's out of town until next Friday. Umm, that means Louise may win *tear* I was really rooting for Tony. I got new tires and tubes on Louise last night just in case. They said that my chain and cassette were worn but have a couple of hundred miles left in them. Maybe I can actually save an expense till after IM.

qcmier

I would have to echo the comments from xt4, especially his PS. Too many unknowns. Too close to race day. I just got some new pedals and will not be using them either.

I would say if you're really that concerned with weight, then carry fewer water bottles, or pass on the jelly doughnuts.

BTW I train with a 12-23 cassette but will be using an 11-25 just for IM WI. Most people will probably have a 12-27. If you are getting a new cassette, I would consider what type of riding you will be doing and base your decision on that. IM, sprint tris, hill courses, time trials, etc...

Lance Notstrong

Wow, I missed the part about IM being so close. I would have to agree with xt4 and qcmier it's too close to race day to make such a drastic change.

I got a new saddle a few months back and it too me about 3 weeks just to get use to is and the slight position change.

There will be plenty of time to break Tony in :-)

Chris

I love the '06 Tequilo. I think it has one of the best color schemes in the entire 2006 lineup across all vendors.

I've seen your blogger ID around, but this is the first time that I've visited your site. I'm finding all these folks doing Ironman Wisconsin next week that live here in the Twin Cities at the last minute!

Best of luck! Maybe I'll run into you next week.