Tuesday, September 20, 2011

the bike quest

(Super duper boring yammering about bikes.  Runners, you've been warned).


After I signed up for CdA, I made a giant list of all the things I would need, but I knew that the single biggest purchase would be a triathlon/TT bike.  I have a sweet road bike and I absolutely love it, but after lots of thinking and researching, I decided to start saving my pennies for a TT bike.  I don't think everyone has to have a TT bike to complete an Ironman, it's just what I decided is right for me.  So I started looking at bikes.  We're at the end of the triathlon season right now, which makes it a weird time to look for a bike.  Most 2011 models are sold out, and there aren't a lot of 2012 models showing up in stores yet.  I started by stalking everyone who went to dealer camp and saw the previews of what was coming in 2012.  Spoiler: lots of REAL shiny bikes.  I wanted to bring them all home with me and snuggle them under my pillow.


I headed out to Bonzai - the first of many, many trips to test ride - and was able to test out a Felt B16 and a Lightspeed.  I was not a fan of the Lightspeed but I did enjoy the B16.  After that trip, I started looking at the 2012 Felt's, and quickly learned that they had redesigned their line for 2012.  I fell in love with the DA4, and then fell right back out of love with it after a conversation with my coach.  A 2011 B10 or B12 fit what I was looking for pretty well, but with the line redesign, neither of those bikes are available/the same in 2012, and no one ANYWHERE had a 2011 version in my size.


A month or so went by and I kept putting pennies in the piggy bank.  I decided to try and track down a Cervelo P3 - arguably the most popular TT bike sold - for a test ride.  I was secretly hoping to fall in love with it, as that would make my Felt conundrum much easier.  But after a test ride, I was sad and surprised to not like it at all.  I couldn't really put my finger on why, I just wasn't a big fan.  Gratuitous ass shot pretending to be a picture of me trying the bike:
Actual shot of me trying the bike:
Side note - in ALL of these pictures, my fit & angles look like hell, and I'm aware of that.  The only thing we adjusted for the test ride was the seat height.  


After trying the P3, I did a lot of thinking.  I decided that I would order a 2012 B12, because I liked how the B series rode in 2011 and I was tired of dickering about bikes.  I headed back over to Bonzai to drive Darrin insane do one last test ride and put in the order.  I thought it would be smart to have tried everything, so then I could say without a doubt that I had chosen the bike that was best for me (this is called foreshadowing).


When I got to Bonzai, I pulled out the (one size too big) B10 to ride again and asked if there was a Quintana Roo CD.01 that I could try.  I've been a bit prejudiced against QR, because I have a few friends who ride them who have had a REALLY difficult time getting a good fit on the bike, and it spooked me.  Similarly, I have a few friends on Felts who adore them.  The only CD.01 Bonzai had (also a size too big) was this one:
I KNOW.  I have some good friends who are stellar triathletes who love rocking the pink, but I don't think I can pull it off.  Also, yes, they put commuter pedals on it for me to try, I have no idea why but it was VERY strange.  So I took it out for a test ride.
I was a little shocked.  It kind of felt awesome.  But then I tried the B10 again (more ass shots):
And that kind of felt awesome as well.  So now I'm really in a pickle, because these are both great bikes, but I know nothing about the QR bike because I hadn't been stalking info about it like I had with the Felt (although I've been reading my brains out the past 2 days).  Plus, that Felt B10 is dead sexy.  Slap some race wheels on there and I'm drooling, but no one can find it anywhere.  The 2012 B12 is sorta kinda close enough, and the 2012 CD.01 is nearly identical to the 2011, but I'm just so hesitant.  And when I sit down and compare the B12 and CD.01, neither on paper is a "better" bike, they are just different.  So.  Anyone out there ride any of these bikes and have a free opinion for me?  I love free opinions, please stick your fingers in my pie.

23 comments:

  1. I know NOTHING about Tri bikes but I just have to say I gasped OUT LOUD (at WORK no less) when I saw that pink bike!!! If I do an IM can I get a pretty pink ride like that?
    Oooh, it's fun to think about, shiny new bikes but I don't envy the big decision you have to make. Good luck! (do they have a purple one like the pink? Might make the choice easier!)

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  2. follow your heart and what is comfy for you.
    I am in love with the QR and will be testing one soon :)

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  3. I will preface this with the fact that I know absolutely nothing about bikes. But it seems to me that if you like both the QR and the Felt, and you can't get the exact Felt you like, you should go with the QR.

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  4. Oh, you are bad bad BAD for me. I have been stalking bikes, but convincing myself I don't need one til next year. And you go and post THIS?!?!

    I, similar to you, am convinced that I need a Cervelo. Mostly bc everyone has one and they're sexy. I have heard WAY better things about Felt thank QR.

    And I'll throw a wrench in things for you - how come no Treks? They have awesome bikes, built well, and also sexy. Just a thought..

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  5. I'm a bit out of touch these days with new TT bikes, but...are both aluminum still? I know they both used to be. If one has switched to carbon, go for it. I love carbon--the nicest ride out there. Everyone I know who has had a Felt has loved it, fwiw.

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  6. I would be nervous if the felt you were going to order wasn't the same model you took out for a test ride. On the other hand I love the pink bike but know nothing about it.

    And this post made me want to go look at TT bikes since I have been dreaming about them anyways.

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  7. wish I could help you - but I'm zero help on this topic. All I can say is, whatever you decide, you will be/look AWESOME!! :)

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  8. My training partner just bought a CD 01 this summer in preparation for doing IMWI (yes, she got the pink camo). She loves this bike – plus it is the most aerodynamic frame on the market right now – even more so than the Cervelo P4! I ride a Felt B12, and also really, really like it (though I have to say I am NOT a big fan of the white bar tape and tires speced on this years models). One of the other things she really, really liked about the QR was the ISM saddle. If you are equally comfortable on both bikes – buy the one you think looks better. I will say that we cannot go on ANY ride without someone commenting “nice bike” or “sharp ride”.

    Good luck in your quest! If you want more info or have any specific questions - DM me on twitter @fierceheadwind.

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  9. Were both bikes quasi-fitted for you when you test rode them? I know that they are bigger than you need but it is tough for you to get a feel if they are not somewhat fitted for you.

    In addition to that will the LBS be able to service the Felt once the model is discontinued or will that cost you an arm and a leg, maybe an ass?

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  10. Great ass shots, as usual.

    Even after the process of buying mine, I know nothing about bikes other than the size, the "components" meaning something, and the fact that as {uber} cliche as it sounds - the right one just FITS. Yup.

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  11. You should be a bike consultant. You are way smartar then me. Thanks for the gratuitous shots.

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  12. i've always wanted a QR but just cause i like the name. other than that i have no idea how to help on the bike sitch. your butt looks good on both. ;)

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  13. I have recently been looking at the Felt line and love what I have found. Cervelo is certainly doing something right if so many people ride them. I, too, like the "different"ness of the QR, but don't know much about it. Good luck in your journey for "the one"!

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  14. I got a P2 earlier this year and absolutely love it. One ride was all it took. I know a guy with a Felt who has been very happy as well. When it comes down to it though, it is whatever fits you best. It sounds like all the bikes you have been trying out have been the wrong size which might be leading to some of the mixed feelings.

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  15. well you did warn us. i have no idea what 80% of those word are, but i do think that the bikes are all very pretty. i have a vote (that no one should listen to really) cause i love pink. all things pink.

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  16. If you go with the QR, you have to get zipps with pink decals, pink aero helmet, and pink tri kit with pink shoes and pink gloves.

    Its the law. Don't question it OR ELSE!

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  17. What about a Speed Concept?

    I'm looking at a 2012 B12 (they didn't have the 2011 B14 in my size anywhere in the country), but I can't stand the little green accent on the seat stay. I'm looking into after market frame painting...

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  18. QR just sponsored the Evotri team and gave them all new CD.01's, and those guys all rocked them. I'm a bigger fan of QR now than I was before, and I've never had a good test ride on a felt.

    But, for what that's worth, I will be riding my road bike at IMFL with the clip on aerobars.

    and just so you know, Evotri will be adding another team member thanks to the sponsorship, applications will go up sometime after the big Kona race this year. New member also gets a new CD.01

    and I do think you can rock the pink.

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  19. I, unfortunately, do not know ANYTHING about bikes except that they usually have two wheels. And that pink bikes are pretty :)

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  20. I've never ridden a Felt, I used to have an Isaac and now I ride, and am sponsored by QR. My isaac was always too big for me, not in size, but in stack versus reach. The QR has a shorter reach for it's stack than the more standard brands that the tour riders ride (felt trek cervelo, etc). I've found that for most women the shorter stack to reach gives a more comfortable ride and I think that's why you see a lot of women loving their QRs. Also, I ride the Black and white CD0.1 frame not the pink one...if it's not your thing. Lastly, QR does not design tour de france bikes, so they don't have to design to the restrictions of the UCI, their bikes are proven faster...but that's a whole nother can o worms. It sounds like you have it down to two bikes, either of which you are going to love if you get! Choices!! How lucky!

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