Snowball

17 07 2012

Hey friends! Long time no see! These long work days sure do make it hard to blog during the week!

Some of you may have seen my tweets last week about the newest addition to my family. No, I’m not talking about another one of these:

(but gosh darn it, aren’t they cute? 😉 )

No my friends, I bought a new bike!

Meet my new 2012 Specialized Shiv tri bike, Snowball (the name isn’t set yet, but I do love the irony!) 😉 Ain’t she sexy?

Five years into the sport, I decided that it was about time to invest in a good tri bike. I’ve been searching for some time now, but I knew I needed to buy soon if I wanted to have a better bike before Age Group Nationals.

So, on Friday, Bill and I decided to check out the Tampa bike shops together in search of “the one”. I had already done some looking around at the Trek store, Cycle Sport Concepts, and on Craigslist, but I was hoping that maybe we’d find something new today.

We fueled up at our favorite little breakfast place, Daily Eats and then headed to the Trek store.

The Raymond: egg whites, sauteed spinach, sliced tomatoes, American cheese, served on multigrain bread.

The Trek store had a few tri bikes, and I rode two different ones. I actually couldn’t tell you which model they were though…Both bikes rode really well, and convinced me that I really wanted an all carbon frame. They just ride SO MUCH NICER than a bike with a carbon fork and aluminum frame.

Not completely sold on either of the bikes, we went up the street to Cycle Sport Concepts. We were greeted by Rob, who’d helped me out on a few other occasions when I’d been in the shop. He showed us the three tri bikes they had out on display: one was a little less bike than I wanted (carbon fork only) and the other two were WAY more bike than I wanted. We explained what I was looking for, and Rob politely asked us to wait a few minutes while he checked something out. Five minutes or so later he came out and told us that he had a 2012, men’s small, all carbon bike. YES, please!

So he rolled it out, sized me up, and around in the parking lot I rode!

LOVED IT!!!!!

I can’t even tell you how much better this bike is than my old Novara. The ride was SO SMOOTH. Bill asked how I felt and I think my response was, “When is our next race?!” I wanted this bike.

A little while later, and with a much smaller balance in my bank account, I walked out of the store with the same bike that Craig Alexander rode to win the 2012 Ironman World Championships (except mine doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that his does).

Worth it? Heck yes!

Wanna see one of the coolest things about the bike?

There’s a hydration bladder (like a CamelBak) that goes INSIDE the bike! Talk about innovative, right?

I’ve had a chance to go out for two rides on Snowball, but unfortunately both were cut short due to rain/thunderstorms. However, the short time that I spent in the saddle was awesome (well, besides the fact that bike seats are generally uncomfortable); I felt fast! I’m really looking forward to the Top Gun Triathlon at the end of this month!

Even though I’ve only had the bike a few days, I have learned a few of the drawbacks of this particular model.

First, there’s not really a place for nutrition. Because of the location of the hydration bladder, I can’t really put my bento box there. For my ride on Saturday, I put mine on the top tube, below my seat. Unfortunately, my legs consistently rubbed it. I did some research online, and some of the other bike owners had similar problems. I think the company has a few prototypes they are working on, which will hopefully be out soon.

Second, there’s not really a place to keep my tools/flat kit. My bag strap doesn’t fit around the seat stem. Suggestions?

However, I think these are issues that have a solution, or will have a solution soon, since the bike model is so new.

Despite these two small concerns, I can’t say enough times: “I love this bike!” Bring on the remainder of the tri season!