Friday, May 26, 2006

Iron Pol's Secret Desire

Well, I finally broke down and went to the bike store. I wanted to look at the 2006 Felt S32 triathlon bike. They didn't have any. What they did have was a 2005 Felt S25 bike, which is fairly similar to the S32, in a different color. On clearance, the price is the same as the new S32.

They had it in both a 54 and 58 frame size. The 54 is plainly too small for me. We gave the 58 a try. The standover was okay, and the arm reach wasn't too bad. But getting the leg positions correct meant dropping the seat post all the way to the bottom. Then, it was just barely acceptable. For a proper fit, it really needed to be a 56.

Except this is a clearance bike, and there weren't any 56s sitting around. The sales guy started showing me other bikes, and I pointed out that those bikes all had prices that started with a 2. Getting Mrs. Pol to accept a bike with 4 digits before the decimal might be doable. If the first digit is a two, the likelihood of my riding a new bike go from fair to "I don't think so, Tim."

So, sales guy hits the computer, and comes back with word that they have the bike we're looking for in Milwaukee. They can have it sent here with no obligation. Here's where it gets interesting. The truck comes on Thursday. So, Thursday night, Friday daytime, I can have the bike. My triathlon is Saturday. That puts us square into dangerous territory.

How does that saying go? Train what you're going to race? I've been training on my Giant Boulder mountain bike. How crazy would it be to switch to a tri-bike for the race? Muy loco, you say? Nobody ever accused me of being totally balanced.

So, here's a picture of what I really hope will be the newest piece of my triathlon puzzle.

Of course, pictures rarely do real justice to anything. This isn't too bad a shot, though. And as an entry level bike, this will serve nicely for quite some time. As with running and swimming, I am far from a cycling master.

Just having a bike that weighs less than my car with sprockets actually made for road racing will help immensely. The ability to maintain 16 miles per hour on the mountain bike should translate to a much better pace on this bike.

One other fortunate piece of the puzzle is the color. While yellow and black might make some cringe, it is actually perfect, for me. It happens to go well with the Fox Cities Triathlon Club uniforms.

6 comments:

greyhound said...

Aero bars take some getting used to. I wrecked mine the first time out. BE CAREFUL.

Iron Pol said...

There's a ringing endorsement for my plans. I'll have to lend more credence to my idea of trying to get at least several trial rides in before the race.

Of course, Kahuna's experiences on the Xterra course don't increase my confidence.

a.maria said...

oh man, you've offically crossed over man!!!

nice bike. i know.....nothing, really, about bikes. but i do like the color... and that's gotta count for something... right?!?

can't wait to hear about your first experience with aerobars. not gunna lie!

Hak said...

Ahhh...a fellow Felt man! I'm looking at the Felt S32 as well, but can't seem to find anyone out here who will let me test ride one to see how it goes. I'm interested in hearing more about your impressions of this bike and riding in the aero position.

Best of luck with your first race this weekend. And, as we used to say in my particular little sect in the Navy, "The only easy day was yesterday."

hak

Iron Pol said...

Well, Alejandra, my wife likes the color. She said I could name it "The Short Bus." I think she's trying to say something.

And John, based on everything I've seen, this bike is pretty much identical to the S32 2006 model. I'll let you know what I think after I've had a chance to ride it.

The only thing is that I have a bad comparison as I've only ridden my mountain bike for years.

Hak said...

Man, sorry to read about the chain breaking on your first real ride. Not inspiring on the quality. Running barefoot, though...now, that's inspiring. Good job!

If you don't mind (you can find my e-mail through my profile), I wouldn't mind hearing more about your impressions of the Felt aftr you've had a couple more rides. I'm also interested in hearing how "comfortable" it is riding in the aero position. I hear roadies say how uncomfortable it is, but haven't heard much from the tri folks.

hak