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.