So after several weeks of research…
Visiting lots of different bike shops…
And too many test rides to count…
I’m now the proud new owner of a Trek Madone 4.3 WSD
After I visited a few shops, went on some test rides, and did a little bit of my own research, I had a better idea of what I was looking for in a road bike.
You may remember back at the beginning of my search that I wasn’t quite sure about choosing a carbon frame over aluminum. Well, after riding several of both, I knew there was no way I was going to be happy with aluminum in the long run. The ride on a carbon frame just felt so much smoother and cleaner. An aluminum frame would be a perfectly fine starting point, but I didn’t want to buy a bike that I would be looking to upgrade in a year or two.
Once I decided on what exactly I was looking for in terms of the frame material and components, it was just a matter of finding a bike that felt right to me. The #1 piece of advice I got with road bike shopping was to r.i.d.e. e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. and that’s what I did! After I got comfortable on a road bike, I had a pretty good idea of what I liked and what I didn’t.
I have another post coming about what to expect when you’re buying your first road bike but I can tell you that riding lots and lots of bikes helped me decide what felt the best.
The Final Decision
You may remember from my post this past weekend that I had narrowed it down between the Trek Madone 4.3 and a Specialized Ruby Sport. These two felt the best after a long string of test riding different bikes. The funny thing is that I initially thought I was going to end up getting the Ruby.
Obviously I ended up going with the Madone instead. I took the Ruby for a long ride on the greenway this past weekend and something just felt ‘off’. After taking the Madone for a 10-mile spin around my neighborhood, I knew it was the perfect bike for me!!
Sealing the Deal
My original plan was to purchase a bike in late September or early October. However, the Madone was on a closeout sale at the bike shop because it had been a demo model. The original price was way outside of my budget, and I didn’t want to take a chance at losing out on *the* bike.
As if finding a bike wasn’t hard enough, I then had to decide what I wanted to go WITH the bike. The bike store offered 10% off with your purchase, so I went ahead and got everything I thought I would need to get me started. This included pedals, shoes, water bottle cages, a flat repair kit and a bag to fit under my seat (for my phone and a spare tube):
I also got a digital speed & cadence sensor called a DuoTrap. This was obviously not a necessity to get me started, but I knew I would want it once I got used to everything. I figured I might as well take advantage of the 10% off.
By the way, my bike has a nifty little spot integrated into the frame to hold the DuoTrap for a cleaner look.
I did hold off on a computer display because my DuoTrap should sync with my phone.
The Bike Shop
I can’t write this post without mentioning the great experience I had at Bike Line, a local bike shop in the University Area in Charlotte where I ended up purchasing my bike. Mark was the employee who helped me… all of the 5 times I visited the store. He probably never wants to see my face again
But really though, he was so helpful and knowledgeable. No question was too dumb. I have mentioned this before but I was concerned about buying a bike that was not ‘too much’ bike while still giving me everything I would want/need, and he really helped me find something perfect for me.
If you are in the Charlotte area then go see them!
I’ve taken my bike out twice so far and I am in LOVE with it! I thought about it all day while I was at work
I have been scared of clipping in and out but I think I’m getting the hang of it. It’s amazing to me how much better it feels to be clipped into the pedals! (disclaimer: I got on the bike in my parking lot to snap this pic… never ride without a helmet!)
My next hope is to be able to join in on some group rides and register for a triathlon. I think I need to get more comfortable with the bike first before I do either of those, but they are on the horizon!!
Thanks for following along with me on this journey. Hopefully it is just the beginning of new adventures!