When I first bought my new bike, I knew it would take a bit of time to transition onto it. I was a little nervous about transitioning into it for some reason. I was told by the people at the bike shop I go to that I should ride it by myself for the first time I head out on it. So, when the opportunity came up to do a 70 mile ride two weekends ago as a fundraiser for a local animal shelter, I opted to take my road bike with me.
I do most of my weekday rides on the trainer, and because of the tubular wheels on my new bike, I haven’t wanted to ride it on the trainer. So even my trainer rides were on my road bike.
But then, this past weekend I made plans to meet up with Tori and Patrick. They wanted to ride 30 miles, and I wanted to get in 50+, so I planned to head up to the trail early to ride alone and feel the bike. I was nervous because the bike shop said I would notice the wind more with the wheels and that the bike would ride a little differently. For some reason in my head I had this picture of me being carried off by the wind because of these wheels.
I was so so careful when I was first mounting the bike that I’m sure people looked at me sideways. I walked it onto the trail instead of getting on in the parking lot. And I was glad that I did. I noticed the positioning of the pedals and the seat immediately. The pedals to me felt more under me than slightly in front of me. It might have also been the angle of the seat.
Once I got on it I was white knuckling the handlebars, and I was so nervous to let go or get into aero that I actually didn’t even start my watch for a mile or two. Finally, after a few minutes I forced myself to drop down into aero. I was so scared! But once I dropped down I got my comfortable and started enjoying my bike more! The seat needs to be raised, and I need to get a fitting, but I can already tell that I really love it. My quads felt a lot more burning than they usually do, and I’m not sure if that’s a difference in muscle usage or if my seat’s low position just threw my legs off.
I also noticed that I was faster! I could go a little faster with the same amount of effort. When I had a tailwind I was over 20 MPH on my own and even into 21 at times. I felt like I was flying! The headwind was still noticeable, but I could feel the aerodynamic efficiency of the bike more than my road bike. I told Tori that I felt like I was in control of the bike, whereas now I felt like my road bike was more in control of me. The weight of my new bike is so much lighter, and it makes me feel like I can maneuver it more easily.
In truth there’s nothing I don’t like about my new bike. I do need to get a fitting, and I need to get it out a few more times to get any more detail to my opinions. But, as it was, I was in love.
Quickly, what I’ve learned about the difference between a road bike and a triathlon bike has come from internet searching. I found an answer on beginnertriathlete that was useful. The difference has to do with positioning and how your body sits in the seat. You’re more aerodynamic on a triathlon bike, and some of the power in your running muscles is saved on a triathlon bike so that you can transition to the run with more left.
I also am in love with the saddle. Instead of the stock seat I have on my road bike, this one has an Adamo Prologue on it, and I felt like I was riding on a cloud. It was lovely.
I’ll share more as I ride more, but for now, all is good!
Do you have any questions about bikes that I could answer? I’m thinking about doing a post answering people’s (beginner) bike questions. This would be in the realm of “I’m thinking of buying a bike…” or “Should I buy a bike?” Ha! I don’t know much, but I know more than I did a year ago!