The time has come for me to buy a new bike. I originally bought my current bike back in 2009. I had no idea what I was doing. I did not know the people I know now nor did I have the experience to ask the right questions. However, the guys at Providence Bicycle set me up with a few entry level TT bikes in my price range and based on the test rides, I choose my 2008 Felt S32. Since then, per Strava, I’ve ridden almost 10,000 miles on this bike, and that only includes the miles where I used my GPS (I’m sure I’m well over that). I had no idea the path I was going down when I first walked into Providence Bicycle and asked to see some entry level TT bikes. I’m glad I did.
I always had the same philosophy when it came to spending money on this sport. I needed to prove to myself that earned it, and if so, I would invest in it. I ran for over a year, consistently improving, until I bought my bike. The next year I invested in aero helmet. A couple of years later I bought my carbon aero wheels. A couple years after that, I bought a power meter and so on. Now, 8 years down this path, it’s time for a new bike. As the guys at the bike shop have been telling me, “You are wearing the crap out of this thing!”
There has been a lot change over the years. I’ve been a believer in technology and science and, even though I love my Felt and still feel is was an excellent choice, this time I wanted to make a more educated decision. If I’m going to put out some good money for a new bike, I want to make sure it’s the right bike for me. So, my first step was to make an appointment at TT Bikefit in Warren, RI to get a “Pre Buy Bike Fit.” The owner of the shop is Todd Kenyon, who is both an engineer and a triathlete. When it comes to bikes and fits, I don’t believe there is anyone I’ve ever met who knows more. Todd put me on the frame sizer machine (picture attached) which moves the seat and the handle bars both up and down as well as forward and back. This allows the rider to get into a position where they can be as aero as possible while maintaining comfort and power. We looked at leg extension, seat height, seat position (forward back), crank length and my ability to in more aggressive position (a nice flat back). A couple of millimeters here and there can make all the difference.
The whole experience took just under an hour. I asked a lot of questions and Todd was very helpful. I asked about crank size and whether, based on my strengths and weakness, I should go with a compact crank of 50/36, or stick with something bigger (my Felt is a 53/39)? I also asked whether it was worth it to spend an extra $400 to $500 on higher quality components. We talked about sweat damage and the advantages and disadvantages to internal vs external cables. It was a great discussion. Lastly, we talked about my price range. I told him I would probably look at bikes under $3K or so.
Todd took at the measurements and my input and put them into the computer. A few days later he sent me email (attached) that details my measurements and gives me a list of bikes that would best fit me and are in my price range. There are about 10 bikes in all. Most are 2016 models, some are older (maybe I can find a deal!). This was a really great experience. I feel much better informed and I’m getting close to making a decision. The cost of the Pre Buy Bike Fit is $175 and if you end up buying the bike directly from Todd, $125 of that is refunded back to you.
Feel free to look the framesizer info to see all the things Todd measured. If you are ready to make the leap for a nice new TT bike. This is really a great place to start your search.
I hope you find this helpful. As always, please let me know if you have any questions.