Sunday, March 22, 2009

Upgrade!

The New Bike is Finally in my Garage.
Sorry to have left you hanging until now about the bike purchase. It took all day on Saturday, then we had plans Saturday night, and then Sunday I had plans to go surfing all day. So not only have I not had time to blog about the bike purchase. I haven't had time to even ride it since I got it home. Anyway, here's the story.

After much shopping and deliberating, the purchase was made and I'm now the proud owner of my first road bike. The lucky cycle is a 2009 GT Series 4. A nice entry level bike with a carbon fork and Shimano Sora component group. I have to hand it to GT for making an entry level bike that doesn't scream "I'm a slow, newbie!". Certainly that's true, and people are going to find out soon enough, but I'd like to be the bearer of that news, not the look of my bike.


So, Saturday morning, Becky and I headed up to Simple Living Cycles up in Boston. I decided to check this place out was because my brother Clint had a good experience there and got a great deal on his road bike. I had talked to the owner Phil, on the phone a few times, he was sure that he had a couple bikes that would fit me and would be in my price range so the trip seemed worth it. When we got there it was pretty much as I expected. A hole in the wall bike shop, packed to the gills with bikes, parts and who knows what else that had accumulated over years of Phil's unique organizational style. Luckily, I'm not OCD in the slightest so it didn't bother me, I was here for a bike not a lesson on clean living so he put some pedals on a few and I started the test driving.

First up was the GT series 4. Immediately I loved it, but I didn't want to make any rash decisions as my comparison point at this time was a 30 year old Lotus. I moved onto a Jamis, nice but I wasn't in love. Next, I tried a GT series 3, a step up components wise from the series 4 and it was good but I couldn't really tell a difference. One nice thing about being new is that I haven't yet developed that curse of only loving the most expensive, highest end stuff. I'm sure that'll come, as it seems to with any hobby, but for now, I'm enjoying the bliss of being happy with almost anything produced in this decade.


The Series 4 is a sweet matte black with bright green accents, while the Series 3 is royal blue. I know having Tiagra parts versus Sora is a step up, but I couldn't tell the difference, plus Phil was telling me why spend the extra money. Hilarious. The owner of the shop telling me that for an entry level bike, because it isn't my dream bike and it will be upgraded from eventually no matter what parts it's got, I might as well save the money and go with the cheaper bike. Who does that in retail? I'm not complaining, just a funny observation. At the end of the day, I went with his advice and got the Series 4. Now it was on to finding the perfect size. I went back and forth riding the large then the XL, trying to determine which would be a better fit. It was very hard to tell the difference. Again, being new to cycling, finding the tiny nuances between sizes was tough. The good news, was that I wasn't uncomfortable on either, and eventually settled on the larger frame. I'm six feet tall, and the XL I was told is equivalent to a 58cm bike, and it felt comfortable, end of story. Oh, did I mention that this happens to be the exact same bike that my little brother bought about a month ago. He's about my size (yes, a smidge taller) and is loving the XL, has put a few hundred miles on it, and had no complaints. I'd be lying if I didn't say that made the purchase a lot easier. So to be fair, if you see us riding together, yes, he had it first, I'm the copy cat.

About to leave with the new purchase.

Here are some more pictures to enjoy. I hope to get in a "sizable" ride after work today, so I can give you a good review of the new whip. So excited...


4 comments:

  1. There is really not a great amount of difference from Sora to Tiagra in the Shimano line. You do not start seeing a difference until you get to the 105 level on components. At that point there are little thngs such as trim (half shifts) on the front derailleur, etc.
    Nice looking bike, and it should be great for you until you get a season or so under your belt and are ready to move up to full carbon.

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  2. About Friggin' time!!!

    Congrats though - can't wait to get out on our first ride with it... Just loose the reflectors first... I agree with Phill and Jack - buy little now - buy lots more later. By the way Jack, how in the world did you find this place?

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  3. Thanks Jack, I'm loving the bike.
    And Chad we'll hit the road soon for sure.

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  4. Congrats on the bike. I thought I had it bad by riding a 15 year-old Cannondale but jeez man...30 years old? I'll have to eventually upgrade mine as well. Parts are hard to find and I can't make upgrades I want.

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