(I have been writing posts but only got around to actually publishing them just now. Things are going well and I will begin to do weekly posts or musings as they come to me. Here is another of the backdated events in the line of progress.)
I clicked and Craigslist opened. In Colorado there are a bazillion bikes to sort through. How was I going to do this? Ebay has search fields to pick through by frame size, frame only or complete bike, bicycle type, etc. Craigslist is that junkyard of piled parts cars you have to sort through yourself to find what fits your needs. I knew what manufacturers were well regarded not just in fashionable names but by desired characteristics. I didn’t want a flexible bike. I wanted a firm ride that could take my weight but also could handle the future me. I needed a bike that could take me farther and be better than I could be but, reasonably affordable. As I get better, the bike should be capable of doing more as well. Heck I wanted the best bike in the world and I wanted it for nothing. That’s about how cheap I am. That’s about what the general public is like to I suppose. There is not much of a budget to buy a bike at this point. Two kids and a household income that really does not result in much savings equals a serious budget shortfall if a major purchase is made so a new bike is out of the question. Used? I figure about $500 is the absolute maximum but I would rather have something for $400. I searched for about two weeks watching everything in my size. 60-62cm bikes, reviews to see what frame sets do what and how well. Component groups. (If I want to fall in line with the rest of riders, I will have to adopt ‘Grouppo’ as the proper phrase I guess.) There are so many things that make your head spin but the thing to remember, is that I don’t need awesome parts because I’m not awesome enough to take advantage of those parts. I just need a bike that can grow with me. Truly awesome parts need truly awesome riders, and even the guys riding awesome parts really aren’t as awesome as those parts demand they be.
I click on alot of things. I was watching two bikes in Ebay that went for a landslide of money. I was hoping to be lucky. Many bikes passed my eyes but way at the bottom, was a month old ad for a CAAD9 Cannondale. The seller had no idea of its year or size. It did look like a big frame and he did say the owner was 6 foot 5! (His brother in law) That is quite a tall rider and I’m sure the bike is too big for me but I still wasn’t sure of the whole scenario surrounding the ride. I looked up the frame dimensions of the biggest version of this bike on the Cannondale site and saw it just might fit! It was close. It was very close. So close that the stand-over height of the bike might work out…but perhaps not on a warm day (If you know what I mean.) I called the number on the off chance it was still there, being all month old and, oh wow it was! He recommended I come over and try it on to see if it fits to resolve any curiosity he couldn’t answer. Well, after a sat on it I determine it is still too big. I didn’t feel like I had enough room to really move about the bike to use it right. At first, it was Just on the big side. It was a 63cm size. It was a 2009 and had not been ridden in about a year or so, stored inside leaning against a wall. It was straight. It was all there and the components looked like they were all in good shape, just dirty. It needed to be cleaned up and tuned with a new rear tire and that alone was about $200 with new bar tape. I told him someone would probably low-ball him at $500 for it and he right on the spot asked if I would take it for that. I talked him to $450 and bought it thinking I could get it cleaned up nice and sell it for at least $750 on Ebay, but the more I casually used it, the more I realized that it actually does fit me rather well. I got used to how it is supposed to fit. I’ll be darned this bike is starting to feel right.
I decided to keep it. It’s a just over three pound frame and some of them have been built to sixteen pounds in weight which is apparently a nice light bike! It’s probably twenty pounds as it sits now having a lower equipment group and heavier basic wheels. I will upgrade some of the less expensive parts soon as I get more comfortable and find some limits here and there. It is quite a nice stiff Aluminum framed bike. With my weight and increasing fitness, this thing could come alive.
It’s time to go ride it and find out just how much of a benefit a road bike is over a mountain bike.