The problem with not geeking-out on all things bike is when your bike breaks.
I attempted The Ultimate Challenge the first part of August as a great training ride for Kona. Last year I had an absolute blast! This year I was not able to finish. At the time I thought 1) i lost my biking legs 2) i gained too much weight 3) i was not recovered from CDA 4) i lost a TON of confidence 5) i was not fit.
In actuality, Rocky was just a few bike rides away from retiring :/
A week after the Ultimate Challenge, I was 10 minutes into a ride when I wasn't able to turn my pedals. Got off. Walked home. Finished the long ride on a stationary bike at the gym and then took my bike into the shop.
Here is where I want to give some of those like ME some information to avoid my series of unfortunate bike events.
1- Take your bike into shops that know what they are doing:
That is a bottom bracket. Pedals connect there. Bearings go in that hole as well. When you sweat, ride in dirty conditions, etc those bearing need to be replaced.
See that groove? It has a 'C' clamp. Shops that are not aware of that clamp, will have a hard time getting to the bearings when changing them out. Instead of using the appropriate tool, they will use a screw driver and crack your frame.
When assembling it back together, they will throw a bunch of grease in and add parts that do not belong on your Tri Bike so the pedals will turn and send you on your way. Nice temporary fix until you are pedaling along and it becomes harder and harder to pedal. Essentially creating a forever breaking bottom bracket.
2- Race Wheels Indoors & Second Opinions
When you have race wheels and you ride inside on the trainer, MAKE SURE you use the trainer skewer. If not you will do what I did and ruin what is called the HUB.
If that hub is on Zipp wheels, your shop will likely tell you 'this will cost about the same to fix as it would be to purchase a new rim.' $$$$$ This would be where second opinions come in. Luckily I have an awesome coach who found out Zipp has an awesome Crash Warranty Program and got this wheel replaced.
Before we continue onto the process of getting a new bike - lets finish with wheels
-Make sure you specify you want your cassette, tube and tire back. Zipp sent me a refurbished rim, but no cassette, tube or tire.
-After you get a new cassette, tube and tire, make sure there is tape in the rim. Or you will go through about 5 tubes and wonder why they keep popping.
-After you finally get a full wheel set ready to be put on your bike make sure that wheel is compatible with your new bike.
FYI: Cervelo p5's with Magura Hydraulic Breaks are NOT compatible with any rim with a width larger than 25. The Magura breaks will not open wide enough to work with my 27 Zipp wheels.
... Now I have an awesome pair of 404's with no bike to use them on.
-Another wheel FYI: Wheels are cassette specific! I was going to put my original training tires (10 specific) back on Rocky with the new 11 cassette I had gotten. Shop let me know 11 cassettes can only go on a 11 specific wheel.
...Another pair of good wheels with no use for.
3- Bikes..... Go with what brand you know and try to purchase at a local shop.
When I found out I was going to need a new bike, I had to make a decision fast because I had Kona quickly approaching. I ended up deciding on a Cervelo which I would get in California; about 5 hour drive away.
1- Building a bike takes TIME. Make sure you clarify with the shop when your bike will actually be ready. The shop had said the bike would be done, but we ended up spending the entire day at the shop while they rushed to get the bike together.
2- If you go with hydraulic breaks (as of 9/25/2015) you can not have duel shifting. This was disappointing news we found out when we arrived.
3- Power Meter: If you change your power meter make sure you change your bike computer: I still do not have this new power meter figured out. I went from a Quarq to a Pioneer and I still can not get it to read correctly. The pioneer is also not compatible with my Garmin bike computer that I love. Pioneer with Cervelo's don't work smoothly together. The magnets that are provided do not fit inside the crank arms without rubbing. My dad was able to jimmy-rig the magnets to the inside box that covers some of the wires. Hopefully we can get this sorted out.
4- DI2: Di2 is AWESOME. Di2 with a battery that will not charge is not. Before you leave the shop make sure your charger is working! I found out that I was given a new charger with an old battery so they were not compatible with each other. Shimano was great to quickly (3 days later) get new battery out to me.
5- I really wish I would have purchased at a local shop that could help me with all these adjustments when purchasing a new bike. Red Rock in St George has been great to help me, but now I have to pay them in addition because they were not the original shop of purchase. I also wish I would have known to make sure ALL BIKE COMPONENTS were compatible. I would highly suggest you go through EVERY piece of your bike before switching over.
It's been over a month now without a functioning bike. I am trying to be positive but it has been a very frustrating process. Especially with such an important race coming up. As frustrating as it has been, I do feel incredibly lucky to even have the option to get another bike. TODAY is 2 weeks out from Kona. I am hopefully going to go pick up a functioning bike this afternoon.
She is pretty damn fast looking!! still needing a name for her... :)
Keeping my fingers crossed that tomorrow I just get to RIDE!