There’s something magical about a bike. As I get older I find myself more interested in bikes and less interested in motorized transport. Which is awesome as you can buy the best bike in the world for a lot less than the best car. No middle age crisis inspired Porsche purchase on my horizon. My trusty Quintana Roo Cd0.1 was 4 years old and had a fair few miles on the clock and had more frequent flyer miles than some air hostesses. I loved it. Still do. It was a great choice at the time and is a really fast sexy bike. I’d tweaked with a lot of the extra parts, and had I just the way I wanted it. I’d always said that I wouldn’t replace it unless it broke and thought I would keep it for ten years if it lasted.
|Farewell QR, Ye good and faithful servant.|
Unfortunately there is a wrap of carbon that protrudes from the seat post that is crucial to stop the post rocking. The seat post clamps are always tricky with triathlon bikes as they aren’t round like road bikes, as we want them more aero-dynamic. All the bike companies struggle with the perfect design to stop them slipping and not cause damage. I’d actually bought an updated clamp from the 2010 QR bike as they had upgraded the design. Anyway this envelope of carbon cracked over the years, more due to transport than riding I think. Once it is cracked the seat post still sits at the correct height, but wobbles around and squeaks a lot. There was no way to repair it really, so it was pretty much time for a new bike. And of course the delightful question arose– which bike to choose? Fun ahead!
|No going back, Jack.|
Once you have a good TT frame that fits you, the cables are hidden, the bottle cages are thoughtfully placed, and you have had a good bike-fit, there is hardly any difference in the speed of them. So the new bike is really not going to make me much faster, but there are still important differences. I wanted a bike that had Di2 integration (the electric gear changing) with wires running inside the frame and the battery hidden. Also I wanted one with as many cables out of the wind as possible – getting the brake cable to the front back with a fat cable dangling in the breeze is a tough task and not many companies had mastered it. It had to be really adjustable, have good bottle placement options and most important of all, be fit me well and be sexy as hell.
|Developed World problems (fist world is outdated term). Mr Hannah, My Year 11 Geography teacher told me so.|
Through getting my fit co-ordinates I had worked out which bikes would fit my shape and style of riding and had narrowed it down to the ones below. So with the above pre-requisites it was quickly cut down to these new "super-bikes".
|Cletus, she's purty. Rurly purty|
Cervelo are a Canadian company who pretty much revolutionised the TT bike with their P2/P3 some seven years ago. They were the first to really think about aerodynamics, wrap the rear wheel and go for really steep seat tube angles. The P3 is still a classic and winning races regularly. The P4 was not such a big hit but the P5 has had great reviews.
Great looking, very aero, hydraulic brakes, Di 2 integrated, cool colours.
Hydraulic brakes mean the gears can't be changed from the bull-horns. That was the deal breaker for me.
Trek Speed Concept
Very aero bike with cool tool box. Holds the fastest bike split in Kona, ridden by Chris Lieto. A clean bike.
|Lance + Aqua = not for me.|
Aero, cool tool box behind the seat post.
Didn't like the colours, difficult to adjust, Trek has very checkered association with covering up Lance's doping and bullying people who spoke out. Would never buy Trek because of this and never really considered it.
Specialized Shiv Triathlon
Specialized are a pretty cool company. Very pro-actve and made some clever decisions. This Shiv gave up on the UCI and made it just for triathlon - awesome! Pat McQuaid be damned. It is very aero and good Di2 integration. Has a bladder inside the large frame that you can fill with a drink and a straw that comes up between the bars. A cool idea.
|Caveman crushin' on the Shiv. Hard to beat.|
Cool company, unbeatable adjustability.
Didn't rally like the thick down tube. Fuel system had mixed reviews. Eiter red or black - preferred a mix of both.
BMC is a no-nonense Swiss-German bike company (BMC= Bicycle Manufacturing Company - really!). The just released this last year and it sold out all over the world pretty quickly. Really sexy, Di 2 integration, very innovative cabling, breaks, seat post clamps, battery placement and overall design.
|Cadel on the 2012 model. Mine is 2013. Sweeet!|
So sexy!, no cables to be seen anywhere. Can use any bars/cockpit. Cadel in Grenoble. Oh and super sexy.
Was BB30 bottom bracket and my SRM cranks were Shimano BB. Difficult to place bottle between the bars.
I ended up going for the BMC and got some help from Pete Mcleod and Rat Dog's (Cameron Griffith) carbon plate that sits between the bars and Pete made a clamp - works awesome! Am super stoked with my decision and this bike. Check out the pics!
|Pretty clever little contraption.|
|Wind can't see nuffink.|
|Has been off the refined carbs.|
|Genius front brake system. Not a cable to be seen.|
|Why can't an Aussie company make something like this. Easier to dig a hole I guess.|