Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Story of The Bike - I Got a New Bike, Biatch!

   I bought a new bike.  A road bike.  My first one.  It's a Fuji SL-1 Pro.  It's carbon, light weight, and it's fast.  

   I don't really know why I settled on the Fuji, but a guy I ride with has a Fuji.  His is carbon and he likes it.  A coworker recently bought a time trial bike (not a Fuji) but it is also a carbon frame.  We were talking about bikes and he said, "Dude, whatever you do, go carbon, even if means paying more for the frame but settling for lesser components - you can always upgrade later."  I think it was these two things that influenced my decision to purchase what I did.  That, and the fact that the Performance Bike catalog had arrived in my mailbox the week before.  

   I had already decided it was time for a road bike and was originally aiming for something in the sub $1,000 price range.  However, my attention kept being drawn back to the Fuji Pro.  At first I was interested in the Fuji Comp.  It was in the $1,300 range, had the same frame as the Pro, but was spec'd with the Shimano 105 gruppo, as opposed to the Shimano Ultegra that came with the Pro - and besides, I can always upgrade later, right?  

   Interestingly enough, the more I looked at the Comp, the more I noticed the Pro.  There was just something about it.  Maybe it was the name.  Somehow owning a bike with the word "Pro" as part of the name seemed, well, legitimate.  Maybe it was because the Fuji website said that this model was "not available in the U.S."  Maybe it was the fact that the following week the bike would be on sale for $1,700 (currently listed at $2,495) and already in "low inventory" status.  

   The day before the bike went on sale I went down to the local Performance store to check it out and to confirm that the ad wasn't a misprint or some kind of sadistic joke.  Surely enough the would be on sale as promised, but they didn't have any in stock at the store.  To add to the suspense (anguish?), the bike shop was having a grand opening the upcoming weekend and would be offering an additional 15% off the sale price.  So I had a choice to make: Do I wait a day and order the bike online, or do I wait a couple of more days and buy it locally (ie, have shop order it for me) and save an additional $255 off the sale price?  My gamble was would I rather have 100% of a $1,700 bike, or 0% of a $1,450 bike?  I chose to wait.  

   Throughout the week I began to regret my decision as I watched the online supply status change from "low inventory" to "out of stock".  Saturday I got up, and figuring I nothing to lose, clipped out my 15% coupon, and went down to the bike shop anyway.  The bike shop was packed.  It's amazing how many people will show up for a free water bottle and some pizza.  As I stood in line behind what must have been twenty people at one of the registers, I spotted my bike.  It was a display model and had not been there the week before.  Finally I was my turn at the counter and I can honestly say my hands were shaking at this point.  I couldn't believe it.

   "How can I help you?" the clerk asked.
   "Yes, I want to buy that bike right there," I said, hooking my thumb over my shoulder, hoping no one else would walk up and grab it before I could get to it.

   We went over and checked out the bike.  It was a "small" frame size.  Crap!  Based on the Fuji sizing chart I was somewhere between a medium and a large frame.  There was no way I could make this frame work for me.  I thought I was going to puke.  The clerk wrote down some numbers, went back to the computer, called someone in the back, and then informed me that they had one last bike in stock and it was a medium.  We compared the medium frame to a large frame (of a similar bike with same geometry) and the medium was a much better fit for me.  

   I am so glad I didn't jump the gun and purchase the bike online.  I would have paid more and would have gotten too big of a frame.  Then again, I could have wound up with nothing as well.  

   That's my bike purchasing story, what's yours?  Did you ever have any drama when purchasing a bike?


  1. Oh, my lord, that had me by the nape, your story. This shit is STRESSFUL, no? And happy endings rock. I'm waiting to hear the report of how it handles on the road now. I.e, does it pedal itself? Scatter nails in its wake to blow out the tires of pace suckers? Is it heavenly??? Inquiring minds want to know.

    My dad bought me a black and silver Raleigh Super Record off the bike shop floor when I was 16 years old. That's a while back now, ha. I put a bargeload of miles on it in my teens, and I still have it. We stuck a kid carrier on the back when my urchins were little, then took it off when they were suddenly big enough to ride it themselves. It's in the garage as we (metaphorically) speak, waiting for another ride. It's kind of a grandma, I guess. Grandpa might be better language: my dad bought a boy's style bike for me and he bought it a bit too large since he thought I would continue to get taller. (I didn't. I still have a hell of a time getting on that thing.)

    Wow. Thanks for the memories.

  2. last year i ordered my Santa Cruz Butcher in April'ish and didn't get it until f'kin August. i sold my Slayer in June so i was without a ride for two months. AND, it was a great summer to be riding; dry and cool. today it was 50's and raining for the third straight day. 50's. we're going into June soon. 50's? really?

    GLAD YOU GOT YOUR BIKE. awesome, ain't it???


  3. Great story Sine and congrats on the purchase. When I was in Dallas back in 2009/2010 I remember drooling over a couple of the Fujis at the Performance store.