Road trip posting 

We are on our way back down south on the M6 – the day has not been as successful as we had hoped it would be. Ribble put a spanner in the works by putting the Grand Fondo on offer this weekend, which as far as we can tell, means the following:

  • The bike I would like to buy is available much cheaper this weekend, but only with limited options. Options which do not meet my requirement. 
  • The bike that I would like to buy is also available as normal, but at an inflated start price. 

Annoying!

So I have several choices:

  1. Buy the offer bike with Di2 but with a 11-25 spec and wider than required handlebars and then seperately buy the rear mech, cassette, chain and handlebars. About £40 cheaper than the price I was originally planning to pay but with considerable changes needed from the off. 
  2. Buy the offer bike with mechanical shifting with an 11-25 spec and wider than required handlebars and then serperately buy the rear mech, cassette, chain and handlebars. Just under £1200, but with considerable changes from the off. 
  3. Buy the standard bike with Di2 with the spec that I require. £1924.85. Over budget – therefore not an option.
  4. Buy the standard bike with Mechanical shifting and the spec that I require. £1450. Not an option, option 2 would be preferable.
  5. Wait until Monday, when the offer is over, hope that the price goes back down on the Di2 standard. Buy as planned at planned price. Risk: if the price doesn’t go back down then Di2 is no longer an option.

I thought I had successfully made a decision and now there are more to make. 

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Decisions, decisions, decisions…and a horror film.

Yippeeeee! It’s a lovely day, I am about to go out on my bike for the afternoon and tomorrow we are heading up to Bamber Bridge in Lancashire to purchase the new bike. All in all pretty exciting.

I am fairly rubbish at making decisions, I struggle with questions as simple as “how much dinner would you like?” – to which I generally reply “oh, the normal amount” and then go back for seconds. The purchase of my first bike (a Giant Defy 2) was so painful for the people in my old office that my boss mentioned it in her speech when I left, under “what we won’t miss”. And the procurement of my second bike has, if anything, been worse. I now know more about bikes and about the spec that I would like. I am not simply taking my brother’s advice or choosing the prettiest one.

So I always assumed that I would upgrade to another Giant. Due to neck pains on my current bike I did however decide that I would go for a WSD, so the Giant Avail Advanced 1 looked like the obvious choice and I would easily be able to purchase this from the LBS.  But that wasn’t to be, it met my spec but it isn’t available in time. Circumstance therefore forced me to consider other options, so we took ourselves off for a weekend in London and a visit to the bike show. My previous post summarises my thoughts from that trip.

I have since considered and ruled out the Scott Contessa Solace, a lovely bike, but then so it should be for £1700 – particularly when the components are only 105. When I say only 105, I mean for the price; 105 is very good, apparently. The Cannondale I have not given any further thought to; Cannondale were never on my radar before the bike show and I am really not fussed still. So that left Dolan and Ribble to fight it out.

Tomorrow I am off to Ribble. Dolan is half an hour away but I doubt I will go there. I think…I have made a decision. 

Ribble Grand Fondo, Di2.

I think I will need more than electronic shifting to get up here though: http://thecolcollective.com/col-collection/col/alpe-dhuez

I had better get out in the sunshine and do some training!

The contenders

The bike contenders, before and after the London Bike Show:

Before

Giant Avail Advanced 1: Stuck in a port in LA apparently – but there certainly aren’t many in the UK until June (too late)! Plus it’s a Ultegra/105 mix.

Canyon Endurace 9.0 CF: It turns out it isn’t possible to get 11/32 on this bike. A Laura requirement for hills.

A Rose carbon ultegra bike: Nothing wrong with this bike, four week delivery, and it was a serious contender for most of the day, but it is from Germany and I think I would prefer the convenience and safety of a UK supplier.

After

Cannondale Synapse Carbon Ultegra: Would test ride one if I could find one, but I’m not that bothered – probably not a serious contender. The women’s versions were disgusting (glitter?!?)

Scott Contessa Solace 25: I am test riding one of these in the week.Only 105 though.

Ribble Gran Fondo: An addition to the list this morning, thanks to Ollie. Looks amazing!

Dolan L etape Carbon Ultegra: The fave. Such value!

Oh, well that was some good ruling out :-\

To finish off, here’s a couple of pictures of Ollie and I trying the recumbent challenge. Ollie was the winner of the day!

Saturday's champion

Saturday’s champion

Trying the recumbent challenge - ouchie

Trying the recumbent challenge – ouchie

And one of Ollie, not trying very hard…

hahahaha

hahahaha

Free spa treatment

When I set out on my bike this morning, I was expecting rain. It didn’t rain, well not until some drizzle at the end, but I did get an unexpected exfoliation of the face! The first lorry was the worst, it was coming towards me, and as it passed it whipped up all the mud and grit it could find and chucked it right in my face. Ouch. I mainly kept my snood fixed firmly to my face after that, but it didn’t stop the others trying.

Once I got home my clothes were unrecognisable and the parts of my bib tights which had been covered were a totally different colour to the rest. But it was nice to be out on my bike. 😀🚵🚴

Only nine hours until the bike show. Night night!

I love the weekend!

I finished work for the weekend, early and made my amazing Dad (who has been decorating and DIY-ing in my flat for two weeks) thank you cakes and made a cake for my Valentine – because it’s that weekend.

Happy Valentines weekend!

Happy Valentines weekend!

We aren’t really doing Valentines, though it probably may appear to others that we are. It is totally coincidental that we happen to be spending the weekend in London, because without a thought to the date we booked to go to the Bike Show at the London Excel; we are also going to see Made in Dagenham at the theatre and will have a nice Italian meal to top it off.

I am so excited.

The bike show is the beginning of my carbon bike procurement journey. Will it be the primary front runner – Giant, that I fall head over heels with or will a more competitive, good looking rival win me over? Maybe I will buy a Rose (that would be an apt choice), Canyon, Cube, Mavic, Scott….? Now is the time to get your recommendations in. I sort of know what I want but I am hoping that I will get exposure to potential choices in a way the internet spectacularly fails at. 

At the moment, as you know, I am torn about what type of brakes to get but I know that I would like 11-speed, Ultegra (full if possible) and I would like 30 or 32 teeth (I really do hate those hills).  The Giant fits the spec nicely, but is on a very long delivery time and would barely make it to me in time for our Alpy Holiday and no chance for Yorkshire. Finally, I am after an endurance fit rather than a racy style and I am moving away from uni-sex to women -specific. 

So, we will see and I am sure you will wait with baited breath!

And since tomorrow is leave from work, I will finally get out on my poor, rejected old steed and give my tired brain a rest from Uni work. I really could do with the exercise! 

Have a lovely Valentines weekend.

 ? 

xxx

p.s. hello to the Grandbeings – sorry I haven’t been able to visit recently.