By way of background, I currently own a folding bike (Brompton), which is for commuting and joyrides, a tri bike (2007/2008 Felt B2) from back when I did triathlons. This bike also has some carbon Enve wheels (circa 2012) with a built in wireless powertap, and my gravel bike which is a circa 2006 Cannondale Optimo (it is powder blue, fairly lightweight, and I just love it except it needs a new drivetrain).
Earlier this year I thought, time to invest in some upgrades and I put a deposit down at my LBS towards new components and a quarq for the gravel bike. I thought in early February that surely I would have those things on my bike by the time the RR 100 rolled around for it’s originally scheduled date…Well, here we are four months later and I have nothing to show for my deposit (which was made in cash because I thought I could trust this particular shop) and I am trying to figure out how to handle the situation. In the mean time I have taken the old Optimo (named Pigpen) outside on two longer rides and I love it but I have also been getting the urge to join select friends on group rides on the road and not sure I want to show up for that on my tri bike (I wouldn’t be the only one on a tri bike however, just not sure I want to ride it anymore). I have been thinking about getting a road bike - - I live in a tiny house so this either means getting rid of the tri bike or putting all the holiday ornaments in storage to make room for more bikes. I always prided myself in not having so much junk that I needed to rent storage but maybe it is time to swallow my pride. I think if I sold the tri bike I would recoup about 8% of what I have invested in it while if I ever had the urge to do another triathlon, buying a new bike would be a serious expenditure even if I bought one with cheaper components.
As I do research on bikes I am more than a little overwhelmed. I feel like EVERYTHING has changed in the 13 years since I bought my (then) state of the art tri bike. From disc brakes to electronic shifting to even the type of tire and wheel…I really cannot absorb it all. I understand there may be road bikes that can handle gravel or even gravel bikes that are so aero, you slap on a different wheel or maybe even just a different tire and, bam, you have a road bike and are good to go on a quick ride? if this is true, I think maybe that is what I want…a gravel bike that is also speedy enough to hang on a group ride where everyone else is on a dedicated road bike…or do I want a road bike since outside of RR100 I probably won’t do tons of gravel riding but I will do some and maybe Pigpen is good enough (by the way I enjoy the course but don’t have an interest in racing it after riding it twice now LOL).
A friend who really knows bikes and is a very serious rider recommended I look at a 3T, the one that literally just came out. Boy is it pretty…he also recommended I look at a Connondale System Six - - but that looks to me to be exclusively a road bike?
Anyhow, I realize this is a topic where everyone who has an opinion will have one that is informed by their specific riding style and strengths. I am looking to potentially invest in another machine, also possibly sell the old tri bike (or keep it and rent storage for all my Halloween and Christmas ornaments lol). What say the bike / technology experts here? Particularly if you have recently purchased a bike, what would you do differently, what were you choosing between, what finally made you choose your current ride? What do you like? What do you wish you had? What could you have skipped?
Thanks so much - - I think the best ideas always come from groups like this so I am interested in hearing what everyone thinks on this topic. Also, I don’t want to pen myself into a budget until I understand what is out there - - so recommendations can run the gamut. I will say that I have lost all respect for the Competitive Cyclist [Edit: might have been “Outside Online” that made this absurd recommendation of a Pinarello Dogma for use as a commuter] because they recently published an article where the best all round bike recommendation “for commuting, group rides, and racing” was a $12.5K Pinarello Dogma. LOL. Where does the author commute I wonder? I would NEVER commute on such a bike! (So I guess what I am saying, is don’t post a link to that particular article, but feel free to recommend that particular bike if you feel strongly about it).