Well, I was starting to think the dream of getting a new tri-bike was just never going to happen, until last week when my awesome wife came home, after a weekend of being up at the cottage while I took our older son camping, and exclaimed that she would like to get me my tri-bike for my birthday! WHAT!? Yeah, I know...I couldn't believe my ears either.
Those of you with a couple very young kids (in my case: 1 in daycare and the other only a few months old), know that these kind of purchases are just way down on the priority list and very unlikely to materialize (provided there is one sane spender in the marriage - again I got lucky with my wife).
I have to send a huge shout out and thanks to Dan at Enduro Sport in Toronto for his generosity in supporting me to help me get the bike, along with his great staff for their expertise, as well as outstanding customer service. To give you an example - Trevor (the store manager & great guy) stayed with me almost an hour after closing to make sure I had everything I needed and all my questions answered (sorry for keeping you so late by the way ;D).
I was lucky enough to be able to get the bike fitting scheduled and done today as well, even on short notice.
I think Tom from https://runbynumbers.blogspot.com/ said it best in response to a question I posed on the daily mile about how I could best thank the guys at Enduro Sport for their help when he said,
"Bring along a camera and write a blog post about your experience in picking up the bike and getting fitted. Not everyone appreciates the importance of a proper fitting, and FIST certified shops like Endurosport perform a *lot* more involved process than most other stores in the area. Having a detailed testimonial about all the work they put into the process may be enough to convince potential buyers to look beyond just the price tag. Helps them out, and does a service to your readers as well ;)"
Well, I thought that was a great suggestion and although I'm not going to have a too detailed summary of the fitting with Will (very knowledgeable dude), I did manage to grab a couple of quick pics before I got on the bike, and Brian the service manager took a couple shots of me as well (awesome guy too - you should go meet him). So here we go...
Where to start? Well, I guess it would have started back at one of my earlier visits to the store where, as typical, I probably lingered around too long, since I was making the most of my drive in from Mississauga.
You know the kind of trip to the bike (or in this case triathlon) store where you just in awe of all the bikes hanging around the shop, you know the ones that you will probably never own but ask to get sized up for one anyway. Hey, a guy has to have dreams right?
So on this particular occasion I asked if I could get sized up for a Cervelo P2 triathlon bike, I didn't have the audacity to ask for the P3 (even my dreams couldn't reconcile me needing a bike better that the 3x Ironman world Champ Chrissie Wellington).
So anyway, I sat on my good buddy the spring loaded crotch crusher shown below and then they took a couple more measurements and voila...who knew that I had long legs and short torso! So after doing some calculations and looking up charts they came back with my magic number...56! 56cm. Somehow I felt much more confident in this process rather than the guy in another shop that gave me half a glance and said, "Oh yeah, you're a size 54 for sure or maybe a 56". It may be that the good fitters can do that, but perception is everything and these added steps made the process feel a bit more scientific and instills confidence that you are dealing with people that really know what they are doing.
Next step, fast forward to today when I went to get the bike fit done. It's an hour long process that literally starts at your toes and moves all the way up to your fingers.
Oh, I guess I haven't shown you the bike yet...Here it is! What thing of beauty!
(click picture for full-sized image)
The first step of the fit was to adjust the cleats on my pedals...Oh wait, I didn't have any yet!
I had to make a decision about if I was just going to take the ones off my road bike or get new ones.
I opted for the new bike / new pedals options.
Some Shimano Ultegra pedals pictured here were what Will recommended in addition to the Shimano 105's. He did mention that every other person besides him in the shop was riding speed play pedals, but I think I like this recommendation.
What do you think? Good choice? Comment below.
So after he got the pedals on the bike, the next thing he did was to add the cleat to my existing triathlon biking shoes. He stated that he likes to start with the the cleat all the way back towards the heal for more power transfer and only move it if necessary later.
Check out Brian on the left really torquing that screw to make sure the cleat is secure and Will on the right making sure the position and angle were just right.
After that it was time to jump on the saddle for the next step. He checked out the pedals and foot position while I was pedaling from the side and the back. I think from the back he may have been looking at the lateral side to side motion of the cleat and ensuring that I had enough 'float' with the pedal (I may be wrong on that and may have to get clarification from him as to just exactly what he was adjusting and update this post later).
He proceeded to measure knee angle with a special protractor when my foot was about in the 5 o'clock position of my pedal stroke (or the point when my foot is the furthest from my hip - I think? Definitely will need some edits on this post. I think this information was going to be used to check the seat height, although I didn't need any adjustment since his initial guess was bang on right in the middle of the range he was looking for. He asked how it felt when I pedaled, and honestly everything was so different from my normal bike it was hard to distinguish but I thought I might be reaching a little bit so he lowered the seat ever so minutely. After the angle was rechecked to make sure we were still in the zone it was time to move on.
Hip angle was next up, and again it was spot on in the middle of the range so no adjustments necessary. He did mention that he thought the bike was pretty dialed in when I first got on just based on his experiences of usually noticing glaring problems with body position / angles on the bike.
After the hip, it was on to the cockpit (no forward or backwards adjustment of the seat required). Will recommended that I leave all the spacers in for a few months since it was my first tri-bike and it was important to get comfortable on the bike first and then I can come back later if I would like to dial it in for a more aggressive aerodynamic position if I like.
Oh yeah, did I mention that all service and adjustments are free for the entire first year I have the bike? That sounds like a customer service policy I can live with, nice to see people standing behind their work!
I'm not sure what was being said in the picture below because I couldn't hear due to the deafening sound of the turbo trainer whizzing like a Boing 737 jet engine, but I think it was something along the lines of "...Why weren't you in the Tour de France with that awesome power...Watch out Mark Cavendish". I think he missed the decimal place on the power meter, but I wasn't about to say anything! ;D Okay, well maybe I don't remember all the things he was talking to me about, but hey I have a mind field of scarring in my brain so my memory is not exactly what it used to be. :D
I believe one of the last steps was to try out various tilt angles on the aero-bars when they were loosened. I think I was okay with them being pretty much horizontal so we put them back to that position. He mentioned that since I was planning on doing 1/2 ironman distance training, comfort should be the first consideration.
Finally, I got the "I think that's it, you're pretty much dialed in" after I had been biking off and on for an hour with no real complaints. He tightened up all of the bolts and I was free to go, as was he on to the next guy getting a fitting who just happened to have the same bike I bought but in a size 51.
Here are a couple more pictures I took of the store before my bike fitting, after we were done I waited around to buy some cool accessories for the new bike (aero-bar water bottle, behind the seat double water bottles, CO2 valve and cartridges, a couple spare tubes, some eLoad small packs to try as a Gatorade alternative, and a couple other odd and ends. Noticeable exceptions on the purchase list where Zipp wheels, a power tap, and an aero helment. Maybe next year, for now I'm going to bask in my excitement over my new Cervelo P2.
Hopefully one of my two readers will go check out the shop, talk to you guys and see why Enduro Sport is the #1 shop for triathletes in the greater Toronto area.
Cheers....Until next time...