Recently, I decided it was time for a new bike. I’ve been really uncomfortable on my bike for a while and being a novice, I didn’t know any better. Now, uncomfortable can mean a lot of different things. For me, it was that I was that my balance felt off every time I rode. Whenever I tried to reach for my bottle or clip-in/out I was just off.
This is my first road bike. An Orbea Aqua Dama 2012. This was the first round of “women’s specific bikes” from Orbea. A line they have since stopped making. Basically, they put a women’s saddle on a men’s bike. Which sounds ok, but depending on the person can have its issues.
For me, and I only learned this recently, your geometry can be “off”. So, the above bike has a very “aggressive” seating or high seat, low handles. Made for racing. Due to the fact that I have a larger chest where everything was placed I was unbalanced. Even though the size/height was correct the other things (steam length, seat height, reach, etc).
So, I started researching and shopping and riding. I spent 3 weekends going to bike shops, testing bikes, and seeing what worked. Then I narrowed it down to 2 different bikes and compared their geometry to the bike I currently had. I had already been bike shopping for my first bike and knew I had to go in with WAY more knowledge. If I was getting the wrong bike at least it would be my fault this time! Thankfully, I got to work with super knowledgeable folks and women to boot!
Like I said, I rode a bunch of different bikes, asked a crap ton of questions, and in 1 case even asked about the model up that they had decided not to show me for whatever reason. It came down to a Cannondale Synapse and a Felt FRW5. What it really came down to was enjoyment. I LOVED riding the Cannondale and compared everything else I rode to that. It also didn’t hurt that it had better components and system for a better price!
For me, it was which bike did I WANT to keep riding right then. Which one did I not want to get off of! It proved to be the right choice for me! I’ve ridden my bike now more frequently that I rode my old one. It has made me LOVE riding again. I’m not nervous, or unbalance, or afraid I’m going to fall! It is the right bike for me.
If you are in the market for some new wheels I highly recommend that you do your research, shop around, and ask lots of questions! In my experience, sometime bike shops (not all) will sell you what they want (or need) to move instead of what is the best for you! However, they can’t do that if you know what is best for you! Good luck!!