Monday, November 12, 2007

Testing mountain bikes and getting a trainer

On Saturday morning, I went for a group ride. The person who leads the Wednesday night indoor cycling class encouraged (read, pressured) us to join a group ride that he leads from the store each Saturday. It was more or less the right distance for me so I went ahead and and gave it a try. The ride is nice and I'll probably go back fairly regularly until my mileage picks back up again in the spring. Since the bike shop is only two and a half miles from my house, I rode my bike there.

After the group ride, I test rode some mountain bikes. I looked at the Gary Fisher Caliber and the Trek Fuel Ex7. Both bikes were 2007 models priced significantly below MSRP. I also gave the 69er 3x9 a spin. I had expected to like the Fuel Ex7 the best but I actually thought that the 69er was just fun -- it's a hardtail with a 29-inch wheel up front and 26-inch wheel in the back but I liked the Caliber the best. I said that I wanted to seep on it and they said that it was the last 2007 Caliber that they had in stock and suggested that I put a deposit down on it. I went home and gave them a call. The orange Caliber awaits.

I feel a bit badly about the whole thing. I keep on going back and forth. I like mountain biking alright but I like road biking a whole lot more. I know that DH would like to vacation in DuPont or Tsali and that is definitely a factor but I've been feeling a bit pinched financially and we just got back from vacation which didn't help that situation any. DH is encouraging me to go ahead and get the mountain bike.

That afternoon, I was back at a bike store to get a trainer. Last week, I talked to Maya the Virtual Coach and she said to go with the fluid-type trainer. Trainers come in three basic types: wind, magnetic and fluid. Wind trainers create turning a fan thereby creating resistance while magnetic trainers use a series of magnets to create resistance and fluid trainers use liquid silicone to generate resistance. As the silicone heats, it gets more and more difficult. I solicited trainer recommendations from several sources and everyone agreed that CycleOps was the brand to get and everyone with an opinion suggested the fluid style, specifically, the Fluid2.

[Narrator: Local bike shop. A customer picks up a CycleOps Fluid2 box.]

Bike Shop Employee: Are you getting that for you?

Me: Yes

Bike Shop Employee: Well, my wife uses a trainer and she hated that one. Have you considered the Magneto?


I did go ahead and get the Fluid2.

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