This much is clear: it’s time for a new road bike. My 2005 Giant OCR1 has been great to me, but it is showing signs of age and wear. In the not-too-distant future it will be relegated to indoor trainer duty. But what of the immediate future? I expect to ride another 3,000 or so miles and compete in a couple of races before the end of the 2010 riding season. If money were no object, I’d get a new bike right now and feel confident of good performances at my target events. But money is a huge object, and I’m in a Catch-22.
If I try to get to the end of the season with the OCR1, then I will have money for travel expenses, registration fees, etc. But I don’t know if I can enjoy those events on a bike that performs the way the OCR1 now does.
If I buy a new bike, then I likely will cancel my plans for several of the special events I wanted to do this summer. The money for the new bike has to come from somewhere, and those travel expenses, registration fees, etc., are discretionary expenditures, after all.
At the moment, the “buy the new bike” argument is winning. With it I could ride confidently, perhaps even ramp up my training in pursuit of loftier goals in 2011. I’m a better rider now than I was when I bought the OCR1. Taking a step up to a better equipment level should help me to continue to progress. Certainly, I’m going to take that step before next year. Doing it now would mean a shorter special event calendar for 2010, but I think it also would mean more productive training and a better 2011.
And if I decide to pull the trigger, what frame material do I choose? The knee-jerk answer was titanium, but I can’t overlook carbon fiber. Aluminum? I think I’m done with aluminum. I don’t want to be here again in 3-4 years.
More on this subject soon …