Today’s shopping expedition has been a success. The store I’d picked as my first choice, John’s Bikes in Bath, came up trumps and I’ve ordered my new bike, a Trek 7.3 FX. Particular thanks go to Joe who served me.
Last night I was wavering between the 7.3 which matches my budget of £500 and the 7.5 which is around £150 more. I decided to ask for Joe’s opinion and he explained that they are essentially different machines. The gearing on the 7.5 is closer to that of a road bike whist the 7.3 is closer to a touring bike. Since I need all the help I can get with hills he confirmed my suspicion that the 7.3 would be more suitable. His candour is appreciated and it’s always great when you know you’re not being over-sold something.
I then got to sit on a couple of different sized bikes so we could make sure that I’d be buying the correct size for me. Unlike my Super Galaxy I didn’t feel I was stretching and I had a more upright position, both of which felt much better. THe good news was that whilst John’s Bikes didn’t have the one I need in stock it was available for them to order immediately so it should be with them on Thursday.
Obviously just sitting on a bike in a shop doesn’t give you much of a clue as to how comfortable the saddle will be. First impressions was that it felt okay but I’m aware that my bottom isn’t used to saddles so it will need time to get used to whatever I have. Joe suggested that I try the standard saddle that ships with the bike for a few weeks and then, when I bring the bike in for its initial tune-up I can discuss how I’m getting on with it. If necessary they have sit bone measuring equipment so we can use to try to find a more suitable saddle if I’m not getting on with it.
Once we’d decided on the bike I went through the list of extras I’d drawn up before visiting. I definitely wanted mudguards and a bottle cage (two if it can take them or I’ll be sharing a bottle with my daughter when we’re out together). I also bought a wireless computer so I can check my speed and distance. I’d thought about using my iPhone but I’d rather not have to rely on it so a computer will do for now and if I end up fitting an iPhone carrier too then so be it. Finally I bought a new helmet. I’m not a huge fan of them but I like my daughter to wear one and I need to set a good example for her.
I can also fit a rear rack to the bike which I will do at some point, especially once my fitness is up to a level where I can comfortably cycle to my local towns to do chores and bits of shopping.
The grand total came to around £690 but Joe immediately said that he could give me a bit of a discount and took £30 off the total which was a nice little bonus because, unlike my dad who’d put Alan Sugar to shame, I’m useless at negotiating discounts in shops.
So now I’ve just got to patiently wait a couple of days. I’m really excited about the bike and looking forward to picking it up in time for a few rides with my daughter to end the Easter holidays.