Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘buying bicycle

Nurturing Possibility

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Anything’s possible, so we may as well allow ourselves to be open to it. I do believe that it is possible to cultivate our own luck, but when good fortune and grace flow over me, I find it hard to process the unexpected blessing. I’m the most pessimistic optimist I’ve ever known.

One of the bike shops I visited on Thursday mentioned I could try calling the Trek home office directly to see if they would do a nationwide search for the specific Domane+ I wanted. To prove a point to Cyndie about how dismal things were looking in my bike hunt, I told her about that longshot advice.

She encouraged me to try it. As we were preparing to turn in for the night Thursday, I decided I would confirm there were none available anywhere by calling Trek in the morning, and then I would focus on finding one of the alternative choices in stock somewhere in the Twin Cities.

A little before 11:00 a.m., I pressed the numbers on my phone to reach Trek. It only took two or three easy steps of the decision tree to bring up a human voice eager to assist me. He quickly searched the 2022 bikes and found zero in my size. I could hear him keying away as he described changing the search to 2021 models.

“I found only one in the nation that size. Looks like it is at Freewheel Bikes in Minneapolis.” he happily reported.

What!?

I was just at the Freewheel in Woodbury the day before and they couldn’t find any Domane+’s. With giddy thanks, I logged off that call and entered the number he provided to the Minneapolis shop.

“Let me look it up.” the voice on the other end said. As he clicked keys he cautioned that the shop computer systems don’t necessarily update instantaneously so discrepancies are possible.

“Ope, there it is. Yep, we have that bike. It arrived at the beginning of this month and was assembled on the 10th.”

That is likely the reason the other shop didn’t find it yet. It had just been built and had yet to be accounted for in the system.

Go ahead. Tell me the odds of the timing of my search and the very recent local availability of this single bike in the entire country.

“And there is no claim on this bike yet?” I don’t know if he could sense the state of shock I was entering.

“Nope. There is no name attached to this bike.”

“Put mine on it please and I will be in to pick it up today,” I said, not even thinking about the falling snow and blustery wind creating hazardous winter driving conditions all day long.

Choosing to go get the bike immediately was the easiest decision I’ve made in a long time.

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Bike Ruminations

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You all know how much I like making decisions. I have a touring bike that has served me just fine for the last couple of decades, my trusty Trek 520. One reason I’ve had it this long is that replacing it would require deciding what else to get. Another reason is that I don’t like to spend money if I don’t need to.

My trusty Trek 520 circa 2008.

My 520 still works just fine, seeing as how I’ve upgraded the drivetrain components and replaced wheels through the years. However, my body isn’t working as well as it did when I first purchased that ride oh so long ago and today’s cycles now offer motorized assistance to offset shortcomings in leg strength and stamina.

I am seriously tempted. So tempted, I’ve been doing some shopping this week. It’s been both inspiring and disheartening.

First, let’s get this out of the way. Prices! Oh. My. Gosh. I think they should offer loan programs like auto dealerships do.

That said, I have saved up for this luxury, so I could feasibly buy at almost any price right now if it wasn’t for my being so spending-averse. I refuse to spend five digits for a two-wheeler, even if it includes electronic pedal assist.

Given all that, I was able to narrow my choices to a really snazzy Trek Domane+ that I feel would suit me just fine. The thing is, that model, in my frame size, is non-existent until longer than I want to wait. Factory lead time right now is about 8 and a half months, and given the state of supply chain issues of late, I don’t have any confidence that the length of time won’t almost double.

I wonder how many Shimano components are stuck on ocean liners waiting in lines at ports right now.

There is an alternative to waiting for my preferred choice. I could consider a model that is more readily available. The Allant+ looks less like my road bike and more like my mountain bike. My initial reaction is that I wouldn’t be as comfortable on it riding for hours on end, but then the addition of a motor helping turn the crank makes it hard to judge how I will actually feel by the end of a long day.

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I would add bar ends to provide alternate hand positions. The Allant includes a headlight and taillight. The Allant model I would choose is $250 cheaper than my Domane selection and has more oomph from its battery/motor combination. The power assists are from different manufacturers: Bosch vs. Fazua. However, the Allant’s increased power components contribute to the bike being twenty pounds heavier than the Domane. In addition, I do have a psychological hangup about wanting to ride 700c wheels on the road. I’m guessing I wouldn’t notice the difference of the only slightly smaller wheels on the Allant.

Did you follow all that?

TL;DR is that it is not a straightforward choice of pros and cons between what I want and what is actually available near term.

Decisions, decisions.

I am thoroughly seated on the fence and ruminating, enjoying not spending a penny on a new bike until a decision is finally made.

Of course, I could still choose to ride my 520 for another year and accept the delayed gratification if I order my preferred Domane+…

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