Although I recently sold my triathlon race bike frame (and its guts are spewed all over our apartment), I have placed the order for a new (seriously sweet) tri bike frame from one of my awesome sponsors, Kestrel. However, the delivery date is T.B.D. (rumors have it that its still being optimized to be the best it can be; I love love love engineering!), and I just couldn’t go any longer without riding my trainer (seriously, who says that?).
I have also decided that this will be the summer that I race my first road race. Maybe even a crit or two, who knows. In just my first year of cycling, I’ve developed quite a passion for the sport. Training with the big kids pushes me to get to the next level. Getting other women involved in the sport is really motivating, too. So, in order to train now and race (UCI legal) later, I had to get a road bike. The awesome guys at The Bike Shop twisted my arm, I swear.
The day the bike arrived, I told everyone who crossed my path that it was Christmas. I felt giddy and happy, and I was smiling ear to ear, so excited to hop on the saddle. My LBS really helped a girl out, like they usually do, because they found me the best deal, looked through their catalogs at last year’s bikes that were still in stock, and truly helped me save money and get the best bang for my buck (I am a graduate student, after all). Since I spend a lot of my free time in the Shop anyway, I thought- what the heck, I might as well try to put my own dang bike together.
So, without further adieu, I introduce to you… my new best friend, Jamis Xenith Race.
Getting the bike into my apartment was the easy part. Actually, putting the bike together wasn’t too bad either. Most bikes these days come to your local bike shops pretty far along on the assembly process. There’s some attachments and tightening and tuning that must happen, but its not like the bike shop dudes will have to assemble the wheels for you (well, in most cases anyway).
So I decided to assemble my own bike. Easy schmeezy? I wouldn’t go that far. But it wasn’t terrible.
Step 1: Mount bike on bike stand. Since my bike is all-carbon, I had to be extra-careful not to tighten the grip too tight to the top tube, otherwise I would run the risk of cracking it. Not a good thing to do on Day One. Once its on the rack, its much easier (and safer for the bike) to take the packaging off. Again, all-carbon means I don’t want my bike really touching anything unless my wheels are on, so touching the fork to the floor is a really bad idea.