After training for the Rapha Women's 100 for about two months, I now officially have my own bike.
And it's making all the difference.
I've gone from a borrowed unisex bike to my newly purchased women's specific, and I got a proper fit. The bars feel higher and closer to me, and after riding it, I can say I'm much more likely to be happier sitting there for hours.
Before stepping foot in a bike shop, I had been bugging friends while casually looking at bikes online—which ones are good intro bikes, which ones have good (enough) components and what would be a good price range?
The Bike Shop
After going to a local bike shop and trying out a few bicycles, it honestly felt like wedding dress shopping. I went in with an idea of what my bike would look like, and after trying some that were completely wrong or felt wonderful, I walked out with something different than what I originally intended.
They all kind of felt the same as each other: completely different than the borrowed bike I had been riding, and much more comfortable.
After a while, I started to figure out which of them I might feel comfortable riding for hours at a time. I found one, but somebody had already spoken for it at the shop. So, I went up to the shop's main store north of Dallas.
I went for a test ride, and it felt fine. Just fine. I didn't exactly know. It seemed good enough?
The associate put the bike on a trainer and had me ride for a little while. He looked concerned. He pulled out some measuring tape along with a contraption that showed an angle and began measuring different things, all the while shaking his head. I'd move forward, still clipped in, balancing while he'd adjust my seat. As I started to pedal once more, he said another bike might be a better fit.