I’m In Love

in Triathlons

Is it possible to fall in love with two wheels and a carbon frame? If so, then I am SMITTEN.


When Coach Marni heard that I was planning to train and race on my old, beat-up Giant, she said, “You really, really need to think about getting a new bike.” At first, I kind of brushed off the idea. You see, I have always believed that it’s the legs, not the bike, that really matters.


But Marni explained to me that, despite numerous tune-ups over the year, my shifters and other parts were likely pretty worn down.  Once she said that, I couldn’t help but notice how long it took for my derailleur to gear changes.  Sometimes, I have to hit the shifter twice to make something happen.


That was a few months ago.  With the seed planted, I started to take on extra work projects, Craigslisted some unwanted furniture, and stopped eating out to try to find some extra cash.  I saved enough to buy a reasonable bike, but I still hadn’t completely warmed up to the idea.


The final straw was on last weekend’s long ride. After two hours, I really started to notice how badly my bike fit.  Old shifters?  I can deal with that.  I don’t love it, but I can deal with it.  I bought my Giant secondhand, and it never fit perfectly (it’s an x-small and even at 5 foot 4, I’m a bit too tall for that).  Although it didn’t bother me a ton before, I think something must’ve shifted in my body after pregnancy; my lower back literally goes numb when I’m in the saddle for two long.


I walked into the store with a very firm budget… and I managed to spend less!


I snagged the Felt ZW5 for a little less than $1000.  It pains to me to say this, but that’s actually an insane deal. And all it took was a quick ride around the parking lot to know that it was worth every single pretty penny.  It’s lighter, more responsive, and – most importantly – much more comfortable than my old Giant.  It weighs a mere 18 pounds – less than Henry!


I haven’t ridden her outside yet – can’t wait for tomorrow! – but I did hook her up to my indoor trainer for a spin.  SO MUCH BETTER.  You know how I kind of dread cycling?  And always lament it’s my least favorite sport?  I think I just hated the fit of my bike, not the actual act of cycling.


Goodbye, Giant!  You were good to me, but it’s time to say goodbye.  You taught me how to shift gears with clip-in shoes…



Carried me through my very first of over a dozen triathlons…


And even traveled across the country to ride 100 miles (!!!) in the hills of Napa Valley, California.


I hope I can find you a happy home with a shorter owner. Smile  (I’m selling her for $100, if anyone in Charlotte is interested.)


So, in conclusion, if you’re looking to buy a new bike, now is apparently the time. So many good deals going on out there. And if you want to know more about buying a new or used bike, check out this post.



  • Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs September 21, 2013, 2:47 pm

    Ooooh how exciting! Congrats on your big purchase!

  • Sara @ LovingOnTheRun September 21, 2013, 3:04 pm

    Awesome deal! The bike looks sleek as light! She will do great for your half ironman!! Good luck!

  • Ginger September 21, 2013, 4:13 pm

    Sweet bike! I love my bike but I hate my trainer.
    I wonder if I set it up wrong or something?

  • Mary Jo September 21, 2013, 4:26 pm

    congratulations on the sweet new bike and good luck with your race!!

    please consider donating your old bike to Trips for Kids Charlotte. this is a wonderful organization that I volunteer my time with and they could really use that donation.


    if you can’t get it there I will be happy to pick it up and deliver it!

  • Dayna September 21, 2013, 4:31 pm

    Maybe it’s because my bike is my primary (and only, aside from my feet) form of transportation, but spending good cash on a quality bicycle has never seemed like a big deal to me. I used to ride a really terrible $25 thrift store bike and I couldn’t even last a month on that thing- it made biking an absolute nightmare. The fact that you’ve been racing triathlons on pretty out-of-shape bike (and too small, to boot! That photo of you hunched over your bike to push it along makes /my/ back hurt.) is pretty miraculous… I hope you’ll find your rides way more enjoyable! And yea, you got a hell of a deal! It’s a beautiful bike.

  • Janelle September 21, 2013, 4:46 pm

    Sweet! Congrats on the new bike. I wish I was good about saving for big purchases like that.

  • Lisa September 21, 2013, 5:54 pm

    Congrats on your new bike! 🙂

  • Miranda @ Lovely Wife Lovely Life September 21, 2013, 6:13 pm

    Don’t you just LOVE getting new gear!? I do the same thing every time I buy new shoes, a Garmin, or a Polar. It’s just so much FUN!

  • Christina September 21, 2013, 7:09 pm

    You got that bike for under $1000?!?!? Way to go! That is awesome!

  • Luv What You Do September 21, 2013, 8:02 pm

    Congrats on the new wheels! I was super excited when I got my new bike so I totally get that high!

  • Anna {Herbivore Triathlete} September 21, 2013, 8:35 pm

    Totally jealous over here! Congrats on the new bike, she’s a beaut.

  • Kate S. September 21, 2013, 10:02 pm

    YAYYYYYY! I’ve watched you ride your old bike over the years and SO WANTED you to splurge on a new bike! I bought my Cannondale in 2007 for about $1,600 (more than a small fortune to me then and still), and I have never once regretted spending the money. The right bike just creates magic, especially when you’re logging a lot of miles. I’m so excited for you! Congrats!

  • Scott Lundgren September 21, 2013, 10:22 pm

    You could also list your bike on the Charlotte Bike Market facebook group:


    It’s very likely another beginner triathlete will want it for next year’s season

  • Steph September 21, 2013, 11:23 pm

    Congrats!!!! That’s an awesome ride!

  • Flavia September 22, 2013, 12:33 am

    Hi Caitlin,
    I would definitely buy your bike but I live in Florida, could you ship it to me?? I would pay for shipping.
    Thank you 🙂

  • Barca Mama September 22, 2013, 4:21 am

    Congrats on your new wheels! 5ft 4in… You always look super tall in your photos:) Happy riding!

  • Kristen @ Medium Roast September 22, 2013, 7:22 am

    WOW, $1000 for a bike? I had no idea! I guess I haven’t really been bike shopping since grabbing on at Walmart in middle school. Good luck with your new bike!

  • Laura @ Mommy Run Fast September 22, 2013, 8:09 am

    Definitely possible. 🙂 Congrats on your new bike- so exciting!!

  • Runner Girl Eats September 22, 2013, 8:39 am

    Apparently I am way out of the tri loop because I had nooooo idea bikes cost even close to $1000! yikes!

  • Jo September 22, 2013, 11:45 am

    Congrats on your new bike! I have been shopping for bikes and you got an awesome deal! Does it have Tiagra or 105 components?

  • Brittany September 22, 2013, 3:21 pm

    Yes – you definitely CAN fall in love with a bike! I bought a Felt DA tri bike this year and loooove it. I’m also training with Marni’s pre-built plan for a half ironman in November, so it’s fun to see how your training experience has been! I think you’re a week or two ahead of me. Best of luck with your training 🙂

    • Steph September 25, 2013, 6:39 am

      Woo hoo! I just bought a Felt DA too and it is the best thing ever. *high five*

  • Marni September 22, 2013, 5:19 pm

    Congrats on the new shiny, speedy addition to the family!!!! Can’t wait to see you soon!!
    Happy Riding!
    -Marni (Your coach 🙂

  • Mary September 22, 2013, 8:16 pm

    I see you chose another road bike instead of a tri bike. I did too when I bought my new bike. I just wondered how you made the choice. Was it cost, fit, type of riding, or a combination? I have friends that swear a tri bike is better. Sweet bike by the way, and you did get an awesome deal. I recently rented a bike for a casual day of riding in Napa and the bike shifted horribly! Wear and tear definitely takes a toll. I am sure you will notice the difference right away. Best of luck on your HIM! I can’t wait to read the recap!!!

  • Laura September 23, 2013, 8:35 am

    You’re bike is so nice and that is an awesome deal!! I’m a little jealous of your new bike! Mine is about 3 years old (Specialized Dolce), but I pretty much didn’t ride for a year, so it isn’t too old but I’ve noticed issues when shifting gears like you mentioned. It seems to take forever to change gears and isn’t very smooth when doing so. It is so annoying! Guess I’ll try taking it in for a tune up to see if that helps.

    • Steph September 25, 2013, 6:41 am

      Do that! My road bike is 24 years old with no problems, so with regular tune-ups, you can really get a bike to last for a long time.

  • Courtney September 23, 2013, 11:35 am

    What a killer deal! People don’t realize that bikes have model years like cars and so fall is the best time to buy before the 2014s come out 🙂

  • Katie September 23, 2013, 12:11 pm

    I would have loved to find a deal like that just to get me used to a road bike. I plan on purchasing one within the next few months, and will have to add felt to my list of brands to search and try.

  • Kim September 23, 2013, 3:53 pm

    Woohoo! Congrats on your new bike!

    Sometimes it feels difficult to fork over a lot of money for products, but you will definitely get your money’s worth out of it, making it a good investment!

  • Espie September 24, 2013, 7:54 pm

    man, i wish you lived closer. I’ve been hunting for an xs road bike on CL for over a year!

Previous post:

Next post:

Healthy Tipping Point