I'm doing Ironman Canada...I need new gear. I think that's pretty much how it went down. In my head, out loud, to anyone that would listen. Maybe not in those words but let's face it, that's what it comes down to. I can't look like the amateur that I AM when I race Ironman Canada not to mention everyone else is getting new stuff, why not me? Yeah. All good justifications but I'm frugal and practical so here is the 'how to' on getting new gear on the cheap - Craigslist. Okay, that's it, my work is done here. In all seriousness, I love Craigslist. I found my first road bike on there for a smoking deal and now I have my gorgeous tri bike, also for a smoking deal.
So the run down of the new gear - 2008 Scott Contessa Plasma tri bike (Craigslist), Shimano 2011 Women's tri shoes (gift certificate), Speedplay Zero pedals (sale), bike seat yet to be purchased (potentially the only full price/non-gift certificate item), and other minor things like windproof gloves and compression riding tights.
Now a lot of research went into these purchases. I was lucky with my bike. It was exactly my size and the price was awesome. I tried out several brands at Speedy Reedy and was tempted to go for the Cervelo P2 but they didn't have my size in the 2010 and I wasn't willing to pay full price for the 2011, not to mention I didn't need a brand new bike.
The shoes, again more research. I wanted something stiff, breathable, one strap, a big loop in the back, and comfortable. It came down to the Shimano shoes or a pair of Mavic shoes. The Shimano shoes matched my bike...how could I pass those up? Besides, they were the same price.
With new shoes comes new pedals. I've been rocking the SPD mountain bike pedals for the past 3 years, it was time to get road pedals. I read a lot about the Speedplay brand and settled in on that. And behold, a sale! Sure, the pedals are blue and had I paid full price I would have gotten pedals that matched my bike but no one sees them anyway and I got them half off!
Lastly, the seat. Speedy Reedy has been a godsend with saddles. They allow folks to borrow their test saddles and since I don't live in Seattle they've been very lenient with me (Thank you, thank you, thank you). I've tried the Cobb VFlow, a Selle SMP (maybe I didn't have it in the right position), a Fizik (I prefer the cutouts), and the ISM breakaway (too wide). My favorite - the Cobb. I plan on buying one it's just a matter of timing. Which...now that I think about it I have a race in a week and the current saddle on my bike is the ISM (which I did not like)...hmmm...