I bought a bike

IMG_20140123_165542 by andrewgillsag
IMG_20140123_165542, a photo by andrewgillsag on Flickr.

I was just going to have a look. I wasn’t going to buy. I was going to check out options for what I wanted to save up for. I had good intentions.

And then, I rode the Vivente World Randonneur. I rode it around the shop driveway. Then I ventured further up the street. I couldn’t stop riding so I just did laps of the block – up the hill, around some corners, down a slope and along the grass. I did it all for about half an hour. And then I stayed sitting on the bike in the shop holding the wall to keep from toppling over.

I tried a bike one size up. I considered the fantastic value for money that the Vivente represented compared with other touring bikes:

  • 4103 steel frame
  • Shimano LX drive train
  • Shimano LX front dynamo hub
  • Busch & Muller lights
  • 36 spoke trekking wheels
  • Schwalb marathon 700×35 trekking tyres
  • Tubus rear rack
  • front rack mounting points
  • double legged kick stand
  • two water bottle cages with mounts for a third
  • comfortable trekking bars.

I read every online review I could find and all were glowing. I found blogs about the bike and saw people riding them in all sorts of conditions. I read the history of the company and the owner’s story.

Sure, the Surly Long Haul Trucker is the usual touring bike choice, but it’s overpriced and under-specced here in Australia. Last year I was quoted $3,000 for a build with the same level components as I was being offered with the $1,400 Vivente. Why so cheap? Because it’s a 2012 model the bike shop have had sitting on the floor for 18 months. There aren’t many new 2012 models left in Australia – the manufacturer sold out and it’s only floor stock left. Yes, a shop in Sydney is selling them for $1199 but I though $1,400 was a fair price for the bike given it’s recommended retail and that I liked the 2012 more than the 2013.

The only thing I’m going to change is the saddle because the WTB saddle might be a bit wide for me. I gave my father-in-law one of my old bikes recently and he doesn’t like the saddle but I think he’ll like this one; so I’ll probably just swap with him. But I’ll test the WTB first – we have a long weekend so that’s going to give me heaps of time to ride.

I sit quite upright on the bike. My posture is more like a city bike than a racing bike. It’s so comfortable.

I can’t wait to ride to work tomorrow.

10 comments on “I bought a bike

  1. Your bike is lovely. I want to ride it! You’ve inspired me to hop on my bike and take a spin around the lake–once this new blast of polar air clears out!

  2. Where is your willpower? What happened to the rules of haggling to get more than you paid for? What happened to walking away and sleeping on it, when it comes to making a big decision?

    Typical chap 😀 i have done the same thing so many times.

    I hope you and the new love in your life have many happy adventures 🙂

    So have you named it yet ?

    • Haha. 😀 . I was happy with the price because I’d done my research. I could have paid $200 less but then I would have needed to ship the bike up from Sydney and wouldn’t get a shop fitting and the first service included etc.

      I did sleep on the buy. I actually test rode it on Wednesday afternoon and waited until Thursday to make a decision.

      My bikes don’t generally get named. The only bike I ever named was the Purple Monster and that was because it was a recycled bike of unknown origin so it didn’t have a brand or other identifying factors. And it was just an old monster like Frankenstein. I’ve never been one to name inanimate objects except in anger 🙂

  3. Congratulations on the big decision! I wonder how many new potential trips/adventures are running through your dreams at the moment.

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