Shopping for the Marmotte bike

So I’ve been shopping for (and dreaming about) a sweet new disc-brake equipped road bike for my week in the French Alps and the big La Marmotte Gran Fondo. And I’ve discovered, surprisingly, that several of the big brand names still aren’t offering disc brakes on the kind of bike I want/need. Fuji, for example, doesn’t offer them on the Supreme, their highest-end lightweight race bike. My daily rider and racer for seven years has been a 2007 Fuji Supreme SL, and while I’m not dedicated to the brand, I do know it’s a quality bike that suits me. They (Fuji) do have discs on other bikes, but I’m not looking for an “endurance” bike nor something lower-end. I’m a racer, and the group rides I do tend to be fast rides with the guys, so I’m looking for a lightweight, aggressive bike that suits my riding style.

In any case, the brand is pretty much determined for me at this point, as my racing team (Artemis Racing) is sponsored by Giant, and we get a decent price break on their complete bikes through one of their retailers and another of our sponsors, The Bike Rack. Plus Giant is among the few brands who are offering the kind of bike I’m looking for. They make great bikes, so with the price point that’s attractive compared to the others, it appears that my brand choices are Giant, Giant, or Giant. Or Liv, actually, their women-specific brand, which basically means Giant frames tweaked a bit for the “typical” female form.

So now that my brand choices are down to two, what do they have to offer? UGH! The answer, unfortunately, is “barely enough”.

Liv, like Fuji, only has discs on their Avail “endurance” road bike. Not what I’m looking for, so we are down to one brand: Giant. Thankfully, they have discs on a real race bike, the TCR, engineered to be as light as possible and with an aggressive geometry, road chatter be damned.

So I’m set, right? I can get a TCR Advanced Pro 1 with Ultegra Di2 and carbon disc wheels for a great price. SRAM E-tap on the Advanced SL 0 is too pricey, and the cheaper Advanced 1 has lower-grade (read: heavy for a climbing bike) brakes and wheels.

So that’s it then, the TCR Advanced Pro 1 Disc. Great bike, fits my budget, what could go wrong?

Only. That. It’s…black and BRIGHT ORANGE!!!

Are you kidding me?!?! I’m finally going to splurge on a pricey newest-tech bike, and my only option is bright orange?!?

Who designs these things?!? What fashion-conscious female rider wants to ride an orange bike?

Let me tell you a little story about the first actually-new-not-used bike I bought a decade ago: it was a deeply discounted all-Ultegra previous-year Schwinn. It was my size, and it had nice components, and it was a real road bike. So I bought it, but under protest.

Why under protest, you ask? Because it was a Schwinn? Nope. I put tons of miles on that bike, did my first season of bike racing on that bike, and won races over competitors with the priciest bikes available.

Under protest because it was a Schwinn? Not at all.

Under protest because it was ORANGE!!!orange schwinn road bike

And now you’re telling me that for my next actually-new-not-used bike, with high-end carbon, electronic shifting, and disc-brakes, my only choice is orange?!?

UGH!!

I’m probably going to buy this bike because it makes sense, just like the Schwinn did. But come on, man!!!

 

Go to next post: “Ordered my new Marmotte bike

 

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