I call this bike the Pink Panther. One of the girls I ride with said the bike sounds like it purrs when it’s moving. So that plus the colour and the name has just stuck.
It’s pretty new – the paint job is still curing (takes up to three months, apparently). I have been on a time trial bike for years now, despite not having competed in a triathlon for probably the last two seasons.
Instead I have just really zoned in on road riding and specifically, on riding hills. It’s taken me way too long to move off the TT and onto this, but the difference is remarkable. My back is my Achilles Heel and I am pretty in-tune with my body. The moment something starts to feel slightly askew and I am all over it. I haven’t even felt a distant echo of ache from my back, despite quite a bit of climbing.
This baby has been built to climb.
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It’s a 51cm frame with Shimano DuraAce 9000 11 speed. The handlebar and stem are 3T Team Stealth and the tyres and tubes are Continental. The two accessories I love the most are my Enve SES 3.4 wheels with DT Swiss 240 hubs and my saddle, which is a Body Geometry Power. The latter was a bit of a risk – I didn’t know anyone who had one and I wasn’t sure if it would be right for me. But wow it has been amazing. I have to get back on the TT during tri season this year and I am not sure my bum is going to like the old saddle anymore. It will be hard to go back.
The wheels are hot and make the bike look fierce – the pink is obviously not all that serious but I think the wheels help bring back some business.
My brother-in-law is 95 per cent responsible for this bike. I gave him a brief and he just went to town finding the parts. He built a lot of it and then his local bike shop helped him out with some of the pointier features. He gives me a hard time now telling me, for example, what colour bidon I should be using. It’s a bit like his work of art and he doesn’t want me messing with it. Bad luck, because I am not buying a black bidon. Especially over summer.
RodeRunnerRepairs did the custom paint job for me. The main colour is 'Hotter than Pink" but decals are in a slightly softer shade. It was a big risk - none of us was entirely sure how it would turn out with such a colour combo, but I couldn't be happier.
I love this bike. It inspires me to want to be a better cyclist. I am still a long way from being as fit going uphill as I’d like, but this bike will hopefully get me there…
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