There's been a lot of posts recently from newer riders seeking advice on road bikes. Let's see. I've been riding for 5 years and have gone through 5 bikes for various reasons.
I do Time Trials at Lowes Motor Speedway (10 miles/7 laps). I'm not fast but I did finish a respectable 4th in my age group in 2004 and 6th last year (faster guys moved up to my age group). Last year I invested in a solid disc wheel and a tri spoke HED 3 front wheel. On "Game Day" I modified my road bike with Aero bars, a fast forward seat post to move the seat forward to get in a little better aero position and changed the wheels. I don't mind making the changes but it does get a little old making all the changes and then converting my bike back the next day.
I just did a BAD thing. I bought a time trial bike and will probably only use it 9-10 times a year. I ran across a brand new frame/fork/headset Cervelo P2k at my LBS that has bar end shifters/bull horns and was built up with used Ultegra/Durace components. Got a great deal (about half price of a new bike) and couldn't pass it up.
They are also going to fit me on this frame which should help get me a little more aero as well. Hopefully I'll shave off a little time and trim some time off my PR. I'll move up to the next age group in 2007 and might have a chance of actually being competitive in that group if I can sustain my times.
Wow, a few years ago I thought folks were nuts for having multiple bikes, or riding 100 miles or doing a long ride only to have to finish at the top of a mountain.
I guess I'll be on my 6th bike in 6 years......Am I nuts????