So back in January when I got here I had NO CLUE what I was doing... Now I still don't have a clue but I have a nice bike. Here's a short story:
It all started with my desire to do Triathlons. And being that I'm VERY competitive my 15 year old Mountain bike just wasn't gonna cut it. I needed a road bike, but I didn't want to spend much, so I picked up this:
And figuring I'm mechanically inclined I could rebuild this thing, how much could it cost, how hard could it be??? I came here and learned quickly that I was insane. Not only was the bike way too small for me (48cm) but to build it would cost me more than a new bike. So at the recommendation of this place I checked out Bikesdirect and got myself a road bike there:
As you can see I still have no clue, my seat is way low, and I took a picture of the non drive side! But I was happy, I had my fast road bike and I went with it, I soon installed a VDO Computer, some aerobars and Kool Stop pads (at the recommendation from here since I realized I was likely to die riding in traffic with the stock Tektro pads). PS Though I offset the cost by selling that Bianchi on eBay as it sat for $250, I had paid $50 for it a couple months earlier!!!
(I still have no clue, but I changed some handlebars!)
SO I rode and I rode, harder and harder, got myself some clip in shoes and pedals eventually, figured out I was sitting all wrong and made some big adjustments to my seat. I also realized my cassette wasn't really aggressive enough for the riding i was doing and where I was doing it, so i changed that too. All this was thanks to advice here, just asking questions and reading others questions.
I got towards the end of the season, my friends had gotten road bikes, both spent quite a bit more than I did and it showed when i took their bikes for a ride. Where at the beginning of the season I just wanted anything with thin tires, after riding a bike with good components I saw why people spend big money on this. Not only that I started having problems, I kept knocking the wheel out of true, the shifters weren't particularly responsive, and I realized they felt like I was going to rip them off the bike one day. I adjusted using tips here and a book I bought, but no matter what I did this bike never felt like my friend's ultegra equipped bikes. I needed a solution!
Should I buy a new bike? I really like how my bike looks though, this is the coolest paintjob I've ever seen! Plus do I want to dump $1000+ after I've already spent $500+? Plus its pretty light, so its not like its an old heavy frame or anything. After some searching, thinking, and looking I realized I could get a real sick deal on some closeout groupsets, and so a new Campagnolo Veloce group arrived at my door, after some questions and advice here. Another BF member hooked me up with a set of Fulcrum Racing 5 wheels. Now here I am, no clue at all and I'm going to replace my Groupset? Well I DID!
How she looked just beforehand:
Building up (note my ghetto work stand, I would have bought one but my LBS only had some realllly expensive ones, and usually I do my bike maintenance in my garage where I have a wall hanger, this actually worked very well!)
Almost done, took it for a test ride like this, too dark to finish!
Man it rides like a DREAM. I can't believe what a difference, and I have this place to thank for the help and answers. Its light, the gearing is aggressive, I can't believe the difference. I weighed it at 21lbs, which means I need to lose 3 lbs off my fat ass to equal my friend's bike, but I was just about keeping up with him with the Sora parts before, so now I think I will toss him! I even taped the bars myself, they came out decent for someone who has never done it before (except my aerobars that look like hell, gotta redo them). While I had it apart I threw a coat of Eagle One Nanowax on the frame and forks.
I still have a lot to learn, such as why even though i adjusted the rear derailleur as per the instructions it shifts itself occasionally (anyone know?) but I'm really excited and proud that next season I will be racing my own creation. Plus I have never seen a bike that looked like this, I think the whole combo looks awesome.
So thanks again everyone, couldn't have done it without you!