Thursday, July 26, 2007

Tricks and Tips to Pimp your Tri-Bike on a Budget

You dropped what could’ve been a down payment on a Ferrari a few years ago on your bike. You have no intention of doing that again for a long while (even though you’ve sworn to your spouse many times that the new Felt Carbon DA is calling to you personally whenever you see one).

But lately, even though you’ve bonded with your bike, and its saddle and handlebars have molded to your bum and hands respectively, it’s been looking a little bit…old fashioned.

Cooler looking graphics were introduced this year. New designs touting themselves as more aerodynamic have popped up. Sexier top tube lines have been formed. Instead of focusing on all of these promising-looking new designs, it’s time to concentrate on what you have. It’s time to pimp your bike out and get excited about getting back in the saddle.

Here’s how to recreate that fluttery feeling you had in your stomach every time you saw your bike in the beginning of your relationship:

  1. Give it a name. That is, if you haven’t already. And no, naming it the name with which it popped out of the factory is not acceptable. (Cutie Kuota, Felty…) Something more intimidating, fast, and menacing—like Dominator, or The Silver Bullet—will immediately restore a sense of adventure and mystique to your bike. Can you handle a Silver Bullet? While you’re at it, give it a gender, too. This way, when you’re talking about it with your friends, it will not be an “it”, but rather a “he” or “she”, instantly making him/her more like a member of your family than some outdated object.

  2. Choose a new color scheme. Maybe your bike is already bright yellow, but there are still ways you can detail your baby to give it a whole new look. First, decide what colors you want to race in this year. Then, you can pimp your bike accordingly. Not only will it look great, you will also look most intimidating (and like a pro) when your whole kit matches—right down to your socks. Pick a color and ride with it. (Hot tip: cruiser bike decals are cheap, and come in all kinds of neat designs and colors—like orange flames. Pick some up at your local bike shop and get ready to be envied.)

  3. Change your saddle. Choose a new one in an outrageous color. Yes, your bum might’ve grown accustomed to your old one, but your heart will go pitter-pat whenever you see that crazy orange or pink or blue saddle on your bike, setting it apart from the masses of more conservative black and silver saddles. Terry makes some great pink saddles for women. Fizik has also dabbled in color. Another perk to having an unusual saddle? It’ll be super easy to spot in transition.

  4. Change your handlebar tape. This is the easiest and cheapest way to give your bike a facelift. It can instantly change the look of your bike, and may be the only thing you need to recreate your initial love affair. Fortunately, people have figured this out already, and handlebar tape is readily available in every color under the sun to help you pimp your ride.

  5. Spray paint your bottle cages according to your color scheme. Got a pink saddle, pink flames, and pink handlebar tape? Bust out some hot pink spray paint and paint away! (Assuming you didn’t drop an additional $60 per cage to have carbon fiber cradling your bottles.)

So whenever you feel yourself looking at your bike, and believing that if you dropped mucho dinero on a new tri-machine, consider this: maybe you’re just looking at it the wrong way. It’s not the bike that’s fast, it’s the person peddling it. If Lance got on your bike, he’d surely beat all of your shiny-new-carbon-toting competition. Jump-start your engine by falling back in love with your bike. Give one or all of the tips above a try, and you’ll surely be on your way to a successful season.

Happy Bike Pimping!

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