New bike advice

Hello all.
If OK asking a question for me and hopefully others.
After four years training in triathlon I feel I have worked hard enough on the ‘me’ part to buy a new bike.
My current bike is a merida juliet, I didn’t get good advice, I didn’t have the fit until after I ran into problems and I have had a few injuries which have promoted me to learn a lot along the way. Notably about fit, shoes ( specialised are the bomb!), and don’t do what I did launch straight into 70.3 distance :slight_smile: but it was worth it.
It’s an OK bike, but I’m.not 100% comfortable despite the best compromise at a fit.

I’ve a lot to be thankful for along the journey and we’ve done pretty good together considering I’m a relative newbie.

So, I’ve had a retul bike fit and we found my ideal time trial position and specs. John my fitter is a total bike nerd wig experience. Ie. perfect! Then we looked at multiple options. Given I am very short at xs in women’s models and too small for many, but with sort of long legs and a long back the Liv avow hit the specs best especially in terms of reach and an ability to get into an aggressive position. ( I am flexible yay!). I would love of course to get the avow advanced pro but I am not that athlete yet I have a lot of room to.improve and also it’s a bit like buying the expensive house and not being able to furnish it. So the avow advanced it is.

What advice is helpful to someone like me at this stage. I am just about to put the order in.

I was thinking of keeping current wheels as training wheels ( this photo seems to have put on a different spec wheels to the ones it comes with ) and to upgrade for racing wheels. Perhaps the giant (crikey are they slr1 Aero (same as on pro bike. Tubeless ) or would zipp be better? I am light. I have never ridden anything other than a normal wheel.

What hydration and nutrition systems do people recommend or is this personal or see what store recommends? I am.spending the time doing it all now. Time doing it in pieces over the months just eats my work time.

Here is the bike. And the pro. I wish they didn’t make ladies bikes in white! Then again it forces good bike maintenance on the Irish muck filled roads. Avow-Advanced-E-Color-A-Silver-v2Avow-Advanced-Pro-0-Color-A-Black

Excited!! Next is to get out on the roads and build handling experience and time in the saddle.


I have no advice for you, but wow, what a pretty bike! I have an xs Liv Avail2 road bike and love it. Enjoy your new baby when she arrives!

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I can’t help you out with wheels as I’ve just hand standard ones too, but wow that’s such a great looking bike! Mine is white, silver, and pink and I love it. It’s ok to keep clean and I just ride my gravel bike when the roads are extra dirty.


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My best advice. Buy the bike that fits best and what you feel comfortable with in terms of spec and spend on upgraded wheels. A carbon frame is definitely nice, but the weight savings will be outdone by aero advantages elsewhere.


Gorgeous bike :heart_eyes:

I would recommend the carbon disc wheels- the wheels are the most return on investment when it comes to the aerodynamics of the bike. Tubeless is very tricky because it is typically very, very hard to change if you get a flat. I have tubeless on my gravel bike because I wanted to use some special tires, but have tubes on my road bike. I have the Bontrager disc carbon on my Madone. I have no experience with the ones you mentioned.


@cullenac, I am so glad that you posted here. We all love the opportunity to fawn over the next n+1 purchase. Here are some things that I would throw out there:

  1. Ignore this part, as you have already done it and jump to the ****. Get an updated fit on Retul (or other reputable one) and then figure out what frames fit you. The bike should fit you with a few adjustments. Unless you have really weird proportions, you shouldn’t have to do a ton of manipulation or equipment changes. This includes measuring for the crank and stem lengths. You should be able to get that built up. **Don’t be afraid to go big on the bike. You will be surprised at your ability with the bike. You are probably much closer to being ready for the Pro than you think. Plus, spend a little more now rather than buy this bike and upgrade again in two years. Just my thoughts.

  2. If it is not too expensive, get Di2 or eTap. It is way easier than running the internal cables, and there is significantly less chance of getting some binding from gunked up cables running inside the frame. Like you said, Irish weather is not the most bike friendly. Plus, the shifting on the Di2 and eTap can be adjusted to suit you, and tuning is super easy.

  3. Don’t worry about super expensive wheels. I’m not sure if FLO sells to Ireland, but I highly recommend them. The wheels are cheap and good. A pair of wheels 60/80mm and a disc will set you back about $1500. A Zipp sub-9 disc will set you back $2K. I also have a pair of Zipp 808s, and I notice no difference between the FLO wheels and the Zipps. As for tires, I recommend clinchers unless you have experience with tubeless or tubulars. DO NOT get Gatorskins on your race wheels. Specialized makes a tough tire that has a fairly low rolling resistance. I can get you more info if desired.

  4. I use an Xlab Torpedo for my aero bottle. I have heard that the Torhans is pretty awesome. You can put a bottle cage on the back of the saddle for a bottle and your spares kit. For storage, I have an Xlab bento box, but honestly, anything that bolts onto the bike vice straps on the bike is better. It’s more secure and doesn’t shift around.

  5. Don’t forget about bike computer placement. Whatever aero mount you get, you need to have room for your computer. I have raced only using my watch on my wrist, and that is annoying. I prefer to be able to see the numbers in front of my face.

Anyway, that is my input. Take it for what it’s worth. Congrats on the new purchase whichever way you go!


awesome help thank you so much :heart:

Ian this truly is awesome advice. Thank you. Garron rides the zipp 808 on his bmc tm01. I had a read of this

As a 46kg rider do you feel I could handle the flo90 or better with 60? I’ve decided to go with entry tt model. For one reason mostly. Money to get some bits and pieces and wheels and also it won’t be overly precious. I need a lot of road experience so I can happily ride this and not worry about my precious expensive pro version of the bike. Also…I have to develop trust in me as the athlete beyond the super bike. I’ve a lot of confidence to gain going fast on down hills and in handling skills I’d waste this somewhat on expensive bike. Zwift is great for being bold fast and brave but it’s not outdoors! Your advice everyone has been great to support decision making and open more options. Thanks.

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Andrea, as a lighter rider, I prefer the Flo60. I have ridden up to 90mm fronts and have had mixed emotions. On a relatively light wind day or an out-and-back with no crosswinds, the deeper wheel is great. Any crosswinds, though, not so much. At Ironman Texas, I got the crap beat out of me in the crosswinds with deeper wheels. Obviously, I would recommend having a whole slew of wheels from 20mm to 90mm in the front and 20mm to a disc in the back. Since we know that is not going to happen right now, I think the 60mm front is a good middle ground. It is aero enough for calm days on a flat course but not so bad that you will get thrown around in moderate crosswinds.


Garron is racing Texas this year. AG 40-44. There is a strong line up. I’m.not travelling as we have south Africa and kona ahead ( plus I’ll get some sleep haha. doing four hours on a trainer at crazy silly time on a Saturday :slight_smile: ) this also means I can have my wheels delivered to my brother in Houston and avoid import taxes. Win win. Exciting


love these guys

Me too. I’m still trying to give the GTN presenters a chance, but it just seems so forced.I think I am ok with Heater, but she may need a new partner.

Wow! Nice bike @cullenac. I’m sure you will be very happy. Sounds like you’ve been getting some great advice here. If you’ve settled on the Flo’s you won’t be disappointed. Excellent wheels at a very reasonable price. Like @Coach_Ian, I would recommend you avoid the 90’s. Most people will struggle with a front wheel that deep in any kind of wind and it’s even tougher when you’re petite. You don’t want to spend a ton on fancy performance wheels and then be nervous about riding them. I’m a lot bigger than you and would only rarely consider a front deeper than 60mm.

Something else to consider - are you sure you want to be swapping wheels back and forth for training/racing? There are several reasons why I think this is a bad idea.

  1. After bike fit (check) and individual fitness (check) the next factor that will significantly affect your performance on the bike will be your confidence. Different wheels will definitely affect how the bike feels and handles so I’m a big believer in training on the same equipment you will be racing on. That way you will be completely confident in your equipment on race day.
  2. Changing wheels is a pain. Moving from carbon to alloy and back again will also involve swapping brake pads and potentially the cassette unless you invest in an additional one of those as well.
  3. A lot of this philosophy comes from a while back when carbon wheels were not only expensive but perceived to be a bit fragile. Modern carbon wheels are pretty darn tough. Honestly, if you crash hard enough to damage your wheels you’ve probably got bigger problems to worry about. If the weather’s too crappy to ride your nice bike either get on Zwift or pull out the Merida.

Also, as @Coach_Ian mentioned, make sure you dress them up with some great tires. There are lots of good ones out there but my personal recommendation is the Continental GP TT with latex tubes. Very fast combination without being unreasonably delicate.

For hydration, I used to use the XLAB torpedo but I found that there was always a bit of random dripping from the drink tube that got kind of messy all over the front half of my bike. Did the job though and I never noticed it while racing. Just when cleaning up after. I switched last year to a Profile Design FC 35 which is definitely leak-free, even when refilling on the road. Haven’t tried the Torhans. For longer events an XLAB behind-the-seat bottle cage setup works pretty well.

What’s not to like about a new bike :grinning:

thank you.

i started to do some research. and realised as you point out here all these factors make things quite complex re wheels and racing and brakes and so on. my bike arrives end of May… it is the first drop into ireland of this model and size. XS clearly isnt what most cyclists are here!! a bit of a wait but its better than nothing.

I figured i know far too little to be playing with online orders from the USA (re the Flo and very little support from here if i need it) so i am going to get the bike. wait a bit, see about an upgrade and lean on the expertise of the Giant store a little as they will know their equipment and best compatibility for the braking and so on. in many ways i need to keep this simple but i did have fun reading more about wheels and sets and all this stuff that feels like rocket science to my brain (i studied physics in school when did cycling get so complex!!)

thanks a mill for the tyre recommendation. i think my boyfriend uses continental also on his 808s (god i hope i am not talking out my ass here), and i went ahead and ordered the XLAB torpedo, it seems to have had the best reviews and your recommendations also. thanks @Coach_Ian and your second on this @Peter

as ever… i will continue to work on the me equation for the moment… getting out on the road for the first time this week after all indoor training since september!! apparently it makes you strong… lets hope i can go straight as well as strong :rofl:

thanks a million for the advice and time, it is appreciated

As an alternative to ordering from the states you might want to check out the Hunt C50. Excellent spec, great reviews, decent price AND a UK company. I have a set of their alloy wheels which I really like.


all this advice is so helpful

my bike arrives in a few weeks, first XS to arrive in the country this year…guess there arent many small cyclists here which is strange!!

So, i went out on the road last weekend. the wind started to pick up with small gusts. i thought i was imagining it as the trees werent moving that much only to then have my bike swiped into the middle of the road… and THEN i started to question everything about deeper section wheels as i was on a normal road bike, on my bars and with normal basic entry wheels (in photo above)…

can i even handle a deeper wheel, am i poorly weight distributed on my current road bike with attached TT bars where i would have better control on the TT bike? should i go very cautious with a 35-45mm??.. it made me think once i was no longer facing the ditch on the other side of the road!!!

currently reading this

might borrow some first from dealers and trial them if i can manage this!!

are there other ways i can help myself out … i guess tyres? and then fitness, strength :slight_smile: the rider stuff LOL

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Hi Andrea,

I feel for you. I’m really light as well and I dread being blown around. In fact I’m pretty much a wuss about it. I haves been blown out into the road like that and it’s freaky!

I’ve also been wanting to get some aero wheels as I just have regular sized road rims on my bike but I’m thinking I’d really dislike the 60’s and was looking at 40’s. I’m not racing though so keep that in mind. I don’t want to have to change my wheels and brake pads because I’m too afraid to ride if it’s really windy.

I think you’re being really wise trying the wheels out first if you can. Then you’ll know what you can handle. I have to wait on wheels this year since I got a power meter.

Please post how it goes though as it’ll help me decide down the line.

@Lindsy dont laugh but after 3 rides out on the roads again in the past 2 weeks (two 3 hour plus and one 40km time trial) i totally re-evaluted my bike order. I feel so unstable on the bars in wind and although i know a better TT fit will have me more stable i really thought long and hard about our racing conditions here and the road quality and weather and how much better and stronger i feel with options to drop onto bars in the gusts and not have to try glue myself to a twitchy bike and TT bars (and i slow down and i sit up like a jack in the box… i am not that confident; so what is the point and it will take so much confidence practice that i dont even know is it worth it for the long term gain at this point)… i got nervous about it all. so i am looking now to change my order once we know fit is going to work for me to the Liv envie advanced Triathlon bike. yes it may not look as cool (actually i think it does!)… but i know i will be stable and hence faster because i will be confident to throw more into the decents and on the poor roads and in the gusts. and i can ride all the smaller roads here with confidence too (I dont have the money to buy two bikes!!).

I also spoke to a few fellow lighties :slight_smile: and one who is a very brave and strong cyclist said for some races here she wished she had been on her road bike. she also loaned me her amazing argon with zipp 404s to have a feel for the stability and cornering.

i feel i have made my decision but lets see!

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@cullenac hey Andrea I would never laugh for two reasons. It’s a big purchase that you want to love and I’m nervous about the wind and handling of a bike that doesn’t fit me, too. I think you’re making the right call as you don’t want to feel anxious every time you go to ride and you are the one who has to feel comfortable which will help you feel more confident.

BTW, the bike you picked is gorgeous!!! I’d already been drooling over the same bike without the TT bars. I’m sure you’re going to love it. When do you get it? I can’t wait to hear what you think.

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I went to see the bike today, we are a small country… 2 hour drive to the store! rode their envie advanced road bike in my size XS… wow… felt so stable on it and like i could to some pony tricks :slight_smile: and light and liked it. now i am wondering about my current bike for the past 4 years… maybe its just not an easy one to be comfortable on! had a look at the envie advanced tri in small and am happy so i will have it next week (talk about positive karma that the TT i ordered was going to take 8 weeks and i had the opportunity to change my order) and then when collecting will have a proper fit based on power. super excited! so i will be able to race my next race on my new bike in a month yay… its a rough enough small road at time course so i am happy :slight_smile: i will keep you posted.