Thursday, March 01, 2007

The search is over, the damage has been done...

I have, over the past few weeks, looked at almost every frame made in the road biking world. Everything from Colnago to Blue to Cannondale to Specialized to BMC to Cervelo and everything in between. I have talked to shops all across the country, even shops in the UK, trying to find the right frameset. One that fit my personality, one that fit me. I found numerous ones that would have fit the bill, but would not fit my wallet, or my marriage. There were several "almosts," but never the "one." I started looking at all carbon, then alum/carbon mix, then full on race - no carbon except for the fork and then back to all carbon. Indecisive but knowing exactly what I want. I was a shop owner's worst nightmare.

I found that shops were limited to their dealers. The internet was limted by dealer agreements. So where was I going to find that odd frame, that was my size, the right color, with a little attitude, something different, for the right price, all under one roof? Where else... but eBay.

eBay was not my first choice because there are a lot of unknowns. A lot of possibilities for trouble. But I just wasn't finding what I was looking for in the shops. And believe me, I looked. I got close to finding something through a few closeouts some of the dealers were having. But most of that inventory was running low by this time of the year. Then there are the high dollar shops that don't like messing with closeouts. They only sell "current models." What's up with that? How long does it take to pull out the closeout list and see what is available? Not to mention the markup is greater and you can make more money. Duh.

But the funny thing is, I wasn't looking for anything special. But that may have been the problem. My percepton of nothing special was actually just the opposite. I was looking for something very unique, something no one else had in a price range where it was just about impossible to find anything. It is no wonder why it has taken me 2 months to find a frameset.

So the past couple of weeks I have ben looking on eBay pretty hard. It got to a point where I knew listing of 55-56 cm and 57-58 frames. I knew how many were in each nlisting and knew when a new listing was added. So a few days ago I was messing around with search phrases trying to find a listing that I may have missed due to the way I was searching. And there it was, alll by itself. A listing where the title was incomplete and a woird was misspelled. I had found the frameset I have been looking for all this time... a brand new, full carbon, 2006 Jamis Xenith Pro frame and fork. Orange and black, two of my favorite colors.

I went straight to Google and started researching the company, the frameset, reading every review I could find. The starting price was right, time to place my bid. By auction's close, the price had not even reached my highest amount I was willing to pay. Awesome! That amount was about 1/3 the cost of buying this frameset from a retailer online. I was stoked.

So now I wait and pray I actually receive it! Come on eBay, don't fail me now. If I can verify that this frame is not a re-painted Huffy from Wal-mart, this home-boy bike geek will be one happy camper!