deciding on a new bike

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Donna Alinelli, Mar 11, 2004.

  1. I have been looking at a specialized sirrus comp with
    straight bar and a specialized sequoia elite. I like the
    position of the shifting levers on the straight bar in
    comparison to the drop down bar on the seqouia but the
    sequoia also has 3 hand positions. I will mostly do
    road/touring/fitness with the ocassional long distance trip.
    I have also looked at the kona Dr. Dew. I am now totally
    confused. Please help if you have any knowledge of these
    bikes. Would really appreciate
    it. Thanks! D. Alinelli
     
    Tags:


  2. Dan Daniel

    Dan Daniel Guest

    On 10 Mar 2004 21:38:48 -0800, [email protected] (Donna Alinelli)
    wrote:

    >I have been looking at a specialized sirrus comp with
    >straight bar and a specialized sequoia elite. I like the
    >position of the shifting levers on the straight bar in
    >comparison to the drop down bar on the seqouia but the
    >sequoia also has 3 hand positions. I will mostly do
    >road/touring/fitness with the ocassional long distance
    >trip. I have also looked at the kona Dr. Dew. I am now
    >totally confused. Please help if you have any knowledge of
    >these bikes. Would really appreciate
    >it. Thanks! D. Alinelli

    For road riding of any length, get drop bars. Flat bars
    are more appealing if you don't have much experience, but
    they aren't meant for extended road riding- meaning 10
    miles or more.

    Stand up and let your hands drop. Now lift up your hands,
    bending at the elbows. Without thinking about it, your palms
    will be facing inward. This is the hand position that the
    shifters on the Sequoia will use. Now turn your palms down
    and feel what happens in your elbows and forearms and
    shoulders. This is the position of flat bars.

    Specialized and Kona make nice bikes. At those price points,
    you will get a nice bicycle no matter which one you get.
    Right now a more important question for you is the basic
    style, not specific models.

    Try to do a long test ride on a bike with drop bars and see
    what it feels like after you get more comfortable with them.
    You can always get a shorter stem and pull the shifters back
    towards you if the reach is uncomfortable, but I doubt that
    the hand position itself will be uncomfortable.
     
  3. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    "Donna Alinelli" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I have been looking at a specialized sirrus comp with
    > straight bar and a specialized sequoia elite. I like the
    > position of the shifting levers on the straight bar in
    > comparison to the drop down bar on the seqouia but the
    > sequoia also has 3 hand positions. I will mostly do
    > road/touring/fitness with the ocassional long distance
    > trip. I have also looked at the kona Dr. Dew. I am now
    > totally confused.

    Tough decision. The conventional wisdom is that drop bars
    are much better for long rides, but plenty of people do long
    rides on straight bars (I know some who have ridden cross-
    US), and many drop bar riders -- although they theoretically
    have 3 hand positions -- only use 1 (the hoods). For my
    money, drop bars are much more important for racing, where
    you need the drops for sprinting, and aren't at all
    necessary for your uses.

    The thing that makes bar choice tough is that it's not easy
    to convert (actually, it is easy, just not cheap) from one
    to the other if you change your mind later.
    Shifters/"Brifters" (brake-shift combo) aren't switchable.
    That said, there are things like bar-ends, including some
    that look like drops, and I've even seen "clip-on" aerobars
    attached to flat handlebars. There are other bar styles that
    are compatible with flat bars, like "priest" bars (ends
    sweep back), so some degree of easy change is possible down
    the road if you go with a straight bar now.
     
  4. David Kerber

    David Kerber Guest

    In article
    <[email protected]>,
    [email protected] says...
    > I have been looking at a specialized sirrus comp with
    > straight bar and a specialized sequoia elite. I like the
    > position of the shifting levers on the straight bar in
    > comparison to the drop down bar on the seqouia but the
    > sequoia also has 3 hand positions. I will mostly do
    > road/touring/fitness with the ocassional long distance
    > trip. I have also looked at the kona Dr. Dew. I am now
    > totally confused. Please help if you have any knowledge of
    > these bikes. Would really appreciate
    > it. Thanks! D. Alinelli

    For a long-distance ride, you'll really appreciate the
    multiple hand positions, and the ability to get in a more
    aerodynamic position. For your other uses, either bike would
    be fine. You'll probably find that th STI (integrated with
    the brake levers) shifters on the Sequoiah are quite nice;
    most people do.

    --
    Remove the ns_ from if replying by e-mail (but keep posts in
    the newsgroups if possible).
     
  5. David Kerber

    David Kerber Guest

    In article
    <[email protected]>,
    [email protected] says...
    > I have been looking at a specialized sirrus comp with
    > straight bar and a specialized sequoia elite. I like the
    > position of the shifting levers on the straight bar in
    > comparison to the drop down bar on the seqouia but the
    > sequoia also has 3 hand positions. I will mostly do
    > road/touring/fitness with the ocassional long distance
    > trip. I have also looked at the kona Dr. Dew. I am now
    > totally confused. Please help if you have any knowledge of
    > these bikes. Would really appreciate
    > it. Thanks! D. Alinelli

    For a long-distance ride, you'll really appreciate the
    multiple hand positions, and the ability to get in a more
    aerodynamic position. For your other uses, either bike would
    be fine. You'll probably find that th STI (integrated with
    the brake levers) shifters on the Sequoiah are quite nice;
    most people do.

    --
    Remove the ns_ from if replying by e-mail (but keep posts in
    the newsgroups if possible).
     
  6. On Thu, 11 Mar 2004 12:31:25 GMT, "Peter Cole"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >"Donna Alinelli" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >news:[email protected]...
    >> I have been looking at a specialized sirrus comp with
    >> straight bar and a specialized sequoia elite. I like the
    >> position of the shifting levers on the straight bar in
    >> comparison to the drop down bar on the seqouia but the
    >> sequoia also has 3 hand positions. I will mostly do
    >> road/touring/fitness with the ocassional long distance
    >> trip. I have also looked at the kona Dr. Dew. I am now
    >> totally confused.
    >
    >Tough decision. The conventional wisdom is that drop bars
    >are much better for long rides, but plenty of people do
    >long rides on straight bars (I know some who have ridden
    >cross-US), and many drop bar riders -- although they
    >theoretically have 3 hand positions -- only use 1 (the
    >hoods). For my money, drop bars are much more important for
    >racing, where you need the drops for sprinting, and aren't
    >at all necessary for your uses.
    >

    I'm not quit on the hoods--just behind them--80 percent of
    the time. if I'm slogging up a hill and want a break, I
    come up to the tops. I go to the drops when going downhill,
    going into a consistend headwind, or when I want to pretend
    to go fast.

    The variety of hand positions is nice to have. Going back to
    flat bars for non-dirt use (when I don't have to pull up on
    the bars to clear rocks or roots or whatever) feels strange.

    >The thing that makes bar choice tough is that it's not easy
    >to convert (actually, it is easy, just not cheap) from one
    >to the other if you change your mind later.
    >Shifters/"Brifters" (brake-shift combo) aren't switchable.
    >That said, there are things like bar-ends, including some
    >that look like drops,

    The ones shaped like drops always struck me as a bit weird,
    since they created really friggin' WIDE drop bars. Maybe
    it's just me, but even though I have very wide shoulders, I
    don't like riding with my arms that far apart...

    >and I've even seen "clip-on" aerobars attached to flat
    >handlebars.

    Clip-on aerobars may offer the OP what she needs in terms of
    further hand/arm positions, but they complicate steering and
    decrease reaction time, since the hands and arms are so far
    away from the brake levers. on drop bars, I can reach my
    brakes almost anywhere, except from the tops (and if I'm
    moving slow enough to go to the tops, then braking is the
    least of my problems). I understand also that aerobars are
    not the best thing to use in pacelines.

    >There are other bar styles that are compatible with flat
    >bars, like "priest" bars (ends sweep back), so some degree
    >of easy change is possible down the road if you go with a
    >straight bar now.

    The North Road handlebar pattern has only one position--
    hands on the grips at the end. The rest of the bar isn't
    really grippable, and on the whole it places you in what the
    British call a sit-up-and-beg position. Eminently in order
    when you're riding an old Raleigh roadster (or a Batavus or
    Gazelle or Flying Pigeon....) but probably not what the OP
    is looking for.

    I would recommend a long ride or two with drop bars. There
    is a reason why dropped handlebars have stayed with us since
    the beginning of the bicycle.

    -Luigi
     
  7. On Thu, 11 Mar 2004 12:31:25 GMT, "Peter Cole"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >"Donna Alinelli" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >news:[email protected]...
    >> I have been looking at a specialized sirrus comp with
    >> straight bar and a specialized sequoia elite. I like the
    >> position of the shifting levers on the straight bar in
    >> comparison to the drop down bar on the seqouia but the
    >> sequoia also has 3 hand positions. I will mostly do
    >> road/touring/fitness with the ocassional long distance
    >> trip. I have also looked at the kona Dr. Dew. I am now
    >> totally confused.
    >
    >Tough decision. The conventional wisdom is that drop bars
    >are much better for long rides, but plenty of people do
    >long rides on straight bars (I know some who have ridden
    >cross-US), and many drop bar riders -- although they
    >theoretically have 3 hand positions -- only use 1 (the
    >hoods). For my money, drop bars are much more important for
    >racing, where you need the drops for sprinting, and aren't
    >at all necessary for your uses.
    >

    I'm not quit on the hoods--just behind them--80 percent of
    the time. if I'm slogging up a hill and want a break, I
    come up to the tops. I go to the drops when going downhill,
    going into a consistend headwind, or when I want to pretend
    to go fast.

    The variety of hand positions is nice to have. Going back to
    flat bars for non-dirt use (when I don't have to pull up on
    the bars to clear rocks or roots or whatever) feels strange.

    >The thing that makes bar choice tough is that it's not easy
    >to convert (actually, it is easy, just not cheap) from one
    >to the other if you change your mind later.
    >Shifters/"Brifters" (brake-shift combo) aren't switchable.
    >That said, there are things like bar-ends, including some
    >that look like drops,

    The ones shaped like drops always struck me as a bit weird,
    since they created really friggin' WIDE drop bars. Maybe
    it's just me, but even though I have very wide shoulders, I
    don't like riding with my arms that far apart...

    >and I've even seen "clip-on" aerobars attached to flat
    >handlebars.

    Clip-on aerobars may offer the OP what she needs in terms of
    further hand/arm positions, but they complicate steering and
    decrease reaction time, since the hands and arms are so far
    away from the brake levers. on drop bars, I can reach my
    brakes almost anywhere, except from the tops (and if I'm
    moving slow enough to go to the tops, then braking is the
    least of my problems). I understand also that aerobars are
    not the best thing to use in pacelines.

    >There are other bar styles that are compatible with flat
    >bars, like "priest" bars (ends sweep back), so some degree
    >of easy change is possible down the road if you go with a
    >straight bar now.

    The North Road handlebar pattern has only one position--
    hands on the grips at the end. The rest of the bar isn't
    really grippable, and on the whole it places you in what the
    British call a sit-up-and-beg position. Eminently in order
    when you're riding an old Raleigh roadster (or a Batavus or
    Gazelle or Flying Pigeon....) but probably not what the OP
    is looking for.

    I would recommend a long ride or two with drop bars. There
    is a reason why dropped handlebars have stayed with us since
    the beginning of the bicycle.

    -Luigi
     
  8. Xkred27

    Xkred27 Guest

    Donna,

    As a 48-year-old, none-too-fit newbie, I went shopping for a
    bike around two months ago. The dilemma you describe was
    foremost in my mind as well. I test rode the Sirrus Comp and
    the Sequoia Elite and quickly ruled out the former. My
    experience was/is that the drop handlebars do indeed provide
    greater versatility. Even on short rides I use all three
    main positions (upright, hoods, drops). I then took it one
    step further and test rode a full road bike, the LeMond
    Tourmalet and, wow, was sold by the speed and handling. So
    what I did was bought the LeMond, but had the shop swap in
    the suspension seatpost and saddle from the Sequoia. Love
    that LeMond and love that suspension seatpost. You could
    cush the ride on a road bike even further by substituting
    wider tires. I stuck with the stock 700x25; the Sequoia has
    700x28. The one thing you don't get with the road bike is
    that second set of brake levers as on the Sequoia. Also, I
    don't believe that the LeMond has all the doodads you need
    for full touring (i.e., a way to attach panniers, etc.),
    while the two Sirrus bikes may have those.

    I have no regrets about going all the way and getting a road
    bike. And my riding habits sound similar to yours. I ride
    about 15 miles for fitness during my lunch break, and intend
    to work my way up to much longer rides on the weekend.

    Having said all that, I'll also say that the two bikes you
    have in your sights are fine rides, too.

    Good luck.

    Peter

    "Donna Alinelli" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I have been looking at a specialized sirrus comp with
    > straight bar and a specialized sequoia elite. I like the
    > position of the shifting levers on the straight bar in
    > comparison to the drop down bar on the seqouia but the
    > sequoia also has 3 hand positions. I will mostly do
    > road/touring/fitness with the ocassional long distance
    > trip. I have also looked at the kona Dr. Dew. I am now
    > totally confused. Please help if you have any knowledge of
    > these bikes. Would really appreciate
    > it. Thanks! D. Alinelli
     
  9. ::dom::

    ::dom:: New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2004
    Messages:
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    I have a Specialized Sirrus Sport (and will soon be the proud owner of a Specialized Allez Comp) and I found that the lack of hand positions becomes a problem on long rides (that's why I'm buying the Allez Comp).

    However I fitted aero-bars on the Sirrus and at least that gave my palms a rest on the straights (proper gloves also help)

    I'll use the Sirrus for shorter (15-25km), fun rides and the Allez for the serious stuff.
     
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