Learsport, are they any good?

Discussion in 'Australia and New Zealand' started by Robbo_, Jan 20, 2006.

  1. Robbo_

    Robbo_ New Member

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    This is my first post here.:)

    I am looking to buy a bike (secondhand) for one of my sons to compete in triathlons on.

    Are the Learsport bikes any good or would I be better off sticking to Giant, Trec or Cannondale etc?

    thanks
     
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  2. 531Aussie

    531Aussie Well-Known Member

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    Firstly, I would say that Cannondale are in a different league to Trek and Giant -- especially Giant. Most Cannondales (if not all) are made in the US and regularly pass the rigorous EFBe fatigue test: http://www.efbe.de/testergebnisse/rennwiege/enindex.php This test has its critiques, but if we have a choice of a frame that's there and one that's not, why not get one that's there??! :)

    I don't know a lot about Trek, but I know a guy who busted 3 alu TCR Giants, and 3 other guys who cracked them.

    Anyway, to answer your question, some of the Learsports/Azzurris (same bike) are made with Columbus Zonal aluminium, which is reasonable stuff -- arguably better than the no-name aluminium that Giant uses. A frame like this retails for 700 bucks, which is pretty good for a Columbus tube-set:
    http://www.learsport.com.au/view_product.php?product=Lear8500 .
    I imagine the cheaper, generic Learsport/Azzurri frames to be every bit as good as a Giant, and maybe even Trek. Personally, I don't like the look of the super-compact frame.
     
  3. Robbo_

    Robbo_ New Member

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    Thanks


    The Learsport I was looking at has Columbus on it so I might take a closer look.

    I always thought Giant were ok, but then I don't know too much about bikes. My kids have just got into triathlons, so I am on a steep learning curve, and trying to find good secondhand bikes is pretty hard.
     
  4. artemidorus

    artemidorus New Member

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    Any Trek in, or near, the Learsport price range is a Giant.
    If you want value for money, consider Learsport or Giant but don't go near Trek, Cannondale or any of the VERY select range of models tested by the Germans if you don't want to pay unnecessary bucks.
    I am not qualified to comment on the aluminium used by Giant, which is not "no-name" (Alluxx 6000 on mine, for example- there you go, I am partisan :) ), but I know of no-one claiming an exceptionally high failure rate for Giant frames. Giant frames do not have a reputation for failure; Trek does, but almost certainly undeservedly. Any aluminium frame, Columbus or otherwise, used by a powerful, high-km rider will fatigue and crack after a certain number of years, unless built to an unacceptably high weight. The alloy TCR is a Tour de France level frame, although Giant has shifted to composite for its elite teams.
    Giant frames have a high finish quality that I'm guessing would be found hard to be equalled by Learsport (unless Giant makes Learsport...)
     
  5. 531Aussie

    531Aussie Well-Known Member

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    I guess I waffled on a bit there :) -- I should've just said that there's nothing wrong with Learsport, especially if you get one made from Columbus Zonal. I have a Zonal Cinelli (Proxima), which is much better than I thoguht it was gunna be, and it's light enough (1395g)
     
  6. Robbo_

    Robbo_ New Member

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    Well I didn't get the Learsport.

    Does anyboby know anything about Fuji bikes? Are they a quality bike?
     
  7. gclark8

    gclark8 New Member

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    Robbo,

    If these kids are running "off the bike", then buy something with the right geometry.

    Look at Felt F100 at about $1,000, S32 a bit more, it goes on from there. Dean Woods sells Felt at good prices: http://www.deanwoods.com.au/store/category125_1.htm

    If looking at Giant, TCR only for Triathlons, not OCR!
    http://www.giantbicycles.net/au/030.000.000/030.010.000.asp?year=2006&range=130
    http://www.giantbicycles.net/au/030.000.000/030.010.000.asp?year=2006&range=129

    Look here if looking for good advice: http://www.triwa.org.au/discus/index.html

    Both my bikes are Tri friendly.
     
  8. 531Aussie

    531Aussie Well-Known Member

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    nothing wrong with Fujis, especially if you get one of the slightly older 853 steel ones.

    Which one are you looking at?
    Are you looking at 2nd hand stuff?
     
  9. Robbo_

    Robbo_ New Member

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    I am not sure of the model, but I think it is an alloy frame, shimano 105, carbon fork.

    The bike is about 1 year old.

    Yeah I am trying to find something good secondhand.

    Three of my kids have just started doing triathlons (one of them has been selected into a sports acadamy for triathlon, through a talent search program), and he has been given a lend of a Giant TCR to compete on untill the end of the season, one is riding an old Repco steel frame bike (to small) and one is riding an old mountain bike.

    My budget is pretty small, so secondhand is the only option.
     
  10. gclark8

    gclark8 New Member

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    Robbo,

    Please put your locaton (town, suburb) in your details to the left. Locals can then reply to you direct.

    Look up your local State Triathlon web page, http://www.triwa.org.au/links.htm there will be Tri bikes for sale there. What age are your children?

    Some of the entry level Flat Bar road bikes, CRX4 Giant, SR101 Felt, are a good upgrade for under 18 Tri from a MTBs with slicks. Choose bikes with seat post angles of 75 degrees or greater and shorter top tubes.
     
  11. 531Aussie

    531Aussie Well-Known Member

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    i guess it comes down to relative cost: the cheaper the price, the better the bike.

    Fujis and 105 are fine, depending, of course, on the condition.

    If you're in Melbourne, there's a 2nd hand shop in South Rd, Moorabbin (Bicycle Recycle). They're not as cheap as the Trading Post, but there's a few months warranty.
     
  12. Robbo_

    Robbo_ New Member

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    I am in the Central west of NSW, so a long way from good bike shops.

    There is no bike/triathlon club here so not many secondhand bikes.

    We have been traveling 3 hours (one way) so they can compete.

    The kids are 13, 15 and 16, height from 165cm to 173cm, so something in the medium size, I guess.

    Also found a Gitane Mach 1800 with 105 gear for round $900 new, but never heard of them.

    The Fuji looks ok in the photos and is around $500. Also found a Trek with 105 .:confused:
     
  13. 531Aussie

    531Aussie Well-Known Member

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    Assuming they're in reasonable condition and aren't too old, they both sound like very good deals.
    A 105 group-set alone retails for $1100, and that obviously doesn't include a frame, rims, spokes, hubs, bars, stem, seat and seatpost. "Crikey", I just bought some Dura-Ace cranks for $550, and that was 'mate's rates'!!! :eek: :p

    There's a new Mach 1800 here for $1360, but they usually retail for at least $200 hundred more.
    http://www.bicyclestore.com.au/Gitane-Mach-1800-pr-20144.html

    Gitane were a very prominent and famous French brand during the 60s, 70s and 80s, and even "won" 11 Tours de France. The company was bought in 1992 by Cycleurope, and are now just another mass-produced Asian bike, but that's not to say they ain't good -- most bikes are made in Asia. Brief Gitane history: http://www.classicrendezvous.com/France/Gitane/history

    It's difficult to know what to look out for when you're buying a 2nd hand bike. If you're buying aluminium, it's probably wise to have a quick look for cracks on the frame, all around the bottom bracket and the rear drop-outs. Sometimes cracks don't look like cracks, but just appear as squiggly shifting lines in the paint. Other than that, try to find out if the seller has hammered the bike or hardly ridden at all. Most people buy bikes and hardly ride them, but there are also guys out there that are 95kg and race 3 times a week!! Tricky.
     
  14. Robbo_

    Robbo_ New Member

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    Thanks for the links, So $900 sounds pretty cheap for a new Gitane 1800.:)

    Just got to see if the finances will stretch that far.
     
  15. Robbo_

    Robbo_ New Member

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    Duratec frames, does anybody know anything about them? Are they any good?
     
  16. 531Aussie

    531Aussie Well-Known Member

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  17. gclark8

    gclark8 New Member

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    Hi Robbo,

    My advice is to buy a pair of Giant CRX4, one medium, one small, for the younger riders. There will be a Giant Dealer near you, you should get two for about $1000-1100. They will be better than drop bar bike for beginners in triathlons. Leave the other child on the TCR.
    http://www.giantbicycles.net/au/030.000.000/030.010.000.asp?year=2006&model=10017

    You can review the situation in 12 months whey you all have more experience.

    All these "bargains" are not ideal for young riders and the geometry of most not suitable for running. The Giants will be far easier to maintain.
     
  18. Robbo_

    Robbo_ New Member

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    Is that why "triathlon" bikes have a steeper seat tube angle?
     
  19. gclark8

    gclark8 New Member

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    Yes, not set in stone, but as a rule of thumb:
    70-72 degrees, MTBs
    71-73, Road bikes
    73-75, hybrids (flat bar road)
    75-78, Triathlon and time trial

    See: http://www.trysport.com.au/bikes.htm
    http://www.trysport.com.au/articles/main_articles_steepAngle.htm

    If you find a bike with 74.5 degrees, then a zero offset seat post will bring the seat forward about 19mm, 1.5 degrees, giving an "effective" seat post angle of 76 degrees. That is how I ride my Felt SR81 and running off it is good. The CRX4 Giant will work well for the price.
     
  20. Robbo_

    Robbo_ New Member

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    How do you work out zero offset, ( I know that probably sounds stupid) from what point?

    If you do move the seat forward you would have to move the handlebars forward as well?? That is something that I was going to try (moving the seat forward).
     
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