New bike questions

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Doug Kanter, Apr 18, 2003.

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  1. Doug Kanter

    Doug Kanter Guest

    I'm looking to replace my thousand year old racing bike. I just visited a bike specialty shop, and
    came away with questions:

    1) My target price range is $200-$400 (-ish). Everything this store carried in that range was made
    in China (Trek or Trex or something like that), something I'd like to avoid for political/human
    reasons. Is it possible to find bikes made elsewhere, in that range, that don't fall into the
    category of junk?

    2) Purpose: 90% paved road, riding to work, but will see some use in places like the Erie Canal
    trail, which alternates between paved and pea gravel.

    3) Regardless of where a bike's made, is my price range realistic, in terms of getting a decently
    made bike?

    4) Anyone have any first-hand experience with Trek bikes?

    5) Other recommendations in that price range?

    Weight's not that much of a concern, since virtually everything I'm seeing is much lighter than
    my old bike.

    -Doug
     
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  2. Harris

    Harris Guest

    Doug Kanter <[email protected]> wrote:

    > 5) Anyone have any first-hand experience with Trek bikes?

    Not personally, but Lance Armstrong has won four consecutive Tours de France on stock Trek bikes.

    Art Harris
     
  3. Doug Kanter

    Doug Kanter Guest

    "Harris" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Doug Kanter <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > > 5) Anyone have any first-hand experience with Trek bikes?
    >
    > Not personally, but Lance Armstrong has won four consecutive Tours de France on stock Trek bikes.
    >
    > Art Harris
    >

    No shit!?! Hmmm........
     
  4. Archer

    Archer Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > "Harris" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > Doug Kanter <[email protected]> wrote:
    > >
    > > > 5) Anyone have any first-hand experience with Trek bikes?
    > >
    > > Not personally, but Lance Armstrong has won four consecutive Tours de France on stock Trek
    > > bikes.
    > >
    > > Art Harris
    > >
    >
    > No shit!?! Hmmm........

    Yes, it's true; he rides a Trek 5900, 53cm (IIRC). You could walk into a Trek dealer and walk out
    with his exact bike if you wanted to spend the money. They make good bikes in a wide range of price
    levels, though I don't know if they go all the way down to $200. They do have some under $500, IIRC.

    --
    David Kerber An optimist says "Good morning, Lord." While a pessimist says "Good Lord,
    it's morning".

    Remove the ns_ from the address before e-mailing.
     
  5. Jon Isaacs

    Jon Isaacs Guest

    >5) Anyone have any first-hand experience with Trek bikes?

    Yes. I have had a few over the years. Trek is a big company but probably the only big US company
    left that actually designs and manufacturers bicycles. The rest are mostly marketers/importers.

    Make good bikes and they stand behind their product.

    I believe some manufacturing is done in Taiwan if that is better for you.

    jon isaacs
     
  6. Slider2699

    Slider2699 Guest

    "Jon Isaacs" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > >5) Anyone have any first-hand experience with Trek bikes?
    >
    > Yes. I have had a few over the years. Trek is a big company but probably
    the
    > only big US company left that actually designs and manufacturers bicycles.
    The
    > rest are mostly marketers/importers.
    >

    What about Cannondale?
     
  7. [email protected] (Harris) wrote:

    Doug Kanter <[email protected]> wrote:

    >5) Anyone have any first-hand experience with Trek bikes?

    Not personally, but Lance Armstrong has won four consecutive Tours de France on stock Trek bikes.

    Art Harris

    He sure did, Art, but I'll bet they cost a lot more than the $300-$400 Doug's looking for! LOL!!!

    May you have the wind at your back. And a really low gear for the hills! Chris

    Chris'Z Corner "The Website for the Common Bicyclist": http://www.geocities.com/czcorner
     
  8. Tom Keats

    Tom Keats Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    "Doug Kanter" <[email protected]> writes:
    > I'm looking to replace my thousand year old racing bike. I just visited a bike specialty shop, and
    > came away with questions:
    >
    > 1) My target price range is $200-$400 (-ish). Everything this store carried in that range was made
    > in China (Trek or Trex or something like that), something I'd like to avoid for political/human
    > reasons.

    I know whatcha mean, but I'm sorta torn about that. On the one hand, I don't like supporting
    totalitarian regimes; on the other, Chinese workers gotta eat, too. And even if you get
    something with a "Made in <wherever>" tag on it, there's no telling where the ingredients _they_
    used, came from.

    > Is it possible to find bikes made elsewhere, in that range, that don't fall into the category
    > of junk?

    There are still some Canadian Raleighs kickin' around.

    > 2) Purpose: 90% paved road, riding to work, but will see some use in places like the Erie Canal
    > trail, which alternates between paved and pea gravel.

    I hate riding over pea gravel. The crunchy noise sets my teeth on edge <g>

    > 3) Regardless of where a bike's made, is my price range realistic, in terms of getting a decently
    > made bike?

    Yes, but the upgrade path might be a short one -- not because the quality of the parts peters out,
    but a point is reached where one ends up trying to make a silk purse out of a ... vinyl purse. Yet,
    the cheap one can be more functional than the fancy one.

    > 5) Anyone have any first-hand experience with Trek bikes?

    Yeah, and I've got a profound respect for 'em. Except for when they went to those black handlebars
    and stems. Now, cheap knock-offs have black paint covering their inferior, rustable steel parts.

    > 6) Other recommendations in that price range?

    I think the Trek 800 Sport is an excellent starter. Some folks here don't like the wheels much,
    though -- particularly for heavier riders. The wheels are plain, ol' 36-spokers. If you're under 200
    lbs, you'd be okay.

    The Navigator is nice, too.

    I wouldn't mind a new Norco Mountaineer with the crappy RST suspension fork removed, and a rigid,
    (Norco) Scorcher fork stuck in there instead.

    > Weight's not that much of a concern, since virtually everything I'm seeing is much lighter than my
    > old bike.

    Like I said -- some Canadian Raleighs are still kickin' around :)

    cheers, Tom

    --
    -- Powered by FreeBSD Above address is just a spam midden. I'm really at: tkeats [curlicue] vcn
    [point] bc [point] ca
     
  9. Ken

    Ken Guest

    "Doug Kanter" <[email protected]> wrote in
    news:[email protected]:
    > 1) My target price range is $200-$400 (-ish). Everything this store carried in that range was made
    > in China (Trek or Trex or something like that), something I'd like to avoid for political/human
    > reasons. Is it possible to find bikes made elsewhere, in that range, that don't fall into the
    > category of junk?

    Many low end bikes are made in Taiwan. There is a huge difference between Taiwan and communist
    China. Cannondale is probably the cheapest that is made in the USA (though most compoents are made
    in Japan).
     
  10. Chin Chan

    Chin Chan Guest

    Eventhough Trek and other companies assembled or built their bikes in China, the profits still go
    back to the shareholders in US. The workers there get peanuts.

    Tom Keats <[email protected]> wrote:
    > In article <[email protected]>,
    > "Doug Kanter" <[email protected]> writes:
    >> I'm looking to replace my thousand year old racing bike. I just visited a bike specialty shop,
    >> and came away with questions:
    >>
    >> 1) My target price range is $200-$400 (-ish). Everything this store carried in that range was
    >> made in China (Trek or Trex or something like that), something I'd like to avoid for
    >> political/human reasons.

    > I know whatcha mean, but I'm sorta torn about that. On the one hand, I don't like supporting
    > totalitarian regimes; on the other, Chinese workers gotta eat, too. And even if you get
    > something with a "Made in <wherever>" tag on it, there's no telling where the ingredients _they_
    > used, came from.

    >> Is it possible to find bikes made elsewhere, in that range, that don't fall into the category
    >> of junk?

    > There are still some Canadian Raleighs kickin' around.

    >> 2) Purpose: 90% paved road, riding to work, but will see some use in places like the Erie Canal
    >> trail, which alternates between paved and pea gravel.

    > I hate riding over pea gravel. The crunchy noise sets my teeth on edge <g>

    >> 3) Regardless of where a bike's made, is my price range realistic, in terms of getting a decently
    >> made bike?

    > Yes, but the upgrade path might be a short one -- not because the quality of the parts peters out,
    > but a point is reached where one ends up trying to make a silk purse out of a ... vinyl purse.
    > Yet, the cheap one can be more functional than the fancy one.

    >> 5) Anyone have any first-hand experience with Trek bikes?

    > Yeah, and I've got a profound respect for 'em. Except for when they went to those black handlebars
    > and stems. Now, cheap knock-offs have black paint covering their inferior, rustable steel parts.

    >> 6) Other recommendations in that price range?

    > I think the Trek 800 Sport is an excellent starter. Some folks here don't like the wheels much,
    > though -- particularly for heavier riders. The wheels are plain, ol' 36-spokers. If you're under
    > 200 lbs, you'd be okay.

    > The Navigator is nice, too.

    > I wouldn't mind a new Norco Mountaineer with the crappy RST suspension fork removed, and a rigid,
    > (Norco) Scorcher fork stuck in there instead.

    >> Weight's not that much of a concern, since virtually everything I'm seeing is much lighter than
    >> my old bike.

    > Like I said -- some Canadian Raleighs are still kickin' around :)

    > cheers, Tom

    > --
    > -- Powered by FreeBSD Above address is just a spam midden. I'm really at: tkeats [curlicue] vcn
    > [point] bc [point] ca
     
  11. Tom Keats

    Tom Keats Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, Chin Chan <[email protected]> writes:
    >
    >
    > Eventhough Trek and other companies assembled or built their bikes in China, the profits still go
    > back to the shareholders in US. The workers there get peanuts.

    At least, they get an income _at all_.

    "Peanuts" is better than nothing.

    Having a job is better than not having a job.

    That said, I don't like to see anybody being ripped-off or heinously exploited. But what's even
    worse, is seeing people having to go hungry because nobody will let them get any wherewithal.
    Period. Sanctions/embargos/boycotts often victimize the "little guy" too much, while the overlords
    have their workarounds. It's not fair. But, that's what we're stuck with (and always have been, and
    always will be). Capitalists like to euphemistically call that effect: "opportunity". Now, suddenly,
    I'm recalling Clavell's "King Rat". And "Dogs", off of Pink Floyd's "Animals".

    What a sad world we live in.

    What a bad mess we've made.

    cheers, Tom

    --
    -- Powered by FreeBSD Above address is just a spam midden. I'm really at: tkeats [curlicue] vcn
    [point] bc [point] ca
     
  12. On Fri, 18 Apr 2003 17:33:11 +0000, Tom Keats wrote:

    > I think the Trek 800 Sport is an excellent starter. Some folks here don't like the wheels much,
    > though -- particularly for heavier riders. The wheels are plain, ol' 36-spokers. If you're under
    > 200 lbs, you'd be okay.
    >
    As opposed to what? Boutique wheels are _less_ appropriate for a 200-pound plus rider than "plain,
    ol' 36-spokers".

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | Deserves death! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve _`\(,_ | death. And some that die
    deserve life. Can you give it to (_)/ (_) | them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in
    judgement. -- J. R. R. Tolkein
     
  13. Tom Keats

    Tom Keats Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, "David L. Johnson" <[email protected]> writes:
    > On Fri, 18 Apr 2003 17:33:11 +0000, Tom Keats wrote:
    >
    >> I think the Trek 800 Sport is an excellent starter. Some folks here don't like the wheels much,
    >> though -- particularly for heavier riders. The wheels are plain, ol' 36-spokers. If you're under
    >> 200 lbs, you'd be okay.
    >>
    > As opposed to what? Boutique wheels are _less_ appropriate for a 200-pound plus rider than "plain,
    > ol' 36-spokers".

    That's what I'd like to know! But awhile back, I suggested an 800 Sport to a somewhat heavyweight,
    and was sorta taken to task on the basis, the wheels aren't good enough. But chances are tney know
    what they're talking about more than I know what I'm talking about, so I defer to them. After all,
    it ain't about who's right ... it's about getting people onto bikes. And keeping them there.

    cheers, Tom

    --
    -- Powered by FreeBSD Above address is just a spam midden. I'm really at: tkeats [curlicue] vcn
    [point] bc [point] ca
     
  14. > I'm looking to replace my thousand year old racing bike. I just visited a bike specialty shop, and
    > came away with questions:
    >
    > 1) My target price range is $200-$400 (-ish). Everything this store
    carried
    > in that range was made in China (Trek or Trex or something like that), something I'd like to avoid
    > for political/human reasons. Is it possible to find bikes made elsewhere, in that range, that
    > don't fall into the
    category
    > of junk?

    At that end of the market, it's almost impossible to avoid a bike made in China. And, while I
    sympathize with your views regarding conditions there, you can also make an argument that opening up
    the country for commerce with the outside world had done an awful lot to improve working conditions
    there as well as allow outside ideas to intrude into a formerly-closed society.

    Regarding bikes from China being "junk", that's simply not a safe generalization anymore. Chinese
    factories are capable of producing just about anything you ask of them. If you want to pay bottom
    dollar for the cheapest thing possible, yes, they can produce some real junky trash. But if you come
    into China with specific requirements and procedures, they will do as asked. In TREKs case, they
    learned long ago, when they switched from one Taiwan manufacturer to another (for low-end bikes back
    in the late-80s I believe) that, if you don't keep an eye on things, they'll produce the lowest
    quality product possible, until you make it known to them that your standards require something
    better. This particular manufacturer is now one of the larger name-labels here in the US, by the
    way. Anyway, after that they learned that you have to have someone from your company at the plant,
    full-time, making sure standards are appropriately defined and met.

    The bottom line is that bikes in the $200-$500 range from China can represent excellent value and
    quality. They can also be fairly junky. It's really up to the people who work with them to determine
    the quality level and, in TREKs case, that quality is going to be very high (perhaps mostly because
    TREK is, first and foremost, an American manufacturer of very high quality bicycles, and thus knows
    how to gauge quality and spot problems).

    >
    > 2) Purpose: 90% paved road, riding to work, but will see some use in
    places
    > like the Erie Canal trail, which alternates between paved and pea gravel.
    >
    You might consider a hybrid, such as the 7200 (about $450). The narrower tires (narrower than a
    mountain bike, but still considerably wider than a road bike) will give the bike a considerably
    faster, lighter feel, and yet still negotiate the type of roads & trails you describe.

    > 3) Regardless of where a bike's made, is my price range realistic, in
    terms
    > of getting a decently made bike?

    Your price range is fine, but don't overlook the fact that there can be a bigger difference between
    one dealer and the next (selling the same bike) than between two different bikes and different
    dealers. The dealer you choose is responsible for setting up the bike, fitting you properly, making
    sure it's an appropriate choice for how you're going to ride, and take care of any possible warranty
    issues. More than anything you want to buy from a dealer who's going to do their best to keep your
    bike out of the garage and under your tail end.

    >
    > 5) Anyone have any first-hand experience with Trek bikes?

    Nah, never heard of 'em. Oh, that's right, we sell about 2500 a year. :>) So I guess you can figure
    I'm not terribly objective and should assume I'm 100% totally biased.

    >
    > 6) Other recommendations in that price range?

    Not too sure about what others have in that range; difficult enough to keep track of the options I
    sell myself! But, as I mentioned, the dealer is as important as the bike line. If you can find a
    great dealer that sells TREK, then I think you've got it made.

    >
    > Weight's not that much of a concern, since virtually everything I'm seeing is much lighter than my
    > old bike.
    >
    > -Doug
    >
    >
    --
    --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles http://www.ChainReactionBicycles.com
     
  15. Harris

    Harris Guest

    "Tom Keats" wrote:
    > "David L. Johnson" writes:
    > > Tom Keats wrote:
    > >> I think the Trek 800 Sport is an excellent starter. Some folks here don't like the wheels much,
    > >> though -- particularly for heavier riders. The wheels are plain, ol' 36-spokers. If you're
    > >> under 200 lbs, you'd be okay.
    > >>
    > > As opposed to what? Boutique wheels are _less_ appropriate for a 200-pound plus rider than
    > > "plain, ol' 36-spokers".
    >
    > That's what I'd like to know! But awhile back, I suggested an 800 Sport to a somewhat heavyweight,
    > and was sorta taken to task on the basis, the wheels aren't good enough.

    I bought a Trek 800 for my then 12-year old daughter about two years ago. As with most bikes in that
    price range, the wheels are machine built. I tensioned and stress relieved them as soon as we got
    the bike home. A 200+ pound rider would likely have problems with those wheels due to the build
    quality, not because of the materials.

    Art Harris
     
  16. Tom Sherman

    Tom Sherman Guest

    Jon Isaacs wrote:
    >
    > >What about Cannondale?
    >
    > Cannondale is a US company but I don't consider them a "big" company with a full range of products
    > in the same way that Trek is. But hey, I might be wrong on that, just my perception.

    Hopefully the bicycle division of Cannondale will survive - their entry into off-road motorcycles
    and ATV's has pretty much sunk the company financially (but the bicycle division is profitable).

    Tom Sherman - Quad Cities USA (Illinois side)
     
  17. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    "Doug Kanter" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > I'm looking to replace my thousand year old racing bike. I
    just visited a
    > bike specialty shop, and came away with questions:
    >
    > 1) My target price range is $200-$400 (-ish). Everything
    this store carried
    > in that range was made in China (Trek or Trex or something
    like that),
    > something I'd like to avoid for political/human reasons.
    Is it possible to
    > find bikes made elsewhere, in that range, that don't fall
    into the category
    > of junk?

    More bikes are made in China than anywhere else. Many of the best bikes are made in Taiwan. Taiwan
    is where mainstream bikes come from these days.

    > 2) Purpose: 90% paved road, riding to work, but will see
    some use in places
    > like the Erie Canal trail, which alternates between paved
    and pea gravel.

    Any bike will do. The ones that are least suitable are the ones you can't afford anyway.

    > 3) Regardless of where a bike's made, is my price range
    realistic, in terms
    > of getting a decently made bike?

    It's the bottom of the range, but yes, you should be able to get a good bike for that.
    $300-something is the typical entry level, but you can often find these bikes on sale for
    $200-something. This time of year is prime bike-selling season. Shops are gearing up to move
    product, and if you're quick you might find some of last year's models on sale.

    > 5) Anyone have any first-hand experience with Trek bikes?

    IME, Trek has the best warranties, and warranty service, of any bike company. This alone is a
    good reason to buy a Trek product vs., say, Specialized or GT or whatever. Other than that,
    they're all the same.

    Trek brands include Trek, Fisher, Klein, Lemond, and maybe a couple of others I've forgotten.

    > 6) Other recommendations in that price range?

    Again, bikes in the same price range from any manufacturer are really about the same. They may
    differ a little in how they fit you, and that's important. Buy the one that fits you best and is
    most comfortable.

    > Weight's not that much of a concern, since virtually
    everything I'm seeing
    > is much lighter than my old bike.

    Yup, and they work great too. Even cheap bikes are really good these days.

    Matt O.
     
  18. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    "Harris" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > I bought a Trek 800 for my then 12-year old daughter about
    two years ago. As
    > with most bikes in that price range, the wheels are
    machine built. I
    > tensioned and stress relieved them as soon as we got the
    bike home. A 200+
    > pound rider would likely have problems with those wheels
    due to the build
    > quality, not because of the materials.

    Good point. One reason cheap bikes have "heavy" wheels is that the lower build quality necessitates
    sturdier components. But if you take a cheaper wheel and retension it with care, you'll have a very
    sturdy wheel indeed.

    Matt O.
     
  19. Dan Daniel

    Dan Daniel Guest

    On Fri, 18 Apr 2003 17:28:11 GMT, "Doug Kanter" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >I'm looking to replace my thousand year old racing bike. I just visited a bike specialty shop, and
    >came away with questions:
    >
    >1) My target price range is $200-$400 (-ish). Everything this store carried in that range was made
    > in China (Trek or Trex or something like that), something I'd like to avoid for political/human
    > reasons. Is it possible to find bikes made elsewhere, in that range, that don't fall into the
    > category of junk?
    >

    Others have said it.

    My recent search led me to think that $300 is the lowest to go on a new (non-sale priced) bike.

    >2) Purpose: 90% paved road, riding to work, but will see some use in places like the Erie Canal
    > trail, which alternates between paved and pea gravel.
    >

    A used cyclocross bike?

    >3) Regardless of where a bike's made, is my price range realistic, in terms of getting a decently
    > made bike?
    >

    Yes.

    >5) Anyone have any first-hand experience with Trek bikes?
    >

    Nice bikes.

    >6) Other recommendations in that price range?
    >

    I ended up with a Marin Muirwoods, after looking at a bunch of used bikes and a bunch of new ones.
    Major points in its favor- no shock. Steel. Nice geometry for me (but you need to ride any bike you
    are looking at).

    http://www.marinbikes.com/bikes/urban/spec_muirwoods.html

    I am using it for commuting (city) and roads- 90%, and low-level trails and path riding.

    >Weight's not that much of a concern, since virtually everything I'm seeing is much lighter than my
    >old bike.
    >
    >-Doug
    >

    If a particular model of bike doesn't grab you, buy based on the bike shop, not the brand. At most
    price points, you will get a similar bike under lots of different names.
     
  20. Smokey

    Smokey Guest

    "Doug Kanter" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > I'm looking to replace my thousand year old racing bike. I just visited a bike specialty shop, and
    > came away with questions:
    >
    > 1) My target price range is $200-$400 (-ish). Everything this store carried in that range was made
    > in China (Trek or Trex or something like that), something I'd like to avoid for political/human
    > reasons. Is it possible to find bikes made elsewhere, in that range, that don't fall into the
    > category of junk?
    >
    > 2) Purpose: 90% paved road, riding to work, but will see some use in places like the Erie Canal
    > trail, which alternates between paved and pea gravel.
    >
    > 3) Regardless of where a bike's made, is my price range realistic, in terms of getting a decently
    > made bike?
    >
    > 5) Anyone have any first-hand experience with Trek bikes?
    >
    > 6) Other recommendations in that price range?
    >
    > Weight's not that much of a concern, since virtually everything I'm seeing is much lighter than my
    > old bike.
    >
    > -Doug

    have you considered buying used? there are some really good bargains out there in your price range.
    of course, used means caveat emptor for the buyer, but it's fairly easy to check one out. you will
    probably get a better component group that will save you on upgrades later on. also, take a careful
    look at cyclocross bikes. i have a lemond poprad that sees mostly pavement, with a fair amount of
    gravel roads and light trail work. it's perfect for my purposes, and i think it will work for yours,
    too. smokey
     
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