New Bike Recommendations Needed

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by James Howe, Jul 31, 2003.

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  1. James Howe

    James Howe Guest

    I'm interested in getting some opinions/recommendations on a new lower-end road bike to replace my
    two-year-old Trek 7300 Hybrid. Overall I've been pleased with the 7300, but I find that I really
    miss the drop handlebars. My riding is mostly fitness and recreational and occurs mostly on paved
    roads. However, I do have a need for a bike which can handle packed dirt roads without suffering
    severe tire/wheel/frame damage. Typically I only ride 50+ miles a week over flat to moderately hilly
    terrain. I'm also not inclined to spend a fortune on a new bike. Ideally I would like to spend less
    than $1000 and probably no more than $1500.

    I've been looking at some of the new 'comfort' road bikes produced by Trek and Specialized. In
    particular the Trek 1000C/1200C and the Specialized Sequoia series. I've also read good things about
    the Bianchi Volpe. They all seem to be in the right price range and seem to be closer to a hybrid
    bike than a road bike. Are there other bikes by other manufacturers which are similar? One question
    I have about all of these bikes is how wide of a tire I could put on them. They seem to come with
    700x28C tires by default. My hybrid has 700x38C tires. Could I put 700x38c tires on any of these
    bikes? I'm also not sure how to evaluate the different equipment groups which come on these bikes.
    For example, the Trek 1000C uses Shimano Sora components and sells for around $600. The low-end
    Specialized Sequoia uses Sora components but sells in the $800 range. The 1200C and the Volpe, which
    are closer to the $900 range, use Shimano Tiagra. The mid-level Specialized Sequoia uses Shimano New
    105 components and sells for $1200. What are the major differences between these components and
    would a casual rider such as myself really benefit from spending hundreds of dollars more for better
    components? Obviously one thing to do is try the bikes out to see which feels the best, but I'd
    still like opinions about what people like and don't like about the various components.

    I'm interested in any opinions that people may have on bikes which may meet my requirements.

    Thanks.

    --
    James Howe
     
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  2. David Kerber

    David Kerber Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > I'm interested in getting some opinions/recommendations on a new lower-end road bike to replace my
    > two-year-old Trek 7300 Hybrid. Overall I've been pleased with the 7300, but I find that I really
    > miss the drop handlebars. My riding is mostly fitness and recreational and occurs mostly on paved
    > roads. However, I do have a need for a bike which can handle packed dirt roads without suffering
    > severe tire/wheel/frame damage. Typically I only ride 50+ miles a week over flat to moderately
    > hilly terrain. I'm also not inclined to spend a fortune on a new bike. Ideally I would like to
    > spend less than $1000 and probably no more than $1500.

    You could also look at the Bianchi San Remo ($1100 street price) and the Fuji Touring ($800
    street price)

    ...

    --
    Dave Kerber Fight spam: remove the ns_ from the return address before replying!

    REAL programmers write self-modifying code.
     
  3. David Kerber <[email protected]_ids.net> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > > I'm interested in getting some opinions/recommendations on a new lower-end road bike to replace
    > > my two-year-old Trek 7300 Hybrid. Overall I've been pleased with the 7300, but I find that I
    > > really miss the drop handlebars. My riding is mostly fitness and recreational and occurs mostly
    > > on paved roads. However, I do have a need for a bike which can handle packed dirt roads without
    > > suffering severe tire/wheel/frame damage. Typically I only ride 50+ miles a week over flat to
    > > moderately hilly terrain. I'm also not inclined to spend a fortune on a new bike. Ideally I
    > > would like to spend less than $1000 and probably no more than $1500.
    >
    > You could also look at the Bianchi San Remo ($1100 street price) and the Fuji Touring ($800
    > street price)

    ...or the Jamis Aurora (~US$600)
     
  4. Pat

    Pat Guest

    x-no-archive:yes

    I am a big fan of Bianchi. Their bikes ride so smooth and they have a lot of value for the money.

    Pat in TX
     
  5. Jobst Brandt

    Jobst Brandt Guest

    Pat snipes anonymously:

    > I am a big fan of Bianchi. Their bikes ride so smooth and they have a lot of value for the money.

    How do you mean that? Is this the smoothness of the paint or the transitions of the tube joints?...
    or are you implying that Bianchi frames are soft and flex more than tires that usually absorb road
    shock of bicycles (if they aren't FS MTB's). I feel that old black magic coming on... "steel frames
    get soft with time etc".

    Jobst Brandt [email protected] Palo Alto CA
     
  6. Rick Onanian

    Rick Onanian Guest

    On 31 Jul 2003 23:16:39 GMT, James Howe <[email protected]> wrote:
    > The low-end Specialized Sequoia uses Sora components but sells in the $800 range. The 1200C and
    > the Volpe, which are closer to the $900 range, use Shimano Tiagra. The mid-level Specialized
    > Sequoia uses Shimano New 105 components and sells for $1200. What are the major differences
    > between these components and would a casual rider such as myself really benefit from spending
    > hundreds of dollars more for better components?

    As far as the components are concerned, when I was buying my road bike, I didn't like the Sora or
    Tiagra bikes I tried, but that may have been bad assembly / adjustment. I bought all 105.

    However, more tangibly, observe the design of the Sora shifters. They don't shift both
    directions from normal STI levers like found in other groups; instead, they have a tab on the
    inside of the hood to shift to smaller gears. This limits your hand positions while shifting
    more so than other setups.

    > Thanks.
    --
    Rick Onanian
     
  7. Pat

    Pat Guest

    x-no-archive:yes

    :
    >
    > > I am a big fan of Bianchi. Their bikes ride so smooth and they have a lot of value for the
    > > money.
    >
    > How do you mean that? Is this the smoothness of the paint or the transitions of the tube
    > joints?... or are you implying that Bianchi frames are soft and flex more than tires that usually
    > absorb road shock of bicycles (if they aren't FS MTB's). I feel that old black magic coming on...
    > "steel frames get soft with time etc".
    >
    > Jobst Brandt
    >

    I just meant that when I tried out the Bianchi Eros and Bianchi Veloce, they felt smoother to ride
    than the Klein, LeMond, and Cannondale bikes that I also tried out. Of course, my old bike was a
    1984 Schwinn, so practically anything would have been quicker and more responsive....I think Bianchi
    has good quality frames, the angles in their frames feel good when I ride them, and they were
    reasonably light for the price. Are you always so acerbic?

    Pat in TX
     
  8. In article <[email protected]>, Rick Onanian <[email protected]> wrote:

    > On 31 Jul 2003 23:16:39 GMT, James Howe <[email protected]> wrote:
    > > The low-end Specialized Sequoia uses Sora components but sells in the $800 range. The 1200C and
    > > the Volpe, which are closer to the $900 range, use Shimano Tiagra. The mid-level Specialized
    > > Sequoia uses Shimano New 105 components and sells for $1200. What are the major differences
    > > between these components and would a casual rider such as myself really benefit from spending
    > > hundreds of dollars more for better components?
    >
    > As far as the components are concerned, when I was buying my road bike, I didn't like the Sora or
    > Tiagra bikes I tried, but that may have been bad assembly / adjustment. I bought all 105.
    >
    > However, more tangibly, observe the design of the Sora shifters. They don't shift both
    > directions from normal STI levers like found in other groups; instead, they have a tab on the
    > inside of the hood to shift to smaller gears. This limits your hand positions while shifting
    > more so than other setups.

    That's true. Normal people cannot upshift Sora from the drops (is the front shifter opposite to the
    rear? Meaning, does the small tab upshift or downshift on the front shifter? I don't know because I
    only have a rear shifter).

    This may not be a big deal, though. I have a Sora shifter on my race/commute bike. It works fine,
    and the hand movement to shift when on the drops is easier than reaching for a DT shifter, and not
    much worse than having a bar-end shifter right there.

    Sheldon Brown, Shimano fan that he is, suggests that Tiagra is an excellent value and very reliable.
    The only reason he would recommend against Sora (which he also likes) is that it locks you into 8
    speeds at the rear, when 9v is the more common setup these days, and you might as well get the
    advantages of the extra gear, the better shifting setup, and marginally better equipment.

    The dirty little secret of Sora? In my experience, the button is really nice for shifting from the
    hoods, which is where most riders spend most of their time on a modern bike setup.

    --
    Ryan Cousineau, [email protected] http://www.sfu.ca/~rcousine President, Fabrizio Mazzoleni Fan Club
     
  9. James Howe <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...

    > road bike to replace my two-year-old Trek 7300 Hybrid. Overall I've been pleased with the 7300,
    > but I find that I really miss the drop handlebars.

    You could add Newk extensions (curve down like dropped bars, don't relocate the controls - OK if
    you spend most of the time "on the tops"). Or switch the stem, bars, and controls, keeping in
    mind that most V-brakes need an adapter to work with STI levers (different cable pull). Some
    manufacturers sell a "touring bike" which is just their hybrid with dropped bars, STI levers,
    narrower tires, and different crankset (30-42-52 instead of 22-32-42).

    These are cheaper options. ymmv

    > tire I could put on them. They seem to come with 700x28C tires by default.

    Most "road" bikes lack clearance for wider tires, fenders, racks, panniers, etc. You might look
    for "touring" bikes. Or CycloCross bikes, but these seem to have higher bottom brackets, and cost
    more than a tourer.

    > Could I put 700x38c tires on any of these bikes?

    www.sheldonbrown.com has a table of tire widths for rim widths. The other limiting factor is
    clearance - wide tires may rub the frame or brake arches. You can always deflate the tire to
    squeeze it past the brake pads, then re-inflate it. Many touring bikes use cantilever or v-brakes
    (see sheldonbrown's glossary)

    ,
    > which are closer to the $900 range, use Shimano Tiagra. The mid-level

    See www.chainreactionbicycles.com article on test riding a bike. You really can't judge a group
    (specifically shifters) without riding it. I got severe hand / arm pain from RSX STI levers, but
    have no such grief from 105's. Tiagra looks like a nice 9-speed group, Sora limits your upgrade
    options (8 speed) and has "mouse-ears" rather than a second lever inside the main brake-shift
    lever. Some people prefer barcons, as used on the Trek 520. ymmv.

    > Specialized Sequoia uses Shimano New 105 components and sells for $1200.

    My 105's have two cnetral positions for the FD, to allow some trimming when on the middle
    chainring. RSX didn't have that, don't know whether Taigra does. You could read the SHimano
    blurbs for other differences, which may contribute to durability, or function.

    You may find Campagnolo ERGO at that price level as well
    (e.g. the Marinoni Turismo with Campy Veloce costs C$1760, which is less than your U$1500 limit).

    Some touring bikes mix road and ATB compnents, e.g. 105 ST levers, LX hubs and wide-range
    cassette, LX derailleur to cope with the ATB cassette, etc.

    hth
     
  10. Eric Murray

    Eric Murray Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, James Howe <[email protected]> wrote:
    >I'm interested in getting some opinions/recommendations on a new lower-end road bike to replace my
    >two-year-old Trek 7300 Hybrid. Overall I've been pleased with the 7300, but I find that I really
    >miss the drop handlebars.

    Why don't you just put drop bars on the 7300? A new bar, stem, and brifters wil cost a lot less than
    a new bike.

    Nothing wrong with buying a new bike but from your description it sounds like you want the hybrid,
    just with drop bars.

    Eric
     
  11. James Howe <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > I'm interested in getting some opinions/recommendations on a new lower-end road bike to replace my
    > two-year-old Trek 7300 Hybrid. Overall I've been pleased with the 7300, but I find that I really
    > miss the drop handlebars. My riding is mostly fitness and recreational and occurs mostly on paved
    > roads. However, I do have a need for a bike which can handle packed dirt roads without suffering
    > severe tire/wheel/frame damage. Typically I only ride 50+ miles a week over flat to moderately
    > hilly terrain. I'm also not inclined to spend a fortune on a new bike. Ideally I would like to
    > spend less than $1000 and probably no more than $1500.

    Fuji Touring, MSRP is $840 Bianchi Volpe MSRP is $850

    These would appear to fit your requirements pretty well. Look for a Cro-Moly framed bicycle, not an
    aluminum framed bicycle.

    As to the widest tire, no problem with 38mm on the Fuji, see the chart at:
    "http://sheldonbrown.com/tire-sizing.html"

    The Fuji comes with Ritchey Tom Slick, 700 x 30C and Alex X-2100 rims. The rims have an inside
    diameter of
    18.8mm, so you could technically go up to 44mm wide tires, and in fact you can find bikes with 38mm
    tires and these rims.

    The Volpe has Mavic T-224 rims. Mavic doesn't have the width on their web site, but they do list
    tire pressure for 28mm-37mm tires, so probably 38mm would be okay.
     
  12. Pat

    Pat Guest

    x-no-archive:yes

    .
    > James Howe
    >
    > These would appear to fit your requirements pretty well. Look for a Cro-Moly framed bicycle, not
    > an aluminum framed bicycle.

    duck! run for cover!

    Pat in TX
     
  13. "Pat" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > x-no-archive:yes
    >
    > .
    > > James Howe
    > >
    > > These would appear to fit your requirements pretty well. Look for a Cro-Moly framed bicycle, not
    > > an aluminum framed bicycle.

    The original poster stated that he wanted a bike that was not strictly for on-road riding and that
    could stand up to some abuse. I don't think anyone would argue that aluminum is better than steel in
    terms of meeting these requirements.
     
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