Seeking new bike advice

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by roadntrail, Mar 18, 2004.

  1. roadntrail

    roadntrail New Member

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    It's time to shop for a new road bike. So, without getting into the religious argments over steel vs aluminum vs titanium vs carbon or Campy vs Shimano, I'm looking for some general opinions. Obviously, the final decision will come down to fit and test ride impressions. I'm a non-racer, but I appreciate a reasonably light, quick handling bike. I try to ride 3 to 4 times a week, 15-20 miles each, at an 18-21mph pace. I'm looking to spend around $1500 US. Questions:

    • Minimum level groupset -- Shimano 105 / Campy Veloce, or should I go higher?
    • Brands I'm considering: Litespeed, Klein, Litespeed, Serotta (frame), Cannondale, Colnago, Specialized, Devinci, Argon18, Giant. Any others that are "must see"?
    • Are there any known quirks or quality issues that I should look for? For example: "Brand Xyz uses brittle dropouts that break easily".

    Thanks.
     
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  2. capwater

    capwater New Member

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    Litespeed Vela, full 105, coloradocyclist.com $1100 or go with their house brand Douglas motive for $800.
     
  3. mre

    mre New Member

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    My original goal was to buy an Orbea frame and assemble it with a Campy Centaur build kit. Unfortunately, I could not get used to the ergonomics so I went the Shimano route.

    Anyway, have a look at K2. I found a Mod 5.0 frame at my LBS about 4 months ago. The LBS built the bike with mostly Ultegra (the BB and crank are 105). The frame is 7005 Al with a carbon fork and seat stays. I used my old Serfas Cosmos saddle and Time Midi pedals. Total weight is 18#. I paid $1500 for it and still can't believe I got such a good deal for the money. The bike is extremely comfortable for my recreational riding. I'm 55 years old, overweight, and I try to ride 3-4 times/week, 15-20 miles each at about 16-18 mph.

    The troublesome things about this bike include the derailleur cables rubbing the head tube(?) and the cables under the BB. I've already worn some of the paint off the headtube but applied some carbon fiber patches which solved the problem. For the derailleur cables rubbing the area under the BB, I installed some scrap cable inner liner on the cable where the cable and frame make contact. Now the cable rubs only the inner liner rather than the BB.

    The absolute worse thing about the bike are the Shimano 535 wheels. I'm sure the LBS threw them in because, altho they look great, they couldn't move them. Also, they're a potential maintenance nightmare.

    I suggest talking to your LBS about building a bike for you. If you go this route, be sure to research all pieces and part so you know what you're getting.

    You came to the right place. This forum has plenty of knowledgeable readers with worthwhile opinions. They have helped me with several problems.


     
  4. waterboy420

    waterboy420 New Member

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    I ride a Cannondale CAAD5 frame that came equipped with mostly 105 components, aluminum bars, stem and seatpost. Since purchasing the bike I have swapped the derailleurs, cassette, and brakes from 105 to Dura Ace. The shifting is a lot smoother than the 105 group, in my opinion. I swapped out the seatpost, stem and bars for FSA carbon equipment. A lot more comfortable ride, and a better fit.

    If I had to do it all over again, I might start from scratch and have the LBS build me a bike, or find one with a complete Ultegra group and make sure the stem and seatpost fit well. There's a lot of bang for the buck with the Ultegra group. Usually the Dura Ace technology of a year or two ago will trickle down to that line.

    When it comes to frame materials, I have ridden high quality steel most of my life, but like the carbon/aluminum mix. Theres a lot of bang for the buck there. Titanium has a similar feel, but can be a lot more expensive.

    There's my 2 cents.
     
  5. tcklyde

    tcklyde New Member

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    You can buy a lot of bike for $1500. The Giant OCR 1 comes about half and half 105/Ultegra/SRAM with an AL frame and some Carbon parts for about $1200. It's not glamorous, but if you take care of it, you'll have a nice bike that can race and tour. The adjustible stem is a nice touch for riders interested in group rides, some light races, and long tours.

    Litespeeds and such are good bling bling rides, but you'll get more for your bucks by buying something like giant. Bling bling feels good, riding a great bike for a few seasons feels better.
     
  6. roadntrail

    roadntrail New Member

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    Thanks for the responses so far. I did some shopping on Saturday, sort of a "look and touch" excursion. The LBSs were discouraging test rides -- still too much sand, crud, and in some spots, ice, on the roads. Maybe later this week....
    There are some good LBSs in my area, so I was able to look at quite a few bikes. I've got my "test ride list" in my head:
    • Litespeed - Vela, Capella, Firenze
    • Cannondale: R800, R1000
    • Trek: 2100, 2200
    • Lemond: Alp d'Huez, Tourmelet
    • Bianchi: Giro
    • Specialized: a few submodels of the Allez and Roubaix lines

    I've also seen some good looking stuff on the web. Any opinions on Dean and/or Ionic?

    Thanks!
     
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