What bike to buy II

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Mark, Jan 23, 2003.

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  1. Mark

    Mark Guest

    Greetings bike Gurus.

    I also am looking at getting a new bike and am looking for suggestions. I plan on using the bike
    mostly to commute to/from work.

    I used to commute on a bike, and from those days have very specific ideas of what I felt worked - I
    thought that it would be an easy task to go down to a LBS and pick something up. Last bike that I
    bought was in 1976 and I was shocked at how much things have changed.

    In any event - I have a 15 mile commute (each way) - mostly pretty flat, but with a few small hills.
    Mostly decent asphalt to ride on. I live in Maine, where it is sometimes moist. Prejudices/desires
    left over from 20 years ago when I was commuting are:

    Longish wheelbase Relatively thin, high pressure tires CrMo frame (I had an AL bike once, and hated
    the ride) Drop bars Relatively wide gear ratio - bit I don't need to go crazy. Rear rack which will
    hold panniers and a trunk. fenders. I dont want to reduce weight at the expense of reliability, but
    I don't want to carry around more weight than I have to either.

    I have brought this set of desires to the local shops, and each has brought forth the bike that they
    feel is perfect for me. It is still too cold up here to test ride any of them, but I was wondering
    if any of you could either add options to my list or opinions.

    Shop #1 brought out a trek 520 - looked decent, but had very large tires and little clearance for
    fenders - would plan on putting thiner tires on the bike and hoping that fenders would fit. I liked
    the bar end shifters, and the bike seemed sturdy, without being too heavy.

    Shop #2 started with a Bianchi Volpe - which seemed similar to the Trek, but as we talked, he
    migrated to the Bianchi Eros. The Eros seemed to be closer to what I had imagined in the first
    place, but I am nervous about how a plastic front fork is going to hold up. Also the shifters
    integrated into the brake levers makes me nervous that I'll be shifting by accident whenever I
    am braking.

    Local dealers for Raleigh, and Lemond did not seem to have anything of interest - perhaps they just
    did not have an appropriate model in stock?

    I also drive past an REI store from time to time, and their Radonee looked like and interesting
    option, although I'd rather buy from a place that is closer to home.

    Thanks in advance

    Mark
     
    Tags:


  2. Mike S.

    Mike S. Guest

    Sounds like you're looking for something more like a cyclocross bike rather than a traditional
    road bike. Try looking past the name and you'll find clearance for fenders, a longer wheelbase,
    durable components, and generally a bike a little friendlier than a road bike for doing what
    you're looking to
    do.

    Re: shifters. It'll take a ride or two before you don't twist the shifters with the braking. Try
    them, you'll like them!

    Carbon forks have been around for lots of years with few breakages. I wouldn't worry about them.

    I have a Tom Teesdale 'cross frame (www.tetcycles.com) that fits your bill precisely. The only
    problem for you will be figuring out the right size. If you ride a 54cm bike, its for sale...

    "Mark" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Greetings bike Gurus.
    >
    > I also am looking at getting a new bike and am looking for suggestions. I plan on using the bike
    > mostly to commute to/from work.
    >
    > I used to commute on a bike, and from those days have very specific ideas of what I felt worked -
    > I thought that it would be an easy task to go down to a LBS and pick something up. Last bike that
    > I bought was in 1976 and I was shocked at how much things have changed.
    >
    > In any event - I have a 15 mile commute (each way) - mostly pretty flat, but with a few small
    > hills. Mostly decent asphalt to ride on. I live in Maine, where it is sometimes moist.
    > Prejudices/desires left over from 20 years ago when I was commuting are:
    >
    > Longish wheelbase Relatively thin, high pressure tires CrMo frame (I had an AL bike once, and
    > hated the ride) Drop bars Relatively wide gear ratio - bit I don't need to go crazy. Rear rack
    > which will hold panniers and a trunk. fenders. I dont want to reduce weight at the expense of
    > reliability, but I don't want to carry around more weight than I have to either.
    >
    > I have brought this set of desires to the local shops, and each has brought forth the bike that
    > they feel is perfect for me. It is still too cold up here to test ride any of them, but I was
    > wondering if any of you could either add options to my list or opinions.
    >
    > Shop #1 brought out a trek 520 - looked decent, but had very large tires and little clearance for
    > fenders - would plan on putting thiner tires on the bike and hoping that fenders would fit. I
    > liked the bar end shifters, and the bike seemed sturdy, without being too heavy.
    >
    > Shop #2 started with a Bianchi Volpe - which seemed similar to the Trek, but as we talked, he
    > migrated to the Bianchi Eros. The Eros seemed to be closer to what I had imagined in the first
    > place, but I am nervous about how a plastic front fork is going to hold up. Also the shifters
    > integrated into the brake levers makes me nervous that I'll be shifting by accident whenever I am
    > braking.
    >
    > Local dealers for Raleigh, and Lemond did not seem to have anything of interest - perhaps they
    > just did not have an appropriate model in stock?
    >
    > I also drive past an REI store from time to time, and their Radonee looked like and interesting
    > option, although I'd rather buy from a place that is closer to home.
    >
    >
    > Thanks in advance
    >
    > Mark
     
  3. In article <[email protected]>, Mark <[email protected]> wrote:
    >Longish wheelbase Relatively thin, high pressure tires CrMo frame (I had an AL bike once, and hated
    >the ride) Drop bars Relatively wide gear ratio - bit I don't need to go crazy. Rear rack which will
    >hold panniers and a trunk. fenders. I dont want to reduce weight at the expense of reliability, but
    >I don't want to carry around more weight than I have to either.
    >
    >I have brought this set of desires to the local shops, and each has brought forth the bike that
    >they feel is perfect for me. It is still too cold up here to test ride any of them, but I was
    >wondering if any of you could either add options to my list or opinions.

    What's the budget? A steel cyclcross bike sounds like it would fit the bill, lots of fender
    clearance, any size tires you want, good braking performance when wet & loaded, etc.

    Example: http://www.surlybikes.com/bikes/bikes.htm Example: http://www.somafab.com/frames.html

    >Shop #1 brought out a trek 520 - looked decent, but had very large tires and little clearance for
    >fenders - would plan on putting thiner tires on the bike and hoping that fenders would fit. I liked
    >the bar end shifters, and the bike seemed sturdy, without being too heavy.

    520 sounds like a good choice as well. Fenders will work fine on that bike. It is also OK to say to
    the guy at the shop that you'll take the bike with 700x25 tires and fenders and if they can't make
    it happen then they don't deserve your money.

    >Shop #2 started with a Bianchi Volpe - which seemed similar to the Trek, but as we talked, he
    >migrated to the Bianchi Eros.

    And you think you're getting fenders on that? It's going to be a lot easier on the 520 than the
    Eros. The Volpe would do fine for fenders.

    > The Eros seemed to be closer to what I had imagined in the first place, but I am nervous about
    > how a plastic front fork is going to hold up.

    It should be very inexpensive to have the shop deliver that bike to you with a steel fork if that is
    what you want.

    > Also the shifters integrated into the brake levers makes me nervous that I'll be shifting by
    > accident whenever I am braking.

    That isn't a problem. Most people like them. Shifting while standing with your hands on the hoods is
    a real benefit, I do it every day.

    --Paul
     
  4. Mark wrote:

    > In any event - I have a 15 mile commute (each way) - mostly pretty flat, but with a few small
    > hills. Mostly decent asphalt to ride on. I live in Maine, where it is sometimes moist.
    > Prejudices/desires left over from 20 years ago when I was commuting are:

    [...]

    > Shop #1 brought out a trek 520 - looked decent, but had very large

    [...]

    > Shop #2 started with a Bianchi Volpe - which seemed similar to the

    [...]

    > Local dealers for Raleigh, and Lemond did not seem to have anything of interest - perhaps they
    > just did not have an appropriate model in stock?

    > I also drive past an REI store from time to time, and their Radonee looked like and interesting
    > option, although I'd rather buy from a place that is closer to home.

    Can't speak of the Raleigh or REI offerings. However the Trek 520 and Bianchi Volpe are very
    nice bikes.

    I have owned a 520 for almost 10 years using if for touring (it is in fact Trek's touring bike
    offering) and a 11-12 mile each way commute.

    Great bike, although I understand the recent versions of the bike have rather high gearing for
    touring purposes. That shouldn't effect you though, and the longer wheelbase and "relaxed" geometry
    will make for nice smooth ride. Put a Brook's leather saddle in place of the Trek saddle and you'll
    make the commuting run in very comfortable condition.

    My brother has a Bianchi Volpe. I've only ridden it very briefly, but I liked the ride, although is
    seemed to have a long top tube for its nominal size than other manufacturers I've ridden. You may
    want to be more careful about fit if that is still true.

    Good components and a very solid reputation. Of course you are talking about $1000 for
    either of them.

    You most certainly will not have a problem with the integrated brake shift levers. In fact, you'll
    probably come to love them. I have the bar end shifters on my 520 and like them, but I have to say,
    the "brifters" on my Trek 2000 make for very nice ride control.

    Overall, both bikes are great choices.

    SMH
     
  5. I am looking for a similar bike as you. In addition to the 520 and the Volpe, I have added Bianchi
    San Remo, Jamis Nova and Fuji Touring to my list. I have looked at the San Remo and the Nova, both
    offer most of the things you have listed (braze-ons, enough clearance etc.). The San Remo comes
    with a Campy Mirage group which is (from what I understand) slightly preferrable to the Tiagra
    group on the Nova.

    Anybody in here know about these bikes and care to comment how they compare to the Trek 520 ?

    Bengt-Olaf.

    "Mark" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Greetings bike Gurus.
    >
    > I also am looking at getting a new bike and am looking for suggestions. I plan on using the bike
    > mostly to commute to/from work.
    >
    > I used to commute on a bike, and from those days have very specific ideas of what I felt worked -
    > I thought that it would be an easy task to go down to a LBS and pick something up. Last bike that
    > I bought was in 1976 and I was shocked at how much things have changed.
    >
    > In any event - I have a 15 mile commute (each way) - mostly pretty flat, but with a few small
    > hills. Mostly decent asphalt to ride on. I live in Maine, where it is sometimes moist.
    > Prejudices/desires left over from 20 years ago when I was commuting are:
    >
    > Longish wheelbase Relatively thin, high pressure tires CrMo frame (I had an AL bike once, and
    > hated the ride) Drop bars Relatively wide gear ratio - bit I don't need to go crazy. Rear rack
    > which will hold panniers and a trunk. fenders. I dont want to reduce weight at the expense of
    > reliability, but I don't want to carry around more weight than I have to either.
    >
    > I have brought this set of desires to the local shops, and each has brought forth the bike that
    > they feel is perfect for me. It is still too cold up here to test ride any of them, but I was
    > wondering if any of you could either add options to my list or opinions.
    >
    > Shop #1 brought out a trek 520 - looked decent, but had very large tires and little clearance for
    > fenders - would plan on putting thiner tires on the bike and hoping that fenders would fit. I
    > liked the bar end shifters, and the bike seemed sturdy, without being too heavy.
    >
    > Shop #2 started with a Bianchi Volpe - which seemed similar to the Trek, but as we talked, he
    > migrated to the Bianchi Eros. The Eros seemed to be closer to what I had imagined in the first
    > place, but I am nervous about how a plastic front fork is going to hold up. Also the shifters
    > integrated into the brake levers makes me nervous that I'll be shifting by accident whenever I am
    > braking.
    >
    > Local dealers for Raleigh, and Lemond did not seem to have anything of interest - perhaps they
    > just did not have an appropriate model in stock?
    >
    > I also drive past an REI store from time to time, and their Radonee looked like and interesting
    > option, although I'd rather buy from a place that is closer to home.
    >
    >
    > Thanks in advance
    >
    > Mark
     
  6. Piddie

    Piddie Guest

    Mark wrote:
    > Greetings bike Gurus.
    >
    > I also am looking at getting a new bike and am looking for suggestions. I plan on using the bike
    > mostly to commute to/from work.

    Walmart has all the bike you'll ever need.

    wally
     
  7. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    "Stephen Harding" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Mark wrote:
    >
    > > In any event - I have a 15 mile commute (each way) - mostly pretty flat, but with a few small
    > > hills. Mostly decent asphalt to ride on. I live in Maine, where it is sometimes moist.
    > > Prejudices/desires left over from 20 years ago when I was commuting are:
    >
    > [...]
    >
    > > Shop #1 brought out a trek 520 - looked decent, but had very large
    >
    > [...]
    >
    > > Shop #2 started with a Bianchi Volpe - which seemed similar to the
    >
    > [...]
    >
    > > Local dealers for Raleigh, and Lemond did not seem to have anything of interest - perhaps they
    > > just did not have an appropriate model in stock?
    >
    > > I also drive past an REI store from time to time, and their Radonee looked like and interesting
    > > option, although I'd rather buy from a place that is closer to home.
    >
    > Can't speak of the Raleigh or REI offerings. However the Trek 520 and Bianchi Volpe are very
    > nice bikes.
    >
    > I have owned a 520 for almost 10 years using if for touring (it is in fact Trek's touring bike
    > offering) and a 11-12 mile each way commute.
    >
    > Great bike, although I understand the recent versions of the bike have rather high gearing for
    > touring purposes. That shouldn't effect you though, and the longer wheelbase and "relaxed"
    > geometry will make for nice smooth ride. Put a Brook's leather saddle in place of the Trek saddle
    > and you'll make the commuting run in very comfortable condition.
    >
    > My brother has a Bianchi Volpe. I've only ridden it very briefly, but I liked the ride, although
    > is seemed to have a long top tube for its nominal size than other manufacturers I've ridden. You
    > may want to be more careful about fit if that is still true.
    >
    > Good components and a very solid reputation. Of course you are talking about $1000 for either
    > of them.
    >
    > You most certainly will not have a problem with the integrated brake shift levers. In fact, you'll
    > probably come to love them. I have the bar end shifters on my 520 and like them, but I have to
    > say, the
    "brifters"
    > on my Trek 2000 make for very nice ride control.
    >
    > Overall, both bikes are great choices.

    I agree. I'd be very happy to have either of those bikes. FWIW, Trek has a reputation for good
    warranty service, should that be necessary.

    If you don't want to spend that much, look at Fuji bikes. They have a couple of models for
    around $5-600 with STI, which have steel frames with rack eyelets. I don't know if fenders will
    fit, though.

    Matt O.
     
  8. I'd reconsider the anti-aluminum bias until riding something current; it's not so much the material
    that the frame's made out of as it is what you do with it. Modern aluminum road bikes are generally
    quite different from those of yesteryear, when someone had the brilliant idea that, hey, since we
    can build an aluminum bike stiffer than one built out of just about anything else, why not build the
    stiffest bike we can? That was then, this is now. The difference in "stiffness" between a
    high-quality aluminum frame and one made of steel is considerably less, in terms of ride comfort,
    than the difference between a 23 and 25c tire.

    If you can expand your horizons a bit to include aluminum, check out the TREK X01 cyclocross bike.
    We just set one up for somebody who had virtually identical needs to your own. Just switch the tires
    (from knobbies to road style) and you're there.

    As for the 520, it's got plenty of fender clearance. It's about as classic a touring bike as you can
    get, and changes very, very little from year to year. It will get you wherever you're going. Not
    necessarily in a flashy style, not with the latest ultralight components, but it will get you there.

    And, as someone else pointed out, TREK is the best in the industry when it comes to warranty issues.
    Having said all of that, the differences between one dealer and the next could be a more significant
    difference than the difference between one bike and another.

    There's an article on our website that might help you evaluate the various bikes. It can be found at
    http://ChainReaction.com/roadbiketestrides.htm

    Good luck!

    --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles http://www.ChainReaction.com "Mark" <[email protected]> wrote in
    message news:[email protected]...
    > Greetings bike Gurus.
    >
    > I also am looking at getting a new bike and am looking for suggestions. I plan on using the bike
    > mostly to commute to/from work.
    >
    > I used to commute on a bike, and from those days have very specific ideas of what I felt worked -
    > I thought that it would be an easy task to go down to a LBS and pick something up. Last bike that
    > I bought was in 1976 and I was shocked at how much things have changed.
    >
    > In any event - I have a 15 mile commute (each way) - mostly pretty flat, but with a few small
    > hills. Mostly decent asphalt to ride on. I live in Maine, where it is sometimes moist.
    > Prejudices/desires left over from 20 years ago when I was commuting are:
    >
    > Longish wheelbase Relatively thin, high pressure tires CrMo frame (I had an AL bike once, and
    > hated the ride) Drop bars Relatively wide gear ratio - bit I don't need to go crazy. Rear rack
    > which will hold panniers and a trunk. fenders. I dont want to reduce weight at the expense of
    > reliability, but I don't want to carry around more weight than I have to either.
    >
    > I have brought this set of desires to the local shops, and each has brought forth the bike that
    > they feel is perfect for me. It is still too cold up here to test ride any of them, but I was
    > wondering if any of you could either add options to my list or opinions.
    >
    > Shop #1 brought out a trek 520 - looked decent, but had very large tires and little clearance for
    > fenders - would plan on putting thiner tires on the bike and hoping that fenders would fit. I
    > liked the bar end shifters, and the bike seemed sturdy, without being too heavy.
    >
    > Shop #2 started with a Bianchi Volpe - which seemed similar to the Trek, but as we talked, he
    > migrated to the Bianchi Eros. The Eros seemed to be closer to what I had imagined in the first
    > place, but I am nervous about how a plastic front fork is going to hold up. Also the shifters
    > integrated into the brake levers makes me nervous that I'll be shifting by accident whenever I am
    > braking.
    >
    > Local dealers for Raleigh, and Lemond did not seem to have anything of interest - perhaps they
    > just did not have an appropriate model in stock?
    >
    > I also drive past an REI store from time to time, and their Radonee looked like and interesting
    > option, although I'd rather buy from a place that is closer to home.
    >
    >
    > Thanks in advance
    >
    > Mark
     
  9. Adrian

    Adrian Guest

    "Mark" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Greetings bike Gurus.
    >
    > I also am looking at getting a new bike and am looking for suggestions. I plan on using the bike
    > mostly to commute to/from work.
    >
    > I used to commute on a bike, and from those days have very specific ideas of what I felt worked -
    > I thought that it would be an easy task to go down to a LBS and pick something up. Last bike that
    > I bought was in 1976 and I was shocked at how much things have changed.
    >
    > In any event - I have a 15 mile commute (each way) - mostly pretty flat, but with a few small
    > hills. Mostly decent asphalt to ride on. I live in Maine, where it is sometimes moist.
    > Prejudices/desires left over from 20 years ago when I was commuting are:
    >
    > Longish wheelbase Relatively thin, high pressure tires CrMo frame (I had an AL bike once, and
    > hated the ride) Drop bars Relatively wide gear ratio - bit I don't need to go crazy. Rear rack
    > which will hold panniers and a trunk. fenders. I dont want to reduce weight at the expense of
    > reliability, but I don't want to carry around more weight than I have to either.

    The Specialized Sequoia (www.specialized.com) might fit the bill - the Expert looks like a very nice
    bike. It is AL however but has suspension seat post, carbon forks, very comfort orientated geometry,
    all at 20 lbs (excluding panniers). It's out in the US at the moment, but Australia (where I am)
    isn't expecting it until Feburary (mid-late I think?).

    Sorry that my suggestion isn't CrMo... There is a comment also on www.roadbikereview.com

    http://www.roadbikereview.com/PRD_139007_4338crx.aspx

    I'm at the very least holding out my final decision until I can get a look at it here in Aus.
     
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