Which bike should I buy?

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Cori, Feb 16, 2003.

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  1. Cori

    Cori Guest

    First I'd like to thank everyone for their advice on the sale Cannondale I was looking at. No, it
    didn't fit, and I'm not buying it. (It was quite miserable feeling, unfortunately.)

    Yesterday DH and I took a road trip to Burlington Vermont. I found my bike there. It's a Specialized
    Sequoia Sport. Very light, great fit, decent price. But now I'm wondering whether I should go with
    the Sequoia Expert. The differences I can see are a different wheel set, 27 speeds as opposed to 24,
    and the Shimano 105 components. (The Sport has Shimano Tiagra components.) I'm going to be using
    this bike for my first century this year. I'm also going on some large group rides, (NYC in May,
    Montreal in June.), I'd like to join a local women's thursday night ride. Next year I'd love too do
    the Great Big Fanny Ride. (500 miles in a week.) Is the Sport going to be enough bike for me, or
    should I bite the bullet and go with the Expert?

    Cori
     
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  2. You didn't say what the price difference is between the two models.

    However, when I worked in a shop, I always felt is was better to spend a little bit more and buy a
    bike you can grow into, rather than spend less to buy a bike that you'll outgrow (performance-wise)
    in a season.

    While the differences between a $3000 and $4000 bike are negligible, the differences between a $750
    and $1000 road bike are quite noticeable.

    in article [email protected], Cori at [email protected] wrote on
    02/16/2003 08:53 AM:

    > First I'd like to thank everyone for their advice on the sale Cannondale I was looking at. No, it
    > didn't fit, and I'm not buying it. (It was quite miserable feeling, unfortunately.)
    >
    > Yesterday DH and I took a road trip to Burlington Vermont. I found my bike there. It's a
    > Specialized Sequoia Sport. Very light, great fit, decent price. But now I'm wondering whether I
    > should go with the Sequoia Expert. The differences I can see are a different wheel set, 27 speeds
    > as opposed to 24, and the Shimano 105 components. (The Sport has Shimano Tiagra components.) I'm
    > going to be using this bike for my first century this year. I'm also going on some large group
    > rides, (NYC in May, Montreal in June.), I'd like to join a local women's thursday night ride. Next
    > year I'd love too do the Great Big Fanny Ride. (500 miles in a week.) Is the Sport going to be
    > enough bike for me, or should I bite the bullet and go with the Expert?
    >
    > Cori
    >

    --

    Steven L. Sheffield stevens at veloworks dot com veloworks at worldnet dot ay tea tee dot net bellum
    pax est libertas servitus est ignoratio vis est ess ay ell tea ell ay kay ee sea aye tee why you ti
    ay aitch aitch tee tea pea colon [for word] slash [four ward] slash double-you double-yew double-ewe
    dot veloworks dot com [four word] slash
     
  3. Harris

    Harris Guest

    "Cori" wrote:
    > The differences I can see are a different wheel set, 27 speeds as opposed to 24, and the Shimano
    > 105 components. (The Sport has Shimano Tiagra components.)

    The difference between 24 and 27 speeds isn't significant. I believe the Expert uses a low spoke
    count (Rolf?) wheelset. I think you would be better off with conventional wheels.

    Art Harris
     
  4. Cori

    Cori Guest

    Harris wrote:
    > "Cori" wrote:
    >
    >>The differences I can see are a different wheel set, 27 speeds as opposed to 24, and the Shimano
    >>105 components. (The Sport has Shimano Tiagra components.)
    >
    >
    > The difference between 24 and 27 speeds isn't significant. I believe the Expert uses a low spoke
    > count (Rolf?) wheelset. I think you would be better off with conventional wheels.
    >
    > Art Harris
    >
    >

    What's the difference between the two wheel sets? Does it change the ride, or are the low spoke
    count wheels 'fussier'?

    Cori
     
  5. Cori

    Cori Guest

    Steven L. Sheffield wrote:
    >
    > You didn't say what the price difference is between the two models.
    >
    > However, when I worked in a shop, I always felt is was better to spend a little bit more and buy a
    > bike you can grow into, rather than spend less to buy a bike that you'll outgrow
    > (performance-wise) in a season.
    >
    > While the differences between a $3000 and $4000 bike are negligible, the differences between a
    > $750 and $1000 road bike are quite noticeable.

    That's exactly the difference! I think when I go back I'm going to test ride the two, but right now
    I'm leaning toward the Expert.

    Cori
     
  6. Harris

    Harris Guest

    "Cori" wrote:

    > What's the difference between the two wheel sets? Does it change the ride, or are the low spoke
    > count wheels 'fussier'?

    The low spoke count wheels really don't offer any benefit, but they do add to the price of the bike.
    From a marketing standpoint, they look cool. They generally use heavy rims, and can not be easily
    trued by the home mechanic. What's worse is if you happen to break a spoke on a ride, the wheel will
    go so far out of true that you'll probably need to get picked up. A conventional wheel will get you
    home if a spoke breaks.

    Having said that, you should ensure that the "conventional" wheels are well built and stress
    relieved. Often the wheels on inexpensive bikes are machine built, under-tensioned, and not stress
    relieved. Have the shop check for proper tension, etc.

    Art Harris
     
  7. Rich Clark

    Rich Clark Guest

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

    > 27 speeds as opposed to 24, and the Shimano 105 components. (The Sport has Shimano Tiagra
    > components.)

    The Sport actually has mostly Sora components, with one or two next-level-up Tiagra components to
    make it sound better. Sora is an 8-speed group (max 8 cassette cogs) with that limit imposed by
    the shifters, which can only shift 8 stops. The shifters are by far the most expensive component
    of the group.

    The 105 group follows the standard 9-speed design of all the rest of Shimano's components, and are
    therefore interchangeable; Tiagra, 105, Ultegra, Dura-Ace.

    The Sora levers are different in two respects: they have that little thumb lever for shifts in one
    direction; you deflect the brake lever for shifts in the other. This means you can't have your hands
    in the drops for those thumb-lever shifts, an issue of concern mostly to racers. (Other Shimano STI
    shifters have nested levers siftable from either above or beliw).

    The other difference is that Sora levers can be adjusted for "reach" -- useful for people with
    smaller hands.

    The other major distinction between the models is the wheels. While I agree with Art Harris that
    higher spoke-count is probably better, all things being equal, all things aren't equal here, since
    they're not really comparable wheelsets. If you aren't too heavy an individual, I doubt you'll have
    a problem with the Rolf wheels, assuming the shop re-tensions, trues, and stress-relieves these
    machine-built wheels before they deliver the bike to you. If they don't, you're likely to have
    trouble with any machine-built wheels, regardless of the spoke count.

    I'd go with the Expert; the 105 group is the "sweet spot" in Shimano's component line, in terms of
    cost/benefit ratio. There are no other alarm bells that I can hear (although the saddle looks
    suspiciously overpadded). It's a lovely bike, the best compromise between a light touring bike and a
    hybrid on the market, IMO.

    RichC
     
  8. On Sun, 16 Feb 2003 11:06:33 -0500, Harris wrote:

    > "Cori" wrote:
    >> The differences I can see are a different wheel set, 27 speeds as opposed to 24, and the Shimano
    >> 105 components. (The Sport has Shimano Tiagra components.)
    >
    > The difference between 24 and 27 speeds isn't significant. I believe the Expert uses a low spoke
    > count (Rolf?) wheelset. I think you would be better off with conventional wheels.

    The number of speeds is not relevant, but the quality of the components, for the amount of riding
    you are contemplating, is. So, except perhaps for the wheels, I'd go with the expert.

    Re the wheels. Rolf wheels are pretty tough, but nothing is infinitely so. Anything can happen. The
    problem is that the Rolf wheels are not user-serviceable. This is a real problem, out in the middle
    of nowhere. You want a wheel you can replace a spoke on -- or even better one with so many spokes
    that you can still ride it with one broken.

    Low spoke-count wheels like the Rolf will be unridable with a broken spoke.

    --

    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
     
  9. On Sun, 16 Feb 2003, Cori wrote:

    > Harris wrote:
    > >
    > > The difference between 24 and 27 speeds isn't significant. I believe the Expert uses a low spoke
    > > count (Rolf?) wheelset. I think you would be better off with conventional wheels.
    > >
    >
    > What's the difference between the two wheel sets? Does it change the ride, or are the low spoke
    > count wheels 'fussier'?
    >

    I'll agree with the caveats others have posted re: the Rolf wheels. One thing you might consider is
    going with the Expert (the 27 speed one, no?) and either getting the shop to swap the wheels out for
    your for a conventionally spoked set or (my choice) keep the Rolfs and get a set of conventional
    wheels from someplace like Colorado Cyclist. They'll run you about $200 + s/h, and you won't regret
    having them around. Or if you really want to go wild, get the hubs, spokes, and rims and build them
    yourself....

    Trent
     
  10. Don Demair

    Don Demair Guest

    I read with interest the cautions regarding the Rolf wheels because I have Rolfs myself. Mine are
    24-spoke rear, 20-front. When I bought my bike (a Lemond Buenos Aires), I asked the bike shop if
    they would be willing to swap out the wheels for something more conventional. They said they would,
    but encouraged me to try if out first. If after a reasonable time, I didn't like the Rolfs, they
    would be happy to swap.

    So I bought it with the Rolfs. Other than breaking one spoke in 3 years, I've never had any problems
    (I weigh about 190 lbs). Even with a broken spoke, the wheel barely went out of true.

    I notice that the Sequoia Expert has 28-rear spokes, 24-front. That's more than mine and fairly
    close to conventional spoke counts, but still uses their "paired spoke" pattern. Unless you're
    particularly brutal on wheels, I don't think you'll have any problems. I still like mine.

    Also, my bike has Shimano 105 components just like the Sequoia Expert and I'm happy with these
    components also.

    Ride on, it works, Don
     
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