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Old 10-25-09, 11:30 AM   #1
soonerbills
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Steel: New vs. Old

So I'm at my LBS getting some parts and while waiting I was looking over the new bikes there. I was checking out the 2010 Specialized Allez steel double they had. Nice bike but I have no experience with the Shimano 2300 group it was outfitted with.. But I start thinking that @ $600 it's a nice bike and maybe might buy one.
Has anyone seen or used one yet? I have never bought a new bike ever...I ride what I build which for the most part is lower end bikes. I have my Fuji which is a early '80 and my beater Schwinn World.
I have never owned the high end kind of bikes like a lot of C/V er's have nor have I the experience in real distance riding as I have only really gotten back into bicycles a coupla years ago.
I have been toying with the idea of joining a club and participating in group rides or finding a partner and doing some real riding...not just the around town stuff I have been doing.
I have been dieting and working on getting into distance riding shape so there's that but I have a long ways to go.
Anyway I am wondering about this bike. Should I just find a vintage high end bike to build or should I buy something like the Specialized? Of course the guy at the shop said he could order the right size for me...At 5'4" I'm tough to fit. I have a hard time finding used bikes in my size..most that are right on the stand over are women's models so reach is kinda off..
Thanks for your insights....
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Old 10-25-09, 11:41 AM   #2
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Why get a bottom end new steel bike for $600, when you can get a mid grade or higher vintage steel bike, with high end tubing, for less than half that amount? As I recall, that bike has DT shifters, so you are not getting brifters. I have found several 19 inch frame vintage bikes, which would probably be close to what you are looking for. But they are scarce compared to larger sizes.

+1 When you are an uncommon size, it is tempting to go new, as most used bikes are either 21 inch or 23 inch.

I like a brifter bike for routine fitness riding. But I also like lugged steel frames. I compromised by buying a 1995 Giant Kronos (the last year for lugged steel). Its not exactly high end, but it works!

Standover is over-rated. Reach is pretty critical. I have zero standover on my bikes (except for my MTB). I have long torso and arms, and short legs. So "ideal" standover would mean fits awful in all other aspects.


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Old 10-25-09, 11:44 AM   #3
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Agreed, look for an old school Fuji, Puegot, or even and old school allez.
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Old 10-25-09, 11:45 AM   #4
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I would be glad to guide you in making this crucial choice, except that I suspect that you're a Yankees fan...






BWAHAHAHAHAHA... sometimes I amuse me.

Seriously, though... I'd go with an old frame and update any components that you don't like. But I'm biased. I like old bikes.
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Old 10-25-09, 11:46 AM   #5
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I saw one, I was impressed, if it had 105 I would go for it. Modern alloys have been "adjusted" for a simple explanation to retain great strength when TIG welded. I have no problem with oxy/acetylene or TIG welding of 4130 steels. This new bike is made from a steel that is suitable for TIG welding, it is actually a pretty bike. I may get one except I want a Surly Cross Check and a Kilo Stripper and a -----.

I love DT shifters. If you get an older bike it will not have "brifters" either.
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Old 10-25-09, 11:54 AM   #6
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Why get a bottom end new steel bike for $600, when you can get a mid grade or higher vintage steel bike, with high end tubing, for less than half that amount? As I recall, that bike has DT shifters, so you are not getting brifters.
My thoughts exactly. As a matter of fact, I watched two old Treks with 531 tubes and high end Shimano components sell for less than $200 in the last three weeks on eBay. And a Trek 700 series (531 tubes) with top shelf Suntour/Campy gear go for $205...

Don't settle for bottom of the line. Get one of these frames and rebuild/replace worn components... you'll have yourself one helluva ride!
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Old 10-25-09, 11:59 AM   #7
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Lots of comments about this bike on RBF (RoadBikeForum). Mostly positive. But I am with most others. Buy used. I recently bought a 1983 Colnago for less than $500. After stripping it down and doing all the cleanup and lubrication, it is an incredible ride. I up graded to a SunTour Acushift 7 spd freewheel I found in a used parts bike shop for $15. Size can be a problem, but it was for me too. This bike is slightly smaller than I would have preferred.

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Old 10-25-09, 12:00 PM   #8
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Although I do like the new steel Allez, but there are so many options out there for steel. If I had $600 to spend I could probably spend a few days on CL and find a plethora of bikes I'd rather have.

Bought my Peugeot and Medici... Both under $600 mark.
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Old 10-25-09, 12:46 PM   #9
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A used bike will always be cheaper, no arguement there. But there is something to be said about the convenience of going to the LBS. Getting a bike that fits without looking for weeks or months, having it tuned perfectly when you pick it up, getting a few free tune-ups and not having to search for vintage replacement parts definately has its advantages.

For me, it is getting near the end of the season. Used bikes tend to be even cheaper now and I have all winter to fix it up.

I say flip a coin.
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Old 10-25-09, 01:07 PM   #10
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I think you could score a nice vintage at that price. I know not a lot pops up on our CL, but with $600 you could even resort to ebay and get a nice score. What size are you looking for I will keep my eye out. As far as riding goes if you want to meet up in Tulsa sometime we can put in some miles. Tulsa Bicycle club has plenty of charity rides also. These are a good way to get into longer distances, they are well supported rides.

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Old 10-25-09, 01:40 PM   #11
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Seems like a good bike. The 2300s on a different bike, I tested, worked great. I'm partial to down tube shifters, mostly. I have a new bike with brifters and plenty W/O.
I would never discourage anyone from buying new, unless theft and likely abuse seemed unavoidable. Friends I have buy new, stepping away from their office for an extra hour costs them more than presumed saved money on a bike. Everybody has their reasons.

Bikes with 700c wheels requiring only minor work average two or more. Really fine low mileage, even more. Mileage DOES matter. I'll be damned if I'll spend big bucks on a rig that's had the snot ridden out of it, regardless of the "vintage"; perhaps as a second bike. e-bay unless you're lucky has better choices than CL in many regions.
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Old 10-25-09, 02:38 PM   #12
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[QUOTE=soonerbills;9921501]
I have never bought a new bike ever...I ride what I build which for the most part is lower end bikes. I have my Fuji which is a early '80? and my beater Schwinn World. QUOTE]

Take that money and buy a good used high end bike off C-List or ebay, you wont be sorry. Get one with Columbus SL or SLX, Reynolds 531, 753, or a good japanese bike with Tange Infinity or Tange #1 or #2. These kind of bikes are life long bikes and in ten years will be worth double what they're going for now. Bikes with high-end tubes like I stated will more than likely have good components too, and with your experience building what you ride you wont have a problem keeping it up.

The best bike I ever owned was one that was ten years old when I bought it. I paid premium for it, but its worth premium, so get one with a killer lugged steel frame like what I mentioned.
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Old 10-25-09, 02:51 PM   #13
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Depends on your mechanical skills. If you buy a new bike, not only do you get that new bike smell, but you typically get free tuneups for a year.

But if you're good at bike tinkering and have the free time for it, by all means get something Japanese or Italian from the 80s if you can find one that fits.
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Old 10-25-09, 03:51 PM   #14
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'97 and '98 Bianchi Trofeos, lugged chro-mo steel. Ergo convenience, nice bikes.
Used, $350 for the celeste, $400 for the red. I swapped the Veloce crankset in on the celeste.
Add in the used woman's Fizik and the man's used Specialized saddles, new wrap, you're still under $850
for both bikes. My opinion is that careful looking at the used market will garner a better value.



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Old 10-25-09, 04:45 PM   #15
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I would never discourage anyone from buying new,
i'm the opposite. it's similar to buying a new car. there are way better values in the used markets.

you could spend $100-$200 on an incredibly awesome frame and fork (that would cost $1000+ today) and build it up with new parts and still be under budget.
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Old 10-25-09, 05:37 PM   #16
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Appreciate all the posts! I really like the looks of that Specialized but now it's been a day since looking at it and I'm over the stars in my eyes effect...I shoulda known what ya'll said would ring true to me too.
I have bought 3 new cars in my life...all for my wife! I have always done my own mechanic work and have found better deals for myself auto wise in the used market...I imagine that will ring true in bikes as well.

Junkfoodjunkie
I think you could score a nice vintage at that price. I know not a lot pops up on our CL, but with $600 you could even resort to ebay and get a nice score. What size are you looking for I will keep my eye out. As far as riding goes if you want to meet up in Tulsa sometime we can put in some miles. Tulsa Bicycle club has plenty of charity rides also. These are a good way to get into longer distances, they are well supported rides.
-Jake


I need about a 52cm and those are far and few apart...where are you riding mostly? I ride mostly in town @ Claremore..they have a path around the lake..by my house the hills are killer so not so much there...I am trying to find time to ride the BA to Sands Springs run via Riverside have you rode that yet?
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Old 10-25-09, 05:40 PM   #17
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Robbie,
Those are nice Bianchi's

Junkfoodjunkie's right on about the lack of good stuff on our local CL
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Old 10-25-09, 06:20 PM   #18
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Robbie,
Those are nice Bianchi's

Junkfoodjunkie's right on about the lack of good stuff on our local CL
my local CL (allentown.CL) is dry as well. Sometimes you have to make your own fortune. Post a message in the bikes area and in the wanted area. For every 40 Huffys that will be offered, you might hit a diamond...
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Old 10-25-09, 06:41 PM   #19
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Appreciate all the posts! I really like the looks of that Specialized but now it's been a day since looking at it and I'm over the stars in my eyes effect...I shoulda known what ya'll said would ring true to me too.
I have bought 3 new cars in my life...all for my wife! I have always done my own mechanic work and have found better deals for myself auto wise in the used market...I imagine that will ring true in bikes as well.

Junkfoodjunkie
I think you could score a nice vintage at that price. I know not a lot pops up on our CL, but with $600 you could even resort to ebay and get a nice score. What size are you looking for I will keep my eye out. As far as riding goes if you want to meet up in Tulsa sometime we can put in some miles. Tulsa Bicycle club has plenty of charity rides also. These are a good way to get into longer distances, they are well supported rides.
-Jake


I need about a 52cm and those are far and few apart...where are you riding mostly? I ride mostly in town @ Claremore..they have a path around the lake..by my house the hills are killer so not so much there...I am trying to find time to ride the BA to Sands Springs run via Riverside have you rode that yet?
The trails are really nice. I like to take them on slow relaxing rides. They get pretty high traffic sometimes with dog walkers, other riders and runners so you can't hit the average speeds that you may want. There are plenty of nice road routes with low traffic and nice roads.
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