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  1. #1
    Senior Member jeneralist's Avatar
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    Bike shopping! (or, I love the bike, except...)

    My current bike: 2008(?) Cannondale Adventure 400. A hybrid designed, it seems, for potholes, cobblestones, gravel paths, and heavy riders. Accepts a huge load uncomplainingly.



    I love my bike, except when I do longer rides out of the city without all the farkle. Say, for example, the City-to-Shore MS Society weekend (190 miles in 2 days for me); or a 60 mile Saturday group ride. Then
    • It's too heavy, and I want something lighter.
    • It's too small, and I want something where I can fully extend my leg even if that means I need to semi-dismount and straddle the bar at lights.
    • The tires are too wide, and I wish for 28s instead of 32s.
    • It's geared too low. It used to be I spent most of my time in the middle ring up front. Now, the 48 in front/11 in back pairing does not accommodate my draft-horse strong legs! Spinning is not my forte...


    So today I went to an LBS to look around. After spending quite a long time trying on one bike after another, I went out on a test ride on a Jamis Coda (Elite?) It's light! It's nimble! It was sized much better -- I was getting full extension on the downstroke! It's steel, and it's still light! It's in my price range! I love it, except...
    • The gearing isn't any better at the high end. This one is 26-36-48; my current bike is 28-38-48. I asked about putting in a different crankset; the salesman suggested that I improve my cadence. That's the big problem.
    • It has thumb-click shifters (what's the real word for them?) instead of grip shifters. Not a showstopper, but a bit annoying.


    So now, dear friends, I turn to you... Can you point me towards a bike that
    • Has at least 50 teeth on the top front ring.
    • Has tires 700x25 or 28. (Translation: skinny, but not too skinny.)
    • Has lots of spokes on the wheels (32 or 36).
    • Has 8 or 9 gears on the rear, 8 preferred.
    • Has at least two water-bottle mounts.
    • Does not have a step-thru frame. Mixte OK.
    • Does not have front suspension.
    • Does not weigh 40 pounds!
    • Costs under $1000


    Really, is that so daunting?

    I've been looking at flat-bar style, because that's what I'm used to, but if you can find racer bars that don't make me bend over all the time, I'll consider it.

    I'm used to twist-grip-shifters, but will look at other shifting styles.

    I've got aluminum and I'm OK with it; I'm being seduced by steel; carbon is right out.

    Disc brakes discouraged.

    Rider specs: 5'8", 185 lbs.

    Suggestions?
    - Jeneralist

    See video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gv4CrEEg_N4 to see me in the Outrageous Outfit Challenge for the MS Society; or go straight to http://goo.gl/bALZDg to donate

  2. #2
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    How about a steel Jamis, like the Satellite? http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebik...ompf_spec.html. It has the gearing. Tires not too skinny. But it has drop bars.

    I have a bad neck and I had my Madone set up so the handlebars are not too low, but up level or slightly above level with the seat. I find them even more comfortable than the hybrid bars because I can change my hand positions frequently.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeneralist View Post
    * The tires are too wide, and I wish for 28s instead of 32s.
    In my experience, there's minimal difference between a 700x28 and a 700x32. Perhaps what you want is a lighter, faster rolling 32? I've been pretty happy with the Vittoria Randonneur Hyper and Randonneur Pro. The Hyper in particular is very light for a wide tire, rolls well, and offers acceptable flat protection. The Pro is a bit heavier, still rolls well, and has even better puncture protection.

    * It's geared too low. It used to be I spent most of my time in the middle ring up front. Now, the 48 in front/11 in back pairing does not accommodate my draft-horse strong legs! Spinning is not my forte...
    You realize there's not a whole lot of difference between 50-11 and 48-11, right? 48-11 @ 90rpm is 31.3mph. 50-11 @ 90rpm is 32.6mph. If you want to go faster, you probably need a knee-crushing 52- or 53-tooth large ring though, in my experience, most recreational cyclists don't spend a whole lot of time motoring along at 30+mph...

    If you do decide to buy a new bike, I think the majority of your requirements can be met by a relaxed-geometry road bike. It'll have drop bars and a 9- or 10-speed drivetrain, though.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    I like my KHS flitte 223, with tax was about 600, and I think it tops at 52/12 (but I hope to get to change the rear cassette to a 11) and even though it is a steel bike, it weighs less than my wifes AL cannondale Adventure (5 or 6 i think. I don't remember off hand)

    It did take a bit to get used to the shifters, and I plan on a new seat in the spring, but so far I like it.
    Primary: 2011 KHS Flite 223: 150 miles
    Secondary: 1974 Schwinn Varsity: 113.42 miles (that I am responsible for)
    'bike that is lucky to still be here': 2007 Schwinn voyageur: 1050 miles
    'bike that someone let back in the house': unknown Royce-Union ST 100
    (updated 10/13/11)

  5. #5
    Senior Member Seve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeneralist View Post
    So now, dear friends, I turn to you... Can you point me towards a bike that

    • Has at least 50 teeth on the top front ring.
    • Has tires 700x25 or 28. (Translation: skinny, but not too skinny.)
    • Has lots of spokes on the wheels (32 or 36).
    • Has 8 or 9 gears on the rear, 8 preferred.
    • Has at least two water-bottle mounts.
    • Does not have a step-thru frame. Mixte OK.
    • Does not have front suspension.
    • Does not weigh 40 pounds!
    • Costs under $1000



    Really, is that so daunting?

    I've been looking at flat-bar style, because that's what I'm used to, but if you can find racer bars that don't make me bend over all the time, I'll consider it.

    I'm used to twist-grip-shifters, but will look at other shifting styles.

    I've got aluminum and I'm OK with it; I'm being seduced by steel; carbon is right out.

    Disc brakes discouraged.

    Rider specs: 5'8", 185 lbs.

    Suggestions?
    Perhaps something from Motobecane ?

    The Motobecane Cafe Latte http://www.motobecane.com/lifestyle/cfl.html
    TIRES Kenda Kwest, Road 700x28
    CRANK 30x42x52 Triple
    CASSETTE Shimano Hyperglide 11-32T, 8-Speed (24 gears total)
    SHIFTERS Shimano ST-R221-R Precision Integrated Brake and Shifting
    Weight 21.75 lbs
    FRAME Handmade Advanced Butted 7005 Aluminum with Rear Rack Mounts (brazeons), double water bottle mounts
    MSRP $899

  6. #6
    Senior Member jeneralist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    You realize there's not a whole lot of difference between 50-11 and 48-11, right? 48-11 @ 90rpm is 31.3mph. 50-11 @ 90rpm is 32.6mph. If you want to go faster, you probably need a knee-crushing 52- or 53-tooth large ring though, in my experience, most recreational cyclists don't spend a whole lot of time motoring along at 30+mph...

    Hmm. Thanks for actually doing the math. I was drawing conclusions based on what happens when I try to keep up with my husband on a ride. He keeps pointing out that at any speed we travel, I spin the pedals a lot quicker than he does -- and he has a 52 top ring. No, I don't think I'll be rolling along at 30+ mph either way!
    - Jeneralist

    See video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gv4CrEEg_N4 to see me in the Outrageous Outfit Challenge for the MS Society; or go straight to http://goo.gl/bALZDg to donate

  7. #7
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    I agree with sstorkel in that you probably need a better 32mm tire, not just a narrower tire. (You can get a 25mm tire that rides like crap and a 32mm tire that feels great, and you'd think that wider tires were better.)
    I'm a fan of the Panaracer Pasela TG folding bead tires. They have the feel of an expensive handmade tire without the punch to the wallet. I've been riding 32s for the past couple years and don't think I'll go back to 28s or lower. The shock absorption of the 32mm tire over bad roads is just too much to try and match in a narrower tire.

    As for the top end gearing, I'm going to tell you exactly what you don't want to hear: Work on your cadence.
    Unless your average speed is above 21mph, that 48/11 combo is turning less than 60rpm.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
    - Mandi M.

  8. #8
    Commuter & cyclotourist brianogilvie's Avatar
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    Are you open to drop handlebars? If so, take a look at the Surly Pacer. It hits everything on your list, except maybe price (last time I checked, MSRP was $1050). You can have your LBS leave the steerer uncut so you can get the handlebars up high. The Raleigh Clubman is similar, and even has fenders to protect you, your drivetrain, and anyone riding behind you from road crud.

    I find a 48/11 top gear is plenty high on my road bike. My cadence is usually between 70 and 80 rpm. If you can get up to pedaling at that speed comfortably and you still find a 48t ring too low, then by all means switch, but you can do that later.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeneralist View Post
    He keeps pointing out that at any speed we travel, I spin the pedals a lot quicker than he does -- and he has a 52 top ring.
    And that's a problem... why? Ideal cadence is somewhere between 80 and 100rpm for most people. With a 48-11, that equates to speeds in the 28-35mph range. When I'm hitting speeds like that, I generally figure that it's time to start coasting

  10. #10
    Nigel nfmisso's Avatar
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    If you are comfortable (or have someone who is) with bike mechanical assembly:
    http://www.amazon.com/Nashbar-Steel-...7571238&sr=1-8

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/ima...2&color_name=x

    http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...0052_522412_-1

    Note: the three links are to the same bike.
    Just add fenders and lights. It already has cross levers for the brakes, 36 spoke wheels, 50T chain ring and other desireable features.

    Alternately; you may want to consider a tandem - that way your husband is always there. We love our Trek T50 tandem.
    Nigel
    Mechanical Design Engineer

  11. #11
    Senior Member mgw189's Avatar
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    Yeah looking at the things you are saying are you considering a true road bike? It might be a better option otherwise I think your just looking at another hybrid bike...

  12. #12
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeneralist View Post
    So now, dear friends, I turn to you... Can you point me towards a bike that
    • Has at least 50 teeth on the top front ring.
    • Has tires 700x25 or 28. (Translation: skinny, but not too skinny.)
    • Has lots of spokes on the wheels (32 or 36).
    • Has 8 or 9 gears on the rear, 8 preferred.
    • Has at least two water-bottle mounts.
    • Does not have a step-thru frame. Mixte OK.
    • Does not have front suspension.
    • Does not weigh 40 pounds!
    • Costs under $1000
    I really liked the Raleigh Clubman that was already suggested but I wanted disc brakes and slightly longer chainstays. It does cost about $1150.00 according to my LBS.

    I also looked at the disc version of this bike but I believe the non-disc will be a pretty good fit for you. The rear cassette can easily be changed to an a cassette with a 11t cog I am sure.
    Kona ***** Tonk http://www.konaworld.com/road.cfm?content=*****_tonk#2

    I believe that you will want the drop bars for extended riding. Do some research before settling for straight bars. I can't wait to get a drop bar bike and I am going for the Jamis Aurora Elite in Spring 2012.

    Don't rush into making your decision and see if you can ride one before buying. The LBS that sells Jamis made sure I rode an Aurora (BTW a 5'8" female owned the bike and loved it) even though it was a little small for me. That settled my decision on buying the Aurora Elite. Unfortunately, the Aurora has the smaller cranks.
    RUSA #8269

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