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.