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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 11-05-11, 01:00 PM   #1
CJ C
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Should I be happy with what i got?

Ok wife is tired of thing breaking on my 80's road bike and my rides taking longer because of road side fixes and her sometimes having to pick me up, also tired of hearing about it.

so she got together with family and decided that they would all pitch in for a new bike for a present. (my birthday and christmas are very close). the only issue is $500 is the limit.
I was planing on saving myself till March 2013 for a carbon with 105 or Rival.

My local LBS has the 2010 GT gtr 5 microshift for $549+tax=$609
http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product..._10000__202613


or go the bikes direct route the Gravity Liberty X with Apex (-apex cranks and brakes) for $599 no tax
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/.../liberty_x.htm


I would prefer i give my business to the LBS, but becasue of the lack of funds i dont want to get a bike i will want to upgrade in 6 months.

So should i look for other bikes? go with one of these? or should i just stick with what i got and HTFU
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Old 11-05-11, 01:24 PM   #2
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What is breaking? That vintage of bike is pretty simple and shouldn't be a constant source of problems. I pulled a '77 Schwinn Le Tour out of a dumpster a few years ago and did some long overdue maintenance on it. Rode that bike for well over a year as my commuter and, except for a couple of flats, it never let me down.

I think buying a new, low-end bike is not the answer. My guess is you'll not be happy with it for long and will be wanting to upgrade. I'd spend a few bucks getting your current bike reliable or buying a decent used road bike then ride that till you can set aside enough for the bike you want.
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Old 11-05-11, 01:42 PM   #3
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You know what I'll tell you.
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Old 11-05-11, 01:56 PM   #4
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I agree, take that $500 and update your current bike to keep it from breaking. Provided that your 80's bike is worth dumping that kind of money into (whether or not it was a quality bike to begin with).
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Old 11-05-11, 02:21 PM   #5
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CJ C, What is your current bike? What's breaking?

In general:
Option A: The GT looks like a bike with a nice frame that is upgradeable in the future if needed/desired. Your vintage bike can then become a back up, and foul weather ride.

Option B: Regardless of 'level' your present bike falls into; if you really like it, it can be smart money to have it overhauled. If it has 126 mm spaced rear drop outs, using more modern 130 mm rear hubs is easy and that will open many upgrade possibilities.

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Old 11-05-11, 02:29 PM   #6
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I wouldn't even think about a new, low-end bike. I went to Chicago Craigslist and searched "road" with a price limit of $500, and got 3 pages of responses. Trek 1000's, a Trek 1500, a couple Bianchi's, several Raleigh's, and a bunch of other stuff. Even if I had an unlimited budget, my biggest obstacle would be that I don't really know what I want. Unless you're absolutely in love with a new bike, you're bound to be unhappy, and you'll probably end up selling it at a loss.

Like the others, I'm curious about the problems you're having with your current bike.
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Old 11-05-11, 02:38 PM   #7
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If you've got a mechanic you trust, you could use some of that money on your old bike and put the rest in the fund for the upgrade you want.

BUT I'd tell everyone involved that you were amazed by their generosity, spend some time talking to them about how great it was that they all pitched in like that, and explain to them that you still need to save longer for your next bike, but they've made it possible to get your better bike much sooner. I wouldn't bother explaining why the bike is so expensive unless they ask, I'd just want to let them know ahead of time that this is why their money didn't immediately show up in the form of a new bike, and that it's absolutely not an issue of ingratitude on your part.

That said, I have a $600 aluminum Giant and I've had a ball on it for years . . . but it was what I wanted. If you've thought it over and decided that you want the carbon and the 105, it probably just isn't worth it to pull the trigger on less just to have it sooner.

(Still, though . . . how cool is your family? That's awesome.)
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Old 11-05-11, 02:49 PM   #8
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Hmm. It's not a GT if it doesn't have a triple triangle...


On a serious note. That's awesome that your family is scraping the money together, but I just don't feel like $500 is enough for a bike. You'll want to keep putting more money into it to upgrade the components, in which case you'll end up spending way more in the end. If there's any way you can hold off until you can afford the 105 bike... do it.
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Old 11-05-11, 08:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by borobike View Post
I agree, take that $500 and update your current bike to keep it from breaking. Provided that your 80's bike is worth dumping that kind of money into (whether or not it was a quality bike to begin with).
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Often it's better to "stick with the devil you know" that swap it out for an unknown which is what ANY new bike will be.

That said, if your bike is of good quality when new then parts are all you need to refurbish it. Not the whole thing........
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Old 11-05-11, 09:58 PM   #10
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so to answer a few of your questions.

the bike is a Spalding Blade my dad bought from Sears. i had this bike since i was 13 years old, it will always be with me and ridden. it has taken me so many places in my life and has many more to take me. I just started ridding again in april and just "fixed" this bike in may.



the things that have broke this year;
1. pedal bent while standing and mashing up a incline, limped it to a bike shop
2. Chain snapped sprinting from a stop light. wife had to pick me up.
3. seat post kept getting loose (the part the grabs the saddle rails) and the seat would just move all over. end up limping home
4. seat post thingy finally stripped and had to ride standing up till wife came and got me.
5. after three rides handle bars keep getting loose and i almost kill myself when i stand to sprint and the bars rotate. limp home again
6. wheels go out of tru each month. wife hate me truing them in the living room.
7. noise from the bottom bracket that i will check this winter.
8. brakes need bi weekly adjusting (single pivot calipers)

its nothing really major and most of it is because my *lack of wrenching skills and wife complains i am always working on it or fixing something on it.

the bike has always been to big for me and my last growth spurt was at 16 and i never grew into it. after 25 miles its uncomfortable. stem shifting SUCKS, it really SUCKS. its not bad when i get out of the city where there are less stop lights but most of my riding is in the city.

the condition of the $500 is its not cash and cant be used on the old bike (last one is per wife). I am leaning toward the Gravity with Apex the more i think about it. but the apex is its only selling point the rest seems like cheap and no name components.

BTW, i do have another bike a beach cruiser which is my dedicated commuter and errand bike.
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Old 11-05-11, 10:08 PM   #11
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Id go with the GT - its worth the $ just to get the integrated brake/gear shifters, lighter bike, shimano gearing and LBS support. Looks like a decent bike for the $600 price.

Waiting until 2013? Life's too short...
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Old 11-05-11, 10:11 PM   #12
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You know what I'll tell you.
jethro, last time i took your advice i was looking for a $30 item and you "forced" me to buy a $160 item

to your credit it was the best purchase i have made this year.
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Old 11-05-11, 10:16 PM   #13
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P.S.
If you get the GT. In a couple of years "upgrade" to the bike you want and use the GT for your "winter bike". Everyone needs a winter bike - it was my excuse to get my Trek
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Old 11-06-11, 06:40 AM   #14
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The nice thing with a bike from the LBS is you get a chance to see it, try it, and get it fitted before you buy. You seem to have a good idea of what you want. A used bike may be much more within your budget, and offer you higher end options you may not have on the GT, but you may still end up having to do a bit of wrenching. You may see cheaper prices on CL, etc downstate.
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Old 11-06-11, 11:40 AM   #15
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When I looked at the picture of your bike, the first thing I thought was that it is too big for you. The second thing was that this is a really clean, but very low end, bike. I would guess it could be made into a very dependable bike for very little money but you can't fix fit so it would be a waste of time and money.

I agree with getting the GT (or something similar) but resist the urge to upgrade it. Keep it well maintained, replace things if they break and keep putting money away for your next bike.
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Old 11-06-11, 12:13 PM   #16
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I reread the OP and realized she doesn't understand n+1 even a little bit. The good news is that she is showing a willingness to negotiate. I suggest you print out a spec sheet for a Madone 6.9 SSL and leave it on your desk. A 4 series will seem like giving in.

Last edited by jethro56; 11-06-11 at 03:00 PM.
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Old 11-06-11, 12:31 PM   #17
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the bike has always been to big for me and my last growth spurt was at 16 and i never grew into it. after 25 miles its uncomfortable. stem shifting SUCKS, it really SUCKS. its not bad when i get out of the city where there are less stop lights but most of my riding is in the city.

the condition of the $500 is its not cash and cant be used on the old bike (last one is per wife). I am leaning toward the Gravity with Apex the more i think about it. but the apex is its only selling point the rest seems like cheap and no name components.
The fact that the bike is to big for you is a deal breaker IMO. When you consider that ,based on your story, this bike will need a frame up complete rebuild then it starts making sense to buy a new ,properly fitted, bike.

I say........New bike ASAP!!
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Old 11-06-11, 12:36 PM   #18
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With a $500 budget, I'd keep riding what you have until you can save for a nicer bike.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ C View Post
1. pedal bent while standing and mashing up a incline, limped it to a bike shop
Get some MKS touring pedals. They look nice, work well, and are plenty strong.

2. Chain snapped sprinting from a stop light. wife had to pick me up.
Was this an old chain? Chains are a consumable. They wear out on any bike. If it wasn't an old chain, have a mechanic look over the drivetrain for issues.

3. seat post kept getting loose (the part the grabs the saddle rails) and the seat would just move all over. end up limping home
Replace the seat post - get a cheap one, don't worry about expensive ones.

4. seat post thingy finally stripped and had to ride standing up till wife came and got me.
Depending on your frame, this could be replaced with a much beefier one.

5. after three rides handle bars keep getting loose and i almost kill myself when i stand to sprint and the bars rotate. limp home again
The bolts weren't tight enough.

6. wheels go out of tru each month. wife hate me truing them in the living room.
You're posting in the Clydesdale forum. You probably could use a new wheelset. Us clydes are hard on wheels. Get some hand-built ones... these will be a bit spendy, but go for 32-spoke wheels. Ask around for a good local wheelbuilder.


7. noise from the bottom bracket that i will check this winter.
Although it can wait, eventually you may want to swap to a more modern crankset.

8. brakes need bi weekly adjusting (single pivot calipers)
Learn to adjust them. It's not terribly difficult. Eventually, replace with some Tektro dual-pivots.
If you buy a low-end new bike, you'll probably find the wheels lacking for a clyde. You will face some of the same problems.

Whatever you do, have fun and enjoy being on two wheels!

Edit: I missed the part about it being too big. You need a bike that fits. Buy a new one.
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Old 11-06-11, 04:25 PM   #19
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Hey CJ, what size bike do you need?
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Old 11-06-11, 06:21 PM   #20
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This is a good time of year to go looking for a new bike because a lot of shops are putting this year's models on sale to make room for next years models. January is even better because by then they're getting desperate for the room and looking to make enough money to hold off until the spring rush. Can you wait until January?
Sentimental value aside, you'd probably be throwing good money after bad extensively upgrading your existing bike.
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Old 11-06-11, 11:58 PM   #21
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I reread the OP and realized she doesn't understand n+1 even a little bit. The good news is that she is showing a willingness to negotiate. I suggest you print out a spec sheet for a Madone 6.9 SSL and leave it on your desk. A 4 series will seem like giving in.

your just evil, evil i say. i did leave the house ipod on the Bianchi Infintino page every day for a month. that plan didnt work out
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Old 11-07-11, 12:03 AM   #22
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Hey CJ, what size bike do you need?
i test rode a specialized roubiax last week, it was a 54 it was too big. guy said a 52 would be better but he didnt have a 2009 in that size.
i test rode a giant defy size medium and seemed to fit. but so did a small defy advance

i am 5'9" but have a 29in inseam so sizing me is a bit awkward.

the bike i have now is a 31.5 standover

Last edited by CJ C; 11-07-11 at 12:23 AM.
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Old 11-07-11, 12:04 AM   #23
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If i had to pick i would pick the GT, if you like hybrid stuff pick the ugly one.
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Old 11-07-11, 12:23 AM   #24
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seems like most of you guys/gals are pushing the GT. is Microshift a worthy component? i never hear anyone say good or bad about it. i do hear a lot of "stay away from Sora" seems to be the thumb down shift thingy is the annoyance. anybody here ride microshift?

for me all Brifters and drivetrain will be an upgrade. i just dont want to buy low and upgrade early.

ps thanks all for your input its highly valued.
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Old 11-07-11, 01:24 AM   #25
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i do hear a lot of "stay away from Sora" seems to be the thumb down shift thingy is the annoyance. anybody here ride microshift?

for me all Brifters and drivetrain will be an upgrade. i just dont want to buy low and upgrade early.
two comments

1. Sora is not that bad. I had Sora components on my first bike which I rode for 3 years and while it is clunky and not as intuitive as my current 105 components it is not as bad as many people make out. Just on a side note my wife has used Sora componets for the last six years and never had an issue. I am upgrading her Giant to 105 components not because she hates Sora but because it will make a cool xmas present. Going to surprise her and send the bikes for a service and then her bike will return with 105 and new wheels. Will hopefully be a nice surprise.

2. Get the best bike you can afford but then once you have bought the bike accept that is the best bike and ride it like you love it. I would dearly love to own a Cannondale Super Six but it isn't going to happen unless I win the lottery so I just accept that my bike is the best bike for me and love it.

Cheers,
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