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Old 03-02-09, 01:33 PM   #1
DanBraden
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New Bike Question

Dear BFers,

I realize the advice I'm getting ready to ask you for is on a pretty contentious topic, but I am really hoping that you can help me with a decision I want to make. I've got what I consider a pretty sweet bike that I've cobbled together over the past year. Aluminum MTB frame, front shocks and gearing. I've also attached customized fenders (mud flaps etc.), and medium priced sealed cartridge wheels with slicks. I've found that I appreciate the MTB gearing because my commute is through hilly areas. Lately, though, I've begun to realize that my bike has severe deficits in the weight and geometry departments. So I've decided that the only thing to do is "upgrade" to a lighter bike. I first considered building one from scratch but have scrapped the idea due to funding issues. I figure the most economical route is to buy a "hybrid" outright and start the frustrating but satisfying job of adding the little extras that make it perfect. The bikes I'm thinking of are from Bikesdirect.com (I know how some of you feel about these bikes, so there's really no need to flame me). The two bikes I'm trying to land on both have flat bars, aluminum framing, and none of the weight adding shock absorption add-ons.

They are the Windsor


And the Dawes


I am trying to avoid a road bike with drops because I hate the riding position, however, I will be attaching aero bars to what ever bike I decide on.

I appreciate your help, and I ask only that you keep your righteous indignation in check if you hate bikesdirect.

Much appreciated,
me
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Old 03-02-09, 01:43 PM   #2
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Consider purchasing only a new fork and stem.

Shockless forks will help with the weight issue(youre already aluminum, so thats light for MTB), and adjustment of your saddle combined with an appropriate height stem should fix any 'geometry' problems.
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Old 03-02-09, 01:45 PM   #3
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Go for the Windsor if for no other reason than to avoid the shimano 2200 compnents on the dawes.
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Old 03-02-09, 01:55 PM   #4
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I was under the impression that road bike frames were specially designed for prolonged riding.
Are the "benefeits" of the angles canceled out if you don't use drops?
And:
When I asked techsupport why the Dawes and Windsor were different prices the only real reason they gave was that the Windsor used shimano Sora components, what's wrong with the 2200 components?
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Old 03-02-09, 02:11 PM   #5
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I was under the impression that road bike frames were specially designed for prolonged riding.
Are the "benefeits" of the angles canceled out if you don't use drops?
And:
When I asked techsupport why the Dawes and Windsor were different prices the only real reason they gave was that the Windsor used shimano Sora components, what's wrong with the 2200 components?
I have two low-end bikes. One with Shimano 2200 and one with Shimano Tourney. The 2200's are definitely the worse of the two and I'd look to upgrade if I were doing it again. (Its a stop gap bike until I can save up).

Problems I've had with less than 500 miles on the 2200's are phantom shifts and limiter screws slowly moving out of position.
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Old 03-02-09, 02:59 PM   #6
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You could probably find an '08 Trek 7.2 FX for about the price of that Windsor, and you'd get better components and be able to try out the fit before buying, to say nothing of the service benefits of buying from an LBS.
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Old 03-02-09, 03:13 PM   #7
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You could probably find an '08 Trek 7.2 FX for about the price of that Windsor, and you'd get better components and be able to try out the fit before buying, to say nothing of the service benefits of buying from an LBS.
Actually, the LBS near me is pretty expensive. Besides, maintaining my own bicycle has been exceptionally fulfilling and cost saving for me and I really don't see a reason to use the LBS outside their large selection of tools. However, when I need access to specialty tools that are too expensive and single use to be practical I visit the bike coop. Do you know where I could find a better deal for a new bike on line? I am trying to walk the line between price and functionality and thought I was on to something with Bikesdirect.
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Old 03-02-09, 04:00 PM   #8
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"Actually, the LBS near me is pretty expensive. Besides, maintaining my own bicycle has been exceptionally fulfilling and cost saving for me and I really don't see a reason to use the LBS outside their large selection of tools."
+1 I exceptionally fulfilled myself last night swapping out my 105 cassette with a SRAM OG1070 for 65 bucks. If it was done at the LBS, it would have set me back $120 and week's wait.
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Old 03-02-09, 04:45 PM   #9
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+1 I exceptionally fulfilled myself last night swapping out my 105 cassette with a SRAM OG1070 for 65 bucks. If it was done at the LBS, it would have set me back $120 and week's wait.
Yeah, I know most mechanics have more experience than I do and may be faster at repairs, but there really is something nice about fixing or upgrading your own bike. That was why I originally wanted to build the bike from scratch. However, after chasing my tail on finding affordable frames plus the mounting cost of all the components, I maxed out my budget.

Thanks for the suggestion about the trek 7.2, Andy_K. I found a dealer who's prices are right around my range, but I hate salesmen. The bike seems to have great reviews, but what advantage would the low end trek have over the other bikes I'm interested in?
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Old 03-02-09, 04:56 PM   #10
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Actually, the LBS near me is pretty expensive.
Then you need to consider another shop. My LBS (Trek/Specialized) sells 09 7.2fx'es for $449. It's a lot more bike than the two you've spec'ed.

-R
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Old 03-02-09, 05:06 PM   #11
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Thanks for the suggestion about the trek 7.2, Andy_K. I found a dealer who's prices are right around my range, but I hate salesmen. The bike seems to have great reviews, but what advantage would the low end trek have over the other bikes I'm interested in?
The Trek would have much higher resale value than anything from Bikes Direct.
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Old 03-02-09, 05:12 PM   #12
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I am trying to avoid a road bike with drops because I hate the riding position, however, I will be attaching aero bars to what ever bike I decide on.
This does not seem logical....if you really mean aero bars, you will in in a low position. If you be barends...go for something like an cane creek ergo or Ergons

Quote:
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Are the "benefeits" of the angles canceled out if you don't use drops?
?
I am pro drop.... they give you a lot of postiion options, without losing a "flat bar" options


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. Besides, maintaining my own bicycle has been exceptionally fulfilling and cost saving for me

Look for a used bike...for the same dollars you can get way better components, which also are a lot easier to work on.
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Old 03-02-09, 05:25 PM   #13
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This does not seem logical....if you really mean aero bars, you will in in a low position. If you be barends...go for something like an cane creek ergo or Ergons



I am pro drop.... they give you a lot of postiion options, without losing a "flat bar" options





Look for a used bike...for the same dollars you can get way better components, which also are a lot easier to work on.
With the aero bars I use now, my forearms have a padded place to rest plus I get to "stretch" out in a leetle more aerodynamic position. Another aspect of drops I find unappealing is the added maintenance of wrapping them up. Also, I really dislike the shifting/braking mechanism that all the road bikes with drop bars seem to use. Last, if I'm going to drop a chunk of coin on a bike then I want it to be new. I researched used bikes in my area, and while I maybe a patient man, I'm not a trusting one (see "I hate salesmen").
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Old 03-02-09, 05:28 PM   #14
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I actually would try and steer you towards this direction of bikes

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/mercier/galaxy.htm
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/windsor/tourist.htm

they are both steel, but i guarantee they are still lighter than your mtb and will still give a nice compliant ride and still be able to perform the way you want it too.

Benefits of touring bikes is they usually use mtb drivetrains and components, but also are nimble enough for everyday riding/commuting/weekend trips
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Old 03-02-09, 05:34 PM   #15
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I'd go for drop handlebars. Many more hand positions and nothing says you have to ride around in the drops all the time.
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Old 03-02-09, 05:50 PM   #16
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Besides, maintaining my own bicycle has been exceptionally fulfilling and cost saving for me and I really don't see a reason to use the LBS outside their large selection of tools.
I'm actually with you on this. I like maintaining my bike almost as much as I like riding it. That still leaves the benefit of trying out the fit before you buy. And I do think the Trek is a better bike than the BD's you listed.

I don't know if BD has upped their prices lately, or if I've just started spotting where they're cutting corners, or if you have to move to their higher end bikes to get the really great deals, but whatever it is, their prices just haven't impressed me lately the way they used to.
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Old 03-02-09, 06:12 PM   #17
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There are a lot of bikeshops in the Durham area...or so says google....maybe another BF local can reccomend one or help you with a craigslist find review

I will repeat.....get the best components you can.....I have done a lot of work on my neighbors bikes and the low end stuff is hard to work on just going up one or two grades can make a huge difference.

Jim
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Old 03-02-09, 06:21 PM   #18
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^^^^
I'm of the same school of thought, buy quality at the beginning and you will save over the long run.
For instance, some people would say Shimano 105 isn't great, but it is great quality at a good price. My current ride has a mix of shimano components, 105 hubs and rear derailer, ultegra cassette, dura ace bar end shifters. Also a decent wheel will save you in my opinion also, mavic open pro's are an affordable great performing wheel, i have two sets, yet to have to have them trued after the initial break in period.
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Old 03-03-09, 10:37 PM   #19
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Thanks for all the advice! I went and talked to the closest LBS (BicycleChain) and I was pretty disappointed with the dialogue. The salesman was not helpful at all, and acted like I was wasting his time. Granted, I rode my own bike up there to compare the two, so obviously I wasn't about to buy a bike on the spot, but he could've been more informative or at the very least have feined interest. I guess if you don't look like you're getting ready to explode money all over the place they aren't interested.

So now I've sworn off patronizing that shop, and it got me thinking, maybe replacing the front fork IS the way to go after all. They really are adding alot of weight being shocks, and it certainly is within my budget to replace them. So thanks Xenologer, you just saved me a couple of hundred dollars!

Now don't flame me, but I'm thinking about replacing the front forks with cheap-o road forks from nashbar. Same spacing in both forks, but do you guys know if there will be a problem with tire clearance?

Thanks again for all the suggestions.
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Old 03-03-09, 10:58 PM   #20
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That Nashbar fork is almost certainly meant to be used with a 700c wheel, so the brake position will be off (assuming you don't have disc brakes). Try this one:

http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...81&category=85
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Old 03-03-09, 11:06 PM   #21
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Oh yeah, thanks for the heads up, I totally wasn't even thinking about that!
Duh... Geeze I'm surprised I can even dress myself in the morning.

Last edited by DanBraden; 03-03-09 at 11:09 PM. Reason: Cuz I'm tarded
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Old 03-03-09, 11:11 PM   #22
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So far you've spent $$ building up your own bike that you are not happy with . . .
Many areas have bicycle swap meets where you can pick up a decent used bike that will be better than the BD stuff.
Why pay for new . . . the minute after you bought that 'new' bike, it is a 'used bike' and you will lose $$ on it tryingto sell it the next day.
Let someone else pay the new bike depreciation!
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Old 03-03-09, 11:42 PM   #23
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Dan, The bikes you are posting about have adjustable stems, and they look very similar to the one that came with my BD flat bar bike. If the stems are like the one that came on my BD bike, then be ready to swap out the stem for a fixed one since they flex considerably. The geometry also looks similar to my BD bike, so be careful about smaller tires sizes, since the bottom bracket height is low to begin with, making pedal ground clearance on the inward turning pedal a real issue if one forgets to bring it up in time when making turns.

Another thing, both of my BD bikes had some sort of shipping damage or improper factory component installation, so be prepared to possibly do more than just some minor assembly work.

Last edited by dynodonn; 03-04-09 at 12:07 AM.
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Old 03-03-09, 11:48 PM   #24
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I gotta agree with the masses on this one. Andy_K's suggestion on the replacement fork from Universal is a good one. If you decide to go that route, make sure you get the "suspension corrected" fork. Universal is a great outfit, so buy from them with confidence.

Otherwise, I'd have to recommend you buy a higher quality used bike that a new low-end model from BD. I won't flame you, because the truth is that BD has some great buys, it's just that the bikes you mentioned aren't among them.

Consider your timing. It's winter. Times are tough these days, and there's plenty of unridden "like new" bikes gathering dust in basements and garages all around you. First, narrow down the type and size bike you want to buy -- take your time, and do your homework -- then patiently scour your local Craigslist for the deal that WILL eventually come. You'd be surprised at what some people will give away, just for the quick cash. You'll end up riding a much better quality bike than you ever imagined you'd be able to buy.
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