Anywho, I used the bathroom scale method to weigh her bike and her 52cm with pedals weighs 25lbs.
After seeing this thread, I went out and bought a Mirage to replace my circa 1983 Nishiki Sport. I have been riding it for a couple of months and felt like I should offer my impressions. (Sorry if I’m hijacking tpelle, I'll move this elsewhere if you would like)
The bike arrived mostly assembled, the included instructions were an incoherent joke that looked like they were written for an early 90s mountain bike and therefore provided almost no useful information, luckily I had plenty of prior experience wrenching, so completing assembly wasn’t difficult to wing. I almost had to make a spacer for the front brake, but I eventually found a tiny plastic bag at the bottom of the pile of shipping materials that contained a couple of washers to space out the caliper. All of the bolts on everything that had been pre assembled were tight.
On my initial test ride I was pleased to find the rear derailleur to be perfectly adjusted, no noise from the drivetrain. I heard a whirring noise that I figured to be hub grease seal breaking in, the noise disappeared after a few blocks and hasn’t come back, so I figure it to be okay. The bike was (and is) a pleasure to ride. I found the braking to be poor in comparison to what I was use to getting from the center pull calipers on my old Nishiki, the brakes never felt like they might run out of travel, I just can’t pull the levers hard enough to stop super quick. Going up the hill to my house I began to hear a clicking sound coming from the drive train. I was initially unable to replicate the sound at workbench; eventually I started cranking really hard in my lowest gear and was able to see that the rear derailleur was tapping my spokes. The derailleur stop screws were correctly adjusted, so either the wheel was dished incorrectly or the derailleur hangar was set at the wrong angle when the frame was built. Either way it left the factory in a condition that could have potentially resulted in catastrophic failure, Bikes Direct’s warranty won’t apply if this happens, so be super careful about wheel/derailleur clearance and make sure it doesn’t happen under load. I took the easy way out and bent the derailleur hanger over a little and after a quick readjustment all was well.
I’ve been commuting to around 44 miles round trip to college a couple times a week for the last two months and have been mostly happy, I have had no mechanical problems at all and have only had to do a little tweaking on my cables as things broke in. I have had two flats; the first was from pieces of glass that worked their way through my tire on a wet ride, I can’t blame the bike for that, my second flat was weird, my front innertube simply blew out with a very loud bang and prior no warning. Luckily I had gotten off the bike a few minutes beforehand, so the blowout didn’t cause a wreck, my initial assumption was that I had overinflated my tire (my frame pump doesn’t have a gauge and the 90 PSI limit is very easy to reach and exceed), but there was no damage to my tire (and I have ridden it issue free hundreds of miles since then), so I’m inclined to think I had a defective and/or low quality inner tube.
I figured ou how to work the downtube shifter D rings! They can be loosened by first loosening the allen key that holds them to the bike, then rotating
Brakes: Bikes Direct’s website claims they are dual pivot, but they aren’t. The brakes are also the only part on the bike that still use old style hex head bolts, rather than allen keys, because of these problems I’m going to replace them as soon as I have some extra money.
Pros: cool color, probably the cheapest “real” new road bike on the market, most everything seems to work as it should, all the parts are of modern standard sizes, large tire clearances and rack and fender mounts, no similar competitors
Lows: poor brakes, a better used bike can probably be found for less money by someone who is willing to wait for a deal, little snob appeal, no name drivetrain might crap out prematurely, no friction mode for rear derailleur shifter
TL;DR I’m happy with the bike and receive tons of complements on it, but buyer beware it will probably require some adjustment and changing of parts to be perfect.
I'm not the best writer, so if you need any clarification or have any questions, ask.
Edit: I had the cranks off, the bottom bracket measured in at around 117mm, in case anyone is curious
That's a heck of a good deal. Heck, $299 would be a good deal for the frame alone, since I assume it's about Surly-quality. Sure, some of the components may not be built for the long haul, but $299 gives you plenty of room to replace and upgrade as needed.
I don't have the tube readily available (it is wrapped around my rack now, I think) but I remember that the blowout was a very straight line, about three inches long, parallel to (but not on) the innertube's seam. I can't remember if the rip was on the tire or rim side. I had been riding the bike for a couple of weeks and I had not let the tire's pressure fall much.
Thanks for the tip, I'll pick up some rim tape next time I have the opportunity.
Great reports here. Any further, long term updates would be greatly appreciated. At the moment, the Mirage is only available in 61cm. I may have to wait.
I have about 1200 miles on my bike now with no major problems that weren't my fault. The rear tire is about worn out already and I had a tube unexpectedly pop, but that has been it. None of the other components appear to be wearing out.
I had two non drivetrain side rear spokes pop on me while riding up a steep hill, I also broke a rear spoke on a small pothole about 500 miles back but I blamed that on myself even though I had gone over it before on other bikes without issue. I weigh ~175 and carry maybe 20 pounds of stuff. I feel disappointed with the durability/reliability of the rear wheel.
I'm gonna revive this Zombie bike thread. Are either of you two still riding your Mirage? I'm thinking about getting one for recreational/social riding, as I miss the feel of steel on longer rides. The simplicity of the Mirage appeals to me as well.
Another shot in the dark and shameless bump: If you ride one of these, how do you find the sizing to be? I'm between the 54 and 56. I've got long legs for my height and am trying to figure which would be best. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Good looking bike and looks like it will make a great commuter. The Brooks saddle adds some class to what is a good looking bike.
As for top tube length, I ride a Kilo TT with a horizontal TT of 56cm and it feels fine with a long stem. I also ride a CAAD9 with an effective TT of 56cm and it feels a little long even with a short stem. Go figure.
Sounds like you've been doing your homework....
I asked one of the BF members for feedback on the bike - posting his reply below.
I'm 6 ft. tall and I bought my usual size, 58cm. It has a 58cm top tube which I like.
The BB didn't last long but a new Shimano UN72 was only $17. I didn't expect the rear wheel to last long and it didn't. Too lightly built for my weight, 200lbs, and riding style. I got a set of XLC Pave wheels from Jenson USA for $99 and they are great. Shimano hubs and QRs, DT spokes, and a rim that will hold up to some punishment. It was cheaper than buying just a rear wheel. Other than the BB and the rear wheel every thing else is great. The Sunrace drivetrain is great, shifts great, and is very smooth. The paint is excellent and looks good after a year of riding. The color is great, I call it metallic traffic signal green. It's pretty, the photos don't do it justice. The brakes are very good. About the geometry. It has longer chain stays than a race bike but the positive thing about that is the size of tires you can run. 700x32 will fit for sure and maybe as large as 700x38. It rides and handles well. I do pack rides with as many as 100 riders, no problem. I see guys blow and go out the back that are riding carbon fibre bikes.
I bought the Mirage because I wanted a cromoly frame and fork with downtube shifters and there it was for $299 (now $329). I have other bikes with integrated shifters but there's no way to put downtube shifters on them. Specialized and Bianchi have cromoly DT shifter bikes but I think the Mirage is prettier and it's a lot cheaper. I love the Mirage, it's met or exceeded my expectations.
Thanks all for the replies. Sounds like the guy above just went with his regular size and it worked out. My regular size is a 56, I'm probably over thinking this.
The link in the OP now shows a bike with a black fork instead of the same color as the frame. That's kind of sucky IMHO. And it's now $349 instead of $299.
Anybody know the weight of the bike?