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Old 01-08-06, 03:47 PM   #1
tivoli1
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Finally went to a couple of LBS

Me and my husband went around yesterday and today and visited two LBS. VERY interesting findings! Somehow, very surprising, after some discussion, I started out test riding a few road bikes, one of which was the Specialized Sequoia. Another was a robaix something? or something like that, the bike person wrote it down, and he was very helpful. I tried a Trek road bike too. I also tried the Koga Miyata Traveller. Can these bikes be any farther apart, the Koga and the ride bikes? I wanted to immediately ride one road bike and then the Koga, which I did again today, to get a feel of each in a short period of time. Today, at the same LBS I also tried a hybrid, I think it wsa a Canondale, can't remember the model.

I found one interesting thing. I hate the flat handles compared to the drop type. My hands are way too far apart in general. I never would have guessed that, since I currently ride a Trek 730. What I LOVED were the Koga handlebars. Such a variety of places to put ones hands, thought that was very very comfortable.

I went to another LBS also and didn't fall in love with anything, tried some hybrids there.

I'm leaning toward the Koga Traveller. I know, the thing is absolutely a cadillac. It weighs in at 37 lbs. The Squoia weighs in at 20 lbs. Yikes, what a difference. But, like a caldillac, the Koga is smoooooooth. The Sequoia made me feel at one with the bike, felt the road more, think I'll have to concentrate more/be careful and that's not necessarily GOOD, yet, it was quick and responsive. I hate the brakes beyond the drop handles, prefer the inline brakes, I don't want to bend down THAT far.

So, I'm considering the caddy as compared to the porsche. But, I am concerned bout the weight, and how that might affect climbing hills, that would really be the only concern. Also, the fenders, lights and rack could come in handy here and there, I'm sure. And, I can see doing some (short) touring with it. I can only think in terms of "short" right now since I'm just starting.

Again, comments are welcome, thanks.
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Old 01-08-06, 05:20 PM   #2
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Old 01-08-06, 05:34 PM   #3
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I prefer light road bikes, mines in the 18lb range but a heavier bike would have it's benefits as well.......suppose it's all in how you ride and where. yeah a 37lb bike would be tough on a steep climb but think about when you descend, then it's a dream.
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Old 01-09-06, 11:13 AM   #4
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You might do well to choose something lighter than the Koga as that is a heavy bike. It's quite possible to have a well-equipped tourer which will take you around the world without that weight. Take your time and read the reviews in the various bike forums before deciding as well as talk to some experienced tourers.
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Old 01-09-06, 12:39 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by onbike 1939
You might do well to choose something lighter than the Koga as that is a heavy bike. It's quite possible to have a well-equipped tourer which will take you around the world without that weight. Take your time and read the reviews in the various bike forums before deciding as well as talk to some experienced tourers.
Must agree. That Koga is heavy by any bikes standards. If you were going to into himalayan trekking or carrying 50lb of camping equipment for extended periods, then it would probably be the bike for you. As it is, I think it will be a heavy bike to even ride down to the shops with.

We are not all competition minded on this forum, but most of us are in this game for fitness, or keeping what little we have of it. Your riding expectations will not be helped by a bike of this type, and if you explain to your LBS that you are looking for a lighter bike along the lines of the Koga, you may be surprised at what is available. A sequoia (or any similar quality bike) is a top rate bike, even I must admit that. and it may not be to your particular taste at present. If the tyres were changed to something a little wider, possibly a change of bar position, or even a change of bar to the Koga Type.

Have just gone onto the Koga website and it is a Trekking bike as I thought and it is HEAVY. It is a dutch company and Holland is very flat. The bike appears to be built for flat lands and they do not have anything like a slope in Holland. Mudgaurds are very easy to fit on any bike- Those Bullhorn bars are not as versatile as they would appear to be,(Flat bars, or riser bars with Bar ends are very good) but the idea of what I think are Aerobars is a good inclusion for comfort, but can be fitted to ANY bike.

I know the choice is up to you, but I would look further before going for a Koga.
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Old 01-09-06, 01:06 PM   #6
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This is really what I was very much hoping for, practical feedback and I appreciate it! OK, well, the PRICE, that's why I was struggling with it. The price offered was $1300. I mean, come on, what a DEAL! Doesn't everyone love a deal? Yet, the other little voice in my head (my mother's?) haha, said, just put a post up here and hear the practical stuff before you make the call to order it.

If I could get:

1. a lighter weight bike (that's the goal, right?)
some good versatile handlebars (I LOVED the Koga ones/don't care for the flat ones but don't like the low/dropped ones)
2. fine quality components (not the best, but not cheap)
3. a tire that is wider than a racing tire
4. inline brakes (I don't like them down low)

I think that would all work for me, but I'll have to ask if I could get it for the same price or less. Any comments/suggestions for me, I'm very open to advice. I don't know about metals, what I should care about there, or, heaven forbid, components, but I do appreciate quality, which is why this deal sounds so good, let me just say that. It felt great to ride too, but I have a fair amount of hills near me, so that was/is a concern.
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Old 01-09-06, 01:31 PM   #7
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One bike I am interested in seeing is the Breezer Liberty. I've tried 3 times to see it, including today, but the LBS is always closed. I'm going to try to see it in the next couple of days. That's 29 lbs and the Koga Traveller is 37 lbs, so the weight is heading down.
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Old 01-09-06, 03:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tivoli1
This is really what I was very much hoping for, practical feedback and I appreciate it! OK, well, the PRICE, that's why I was struggling with it. The price offered was $1300. I mean, come on, what a DEAL! Doesn't everyone love a deal? Yet, the other little voice in my head (my mother's?) haha, said, just put a post up here and hear the practical stuff before you make the call to order it.

If I could get:

1. a lighter weight bike (that's the goal, right?)
some good versatile handlebars (I LOVED the Koga ones/don't care for the flat ones but don't like the low/dropped ones)
2. fine quality components (not the best, but not cheap)
3. a tire that is wider than a racing tire
4. inline brakes (I don't like them down low)

I think that would all work for me, but I'll have to ask if I could get it for the same price or less. Any comments/suggestions for me, I'm very open to advice. I don't know about metals, what I should care about there, or, heaven forbid, components, but I do appreciate quality, which is why this deal sounds so good, let me just say that. It felt great to ride too, but I have a fair amount of hills near me, so that was/is a concern.
You say you have tried them, but HYBRIDS. Not all bikes are the same. Being of the opposite gender- you will require a shorter top tube and higher handlebars than me. And you will need a longer seat tube. Try a frame that is a size smaller than the shop suggest.. Barring the seat height, it will probably fit better and the shop will change the seat post F.O.C. That is the first suggestion- These riser bars-- They bring the bar higher and towards you and will be found on some Mountain bikes. Put a set of bar ends on these and you will be 1/2 way towards the Koga Position- and there are different length bar ends. The tyres- a larger tyre will improve comfort, and will not feel like a racer. Then there are other options that may be frowned upon- A mountain bike with slick tyres on it and in 26" wheels you will be able to get wider tyres for more comfort that will still roll along the road easily. Then the other way that will please a few here- The sequoia has a hybrid version called a Cirrus? This is a good bike and get the shop to put the bars on that you want, but remember the sizing once again.

All of these bikes can take mudguards, lights can be fitted, and any other item you may want. I mentioned about Mountain bikes, but if you are only on the road, then go for something more suitable. A full road bike may not be for you unless you adapt the handlebars, and the hybrids to get you comfortable may take a little sorting. This is the problem that all of us have so you are not alone. If you ask any of us-we will admit that we have to modify a stock bike- May be handlebars, maybe the Handlebar stem- Probably the saddle, and some even have to go for a weird size to get comfortable. Difference is that we have some idea of what we want. You will have to put yourself in the hands of the LBS but if they are any good, they will sort a bike for you, adjust it for you, change parts if necessary, and give you a test ride. If they don't- find another LBS.

Then again, the breezer is another form of bike, that others can comment on, but get to that shop to look and sit on it before deciding on any of options.
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Old 01-10-06, 11:21 AM   #9
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Have you considered using bigger tires on the Sequoia? That's a nice bike (not that the Koga necessarily isn't; I don't know anything about it), but I think it comes with 700x25 tires, which are pretty hard for most riders (racers consider 25mm "big," but their perspectives are skewed). If there's room under the brakes and between the fork blades, something like a 700x35 or 32 Pasela run at 75 psi would give you a much more comfortable ride, and you wouldn't have to lug around SEVENTEEN FREAKING EXTRA POUNDS, which is really a lot. It would also give you the option of switching back to silly-skinny rubber if you decide you need to do that.
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Old 01-10-06, 03:17 PM   #10
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Have you considered using bigger tires on the Sequoia? That's a nice bike (not that the Koga necessarily isn't; I don't know anything about it), but I think it comes with 700x25 tires, which are pretty hard for most riders (racers consider 25mm "big," but their perspectives are skewed). If there's room under the brakes and between the fork blades, something like a 700x35 or 32 Pasela run at 75 psi would give you a much more comfortable ride, and you wouldn't have to lug around SEVENTEEN FREAKING EXTRA POUNDS, which is really a lot. It would also give you the option of switching back to silly-skinny rubber if you decide you need to do that.
Yes, the LBS recommended that. OK, sounds good, byebye SEVENTEEN FREAKING EXTRA POUNDS (were it so easy to drop 17 lbs, life would be nice). Then I have two other challenges.

First, I really LOVE the koga handlebars....they're like a butterfly shape or something. Are the only ones of that type sold by nashbar? They just have one shape available in that type. Any other sources would be appreciated for cool handlebars with a variety of choices to fumble my hands around.

Second, what's this I'm hearing about a Brooks saddle? Can I please have a comfortable saddle? That would be very nice.

I think that's it for the moment. I wonder if I'm building a bike that's already in existence. But, it's the weight that I'm hoping to decrease. I do LOVE that caddy koga....on flat ground, I think.
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Old 01-10-06, 05:19 PM   #11
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Hi Tiv,
If you likes the smooth feel of the Koga, it's the touring geometry you are looking for. IMHO you should make an appointment to test ride a Cannondale T2000, or T800. If a dealer has a 2005 in stock he will probably cut you a deal like the Koga, they are all clearing out last years bikes right now.

With the aluminium Cannondale you will get a lighter bike, with an excellent ride, give it a look http://www.cannondale.com/bikes/06/CUSA/model-6TR2.html

Have fun, there's plenty of time, it's the off season.

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