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Old 07-13-07, 09:31 PM   #1
BluesDawg
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A doozy of a "what bike to buy" thread

One more race and I'll qualify for the team discount on a new bike as a perk for racing on my LBS's MTB racing team. It will be several months before I'm financially ready to take advantage of the big discount. Maybe by my birthday in October or by Christmas. There should be some good discounts on 2007 models by then to make the deal even sweeter. I could get a frame and build it up, but the deal is better on a full bike. They now only carry Specialized as a major brand, but any of the bikes or frames carried by the major parts distribution companies would be available.

Picking a bike won't be as hard as deciding what kind of bike to get. I've given a lot of thought to several completely different types of bike. I'm not sure what my budget will be, but I'm looking at options anywhere from under $1000 retail up to $2500.

1) 29er MTB.
Salsa El Mariachi comes as a frame (steel) or built as a rigid 1x9 with a good parts mix.
Frames available include Surly Karate Monkey, Soma Juice, On One Inbred.
Specialized will have some 29ers for 2008, but they are aluminum, not my first choice for a rigid MTB.

2) Full suspension MTB
Specialized has several good ones like FSRxc Pro or Stumpjumper FSR Comp

3) Fast road bike
Several good choices from Specialized here. None are steel, but I could venture to the dark side with carbon or even aluminum with carbon fork and stays to try life in the fast lane.
Roubaix Comp
Tarmac Comp
Allez Comp Double
or I could build a go-fast steel bike with one of these
Salsa Primero
or more traditional with Salsa La Raza

4) Cyclocross / multi-purpose road bike
This is a bike I can set up many ways to ride on trails, commute, tour or race. It even has horizontal drops and can be set up as a fixie/SS.
Surly Cross-Check
It comes as a frame also, but the complete bike has a pretty decent mix of parts at a good price.
A build it myself option is the Soma Double Cross

5) Touring
This one offers a lot for the money. Surly Long Haul Trucker

6) Single speed / Fixie
Surly Steamroller

Right now my leanings are for the Surly Cross-Check if the budget is tight or for one of the fast road bikes if the budget allows a good one. The Salsa Primero with a SRAM Rival build kit and light but rugged wheels would be very sweet. But at different times I think I'd like each of the options. If I don't get a road bike, I'll probably get a lighter set of wheels for Ribby, my Bridgestone RB-1.

Last edited by BluesDawg; 01-25-08 at 10:16 PM.
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Old 07-13-07, 09:48 PM   #2
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I'm a sucker for 'cross bikes. I really enjoy my road bike but we have
the gravel season here for ~6 months. (The windshield lobby got us
to use gravel in the snow and we don't like taxes here so we don't ever
clean it up.) Since the dirt here is mostly hard-pack I can run Michelin
Jets and be reasonably fast on the street, even with the gravel (which
scares the bejeebers out of me on road tires) and confident in the dirt.
I don't know what it would be like in the red clay you have.


[OT] Any other 50+ers worry about their bejeebers??
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Old 07-13-07, 09:58 PM   #3
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You know the solution. Get 'em all.

BTW, I don't worry about getting scared out of my begeebers. I don't have any begeebers left. I don't even have pajamas. And please don't ask what I'm wearing (or not wearing) now.
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Old 07-13-07, 10:00 PM   #4
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Before I buy anything major, my priority is to determine what it is I want to do with whatever it is I'm buying.

That's why I'm taking my time on my next purchase. I'm trying to determine what I want to accomplish and how another bike would complement the bikes that I already own.

You've outlined 6 different types of bikes, indicating there are 6 different sets of priorities. If you want to ride fast centuries, then a MTB wouldn't make sense. A multipurpose bike might seem a good compromise, but not if you decide that you really want to tackle some tough off-road trails.

So I suggest that you spend some time contemplating what specific siren song is singing to you. After you do that, then it sounds like you'll have several nice options to pick from.

But it sounds to me like you are in need of N+6 bikes.
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Old 07-13-07, 10:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by head_wind
[OT] Any other 50+ers worry about their bejeebers??
Nope. Down here in the Bible belt, we get the bejesus scared out of us.
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Old 07-13-07, 10:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil
Before I buy anything major, my priority is to determine what it is I want to do with whatever it is I'm buying.

That's why I'm taking my time on my next purchase. I'm trying to determine what I want to accomplish and how another bike would complement the bikes that I already own.

You've outlined 6 different types of bikes, indicating there are 6 different sets of priorities. If you want to ride fast centuries, then a MTB wouldn't make sense. A multipurpose bike might seem a good compromise, but not if you decide that you really want to tackle some tough off-road trails.

So I suggest that you spend some time contemplating what specific siren song is singing to you. After you do that, then it sounds like you'll have several nice options to pick from.

But it sounds to me like you are in need of N+6 bikes.
Heck, I know exactly what I would do with each of these options and I want to do them all. What I have to figure out is which ones I can afford and which one I want to do most. Nice thing is I already have a good variety of good bikes and whichever kind of bike I decide to buy, I'll have the rest of my life to buy or build all the other kinds and a few others I'll surely come up with.
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Old 07-13-07, 10:22 PM   #7
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Well BD, you've been around cycling a long time so when the time comes you'll probably have it sorted out. Man those are some nice choices, though.




Quote:
Originally Posted by head_wind
[OT] Any other 50+ers worry about their bejeebers??
I often wonder what ever happened to my bejeebers and my marbles. My god, my marbles, I REALLY miss my marbles
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Old 07-14-07, 12:22 AM   #8
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Couple of months ago and I would have had a hard choice. Being an offroader and just going into road- It would have been a choice between the two.- But you have thrown a Cyclocross into the mix. Didn't even think of that one.

Road riding has been a change for me- and I am finding that I can get out more than just riding offroad. So as a training aid for the Offroading- then a road bike would be a choice. Think you also need a better MTB and the FS bikes shown would help your aging body through the next few years of getting muddy. Not my choice really as I would stay Hardtail but I would not go 29er.

Then you throw that Cyclocross into the mix. Now that would tempt me. It will still go offroad and do it with ease. May not be as aggressive as the MTB on the rough tracks and full dowwnhills but it would do it. It would also be a good choice for road riding so The choice is up to you.

Now as to the Fixie- or the tourer. Forget it- You are now a racer and you need the equipment that will enable you to compete. Even if it is only with the rabbits offroad- or the Newbies on the road. Save them for your old age and just buy the bike that will keep you young(er)
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Old 07-14-07, 12:34 AM   #9
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Old age is where I'm getting to be & I like that Long Haul Trucker

"[OT] Any other 50+ers worry about their bejeebers??" I hit 53 mph on a long descent once and now my bejeebers are bejabbered so I don't worry about them anymore. Don
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Old 07-14-07, 06:05 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stapfam
C
Now as to the Fixie- or the tourer. Forget it- You are now a racer and you need the equipment that will enable you to compete. Even if it is only with the rabbits offroad- or the Newbies on the road.
You don't know me very well.
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Old 07-14-07, 06:58 AM   #11
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LHT without a doubt.
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Old 07-14-07, 09:26 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil
Before I buy anything major, my priority is to determine what it is I want to do with whatever it is I'm buying.
Dood, like what kind of advise is that? If he wanted something practical he could go and buy a lawnmower or something. Bikes are meant to be bought on a whim. Don't think, just dance, give peace a chance.
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Old 07-14-07, 12:25 PM   #13
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If I were limited to one bike, it would be a traditional road touring machine with 700Cx32 tires. My son's three-bike stable makes sense, as well: 1) fairly fast 27-year-old road bike (my Peugeot PKN-10) with 700Cx25 to 700Cx28 tires and 36-108 inch gearing (triple 52-45-34 chainring and 6-speed 13-26 freewheel); 2) nearly new $1300 full-suspension mountain bike with 27 speeds and disc brakes; 3) 15-year-old old school mountain bike (Specialized HardRock) for general transportation/beater applications.
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Old 07-14-07, 04:07 PM   #14
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A touring bike like the LHT is something I definitely want to have, but I can't see getting much chance to really use one before I retire in five years, so that one will most likely not be the choice this time.

I do want to try out a fixie, but if that urge really becomes strong, I could make one from one of the old steel frames in my shed. So the Steamroller is probably not going to be the one.

If MTB racing was something I wanted to dedicate myself to, a full suspension bike would be a high priority. That is the only way my back would allow me to continue to race But I now know what I always suspected, I just don't have the burning desire to compete. I also have an aversion to highly complex things that need a lot of maintenance and quickly become outdated. So that's another type of bike that I probably won't choose to buy.

I know I'll get another fast road bike some day. But I'm not sure I'm ready to replace Ribby with some plastic or beer can bike. I'm also not sure I'm ready to go with brifters. I know a lighter wheelset would give my Bridgestone a new lease on life. And I am just so comfortable on that bike. But I'm not ruling out a new road bike. It could still be the way I go, especially if the budget can be high enough to build that Salsa Primera with Rival components.

Despite Stapfam's advice to the contrary, if I get a new MTB, it will almost certainly be a steel framed 29er. I love the way they roll over obstacles and they just look so funky. An El Mariachi with a good suspension fork would be really sweet for the kind of offroad riding I like to do.

If I were making the choice today, I would probably go for the Cross-Check. I love the versatility of that bike. Just by changing a few parts, it can take on very different personalities. I like making bikes into different kinds of bikes.
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Old 07-14-07, 04:26 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BluesDawg
A touring bike like the LHT is something I definitely want to have ...
N+1

Quote:
Originally Posted by BluesDawg
I do want to try out a fixie
N+2

Quote:
Originally Posted by BluesDawg
If MTB racing was something I wanted to dedicate myself to, a full suspension bike would be a high priority.
N+3

Quote:
Originally Posted by BluesDawg
I know I'll get another fast road bike some day.
N+4

Quote:
Originally Posted by BluesDawg
Despite Stapfam's advice to the contrary, if I get a new MTB, it will almost certainly be a steel framed 29er.
N+5

Quote:
Originally Posted by BluesDawg
If I were making the choice today, I would probably go for the Cross-Check.
N+6!!!

I am very proud of you, BD. You set the bar high for the rest of us.
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Old 07-14-07, 04:34 PM   #16
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You still just can't grasp the concept of N+1, can you? The above is a series of N+1 steps. Each step is N+1.
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Old 07-14-07, 04:40 PM   #17
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Not if you buy them all at the same time, in the same shop.
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Old 07-14-07, 04:43 PM   #18
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Not if you buy them all at the same time, in the same shop.
True. But now you don't seem to understand the concept of po' ass white boy.
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Old 07-14-07, 04:57 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by BluesDawg
Nope. Down here in the Bible belt, we get the bejesus scared out of us.
That link was damned funny and is likely to land us both in hell for reading it and laughing.
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Old 07-14-07, 06:06 PM   #20
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Any other 50+ers worry about their bejeebers??
You betcha- that's why I'm a sucker for 'cross bikes too.
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Old 07-14-07, 06:41 PM   #21
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Doesn't sound to me like the kind of problem a 50+er should have.
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Old 07-14-07, 06:42 PM   #22
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Doesn't sound to me like the kind of problem a 50+er should have.
Which problem is that?
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Old 01-25-08, 10:13 PM   #23
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Six months later and I'm still trying to make up my mind.

But the time is drawing close and I have narrowed the field and may have picked a winner. My new bike will be a mountain bike. That is fitting since it is the team discount bike purchase from last year's MTB racing season that makes it such a tempting offer. That also limits my choices to the few brands my LBS sells (Specialized and the various makes available to any bike shop through QBS and the like). My heart wants the Salsa El Mariachi rigid steel 29er , but my mind (getting advice from my fragile back ) is telling me I need to get a full suspension bike if I want to be sure I can continue to play in the dirt for years to come.

The most likely candidate is the lowest of the Specialized line of full suspension bikes, the 2007 FSR XC Rim (satin green). It is essentially the equivalent of the hardtail Rockhopper Comp that I rode last year but with rear suspension added. Proven frame and suspension design, decent disc-ready wheels, Rock Shox Tora fork, mostly Deore components with LX rear derailleur.
The feel of the bike is very similar to my Rockhopper, but the squishy rear end will take some getting used to.
What makes this bike so appealing is that it is a closeout 2007 model, already discounted $200 from the $1200 list price. The essentially unchanged 2008 model goes for $1300. I should be able to get this one for under $800. Avid BB7 mechanical disc brakes would add about $100 with my discount.

I have considered some higher end bikes, but I know this one would serve me well and it fits much easier into the family budget than some of the higher bling bikes. I can always upgrade some of the parts as they wear out over time.I think this is going to be the one, but I can't say 100% sure that I won't change my mind when the time comes to make the final choice.

The finances should be right in about 3 weeks to pull the trigger on a bike.

Last edited by BluesDawg; 01-25-08 at 10:18 PM.
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Old 01-25-08, 10:26 PM   #24
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Well, that FSR XC Rim is probably a good bike. I have an '07 StumpJumper Elite with hydraulic discs. Also, the suspension front and rear is adjustable on the go from lock out (for getting there on the road) to full floppy for down hill. So, if you can upgrade a bit then given the discount I would say it is worth it.
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Old 01-25-08, 10:35 PM   #25
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Well, that FSR XC Rim is probably a good bike. I have an '07 StumpJumper Elite with hydraulic discs. Also, the suspension front and rear is adjustable on the go from lock out (for getting there on the road) to full floppy for down hill. So, if you can upgrade a bit then given the discount I would say it is worth it.
The Stumpy Elite is a very nice bike. The Fox Talas fork is really sweet. But discount or no, it's WAY out of my price range.

The LBS manager is keeping his eye on the supply of 07 Stumpjumper FSR Comps, looking for the price to drop. But Specialized is holding strong on the the price so far. If it dropped about $300 I would be very tempted.

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