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  1. #1
    My other car is a bike TruF's Avatar
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    Already researching for next bike

    Hi Folks,

    I'm the one with the Trek 7.2 FX. Had it less than two months, but already thinking about what I want in my next bike. Assuming that I keep riding as I have been and keep getting stronger, next year I want something that:
    • Has drop handlebars, but that I can keep a bit higher than my seat to save my creaky neck. I don't like the limited places I can put my hands on the straight bars.
    • Can allow me to ride faster than I can now.
    • Maybe handles hills better. Not sure how much is my being out of shape and how much is the bike's gears, but them thar hills are tough when they are steep, and I've got a long, steep one leading to my house.
    • Let's me join some shorter club rides/little triathlons, looks like it fits in, and gives me a chance in hell of not finishing last.
    • Handles the less-than-perfect roads around here while keeping me comfortable for 1/2 day to maybe even longer rides.
    • A bike that I can fall in love with. Yes. Love. Like my husband loves his Mini Cooper. Like I loved my cream-colored Volvo 1800.

    Suggestions of what to look for? Thanks in advance!

    Trudie

  2. #2
    rck
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    Truf, What kind of price range are you looking at? You could always go custom. Otherwise look for something like a Specialized Roubaix or of similiar ilk. They have a little "softer" geometry than racing bikes and are more amenable to triple cranks which I would recommend as being kinder on the hills and kinder to the knees.

  3. #3
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Handling those hills may be more a matter of conditioning. The 7.2 FX should be pretty good on hills. It has a hybrid triple crankset 48/38/28, with a mountain bike cassette 11-32. That adds up to having easier gears for hills than almost any road bike. And it isn't that heavy either, probably around 23-24 pounds. Not a lightweight bike, but lighter than most hybrids. The fixed fork works in your advantage on hills too.

    But you could certainly find bikes that are more comfortable and faster.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

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  4. #4
    My other car is a bike TruF's Avatar
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    Thanks rck,

    Budget: I've got a nice work bonus tucked away for this, so I don't have a tight budget. But I don't want to be too foolish with my money.

  5. #5
    My other car is a bike TruF's Avatar
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    Thanks, Tom. I was hoping you'd chime in. I'm getting a lot of practice up that hill, and already doing better. Good to know that it's me and not the bike.

    I've got a question for you: How would the Trek 7.2 and the Trek Portland compare/contrast?

  6. #6
    tsl
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    You know, I was gonna suggest a Portland. It nicely splits the difference between a cyclocross and a touring bike, both of which are designed to deal with less than perfect conditions.

    Disclaimer: I don't actually pick mine up for another, oh, 37 hours and 53 minutes. These impressions are from spending an hour on it in the trainer for a pre-testride fitting, and another hour on the test ride itself.

    I was smitten from the first turn of the crank.

    The drivetrain is silky smooth. The carbon fork and longer, touring bike style chainstays make for a ride that takes the edge off of the rough stuff and feels almost stately on nice pavement. Yet, kick it in the ribs and it scoots.

    I'm a pretty good climber to begin with, yet the Portland felt like it was being winched up some my favorite hills. All I had to do was pedal fast enough to keep up with it.

    On the other side of the hills, the disc brakes resist gravity's pull with little fanfare. They feel good in the hands, stop smoothly, and are very confidence-inspiring. Panic stops are like reaching the end of a rope.

    Although it's sold as an urban commuter, my impression (and my hope) is that it will also do well as an all-day century bike. It just felt that nice.

    Interestingly, the day after I put the down payment on mine, a co-worker's brother visited from LA. He's been riding for years and has a stable full of bikes that make aficionados drool. He *won* his Portland two years ago, and figured he'd sell it for the cash. Instead, he told me it's the only bike he rides any more and, sad as it makes him feel, he's thinning his stable. What he likes is the comfort, handling, the way it climbs LA's hills, and the way it stops at the bottom of them.

    Ask me in another month if it stands up to the impression it gave me on my test ride.

    Oh, and BTW, the 2008 model comes in a cream color that's sure to remind you of your beloved Volvo.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
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  7. #7
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    A Trek 7.2 FX vs a Portland?

    Hmmm ...

    The Portland is a comfortable road bike. Would be more aggressive than the 7.2, but not overly so. I would think it would be a reasonable step in the direction of a friendly road bike. They have a triple crank on it now, so it's gearing is on the easy side (but not as much as the 7.2). It is usually sold as a commuter bike. Reviews on it as a long distance / touring bike are mixed, although it has its fans.

    It isn't offered in a women's specific design. If you are not familiar with WSD, then take a read here:
    http://www.trekbikes.com/women/wsd_p...sd_difference/

    If you have the 7.2 FX WSD, then you might already be enjoyed the changes in the bike's geometry which enables it to better fit the typical woman's body geometry.

    I wouldn't normally think of the Portland. I do like its looks in '08. But would try out a lot of bikes (well, I would always do this) before I would go in that direction. For example, the Trek 2.1 WSD or 2.3 WSD.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

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  8. #8
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Bianchi Eros, perhaps? I am partial to somewhat relaxed frame geometries, myself.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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  9. #9
    My other car is a bike TruF's Avatar
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    Thanks, everyone. Yes, I have the WSD, Tom, but I don't like how little room it leaves for essentials on the frame, such as pump, water, and lock. Since it's my first adult bike, I don't know enough to appreciate how it fits my body.

    Noob question: How do you defined "relaxed geometry?"

    tsl: Can't wait to hear about your Portland. Please post pictures when you get it! The picture on the Web site does remind me of the cream color on my old Volvo. Beautiful bike!

    And yes, all. I'll try lots of bikes. That part of the process is fun! And I'm not in a hurry.

    Update about my inner triathlon: Signed up for swim lessons at the Y today. Although I know how to swim, I haven't really done much since childhood. I just want to see if I have one little triathlon in me before I turn 53.

  10. #10
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Sounds like you'll want something with average or higher head tube to make it easier to get the bars where you want them without going to extremes with spacers and stem angle. And you'll want something that can take slightly wider tires than a typical roadracing type bike. The obvious choices would be the Pilot and Roubaix lines from Trek and Specialized, and similar bikes from other makers. I think they call that type of bike "plush" in marketing speak nowadays. I would think a Serrotta Fierte like mom bought would be a good possibility.
    Beyond the obvious choices, there are many reasonably priced frames that can be built up just the way you want them by your LBS or by a mechanically inclined individual. A few that come to mind given your list of requirements are Salsa Casseroll, Rivendell Bleriot, Soma Smootie ES, Surly Pacer, Gunnar Sport and I'm sure there are others. You can probably get a custom bike from some makers for not much more.
    Some of the more road oriented cyclocross bikes might also be a good choice for you.

    Best advice is to take your time, try a lot of different bikes and different types of bikes. No need to decide before you look and try a lot of different things. Have fun!
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  11. #11
    My other car is a bike TruF's Avatar
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    Bianchi Eros. Mmmmmmm.... http://www.bianchiusa.com/06_eros.html

    c374b7010a.jpg

    Portland. Mmmmmmm.... http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...land/portland/

    portland_ucru.jpg

    Any more cream-colored bikes out there I can drool over?

  12. #12
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    And keep riding that 7.2! Ride, ride, ride. It will help you to determine what you want out of the next one.

    I'd want more than 2 months on a bike before I went out and bought another one. You don't want to make a $2000 mistake.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

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  13. #13
    My other car is a bike TruF's Avatar
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    Tom: Absolutely! I'm thinking next year, maybe late spring. We are both really enjoying riding. Especially the longer rides. Joyful is the word that comes closest to the feeling it inspires. The feeling of the wind, of using our bodies, of feeling part of the world in a way that I never feel when driving. But two months is much too soon to rush out and buy another bike. But not too soon to begin considering the possibilities...

    And thanks for the additional suggestions, BluesDawg. And I promise not to select a bike solely for its color however partial I am to that lovely buttery creamy color.

  14. #14
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Not cream, but I see that Salsa will have a complete version of the Casseroll for 2008. The Ginger Beer color looks pretty nice.
    Last edited by BluesDawg; 09-19-07 at 12:16 AM.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  15. #15
    Senior Member donheff's Avatar
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    I am in a similar situation TruF. I want to upgrade from my comfort bike to something that can carry a light pack, climb hills better, handle long rides, mainly road but also the gravel packed C&O tow path. Maybe I should go with two bikes but I would prefer something that could do anything. I like the Cyclocross bikes I have seen and am focusing on a Specialized Tricross Comp, they have a Sport version that is less expensive.

    I welcome any suggestions pro or con about going in the cyclocross direction.

  16. #16
    My other car is a bike TruF's Avatar
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    Hotsie-totsie, BluesDawg! Great name, Salsa. And that expression, "credit card riding" is pretty funny. Does that mean organized travel tours with a guide and all the amenities? Riding to a B&B and back? Sounds like fun to me!

    And let me know what you find out, donheff. Glad I'm not the only one trying to solve for this type of riding!

    Trudie

  17. #17
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    I think a cyclocross type bike can be a good choice for a versatile road and path bike. I would be more inclined to go with a steel frame than aluminum, but that is a matter of personal preference. Some others to look at are Surly Cross-Check, Salsa La Cruz and LeMond Poprad, with the Surly probably having more roadworthy features like rack eyelets and such.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  18. #18
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TruF View Post
    Hotsie-totsie, BluesDawg! Great name, Salsa. And that expression, "credit card riding" is pretty funny. Does that mean organized travel tours with a guide and all the amenities? Riding to a B&B and back? Sounds like fun to me!

    Trudie
    I think "credit card touring" is touring by bike, solo or organized, carrying a minimal load. Instead of carrying a tent, bedding and cooking gear, you just rent a room, eat in restaurants etc.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  19. #19
    tsl
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    Quote Originally Posted by donheff View Post
    I welcome any suggestions pro or con about going in the cyclocross direction.
    I looked at all the CX bikes available in my area before settling on the Portland (which isn't a CX bike, per se). There isn't a bad bike in the bunch. Any one of them would be a good choice. With wanting to tour, some are better choices than others.

    I could be wrong, but I don't recall there being both rack and fender mounts on the Tricross. If you're going to tour, racks are essential and fenders a good thing since generally you can't change your touring plans if it rains.

    Few CX bikes are available with a triple, but the Tricross is one that is. Double-check for rack and fender mounts. If it has them, the Tricross triple might be the right bike for you.
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  20. #20
    Senior Member donheff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsl View Post
    Few CX bikes are available with a triple, but the Tricross is one that is. Double-check for rack and fender mounts. If it has them, the Tricross triple might be the right bike for you.
    The Tricross models I am looking at (Sport and Comp) have rack and fender mounts. And the triple is important to me. I like the credit card touring phrase earlier in the thread. That is definitely what I do. My wife would outlaw a tent from the get go.

  21. #21
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Here are some bikes that would work for the things being discussed in this thread. When you build it up yourself, you can put whatever you want on it.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  22. #22
    My other car is a bike TruF's Avatar
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    I like the credit card touring phrase earlier in the thread. That is definitely what I do. My wife would outlaw a tent from the get go.
    Ditto for this wife. I would not be too proud to be a credit card tourer! There are lots of things that I still do that I did as a younger woman, but sleeping on the ground isn't one of them. I feel stiff and sore just getting up from my comfy bed these days!

  23. #23
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Sleepin' on the ground is bad for me back. Aaaaarrrrggghhhh! Best get me into a bunk, I don't mind paying the swag for one. Yo ho ho.

  24. #24
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TruF View Post
    Hi Folks,

    I'm the one with the Trek 7.2 FX. Had it less than two months, but already thinking about what I want in my next bike. Assuming that I keep riding as I have been and keep getting stronger, next year I want something that:
    Suggestions of what to look for? Thanks in advance!

    Trudie
    already mentioned by someone and 2 months is a little short to really get your next bike so I am noting that you are thinking of next year.
    There are very few of us that ride more than one type of bike- but I presume that you are looking for a road bike. In a way that cuts out most of the Hybrids- but the better Hybrids are Full road bikes fitted with straight handlebars. The Specialised Sequoia has a hybrid version called the Sirrus for example.---So Just in case Drop bars don't suit you, keep the Hybrids in mind.

    Then when you get onto the Drop bar road bikes- there is a multitude of Types around. The various types can be called- Sport- Performace-Competion---Etc. Besides the price- They are built slightly different and will ride differently aswell. Then there are the WSD bikes that are not only biult differently- They have parts fitted that are more suitable for the Female body.

    So it is time to get Google working and start researching the various models around that are possibly suitable for you-Are in the right price range and come in the right colour. Lots of makes- Giant- Specialised- trek- and all the rest. Then it is down to hfinding the local shops and getting test rides. That is the only way to find out what you want.

    You have a good few months of research to work on and hopefully- you will be able to cut yourself down to only a couple of dozen that you want to try- But remember- that Final bit of a test ride is the one that works.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  25. #25
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    I have a little different reaction than the rest of the posters.

    You already have a 7.2FX. That's your do-everything bike. I think that your next bike should be more specialized toward whatever it is that you want it to do.

    If you already own a mini van for hauling the groceries, your other car can be a Miata.

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