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  1. #1
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Which bike would you use?

    I've got a trip scheduled for the first part of August (provided Wisconsin dries out by then). We'll be doing about 60 mile days. The guy that I'm going with is in seriously good shape so there's zero chance of me keeping up with him. Here's my bike choices:

    1. The rocket. Unreplaceable Chehalis, Washington built Klein frame. Ultegra components, Open Pro wheels. 23mm raceing tires. Roughly 19 pounds.

    2. The retro grouch. Bridgestone lugged frame, 105 components, Velocity Aerohead wheels. 28mm Gatorback tires. Roughly 24 pounds.

    3. The compromise. Take the Klein but switch to the 28mm tires.

    I keep vacillating so I suppose that if the decision is that close, it probably doesn't matter. Anybody have an opinion? If so, why?

  2. #2
    Banned. The Weak Link's Avatar
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    How many days will be you be traveling? My bias is to take the rocket and install Conti UltraGators 25mm.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Weak Link View Post
    How many days will be you be traveling? My bias is to take the rocket and install Conti UltraGators 25mm.
    It's 7 days of riding but the last day is only 35 miles. There are a couple of other days that one could bail out and not ride but what would be the point? On the town-to-town travel days rain is not an acceptable excuse - you have to ride.

  4. #4
    tsl
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    How is the bike getting from where you live to Wisconsin?

    I might be nervous flying with the Klein, given it can't be replaced.

    The other way to decide is, which bike are you most comfortable on for 60 miles or feel better after riding 60 miles?

    Finally, I've become a big fan of 28mm tires. Whichever your take, be sure it's shod with the 28s.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  5. #5
    Senior Member big john's Avatar
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    If the Klein can't be replaced and you are worried about it, take the other one. As for the tires, I use 23s for everything, even a 5 day loaded tour last year.

  6. #6
    Ride Daddy Ride Jet Travis's Avatar
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    You gottem big hills? Da bike with da biggest granny. Otherwise, whatever suits your fancy.
    "Light it up, Popo." --Levi Leipheimer

  7. #7
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    I would pick choice 4.

    Buy a new sub 20 pound tour bike and put 25 mm tires on it.

    It is the perfect reason to buy a new bike and keep your Klein safe.

  8. #8
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    I've got a trip scheduled for the first part of August (provided Wisconsin dries out by then). We'll be doing about 60 mile days. The guy that I'm going with is in seriously good shape so there's zero chance of me keeping up with him. Here's my bike choices:

    1. The rocket. Unreplaceable Chehalis, Washington built Klein frame. Ultegra components, Open Pro wheels. 23mm raceing tires. Roughly 19 pounds.

    2. The retro grouch. Bridgestone lugged frame, 105 components, Velocity Aerohead wheels. 28mm Gatorback tires. Roughly 24 pounds.

    3. The compromise. Take the Klein but switch to the 28mm tires.

    I keep vacillating so I suppose that if the decision is that close, it probably doesn't matter. Anybody have an opinion? If so, why?
    19 lb bike with 21's is best.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsl View Post
    How is the bike getting from where you live to Wisconsin?

    I might be nervous flying with the Klein, given it can't be replaced.

    The other way to decide is, which bike are you most comfortable on for 60 miles or feel better after riding 60 miles?

    Finally, I've become a big fan of 28mm tires. Whichever your take, be sure it's shod with the 28s.
    I pretty much agree with tsl.

    If the ride isn't too hilly the heavier bike won't hold you back much, if any, and it probably will be much easier on your mind to fly with. For a hilly ride I'd go with the lighter bike, provided it's geared properly for climbing.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    I would pick choice 4.

    Buy a new sub 20 pound tour bike and put 25 mm tires on it.

    It is the perfect reason to buy a new bike and keep your Klein safe.
    This is one I have not tried to run past the Mrs. "Honey I need to buy a new bike to keep the ones they don't make any more safe." Answer: "Sure, they are a great investment that needs protecting. Go out and buy as many as you need".

  11. #11
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Depends on a few factors. Are you carrying Luggage? Take it you are not as The klein may be used. And what sort of terrain.

    If it were me- I would choose the bike that takes less effort. Forget the speed merchant you might see each morning but it is you that has to ride the bike. I had a similar choice last weekend for a single day ride but chose the lightweight bike- the narrow tyres and the bike that is most comfortable. Didn't make a blind bit of difference when I got to the one hill as the gearing was a bit high. But the bike did not cause me any problems.

    Probably on the reliability side of things there would be no difference between the Klein and the Bridgestone so you might aswell take the bike that will take less effort to ride.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  12. #12
    Senior Member rodrigaj's Avatar
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    The bike with fenders.

  13. #13
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    I would take the bike that I enjoyed riding the most. There is no such thing as irreplaceable. I am just a regular grouch though so my opinion may be suspect............

  14. #14
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Additional information:

    No air travel for the grouch. Last summer I bought a Honda Element specifically for transporting our bikes safely tucked inside the cabin. Really like it a lot.

    No schleping luggage on the tour. The tour guide has a truck for that. I just carry enough stuff to fix one flat tire and maybe my rain jacket. No camping either. The grouch lives for hot showers, flush toilets and air conditioning.

    As to reliability, the retro grouch bike was conceived to be low maintenance/high reliability. In a nutshell that means friction bar cons. It's also got wider gearing (on both ends) than the Klein but I can't remember the last time that I used the extreme gears. There's one pretty good hill on each of the first and last days, but I'm confident that the Klein's gearing is adequate.

  15. #15
    Cycler Suzie Green's Avatar
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    You know you wanna ride the Klein. I can see it. Yep, I too would go for the bike that makes you smile the most. If you come across a lousy weather day, nasty head winds, or other such misera-bilia, you'll probably not want to add in your second bike choice to the mix. Ride the Klein.

  16. #16
    Squirrel solveg's Avatar
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    I totally understand your waffling. My Klein would KILL me on that kind of trip. But it's the bike I want to ride whenever I'm riding with someone else....

  17. #17
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    Additional information:

    No air travel for the grouch. Last summer I bought a Honda Element specifically for transporting our bikes safely tucked inside the cabin. Really like it a lot.

    No schleping luggage on the tour. The tour guide has a truck for that. I just carry enough stuff to fix one flat tire and maybe my rain jacket. No camping either. The grouch lives for hot showers, flush toilets and air conditioning.

    As to reliability, the retro grouch bike was conceived to be low maintenance/high reliability. In a nutshell that means friction bar cons. It's also got wider gearing (on both ends) than the Klein but I can't remember the last time that I used the extreme gears. There's one pretty good hill on each of the first and last days, but I'm confident that the Klein's gearing is adequate.
    Even though this information changes everything, I would try option 4 first and if that did not work, then I would ride the Klein.

  18. #18
    Has opinion, will express
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    You don't say anything about comfort on the bikes. Just the tech specs. I would have thought comfort was paramount.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

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