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Old 11-14-11, 12:32 AM   #1
Mainframeguy
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Third cycle purchase - to last a lifetime?

I was a kid, I never had a new bike...
When I came of age, bought myself a Dawes Galaxy (sold after a double century ride, regretted ever since!)
When I was a young man, bought myself a Ridgeback 501 MTB (they were the "latest thing") and made that last for thirty plus years...
Recently as a grown man, had the fortune to acquire a Raleigh Aero and Canondale MT1000 tandem, the latter having taught me more about bikes than all the rest put together!

Now the ridgeback has died of a cracked crank and my unwillingness to plough more into it as a sentimental keepsake ... and a combination of my generous partner's offer to buy me a bike and the upcoming sale of my car for a little more than expected means I can once more buy a new bicycle!

As you can see from above this will be a special event and I am hoping this time a truly life-long purchase, so I want to get it right.... The budget is not high, about 500-600 with a hundred "wiggle room" for something that is just perfect....

Top contenders so far seem to be the Trek 7.5 FX and possibly a Gary Fisher Lane steel road bike that seems to be on special if I want to get back to steel.... Others in the frame are ridgeback velocity/fx and Dawes Discovery 501.... and an exotic outsider which I believe outside of my price point but would look at is the bamboo bike recently launched in the UK...

It is important to understand this will be my "workaday" bike, but I appreciate a performance edge within safety margins, might run summer/winter tyres for example and want to move away from the old MTB wheels that really kept me bombproof, but slow. Had been used to a seven speed, looking forward to an eight. Shall be kitting out with rack and panniers plus other sundries (only keep my Raleigh aero for road running)...

Last but not least I need to buy a completed bike for two reasons, most bangs per buck and my domestic setup in London means there is seriously no where for any bike maintenance other than the street, so chain maintenance and light work is the limit - no question of building up from a frame gradually or anything....

Would welcome any and all opinions and input at this stage - want to try and get this purchase as "right as possible"
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Old 11-14-11, 10:05 AM   #2
rck
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Get in touch with stapfam as he's very knowledgeable and will have a good feel for whats available in your part of the world.
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Old 11-14-11, 11:44 AM   #3
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Get in touch with stapfam as he's very knowledgeable and will have a good feel for whats available in your part of the world.
Thanks for that--Just south of you near Eastbourne and I am road and MTB--But Age means more road now-----But still want to get offroad.

Plenty of "Cheaper" Bikes in your price range that will suit and just name the manufacturer and there will be one. Just make certain that it does not come from Halfords or an Own brand bigger cycling chainstore.

I am a Giant Fan and been looking at the Defy range of road bikes and the Defy2 comes in at 725 The 3 will be cheaper but I don't know what. The one I "May" be looking at is the TCX 2- cyclocross bike at 800. Giant site is--

http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-gb/bike-finder/

That will give you an idea of what type of bike to go for but Specialised make some good bikes and the Secteur or Allez are in your price range

http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/...nuItemId=17553

Then there are Trek-Cannondale and Bianchi that will all make bikes similar and will suit.

The choice of bikes is enormous- but few English ones in there.

PM or E-Mail me if you want any more info But one more company--Evans Cycles. Retail seller that does occasionally have some instore deals for a lot of makes but not a company I expect to get any favours from.

http://www.evanscycles.com/categories/bikes

I do most of my riding on the Eastern end of the South Downs- both on and offroad but Offroad here can be tough- Thats Why I have an MT 2000--Best bike for the terrain.
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Old 11-15-11, 10:43 AM   #4
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Dont be so sure it will be a lifetime bike. Starting in the late 80s I have now bought 5 "last bikes"!! First was Univega loaded touring since it had a triple in front, I thot even when I got old the granny gear could get me up the hills. Then came a mountain bike to ride with my boys. Then came a Tailwind recumbent. Then a Stratus recumbent, and now a Cruiser trike. I have the Stratus and the trike now. Will the trike be the end---who knows.
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Old 11-15-11, 09:41 PM   #5
Mainframeguy
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I really enjoyed some of the ideas Stapfam threw up there, and they took me on my cycle buying journey to a surprisingly local shop called "de Ver" cycles (some of you will know who "the "de Ver" in question is!) where I had a conmversation with the mechanic who was on early morning duty and looked at a few ready-mades (averting my eyes from some of the items on show, like the dreamy pinafiores).

As a result of a little consideration and on looking at the 895 price point it is seeming likely that a Ridgeback "Voyage" tourer will get the job done for me and take me back to the (now "exotic") world of Reynolds 501 steel tubular frames, which look to my mind the next bet for lasting out the next thirty years.

This has the added benefit of soothing that early regret at the sale of the Dawes Galaxy (without the eye watering price tag).

That's where I am up to now, but I do intend to road test at least three of the mix, with a giant among them hopefully, in order to make the final choice..... The problem now is to find a bike shop with one in stock they would let me have a test ride on.... I asked in the shop with the "Velocity" and "Fx" ready for road testing, but they could only get one in if I commit to purchase

Really enjoyed your comments also rydabent, God willing there will be plenty more purchases, but I more intend them to be in the tandem arena if possible..... and at this stage with the house we live in the "living space" for bikes dictates one everyday, one road, and one tandem and that is it for bikes!

Last edited by Mainframeguy; 11-15-11 at 09:42 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 11-16-11, 03:12 AM   #6
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Nothing "lasts forever" and I am as fickle as the next consumer and am always looking for something better

My late father bought me a large frame single speed CCM in about 1958. I still have it.
In 1974 I treated myself to a 10 speed Peugeot when I completed an Hons. degree.
In 2006 I purchased a custom built touring bike (arvon1) that I have used twice in touring Australia.
In 2007 I bought a used Greenspeed GTO - first recumbent.
This past month I picked up my new custom built "folder" that fits into a box 20"x20"x12". See the touring group with "Bike in a Box" thread. This arvon2 may be my last one
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Old 11-17-11, 12:46 PM   #7
Mainframeguy
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Well - I am going to close out this thread, and perhaps surprise some people given the way I started and the bikes and price ranges I was in....

But it so happens after I began the thread my car was valued higher than expected for sale, releasing a further 400 or so to the bike kitty! This was thrilling indeed and helped me get over the disappointment of not finding a discontinued Gary Fisher Lane in my size.. at least not closer than 200 miles from me!

I have fallen for a "Ridgeback Voyage" I realise it has none of the "class" accorded to the Dawes line etc, but for me it took my right back to my first purchase and only ever sale.... of a Dawes Galaxy, sold in haste after a 200 mile plus ride and regretted ever since! BUT this Ridgeback makes it all better!

The bike is still in the shop getting fitted with all the "bits" I just took of my road bike again, so that I can get the great experience of collecting and riding away, if possible.... I have learned to try and get the max advantage from buying new and managed to get a pin and seatpost "lock 'n roll" security set thrown in plus the labour of the set-up changing all components and fitting horn, computer, light brackets etc etc - Which given it was almost love at first sight makes me pleased I did not just roll over and pay the asking price....

It has a strange name, I have to say, makes me think of "Voyager" and so it would not surprise me if the bike acquired the nickname of "Trek"! Which would confuse most people no end! Better go and post in the touring section sometime soon - although I am actually USING this bike everyday, not as a tourer, so unsure where I should talk about it? Opinions welcome!

Last edited by Mainframeguy; 11-17-11 at 12:49 PM. Reason: reorder to make sense!
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