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  1. #1
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    How To Get A New Bike

    After my trauma, which if you want details you can find by searching on my posts, I need something more comfortable and that better manages my energy. I was counseled I needed to either modify my old Lemond Versailles or buy a new bike like a Domane or Robaix.

    My favorite LBS sells Trek so I took the Versailles over for a side by side comparison with the Domane that is advertised to have a relaxed comfort geometry plus the iso coupling. Side by side the two bikes had identical or extremely close measurements. So much for Comfort vs. Racing marketing. Cost was nearly $2500 for the new bike.

    On the other hand changing tires from 23mm to 28mm and the cassette from 11-28 to 11-32 would bring great improvement I was told and would cost less than $400.

    Two grand for a piece of pipe and a fancy name sure sounded high to me.

    So, the LBS installed Gatorskin 700x28 tires and 11-32 cassette along with the other hardware needed to make it work well.

    I picked up the bike yesterday at the LBS and rode it the 17 miles home via a hilly course. A New Bike!

    No comparison in handling. It literally feels and rides totally different and much better. Plus, since I don't chew up so much energy on hills I am actually faster. Could not be happier.

    See how easy and cheap it is to get a new bike?

  2. #2
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    Where the rubber meets the road is a rather critical location. Good move to the fatter tires. You might consider stepping up to a more supple tire than those Gatorskins, like the Compass tires Compass Bicycles: 700C Tires

    The good folks at Compass have done some rather interesting research that has led them to conclude that one should put the widest tires on one's bike that will fit. While there is a slight weight penalty and no advantage on smooth asphalt (seen any of that lately?), the fatter tires are faster on typical roads.

  3. #3
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
    Where the rubber meets the road is a rather critical location. Good move to the fatter tires. You might consider stepping up to a more supple tire than those Gatorskins, like the Compass tires Compass Bicycles: 700C Tires

    The good folks at Compass have done some rather interesting research that has led them to conclude that one should put the widest tires on one's bike that will fit. While there is a slight weight penalty and no advantage on smooth asphalt (seen any of that lately?), the fatter tires are faster on typical roads.
    I was going to comment in the MTB on road thread on this, but perhaps it fits better here. Over the years I have settled on Kenda Kozmik Lite II tires in a 2.0 size on my multi surface MTB/trail bike. They don't suffer huge penalties on pavement, are much faster than full knobbies on most dry surfacesd. The most notable difference though is that the larger tires climb up on top of the dirt instead of digging down into it and stealing energy.

    When you look at some of the new MTB designs from companies like surly you are going to see huge tires (moonlander, pugsley, Krampus)

  4. #4
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    Hey folks I just finished paying nearly $60 per tire for those Gatorskins. They've only a few miles on them. Can't even think of new tires yet.

    But.....if someone wants to fund a test project I'll be glad to post a report.

  5. #5
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    I've been using Serfas Seca 28mm tires which are light, roll well and are inexpensive but are not long lasting: maybe 1500 to 2000 miles. My REI dividend was $62 and they had the Conti Gatorskin on sale for about $50 so I got one to try out. It is not installed yet as there are still a few miles to go on the Seca. However, maybe you could say a few works on the ride quality of the Gatorskins. They feel supple enough in the hand squeeze test.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Jim from Boston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HawkOwl View Post
    After my trauma, which if you want details you can find by searching on my posts, I need something more comfortable and that better manages my energy. I was counseled I needed to either modify my old Lemond Versailles or buy a new bike like a Domane or Robaix…Cost was nearly $2500 for the new bike.

    On the other hand changing tires from 23mm to 28mm and the cassette from 11-28 to 11-32 would bring great improvement I was told and would cost less than $400.

    Two grand for a piece of pipe and a fancy name sure sounded high to me…

    I picked up the bike yesterday at the LBS and rode it the 17 miles home via a hilly course. A New Bike!

    No comparison in handling. It literally feels and rides totally different and much better. Plus, since I don't chew up so much energy on hills I am actually faster. Could not be happier.

    See how easy and cheap it is to get a new bike?
    After my trauma, when for a few months I had doubts about riding again, I started riding my beater Cannondale Mountain Bike through the Winter. My beloved classic steel Bridgestone RB-1 was totaled. The next Spring, I started my search for a new Road Bike. I had always wondered if carbon fiber was worth the premium price, and decided to find out. I figured to spend about $2000. Soon my trusted bike shop, saying they knew my riding style, steered me toward a Specialized S-Works at four times my initial price range, but at half off the MSRP as an end-of-year model. It was a great deal.

    I’m not any faster than on my Bridgestone, but the S-Works may be compensating for residual deficits from the accident. Nonetheless, I’m riding similar long distances of up to about 70 miles, as before, but much more comfortably. Even on Boston’s pothole-riddled streets, I kept the 23C tires.

    The decision to spend so much, relatively speaking, was easy because I use the bike for commuting as well as training. Even more convincing was that the accident made me realize that likely well more than half of my cycling lifestyle is behind me, and I can afford it. I have no regrets about what I might have been missing had I settled for anything less.
    Last edited by Jim from Boston; 05-08-14 at 12:50 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
    After my trauma, when for a few months I had doubts about riding again, I started riding my beater Cannondale Mountain Bike through the Winter. My beloved classic steel Bridgestone RB-1 was totaled. The next Spring, I started my search for a new Road Bike. I had always wondered if carbon fiber was worth the premium price, and decided to find out. I figured to spend about $2000. Soon my trusted bike shop, saying they knew my riding style, steered me toward a Specialized S-Works at four times my initial price range, but at half off the MSRP as an end-of-year model. It was a great deal.

    I’m not any faster than on my Bridgestone, but the S-Works may be compensating for residual deficits from the accident. Nonetheless, I’m riding similar long distances of up to about 70 miles, as before, but much more comfortably. Even on Boston’s pothole-riddled streets, I kept the 23C tires.

    The decision to spend so much, relatively speaking, was easy because I use the bike for commuting as well as training. Even more convincing was that the accident made me realize that likely well more than half of my cycling lifestyle is behind me, and I can afford it. I have no regrets about what I might have been missing had I settled for anything less.
    Sounds like you made a wise decision. Your post also illustrates that no two people's situations are the same. Good decisions are the result of good research by the affected individual and personalized for that individual.

    Your situation was significantly different than mine. I had a fully functional carbon fibre bike that, as I posted, had very close measurements to the Domane. If I had Needed a new bike my decision would have been different.


    How are you doing now?

  8. #8
    Pedo Grande Popeyecahn's Avatar
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    Rock the Gators and when you need new ones get what you think will be appropriate to your riding style and the prevailing road conditions ;-)
    And tell my mama I'm a hundred years late
    I'm over the rails and out of the race...

  9. #9
    Senior Member Jim from Boston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HawkOwl View Post
    Sounds like you made a wise decision. Your post also illustrates that no two people's situations are the same. Good decisions are the result of good research by the affected individual and personalized for that individual...

    How are you doing now?
    Thanks for asking. After my injury, I recall reading about your trauma and recovery about a year or so ago, and sent you a PM in sympathy.

    Mine happened in June 2012 and I was in an acute care, then a rehab hospital for six weeks, off work for three months, and back on a bike after five months. I sustained a fractured sacrum and a significant soft tissue injury. Currently sitting becomes increasingly painful after about 3 PM (my job is desk-bound). Walking is more comfortable with a cane, with two canes for distances over about a quarter mile. Nonetheless, it’s a satisfactory “new normal.”

    Gratefully, riding the bike is OK, probably because the slight lean forward takes some direct weight-bearing off my sacrum. BTW, I was hit from behind. I’m a staunch advocate of rearview mirrors, and I get irritated with anti-mirror rants such as:

    Quote Originally Posted by Terex View Post
    I know you guys like your mirrors, but… It's highly unlikely you'l get hit by a car coming up from behind, or realistically be able to get out of the way if one veers into you. It's highly likely that you will experience dozens of potentially life threatening objects in front of you every time your ride….

    Quote Originally Posted by greaterbrown View Post
    … Unfortunately, if a car is going to hit you from behind, there really isn't much you can do about it. As Slan observes, the mirror view of a car approaching quickly from behind distracts from what is in front and to the side of me- the very stuff I CAN make maneuvers to avoid.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
    … In June of 2012 I was hit from behind (while wearing a mirror) …I did not see it coming in my mirror, perhaps because I was on a wide, lightly traveled, low-speed-limit residential road…

    I have confidently resumed my commuting because, even as before the acccident, I am much more secure with my rearview mirrors….

    Jim’s Law of the Road: “No matter how well-paved or lightly-traveled the Road, a vehicle is likely to pass on the left as you encounter an obstacle on the right.”
    I'm working on a reply to the first, most current post, as I had to the second.
    Last edited by Jim from Boston; 05-09-14 at 06:37 AM.

  10. #10
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    Glad you are doing well. It is a long, often frustrating trail, or should I say trial?

    I am really blessed. It is now 3 years since my spine trauma, 2 3/4 years since the 1 hour little surgery and 2 years since the 9 hour definitive spine surgery. It wasn't until 2 months ago that I had enough nerves wake up to be able to walk unaided. I was riding but with my heels om flat pedals. I'm looking forward to the day when all the nerves come back. Nerves enervate muscles. So, until nerves come back ability to strengthen muscles is nonexistent.

    Still, I can ride, 16 miles last evening, and get around. That gives me hope for the future. That after this time I'm still having improvement should encourage you and others. Fact is with work both can regain good function of nerve and muscle.

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