Took the Speed D7 out for a real spin - 12 miles or so. Soon as I was out of the parking lot I lost the "it's smaller" sensation and really enjoyed how its teensy tinesy wheels squirted out from intersections. It cranked so nicely over the overpass... It was happy charging into the wind.
Everything was peachy until I turned for the last three miles home... with the wind. That sixth and seventh gear were just like the tippy top gears in the middle chain ring... making the same funky clatterings and making me long to shift into the Carne Grande. There was also an extra vibration at maximum load. My LBS guy said that yes, they'd noticed that the jockey wheel and chain were doing that... and that some of the entry level hybrids they had did the same thing, and surmised that it would wear into place.
I got back and asked "where's the *big* chain ring?" and we went to SHeldon Brown's website to discern gear inches and that, in fact, I had many fewer inches than the 7500 FX. We looked at bigger chain ring effects... and then I remembered that I wouldn't mind higher RPM if I had toe clips, so we talked about trying to do that. (I don't have clipless because I'm cheap and forgetful; it would seem a bad idea to add something to remember when I'm traveling especially since I don't have the habit, and I'd get kinda annoyed if I had the floggin' bike and couldn't ride it 'cause I forgot the shoes.0
What it boils down to, though, is how much would a better bike be worth? OUt on the open road... I wanted POWer. I wouldn't have cared in town... welp, except what I didn't like at all was that the high gear didn't seem happy to be there. It seemed to help to twist the grip past the click point. Must email accordingly.
So. I like the bike lots and lots... and it could be a nice "fling" bike ... but maybe I want something a little more serious
I have a Speed 7 as well and had similar thoughts. The more "serious" solution was to restore and old 1985 road bike. My needs keep changing so I go back and forth.
I have an 11 year old Corgi. I take a trailer along so she rides when she gets tired. We were out for a 10 mile ride today. Both the trailer and D7 break down and fit comfortably in the trunk. The road bike can fit in the trunk if both tires are off but the trailer does not fit then.
The gear inches for the D7 are 33-92 versus 38-108 for the road bike. The road bike is faster but the D7 can pull that trailer and climb better.
I had to adjust the derailleur a few times when the D7 was new. The chain would fall off the smallest cog and wedge between that cog and the frame. I suspect this was caused by the new derailleur cable stretching a bit. The first time it happened, the chain was wedged so tight that I had to use a pocket knife with a can opener blade that fit between the chain links to pull the chain out. It was the only tool available.
I do not notice the kind of noise you mention as clattering now but I cannot remember if it might have done that when new.
I already go back and forth... I have a Trek 7500FX with 25c tires that I use for faster rides (in a paceline the aero disadvantage disappears) , an Xtracycle that I use for 60% of riding (6000-ish miles last year), and a Gazelle IMpala for when the weather is horrible (it's got studded tyres right now so that's been kinda handy)... and my LBS guy has requested I get the Schwinn Racer going again just so he can look at the brass brake shoes
Thus I'm waffling between "welp, if you know you want to go fast, find a way to bring the fast bike!" and "on any given ride, you'll want to be able to do what you can do and not be held back by the bike." Oh, but I also am basically cheap and whenever I think of oh, buying a Greenspeed or a Computrainer I toss a hundred bucks in the Calaveras nutrition fund at church.
I looked at teh P8 and that at least goes up a nice notch higher in the gear inch range.
Then there's the idea that around here it's hideously flat... but this would be the bike I'd travel with. Oh, but where will I travel to? No idea. I'm free & single and get to do what I want
I've just got the speed pro-went out on it did 17.5 miles in an hour top speed (i admit i was scared, new bike, is anything going to fall off etc) was 29.9mph. I reckon 30-35mph is well within reach with right hill/weather conditions. Great ride, really fun, doesnt like ultra bumpy roads and at high speed slight chain jumping which is probably the cable stretching itself in, but i love it, and its more comfortable than the claud butler levante that i've just sold on. To be honest i can't think of any reason to switch back to a 'normal' bike.
I've asked 'em to inquire about the availability of a 2007 Speed P8. That extra gear and the upgrade in components will, I think, be sufficient to the task. Not sure whether that "fire" color will fit my "image" or not