Opinions needed, please help.
I'm beginning to look into my next bike. I want to road bike that's nice and comfy for long distance/light touring but alos good and sporty for short daily rides. I'm consdiering having a frame made custom, possibly by Vanilla. But I'm also interested in Seven too. Can anyone give me their opinions on these two builders? Is a bike made by Seven a good deal? I'm leaning more towards stell which is why I'd like to go with Vanilla, but Ti has always held my interest too.
Also, I was looking at Trek's Portland model. Anyone have an apinion on that bike?
You didn't mention it, but have you considered the jack-of-all-trades Bianchi Volpe?
"I want to road bike that's nice and comfy for long distance/light touring but alos good and sporty for short daily rides."
..That's what I have..
"I'm consdiering having a frame made custom, possibly by Vanilla."
..Good idea, if expensive. What is the budget for this project?..
"Can anyone give me their opinions on these two builders?"
..They are both good, of course, when we are talking about bikes this expensive it
is not a case of good or bad. You simply do the best you can within the limits of your budget...
"Is a bike made by Seven a good deal?"
..No, they are very expensive. It's a bit like buying a fancy car. You are indulging in a bit of conspicous consumption...
"I'm leaning more towards steel which is why I'd like to go with Vanilla, but Ti has always held my interest too."
...I have had both. What the bike is like depends a lot on what the builder is like, and not so much what the bike is made of...
"Also, I was looking at Trek's Portland model. Anyone have an apinion on that bike?"
Looks like a nice bike. I don't think the ride would be quite as nice as the other ones you mentioned.
Look, you need to focus on what you want to do, and how you want to go about doing it. First, set your budget. Second, look into bikes that cost about that much. Then if you can, test ride them.
I'll add another to your list, mine.
You actually have hundreds of bikes to pick from if you are considering everthing
from Seven on down.
An unusal choice, but pretty cool, is the 650b Rivendell Bleriot.
Here is a brief overview
There is also the English...
Mercian Bicycles has more options than you can shake a stick at.
Oh, you might want to google up Thorn bicycles as well, I'd love to
test ride one of theirs.
If you are doing lite touring, I suggest this rack
It weighs half what a typical rack weighs; and is adequate for your needs.
I have had mine for 4 years now.
I'm not for sure about my budget for the bike yet. My main thing is that I'm willing to invest in a bit more for a bike that will give me a good lifetime of riding. I ask about custom frame builders because I'd like to have the bike fit as best as possible.
Seven Cycles has a VERY elaborate fit and rider questionaire system developed for building you a custom bike;
they build in steel- i think a no frills, full custom steel frame is about 1,300 from Seven; and they will get you that bike built in a month or so, not two + years a lot of other custom builders require to build you a frame.
go talk to a local dealer that 'carries' SEVENS- you will be very impressed.
Vanillas are pure bikeporn though; if you've got the time and money, go for it!
I think Somas are pure proletariat, and made with pretty dang nice tubes for off the rack steel frames.
The company that made my Gunnar is Waterford. They do semi-custom.
At $1K the two frames I would look at would be Gunnar Sport or the Habanero Road
At $1500 give or take I would get a Wateford. There are many superb companies out there. Waterford is one of the best.
At around $2K I would have Spectrum do a custom design/custom build Ti frame. That's just the frame.
Some of the companies seem to be into short wheelbases. Take a close look at the geometry and length of my Sport. I wouldn't want it to be any shorter, and I think some of the companies we have been discussing would tend to do that.
as they have no peer on the road........
Buy once, Buy greatness, Spend less over time,Enjoy life to the full.
A bike to dream about...
I have a Surly Pacer road/sport-touring bike that I think works very well for comfy all-day rides and would work great for light/supported tours. It's not as light and fast as the racers out there, but it handles rough roads nicely. Mine climbs well and descends safely.
The frame/fork sells for around $400 retail. Any shop can order one for you.
I had been thinking about upgrading to a Gunnar Sport frame, but at $1500 for a customized-for-me frame & fork for me I decided that it probably wouldn't be 3x better than what I already had.
I have a nice bike in this style and it is my fav ride.
For reasonably priced stock bikes in this style, see Gunnar, Surley and Soma and Marinoni.
Top custom bikes can be had from Waterford and Independant Fabrications with a much lower lead time than riv or vanilla.
There are other builders besides the prestigeous big names. Many are featured on the henryjames list.
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