Re-entry 52 year old. Wandered into a vintage forum here and can't get out. Decided to get back into riding after 25 year lay-off. Went for the bargain and bought from BD. I have plenty of prior experience wrenching bikes. Bike came looking great. Both wheel bearings were stupid tight and the hubs had some kind of big rubber gumdrop looking things that were under the cone locknuts and pushing on the hub. I sure hope that wasn't some "engineer"'s idea of a seal. I assumed they were some sort of shipping thing and pried them off and threw them in the trash. The headset was loose. Tightened that up. (had to read up on these newfangled headsets first) Reversed the stem to bring the bars up a bit. Aired up the tires, tuned up the derailleurs and good to go. The bike was on clearance for $499. At that price it is a steal. Weighed in on my fish scale at 22.5 in my 60cm size. Perusing reviews of $700 to around $1100 bikes shows a range of around 20.5 to 22.5 or so, so this bike is in that range. It's probably a bit lighter if you're not as tall as me. Upgrading a few parts would probably bring that down a pound or two but that is not my problem right now. I wonder how long it's going to take to get a bit of wind back. The bike rides great but it's engine is weak and wheezy. At least at 6' 175lbs I am not carry too much extra weight. Hopefully the heart/lung systems will get back in gear. I am happy with my purchase and think it is a great value. I can see why a non mechanical person would be unhappy if they thought they could just put the wheels, pedals, and bars on and go riding. A wobbly headset, unadjusted shifting, and worn out hub bearings in a 100 miles would not leave a good impression. Looking at specs it seems like all the builders put the cheapest Al cranksets available on all models up to around $1200 or more. ($700 for BD) I think I would spring for better wheels and cranks before getting fancier derailleurs and shifters, after all they are what is really driving the bike. Anyhoo, whilst searching the web for some things like water bottles, shorts, shoes, etc, I found someone clearancing Octalink 105 cranksets for $22. That seemed to me to be a gift so I bought one. Looked around a bit more and found a BB for $35 and got that too. I know the system has a bad reputation in some circles but plenty of others have had no problems. At that price I will give it a whirl. Just so you know I am not a shill here is a picture of the beast. The wheel in the foreground is my wife's Fuji S-12-S mixte that I am almost done returning to like new so she can ride it.
Nice bike !! You've got everything well thought out Mister. Interesting account on the minor adjustments an' all, a good thing you're handy and know your way around bikes. As far as the cranks and other parts; wheels, any number of things. Such Co's it seems, obtain earlier models, presumably at reduced prices, lowering their net cost. Cranks for example fall out of favor after two so years, still viable, less fashionable.