Hi I've been lurking this forum for the past couple weeks and have to hand it to you guys, great info and well organized! I recently bought a somewhat beat 56 cm (tad large if anything) Nishiki International for $140, tweaked the brakes and derailleurs a bit and set about putting new rubber on it (schwalb marathon 27x1 1/4 running over a Kenda and a Bontrager tube). I just got back from a 56 km ride to give the bike and myself a decent shakedown and want to run my queries and experience through the interwebs:
I like index shifters (even on the down tube) and chromoly steel. I'm looking for durability first and speed second. Simplicity is somewhere in there too. I want a bike that I can commute and tour on. My seat was terrible after an hour today, tho this was my first experience riding a road bike with drop bars any distance beyond a couple city blocks. Before I bought this bike, I test rode and mostly liked a Kona Sutra even compared to the Cannondale Synapse alloy. Not crazy about disk brakes though and even my Nishiki seems lighter than the Kona. Bar end index shifters were awesome and I sure hated the STI's! The Nishiki is less than perfect; I think both my derailleurs are pretty tired/bent (varying amounts of noise in some gears even after my tune up), my rear rim isn't even hooked and the bike needs a different seat.
If I consider dropping $500-900 on a newer bike, what can you recommend based on this criteria:
- index shifters
- double or triple crank
- chromoly steel
- <30 lbs
- cantilever or v-brakes
- butted for racks front/rear and 2-3 water bottles
- ability to fit and withstand an athletic 22 yr old male with a respect for practicality and thirst for adventure
- something I could ease into doing Triathlons with???
I'm coming from strictly mtb's and street motorcycles and love the idea of going fast over mixed road surfaces under my own strength without denting the wallet. I don't want to take the full plunge and drop $2K on a cyclocross or touring bicycle though I am interested in both styles. What can you recommend? I have a penchant for destroying bikes (separating chainstays and bending handlebars, cranksets and pedals) so maybe at least Shimano Tiagra/600 components or equivalent? This world is new to me but I'm trying to do my homework.