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Old 07-09-12, 10:01 PM   #1
kadinga
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Now Entering: Human Powered Distance Travel

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.
Thanks!
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Old 07-10-12, 12:26 AM   #2
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Not sure there is a piece of equipment that can meet your specifications. You want a light weight touring bike so a tripple would be fine. But tripples and racing Tris don't tend to go hand in hand. You hate STIs but are looking for Tiagra equipped bikes? Please explain the rim not being hooked?

I hear you are new to this but you must narrow your requests to what you plan on doing before we could point you in a direction. Yes there are bikes you can do all of the the things you request but none of them as well as a bike designed to do that particular thing. A touring bike works best for touring, a road bike works best on the road a MTB, and to some degree a cycocross bike, works best in the dirt.

Tell us what you really want to do and we can better advise you.
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Old 07-10-12, 11:04 AM   #3
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Cross-Check.

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Old 07-10-12, 04:45 PM   #4
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Thx TS, I've looked at the Cross Check and LHT online but have yet to take one for a spin. Also included in the list of bikes I like the specs of are the Trek 510/520, Jamis Aurora, Novara Randonee, Raleigh Port Townsend, Kona Jake or Sutra, Raleigh Roper, Brodie Remo, Elan or Argus and the Salsa Vaya. Hard to find the Surly bikes under $1K from what I've seen.

No thx M155....I don't want to burn any bridges but if you read this post carefully as well as the first one, what I'm saying should make sense. I'm not new to cycling...just to *road cycling. And you don't know the difference between hooked and straight rims???? http://www.rei.com/product/806824/su...heck-bike-2012 Bar end shifters. Tiagra components. I could commute, tour and wouldn't hesitate to try a less serious Gran Fondo, sprint tri, whatever with it.
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Tell us what you really want to do and we can better advise you.
I did.
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Old 07-11-12, 07:03 PM   #5
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Add the Bianchi Volpe and the Masi CX to the list. But if you insist on bar end shifters, I think the Surly CrossCheck is really the best answer.
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Old 07-11-12, 08:49 PM   #6
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It's not steel, but check out a Fantom CX. I have one, and I absolutely love it. Surprisingly quick and comfortable for spirited riding with 700x23s on it. Mine isn't stock at all, but the sora won't do you wrong. It's a solid frame to build upon if/when something breaks. Mine has campy veloce ergos and a hodgepodge of componentry. Rack mounts, fenders, great tire clearance, and comfortable ride with the steel fork , even with 85PSI in my 37mm tires. They do run small though, I'm 6' and mine's a 61cm, all my other bikes are in the 56-58 range.

Had it out today even.





Also the Jake the snake is another solid [aluminum] ride. Probably won't hit your price point new, but secondhand, for sure.
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Old 07-12-12, 03:12 PM   #7
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I think the point Mobile is trying to make is that you have inconsistent requirements. For instance, "mixed surface" riding usually points to cyclocross or touring bikes; these are too heavy for triathlons. If you leave out the tri requirement, 'cross or touring bikes meet all your requirements, although you may end up adding a couple hundred dollars to your budget.

Take your time and go ride as many different bikes as you can find. Buy the one you like best. It may sound backwards, but if you like a bike, you won't find some reason not to ride it. Get started and ride lots, and you'll figure out what's important to you.

Do be careful with those non-hooked rims. It's best to keep the pressure on the low side, and be very careful about potholes, so the tire won't pop off.
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Old 07-12-12, 03:40 PM   #8
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OP: there are recumbent bikes that are drastically more comfortable to ride than any upright bike. No butt pain, no hand numbness and no neck strain. Any long-wheelbase is a good bet and Sun and Cycle Genius make some cheaper ones around $1000. You could easily comfortably ride them 3-4 times as far nonstop as you would any upright bike.

Even if you don't go the recumbent way, a good touring/general use bike is durable, and durability = weight. For tri-racing you'd want a (different) "stupid-light" bike anyway.

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... Please explain the rim not being hooked? ....
Hook-bead rims.
Early (fractional) rims did not have hooks for the beads. Think lower-pressure tires such as 27 x 1-1/4", 26 x 1-3/8" and so on.
Most of these unhooked rims are steel but there are some aluminum ones around too, you usually have to order them and get those wheels built up tho'.

See Weinmann examples from 1981 here:
http://www.yellowjersey.org/photosfr...t/WEINRIMS.JPG
The third-from-top and the bottom one are hooked. The other clinchers aren't.

Modern wheels usually have hooks anyway, even if the original tire specs did not call for them.
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Old 07-12-12, 05:34 PM   #9
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Touring , and Triathlon ? need at least .. 2 different bikes..
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Old 07-12-12, 05:45 PM   #10
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Touring , and Triathlon ? need at least .. 2 different bikes..
Well, yes and no. To excel at either, you would want dedicated bikes. To just get it done, you could adapt one bike to do both.

For touring, get an aluminum bike that fits correctly and carries a load well. It'll be long, stable, and it should carry a load. To adapt the bike for triathlons, strip off the bags, racks, and fenders and install a set of narrow, light weight tires. "Aero" handlebars are useful for either touring or tri.
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Old 07-12-12, 06:11 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the different and helpful comments! I just want to emphasize the "ease into" and "???" surrounding triathlons. Seriously. I bought a Nishiki International for $140 last week and rode over 120 km in the last 2 days alone and even swam a 1/2km yesterday at the pool after riding 50 km at a spirited pace. I don't even plan on using tri-bars for my first race. Read triathlon as "I'm going to try out a sprint or half-tri eventually" and touring as "I'm taking a can of beans and a hammock and riding for 4-5 hrs until I'm properly lost then I'll come home the next day".

I would like to try a recumbent but for now am just trying to put more miles in on mixed road/gravel/packed dirt surfaces with what I have. I figure all the carbon fiber, campy bits and kryptonite can wait. I'm going bare bones first, then trying out a little meat here and there.

Fantom looks great, how does the shifting mechanism work though? Couldn't tell from pics. The Surly is a bit of a boutique bike and so it hits the high point of my budget. Any other ultra versatile types similar to the CC or Fantom? That Masi CX might just be the one if I decide STI's aren't so bad (I can always change them, I know). <25 lbs, all steel, looks like the double crank is a considerably wide ratio, readily accepts fenders and racks, cantilever brakes. Anywhere in the Vancouver - Surrey area I might be able to find one to test ride?
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Old 07-12-12, 06:24 PM   #12
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Well, yes and no. To excel at either, you would want dedicated bikes. To just get it done, you could adapt one bike to do both.

For touring, get an aluminum bike that fits correctly and carries a load well. It'll be long, stable, and it should carry a load. To adapt the bike for triathlons, strip off the bags, racks, and fenders and install a set of narrow, light weight tires. "Aero" handlebars are useful for either touring or tri.
The key point here is "excel". Not a priority atm. Budget? Very much so. I have a car, motorcycle, numerous other hobbies and aspirations that currently overshadow cycling with respect to money. I hesitate with Al because though it is much lighter it cannot handle fatigue as well as steel (Al's yield strength and ultimate strength are much closer than steel's) and to make it as tough as steel, the frame eventually becomes almost just as heavy as a steel frame. On the plus, yes, I'll save a couple pounds and it won't rust. Would it still be worth it?
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Old 07-12-12, 11:37 PM   #13
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The key point here is "excel". Not a priority atm. Budget? Very much so. I have a car, motorcycle, numerous other hobbies and aspirations that currently overshadow cycling with respect to money. I hesitate with Al because though it is much lighter it cannot handle fatigue as well as steel (Al's yield strength and ultimate strength are much closer than steel's) and to make it as tough as steel, the frame eventually becomes almost just as heavy as a steel frame. On the plus, yes, I'll save a couple pounds and it won't rust. Would it still be worth it?
At your budget level, you'll find that aluminum and steel frames will be close in weight, durability, and cost. It's a toss-up, but I'd prefer an aluminum frame because I'm a big kid (215 pounds) and I prefer a stiff, stable mount when touring. I think you overstate the importance of steel's fatigue strength- there are plenty of 30-year-old Cannondales running around (check the C&V forum) without issues.
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