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Old 01-02-13, 10:46 PM   #1
TwoFourOne
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I got a new bike - Nashbar Steel Road Bike! (pics)

I got a cheap singlespeed (the Dawes SST) from Bikesdirect in December 2011. I've ridden it 2,600 miles so far, and fallen in love with biking. I commute to school, ride to friends houses, go on rides for fun (longest ride has been 40 miles), and have plans of touring one day. Sometime last summer I decided that I wanted to get a new bike, one with gears. I looked and looked online for quite a while (wanted to get the Windsor Tourist but that was out of my budget), and finally decided on this bike, the Nashbar Steel Road Bike. The reviews seemed pretty decent and I eventually ordered it

The shipping was delayed because of snowstorms, which was torture. It finally came in today!

Unboxing it and whatnot.


Silly bike, couches are for people.


Taking shape.


This is right after the first test ride!








The only riding I did on it was about a mile around the block. I'm gonna ride it more tomorrow and give a report on it. So far, it feels *really* smooth. I haven't ever had downtube shifters before (nor brifters), but I figured I wouldn't mind them - and I don't! I actually enjoy them. It seems like they let you 'feel' the bike more, if that makes sense. The wheels were both a little bit out of true. I ordered a spoke wrench along with the bike, so I guess I'm gonna learn how to fix them up I'll practice on my Dawes, first, which has been relegated to commuting duty/rainy weather.

It weighs about 25 points (crappy estimate using a bathroom scale), while my Dawes SST weighs 24 pounds (with a rack). Not too bad. Plus, I've never ridden anything to compare it to. So, I'm happy. I hope to put a rack on this bike and take her on a few overnight trips, before (hopefully) going around Florida on a short tour this summer.

Anyway, that's it. I can't say much else about the bike until I take her on a few longer rides. Thanks for reading!
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Old 01-02-13, 11:11 PM   #2
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Beautiful. It's too bad Nashbar sold out on the 52 cm framees. The price is a steal in my opinion!
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Old 01-02-13, 11:14 PM   #3
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I had to look at he post date on the OP.

A dt shifter steel bike with a quill stem? That's old school but looks like something I'd like to have.

Nice bike!

How long did the delivery take?
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Old 01-02-13, 11:24 PM   #4
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Hahah, thanks guys I like the old school look.

I ordered it on December 21st, and it got here on January 2nd - so, a little under 2 weeks.
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Old 01-02-13, 11:29 PM   #5
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I ordered it on December 21st, and it got here on January 2nd - so, a little under 2 weeks.
Not to mention two major holidays and weekends. That's not bad shipping time at all.

It's a very nice looking bike. I look forward to hearing your overall thoughts after a few hundred/thousand miles. It looks simple, sweet, and elegant. I would love just to pick up a frame like that to transfer the parts off my aluminum fame.
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Old 01-02-13, 11:38 PM   #6
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Nice looking bike. And you have the added benefit of that adjustable quill stem for easy adjustment.
Throw a Nitto Technomic stem on there and you can raise the bars sky high!
Though it looks like you like an aggresive position there.
Great color, too!! Congrats.

PS- you can probably use your DT shifters as bar-ends if you decide you want to try them there later. Are they Shimano? If so, all you need is to but the Shimano bar end pods, and the adapter. Your LBS may even have them in the shop. Ask the mechanics. Mine had them in the tool box. If not you can get what you need at rivbike.com
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Old 01-02-13, 11:49 PM   #7
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Yeah, I'll be sure to give a review on the bike as I get more miles on it. I'm by no means an expert, I just like to ride. But I know how priceless reviews are..and there weren't many thorough reviews on this bike.

Thanks for the tip on the Nitto Technomic, lungimsam. I'm still dialing in the fit on the bike, so yeah it's a bit more aggressive than I'm accustomed to. But it looks nice for photos The shifters are Sunrace, not Shimano. If I end up hating them on the downtube, I'll see what I can do about moving them, but I like them for now

Here's my stable, now! As you can see, my Dawes SST isn't set up nearly as aggressive as the Nashbar bike. Hope to get the fit sorted out over the next week or so.
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Old 01-03-13, 12:55 AM   #8
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Nice stable there. I really like the blue color of the bike. BTW, your shifter levers look like they mount higher on the downtube than most I have seen. This may be a really cool design feature to give you more space so your knees don't hit your forearms as you shift.

Modernbike.com has the best prices on the Technomic stems I have seen. I recommend the Technomic because they are the longest and have the greatest range.

The people at Rivbike.com can tell you if the Sunrace shifter levers will work on the Shimano bar end pods with the adapter. They are seriously into adapting DT shifter levers for bar ends. They sell the pods and adapters.
Or try your LBS first, they may know just from looking at it. I bet they would work.
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Old 01-03-13, 07:47 AM   #9
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I keep thinking of that bike whenever I look at used "classics" on the bay area craigslist - it looks like a much better deal than buying used. What size did you get, and what is the stand over? Nashbar doesn't list that, or the bottom bracket height from the ground.

The only issue I have with that bike (on paper) is the crankset - 52/42 is really high for me. Given that the front shifter can work friction, maybe this would be an option - http://store.velo-orange.com/index.p...et-34x48t.html - anyone knowledgeable care to comment if this is possible?

Look forward to more feedback on that bike!
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Old 01-03-13, 09:47 AM   #10
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I keep thinking of that bike whenever I look at used "classics" on the bay area craigslist - it looks like a much better deal than buying used. What size did you get, and what is the stand over? Nashbar doesn't list that, or the bottom bracket height from the ground.

The only issue I have with that bike (on paper) is the crankset - 52/42 is really high for me. Given that the front shifter can work friction, maybe this would be an option - http://store.velo-orange.com/index.p...et-34x48t.html - anyone knowledgeable care to comment if this is possible?

Look forward to more feedback on that bike!
Not that it makes it any easier to pedal, but a 52/42 is right in line with the "old-school" spec on this bike. That's what just about all doubles came with back in the day, unless you were a racer and then you might have a 53/42. Changing to a compact crank would probably not affect the shifters as much as the derailleur cage. You'd need to make sure it was long enough for that much drop.
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Old 01-03-13, 10:02 AM   #11
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I keep thinking of that bike whenever I look at used "classics" on the bay area craigslist - it looks like a much better deal than buying used. What size did you get, and what is the stand over? Nashbar doesn't list that, or the bottom bracket height from the ground.

The only issue I have with that bike (on paper) is the crankset - 52/42 is really high for me. Given that the front shifter can work friction, maybe this would be an option - http://store.velo-orange.com/index.p...et-34x48t.html - anyone knowledgeable care to comment if this is possible?

Look forward to more feedback on that bike!
I know a bit about the "old school"... so here's my 2 cents:

I'm assuming you're in the SF "Bay area" and not the Tampa "Bay area"... so I can see where that 52/42 might be a bit big. Way back when I was in a hillier part of the country, I just swapped out the small chainring on my road bike for a 40t. (I had a 13 - 23 freewheel) Being that the Nashbar has a 12 - 25, a 40t small chainring would likely make that bike very useable!

And to the OP... very nice looking bike. I've seriously considered picking one up so that I don't have to put so many miles on my vintage stuff.
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Old 01-03-13, 12:51 PM   #12
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Yep, it is the SF bay area, and I'm not good enough to go old-school completely
I'm pretty sure I'd need something lower than a 40 - my Sirrus has a 48-38-28 crankset, and I have to drop below 38 at times. What derailleur would work with a 48-34 crankset?
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Old 01-03-13, 12:57 PM   #13
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Yep, it is the SF bay area, and I'm not good enough to go old-school completely
I'm pretty sure I'd need something lower than a 40 - my Sirrus has a 48-38-28 crankset, and I have to drop below 38 at times. What derailleur would work with a 48-34 crankset?
I can't guarantee it... BUT... I'm 99% sure that you'd be able to just drop the front derailleur down a bit, then take up the slack in the cable and it should work just fine without having to buy a new one. (Ahhh the simple joys of friction shifting. VERY forgiving.)
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Old 01-03-13, 11:22 PM   #14
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I keep thinking of that bike whenever I look at used "classics" on the bay area craigslist - it looks like a much better deal than buying used. What size did you get, and what is the stand over? Nashbar doesn't list that, or the bottom bracket height from the ground.
I ordered a 56CM. From the ground to the top of the top tube, it's about 30.75 inches. From the ground to the middle of the bottom bracket, it's about 10.25 inches.


I didn't get in a long ride like I wanted to, but I rode about 8 miles on the bike today. It is really perfect for me. I did lift the stem up to almost it's max height, so I'd be more comfortable. The shifting is smooth enough (I'm still learning how to quickly 'trim' the front shifter so it doesn't make noise, I'll get it eventually). The jump between the gears on the cassette is a little big sometimes (I found myself wanting a gear somewhere between the two gears I could choose from), but I can deal with that. The bike overall just feels really smooth to ride, like it wants to go fast. If anyone has any more specific questions, I'd love to answer them.

Oh, and I also practiced truing on my mom's crappy Walmart bike, and that gave me enough confidence to try it on the front wheel on this new bike. It was quite visibly wobbling back and forth, but it's fixed up pretty nicely now - it spins almost perfectly true. I'll do the rear wheel tomorrow

And more pictures coming tomorrow.
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Old 01-04-13, 12:27 AM   #15
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It warms my heart that they still make bikes like this. Glad you're digging it -- feels so cool when you get comfortable with DT shifters. A little more "dangerous" looking.

If the 42/25 isn't low enough, you can put a 38/39T inner ring and a cassette with a 28T largest cog on there. Together, that'll make a real difference.

A couple tips when truing the wheels: put in a drop of oil at the spoke hole to allow it to move more freely, loosen first on older wheels to make sure they'll turn, and when tightening, go a little too far and back off so the spokes don't wind up and come unwound (you'll hear a ping if this happens) while riding.
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Old 01-04-13, 12:45 PM   #16
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It warms my heart that they still make bikes like this. Glad you're digging it -- feels so cool when you get comfortable with DT shifters. A little more "dangerous" looking.

If the 42/25 isn't low enough, you can put a 38/39T inner ring and a cassette with a 28T largest cog on there. Together, that'll make a real difference.

A couple tips when truing the wheels: put in a drop of oil at the spoke hole to allow it to move more freely, loosen first on older wheels to make sure they'll turn, and when tightening, go a little too far and back off so the spokes don't wind up and come unwound (you'll hear a ping if this happens) while riding.
Ah, thanks for the advice. I read about this somewhere but I wasn't sure about it. What kind of oil do I use?
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Old 01-04-13, 02:48 PM   #17
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Anything light should do. WD40 or 3-in-1 might actually be preferable, as much of it will evaporate again.
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Old 01-05-13, 03:04 PM   #18
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Did a little photoshoot of my bikes with my girlfriend, this is the best one we got. Facebook wrecked the quality, though.


And the gearing is fine for me, definitely low enough. I live in Florida. The biggest hills are the two bridges we have
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Old 01-07-13, 12:35 PM   #19
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The jump between the gears on the cassette is a little big sometimes (I found myself wanting a gear somewhere between the two gears I could choose from)
Working around that very issue is one of the things a standard 52/42 crank does best. That kind of incremental cross-shifting is way more effective on a 52/42 than a compact, where you still get pretty sizable jumps.
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Old 01-07-13, 08:22 PM   #20
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I very much prefer a 42/53 over a 39/53 in flat land.
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