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Old 02-12-13, 07:50 PM   #1
thomasbrent
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Buying my first bike in a while

Well, I ended up following only a little bit of the advice you all gave (the bit that said a cyclocross bike would be a good fit). I checked out the few LBSs around, and after doing some talking, I ended up going with the Cannondale CAADX 105. The LBS was kind enough to knock $350 off the MSRP, so I got a pretty good deal, imo.

By the time I got home, it was getting dark, and since I didn't purchase a light at the LBS (they had a really poor selection), I was only able to get a 5-mile ride in. Overall, I really liked it, but I noticed occasionally a sort of wobble in the front, which honestly scared me a bit. I think this was just poor balance on my part (since I haven't ridden a bike in over 2 years, and never a bike with drop bars), but I'm curious if you all think it could be indicative of a problem. The LBS did what seemed to be a thorough job of sizing me up for the bike, so given that and the fact that the bike feels comfortable, I don't think it is a sizing issue. Edit: turns out I put the front tire on unevenly. Oops

Thanks a bunch for all the advice so far!

Original Post:

I "had" to get rid of my last bike about two years ago when I moved out of state. The (seemingly) homeless man at the Greyhound station was pretty skeptical when I offered it to him, so I basically had to just turn my back on him and the bike and walk away. Ahahaha.

It wasn't anything special: just a stock Trek 3500.

Anyway, I'm now looking to buy another bike, and I'm trying to put a bit more thought into my purchase because looking back, the 3500 really wasn't the right bike for me.

So based on the information I post and any thoughts that might be had by more experienced cyclists, I'd like to read any thoughts you lot have. Right now, I'm only looking to buy one bike without any plans to buy another within the next year or two.

Here is how I plan to use the bike:
  • Long-distance rides (70-150 miles in a day).
  • Regular trips into town (10-20 miles).
  • Light trail riding if the bike permits.
  • Riding during rainy (NOT snowy/icy) conditions.
  • Riding on rural roads (dirt, loose gravel, etc.).

The most I would ever need to haul is a change of clothing (possibly including shoes, if convenient), food for during the longer rides, water, and the tools and parts required for common roadside repairs.


At first, my strongest consideration was the Trek Dual Sport (DS) 8.5 or 8.6, but now I think maybe a hybrid is not the best choice. I think it would be greatly beneficial to have drop bars given my expected distances, but my one big concern with buying a road bike is that it would be unable to stand up to the several miles of rural roads upon which I'd have to ride each trip. I'd mainly be riding on paved roads, but between 5% and 20% of each trip would be dirt and gravel roads.

With minimal research put in so far, my new main choice is the Trek Domane 2.0.

I've looked almost exclusively at Trek bikes so far simply because that's what I had previously. I'd prefer Trek for that reason, but I'm certainly not locked in.

Thanks for any help!


EDIT: I guess it might be important to note that my budget is around $1500, with a small amount of wiggle room.

Last edited by thomasbrent; 02-15-13 at 12:53 PM. Reason: Incorrect info
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Old 02-12-13, 08:49 PM   #2
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The Domane is a bad choice for what you want. It is has tight tire clearance and short reach brakes and so cannot be used with tires that make riding on gravel possible, or on rutted broken pavement enjoyable. Even if you do manage to fit some reasonable width tires (like 28mm wide) you will almost certainly not be able to fit fenders, which makes the bike much less useful in the rain or after the rain.

Consider a cyclocross style bike like the Crossrip.

While brand loyalty is not a bad thing, you should see what else is available at the LBSs in your area, at least just to compare how they fit. The most important thing about a bike is the way it fits, and different brands make the geometry differently (even if only slightly) and this can make the difference between a satisfying long distance rider and a sore back.
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Old 02-12-13, 09:46 PM   #3
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+1 cross bike.
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Old 02-12-13, 11:43 PM   #4
thomasbrent
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Right on. For some reason I've had it in my head that cyclocross bikes were ones I should avoid (I legitimately have no idea where this idea came from ... lol), so I probably wouldn't have looked at them again without being prompted to.

Thanks
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Old 02-12-13, 11:53 PM   #5
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I have a Domane 2.0. It's a endurance frame able to fit up to 28mm, but I think you are looking at a touring frame. Do you need a rack to place some stuff like a camping kit? Also I would say you will need a minimum of 35mm if you're going off road or on gravel. (My bike can handle packed dirt and crushed gravel, but mud or loose gravel is another thing)
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Old 02-13-13, 12:31 AM   #6
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Do you need a rack to place some stuff like a camping kit?
A rack would probably be a smart idea. I really like Wilfred's suggestion of the Trek CrossRip, which does have rack and fender mounts and plenty of tire clearance, so I'm going to look more into it and similar bikes from Trek and their competitors.
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Old 02-13-13, 12:36 AM   #7
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A touring bike would be good. I think most cross bikes can be used as touring bikes.
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Old 02-13-13, 01:02 AM   #8
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dual sport is OK, straight bar to Trekking/figure 8 bend bar improves versitility.
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Old 02-13-13, 01:17 AM   #9
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There are better cross bikes for less money than the Trek. For example:

http://www.fujibikes.com/bike/details/cross_21

And for minimalist touring, this is my latest favorite item:

https://www.revelatedesigns.com/inde...=4&ProductID=7

12 liters of storage in a 350 gram saddle bag. Grab a change of clothes and a credit card, and head out!
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Old 02-13-13, 08:59 AM   #10
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Cross bike or touring bike. The cross bike will be better on loose gravel or deep dirt. The touring bike will excel at long distance comfort and on pavement.

Touring bikes have some features that could be beneficial. They can be fitted with racks so as your carrying capacity needs change the bike can meet those needs. They can be fitted with wide or skinny tires depending on your need. Right now you need wide for the gravel and dirt, but who knows what could happen two years from now? Some touring bikes can be fitted with 26 inch tires. Fenders, extra bottle cages, all good on touring bikes.

The cross bike is a good suggestion, but i would go touring. because of the distances. There are several bikes in your price range but the two most popular are the Surly Long Haul Trucker and the Trek 520.

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Old 02-13-13, 09:48 AM   #11
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+1 http://www.fujibikes.com/bike/details/cross_21 PURDY!
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Old 02-13-13, 10:57 AM   #12
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I really like the fuji bike, but I'm curious whether the cantilever brakes provide good stopping in wet conditions. Thoughts?

I'm sure there are probably other threads on this site for that topic, so I'll look around in the mean time.
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Old 02-13-13, 11:53 AM   #13
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I had to read everything twice to make sure this wasn't an ad for the Salsa Vaya. I actually just picked one up and cant wait for spring. It came with 42mm tires disk brakes three bottle holders rack and fender mounts (front and back). For the riding you described, I can't imagine a better bike.
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Old 02-13-13, 12:44 PM   #14
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A cross bike or wider tired touring bike like the Surly LHT sounds to me like a good fit. I know someone locally who just bought one of the previously mentioned Vayas. Nice looking bike.

If you are on a budget and/or like to do your own work, there are quite a few of us here that have taken 80's and 90's non-suspended mountain bikes and turned them into fat tire road machines. Makes a good do-everything bike.


Old Red by Yo Spiff, on Flickr

I've ridden up to a 57 miler on Old Red, and a 52 mile gravel road ride. It gets ridden more than my road bike lately.
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Old 02-13-13, 01:10 PM   #15
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I have my eye on the Fuji Touring, a steel bike much like the LHT, comes in under $1000.

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Old 02-13-13, 02:53 PM   #16
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I have my eye on the Fuji Touring, a steel bike much like the LHT, comes in under $1000.

sweet sweet machine

the geometry chart on the fui page lists the xl frame as having a head tube only 5mm longer than the large frame
could this be a misprint or is the large a sloping top tube frame and the xl a level top tube frame

no way to tell really but i still tink shes a sweet machine
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Old 02-13-13, 05:27 PM   #17
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I am going to recommend a Surly Crosscheck



http://surlybikes.com/bikes/cross_check

IMO a full on touring bike is overkill. This will be fun, fast and comfortable and get you over all kinds of terrain easily. It has rack and fender bosses and best of all it's steel.
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Old 02-13-13, 06:47 PM   #18
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Well, I ended up following only a little bit of the advice you all gave (the bit that said a cyclocross bike would be a good fit). I checked out the few LBSs around, and after doing some talking, I ended up going with the Cannondale CAADX Tiagra. The LBS was kind enough to knock $150 off the MSRP, so I basically got it without having to pay tax.


By the time I got home, it was getting dark, and since I didn't purchase a light at the LBS (they had a really poor selection), I was only able to get a 5-mile ride in. Overall, I really liked it, but I noticed occasionally a sort of wobble in the front, which honestly scared me a bit. I think this was just poor balance on my part (since I haven't ridden a bike in over 2 years, and never a bike with drop bars), but I'm curious if you all think it could be indicative of a problem. The LBS did what seemed to be a thorough job of sizing me up for the bike, so given that and the fact that the bike feels comfortable, I don't think it is a sizing issue.


Thanks a bunch for all the advice so far!

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Old 02-13-13, 07:24 PM   #19
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Alright, so I went out and looked at my bike again, and I noticed that the brake pads in the front seemed a little off. The right pad was maybe a mm away from the rim, while the left was significantly further. I then looked at the quick release, and I noticed that one side was higher than the other (not the fault of my LBS; I had to remove the front wheel to transport the bike home due to poor planning, and I guess I put it back on unevenly....). I loosened the release, and the higher side plopped down, and the brake issue was rectified.

I then went to tighten the release, and I guess I was a little overzealous. The plastic at the "bottom"/inside actually chipped off a bit. Kind of bummed out about that, but I guess it probably isn't significant beyond the sensation that I've already managed to injure my shiny new bike ... I hope.
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Old 02-13-13, 07:41 PM   #20
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I ended up going with the Cannondale CAADX Tiagra. The LBS was kind enough to knock $150 off the MSRP, so I basically got it without having to pay tax.
I feel silly for not really knowing what I bought, but I'm actually wrong on this. As it turns out, I ended up going with the 105, which I thought was the Tiagra due to price. I ended up getting it for what seems to be a great bargain at $1250 before tax, and I didn't even /try/ to haggle....

Some may wonder why I bought a bike without knowing what it was, and the answer to that is simply that the LBS allowed me to take it for a test ride and explained the various components to me. The bike was comfortable, and the components seemed sound.
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Old 02-14-13, 09:19 AM   #21
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Congrats on your new bike. You could always replace the skewer with a fancy color, non plastic version...if it is bothering you
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Old 02-14-13, 09:33 AM   #22
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A new QR skewer should cost less than $20. Get a Shimano one with the enclosed mechanism... it is just a better design. AHowever, quick releases don't generally need to be tightened down by having an elephant step on the lever - just enough that it leaves an imprint in your hand. And if you had to choose between closing it allt he way at a lower pressure and only getting it part-way closed at super high pressure, go for all the way closed.

Congrats on the bike! It looks awesome and I am totaly jealous!
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Old 02-14-13, 09:40 AM   #23
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Yeah great deal looks like an awesome bike. Love Cannondales. Don't sweat the little chips and nicks if it's going to be well used it's going to get nicked and scuffed up on no time.

Are you sure that the damage is not something that could cause the release to fail? If you are not sure you should bring it back to the shop and have them check it out.
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Old 02-15-13, 09:55 AM   #24
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Congrats. Road or drop bar position will seem strange at first. Make sure it's properly fit and you'll never go back. Nice bike. I'm looking at one too later this year.
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Old 02-15-13, 01:30 PM   #25
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Are you sure that the damage is not something that could cause the release to fail? If you are not sure you should bring it back to the shop and have them check it out.
I'm very confident the quick release won't fail due to the small chip, but I'll probably end up having it looked at and possibly replaced just to be safe.

Anyway, now that the wobble is gone, I love the drop bars. Even over the short distances I've ridden so far, I can already tell there will be a LOT less discomfort/fatigue in my lower back over longer rides than there would have been riding totally upright.
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