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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 05-14-10, 09:14 AM   #1
amy26
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Touring Bike OK for the MS150?

I'm planning on riding my first MS150 next April, and am considering buying a 2009 Jamis Aurora. Would this be a sufficient bike for this ride? I realize it is a little heavy at 27 lbs.

http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebik...09_aurora.html

Thanks for your help.
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Old 05-14-10, 09:17 AM   #2
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I think you would be happier with a road bike, but I would buy which ever one you think you would get the most use of in the long run. 27# is more than "a little" heavy if you aren't planning to carry your own gear (racks & panniers) at some point.
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Old 05-14-10, 09:30 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by amy26 View Post
I'm planning on riding my first MS150 next April, and am considering buying a 2009 Jamis Aurora. Would this be a sufficient bike for this ride? I realize it is a little heavy at 27 lbs.

http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebik...09_aurora.html

Thanks for your help.
So, this ride is over multiple days and doesn't have to be done fast, if I understand it correctly.

Buy a bike that matches what you would typically use the bike for. For example, if you want to be able to tour (carrying stuff), choosing a road bike for this one ride would not be the best thing to do.

If you are not planning on touring (carrying stuff), then there is no reason to restrict your search to the Aurora.

Anyway, the Aurora (which many people like), if it works for you otherwise, would be fine for this one ride.

While 27lbs is on the "heavy" side, you probably aren't really going to save a lot of weight with a different bike for the same cost. An alternative bike at the same cost might weigh 19-21 pounds.

Last edited by njkayaker; 05-14-10 at 10:06 AM.
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Old 05-14-10, 09:58 AM   #4
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The Aurora will be just fine, unless you plan on hanging with a fast group of roadies, in which case you may have to work a little harder then they are.
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Old 05-14-10, 10:15 AM   #5
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Thank you. I may ride the MS 150 annually, but other than that I'll mostly use the bike for "around town" trips under 10 miles. I found a good deal on the Aurora, and most reviews seem favorable, I just don't want to be working too much harder than necessary on the MS 150, I'm not exactly an avid biker. I supposed the issue is that I don't have much concept of how much extra work 5-7 #s adds to a ride like the MS 150.
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Old 05-14-10, 10:40 AM   #6
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Thank you. I may ride the MS 150 annually, but other than that I'll mostly use the bike for "around town" trips under 10 miles. I found a good deal on the Aurora, and most reviews seem favorable, I just don't want to be working too much harder than necessary on the MS 150, I'm not exactly an avid biker. I supposed the issue is that I don't have much concept of how much extra work 5-7 #s adds to a ride like the MS 150.
The Aurora is a nice bike. It should be completely fine for this and your other reasons. For "around town", the Aurora will let you use fenders and the wider tires (both nice options to have).

It would still be a good choice if you become a more "avid" biker. (I'm pretty avid and use a similar bike for longish rides). Generally speaking, any performance advantages due to equipment is going to be modest.

The biggest impact is aerodynamics, which means that should be the first thing to address. Many people with "light" bikes tend to ride in a not-very aerodynamic position. If you want to faster easily, get used to using the drops (the curved part of the handle bar) rather than always riding on the brake hoods.

If you have any issue with the MS150 ride, it won't be due to an extra 7 pounds.

It's a fair amount of riding, which means you probably want to work up to it. If one is available, you might consider joining a local bicycle club.


Keep in mind that, for many people here, the MS150 isn't particularly long.

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Old 05-14-10, 11:07 AM   #7
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Just be certain that this is a "good deal" on a bike that is your size, and that the shop will spend some time getting it fitted to you. Don't be surprised if you need to spend additional money on *the right* saddle if the stock saddle doesn't work for you. Regardless of bike weight, you want to be comfortable when you spend hours in the saddle on consecutive days. Otherwise, the bike has ample gearing, and you should have plenty of time to get gain the fitness and technique that's required. And unless you're already pretty fit, you can easily lose a few pounds of body weight as you train for this ride.
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Old 05-14-10, 11:28 AM   #8
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Thank you. I may ride the MS 150 annually, but other than that I'll mostly use the bike for "around town" trips under 10 miles. I found a good deal on the Aurora, and most reviews seem favorable, I just don't want to be working too much harder than necessary on the MS 150, I'm not exactly an avid biker. I supposed the issue is that I don't have much concept of how much extra work 5-7 #s adds to a ride like the MS 150.
If you're not used to riding a bike 5-7lbs lighter, it's no extra work at all.
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Old 05-14-10, 11:51 AM   #9
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All - thanks for the great information, very helpful. Based on it, I think I'll go take it for a test ride today, and hopefully bring it home - will follow up.
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Old 05-14-10, 11:58 AM   #10
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People worry far too much about the weight of a given bike, when it usually doesn't matter that much. The only times when an extra 6 pounds of bike weight matters is when you're:
  1. Climbing
  2. Hanging on with the fast folks
  3. Climbing

Did I mention that the extra weight will suck the life from your soul when you face a route with a lot of climbing?

Instead of bike weight... most people would be better off worrying about the component quality of the bike's spinning parts. In other words, get the best quality hubs, bottom bracket, and pedals that you can afford. Cheap or poorly adjusted bearings will slow you down waaaay more than an extra 6 pounds of bicycle will. And if you're not going to carry a heavy load, I'd go with pretty light weight rims too... they'll make the bike feel more snappy and responsive.
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Old 05-14-10, 08:42 PM   #11
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I ride a Surly Long Haul Trucker on my long rides, with stainless steel fenders and a heavy sprung leather saddle, and I do fine. I'm not very fast going up hills, but I make up for it on the downhill bits. Given your plans for the bike, the Aurora seems like a good deal, even if the gearing could be lower for touring and around-town utility cycling.
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Old 05-14-10, 08:48 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
While 27lbs is on the "heavy" side, you probably aren't really going to save a lot of weight with a different bike for the same cost. An alternative bike at the same cost might weigh 19-21 pounds.
Could you point me to a bike that would cost under $1000 and would weigh 19-21 pounds? If you're sticking to CrMo steel, that would be pretty darn hard; the Rivendell Roadeo can be tricked out to weigh under 20 lbs. but it would cost 3.5-4 times the price of a 2009 Aurora. I can't think of a CF bike that would weigh that little for under $1000. But I'm not in the market for one, so maybe I've missed something.
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Old 05-14-10, 08:51 PM   #13
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Could you point me to a bike that would cost under $1000 and would weigh 19-21 pounds? If you're sticking to CrMo steel, that would be pretty darn hard; the Rivendell Roadeo can be tricked out to weigh under 20 lbs. but it would cost 3.5-4 times the price of a 2009 Aurora. I can't think of a CF bike that would weigh that little for under $1000. But I'm not in the market for one, so maybe I've missed something.
Here is one:
http://websterbicycle.com/product/10...00-59777-1.htm
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Old 05-15-10, 10:51 AM   #14
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Could you point me to a bike that would cost under $1000 and would weigh 19-21 pounds? If you're sticking to CrMo steel, that would be pretty darn hard; the Rivendell Roadeo can be tricked out to weigh under 20 lbs. but it would cost 3.5-4 times the price of a 2009 Aurora. I can't think of a CF bike that would weigh that little for under $1000. But I'm not in the market for one, so maybe I've missed something.
Why do people get stuck on buying new? Only my opinion here... but I think that it is downright silly to buy a new bicycle when there are tons available every weekend that people rode three times and then stored in the garage for a couple of years. And buying a used bike isn't risky like buying a used car. As much as we here would like for it to be all mysterious and complicated... a bike is an extremely simple machine. Hard to get ripped off if you've educated yourself beforehand.

I don't live in a really bike heavy community, and I still regularly see $2,000 - $3000 bikes listed for sale here for a song. They're often like new. And even almost new bikes sell for cheap... just exercise patience and a deal will come along.
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Old 05-15-10, 11:08 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by amy26 View Post
I'm planning on riding my first MS150 next April, and am considering buying a 2009 Jamis Aurora. Would this be a sufficient bike for this ride? I realize it is a little heavy at 27 lbs.

http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebik...09_aurora.html

Thanks for your help.
Rode the MS150 before on my 1988 Specialized Sirrus which is a vintage racing bike. Unless you have legs like Lance road racing gearing is a killer in the hills. If I could have my choice the Aurora with it's sport touring gearing would perform admirably in the MS150, plus it would be much more useful the rest of the year.

Most people have a racing mentality when it come to the MS 150 that lighter and faster is better. It's not their fault really but the MS Society does put a mixed message out that it's either a Tour like the Tour De France, or a Tour where your headed to a destination and camping at least once along the way. It really boils down to what you want out of the experience. If your looking to see how you perform over 180 miles of riding then you fall in the first group and should buy a Road (racing) bike. If you want to ride for the sake of riding and aren't worried about the clock and want a bike the won't beat you up over the distance the Aurora is a good choice.
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Old 05-16-10, 06:56 AM   #16
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Could you point me to a bike that would cost under $1000 and would weigh 19-21 pounds? If you're sticking to CrMo steel, that would be pretty darn hard; the Rivendell Roadeo can be tricked out to weigh under 20 lbs. but it would cost 3.5-4 times the price of a 2009 Aurora. I can't think of a CF bike that would weigh that little for under $1000. But I'm not in the market for one, so maybe I've missed something.
There's no clear requirement to stick to CroMo. 19lbs might have been optimistic. Note that "same price" really is around $1000 (give or take a few hundered). You might be able to find a bike that weighs 20 or so lbs at about $1200, which should not be out of reach for anybody looking at the Aurora who is really worried about weight.

My point is that people talking about "lighter bikes" are thinking about 16-17 ones, which isn't exactly relevant to somebody looking at bikes around $1000. At approximate price of the Aurora ($1025), the amount of weight that could be saved would be small.

Since few manufacturers publish weights (Jamis is one that does), it would be hard to point to anything.

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No weight listed there (which means that reference doesn't work as an example).

Anyway, Felt lists it at $769.99 and 21.82 lbs (which is close to 21, the upper end of my scale).

http://www.feltbicycles.com/USA/2010...ries/Z100.aspx

This one is $1149 and 19.90 lbs (in the middle of my range) and "about" the same prices as the Aurora.

http://www.feltbicycles.com/USA/2010...eries/Z85.aspx

Last edited by njkayaker; 05-16-10 at 07:25 AM.
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Old 05-16-10, 07:15 AM   #17
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Why do people get stuck on buying new? Only my opinion here... but I think that it is downright silly to buy a new bicycle when there are tons available every weekend that people rode three times and then stored in the garage for a couple of years. And buying a used bike isn't risky like buying a used car. As much as we here would like for it to be all mysterious and complicated... a bike is an extremely simple machine. Hard to get ripped off if you've educated yourself beforehand.
If there were truly "tons" it would not take any patience! Used can be a good deal but it isn't that easy.

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I don't live in a really bike heavy community, and I still regularly see $2,000 - $3000 bikes listed for sale here for a song.
This is so vague that you aren't saying anything.

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They're often like new. And even almost new bikes sell for cheap... just exercise patience and a deal will come along.
It can take a lot of patience and knowledge and time. Being short or tall can make it even harder to find bikes that fit.
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Old 05-17-10, 02:15 PM   #18
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If there were truly "tons" it would not take any patience! Used can be a good deal but it isn't that easy.


This is so vague that you aren't saying anything.


It can take a lot of patience and knowledge and time. Being short or tall can make it even harder to find bikes that fit.
Wow, njkayaker... I must've really rung your bell. Or are you always that adversarial?

My post was pretty clear. But let me distill it down for you.

You can save money by buying a used bicycle.

And you want specifics? How about the 2004 Fuji Bordeaux that I bought 2 weeks ago off of CL... aluminum frame/ carbon fork/Campy drivetrain... weighs 18.8 pounds... sold originally for $1,799. I talked the guy down to $300 and I flipped it less than 24 hours later for $700. I didn't even have to clean the darn thing before it was sold.

Then an example of how learning to turn wrenches can save you money:
I used the profits from the Fuji to put together my newest keeper bike. One of the mechanics at the LBS had a Surly Pacer frame in my size with less then 50 miles on it. He was belly aching about how badly he wanted money... so I gave him $200 for the frame complete with carbon fork, Thomson Elite seatpost, Cane Creek headset, and stem... all new components with not a scratch on them. Kept an eye on CL for component deals... hit upon a guy who wanted money and had Ultegra stuff that he'd pulled off of a bike in order to buy Dura Ace... I bought his long cage Ultegra RD for $20.

Got a set of wheels from a guy who was swearing off his wheels with Ultegra hubs/Mavic Open Pro rims because he couldn't keep them trued. The problem was that the wheels were assembled with aluminum nipples and no thread prep or anti-seize compound. The steel spokes and aluminum nipples suffered enough galvanic corrosion that they were impossible to turn without wrapping up the spokes. He didn't know how to fix them so he gave them to me for free. I replaced the nipples with brass ones... problem solved. So I had a top shelf wheel set for $5 worth of nipples.

All told, I have a new (the oldest component on the bike is 1 year old) Ultegra equipped Surly Pacer and I have a grand total of $200 invested in it after you subtract the Fuji flipping profits.


But you're right... it takes knowledge, time, and patience. If you're impatient... you spend more money to get it NOW. And that's a valid choice. If you don't like working on bicycles... you pay for others to fix stuff for you. And that's a valid choice.

For me... it's a challenge to ride bikes equipped with high quality gear and pay less than WalMart prices. And that's a valid choice.

Ride safe.
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Old 05-17-10, 02:37 PM   #19
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The Jamis is a suitable touring bike and will work just fine. Have fun!
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Old 05-17-10, 04:33 PM   #20
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Wow, njkayaker... I must've really rung your bell. Or are you always that adversarial?
No, it's just your post underestimated the effort involved.

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You can save money by buying a used bicycle.
I said this but it takes work.

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And you want specifics? [lots of pointless details deleted]
Of course, you can get great deals if you have all the time in the world to wait for them!

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All told, I have a new (the oldest component on the bike is 1 year old) Ultegra equipped Surly Pacer and I have a grand total of $200 invested in it after you subtract the Fuji flipping profits.
$200 plus all the time you spent tracking down deals. There is nothing wrong with this approach but (presumably) your time is worth something.

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But you're right... it takes knowledge, time, and patience. If you're impatient... you spend more money to get it NOW. And that's a valid choice. If you don't like working on bicycles... you pay for others to fix stuff for you. And that's a valid choice.
There you go! It's this that your post wasn't "clear" on.

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For me... it's a challenge to ride bikes equipped with high quality gear and pay less than WalMart prices. And that's a valid choice.
Of course, it's a valid choice. It works better if you have a bicycle that you can use (or happen to be able to get one fairly easily used).

Last edited by njkayaker; 05-17-10 at 04:52 PM.
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Old 05-17-10, 04:59 PM   #21
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You can definitely use the Aurora for the MS 150. It's pretty much built for that type of riding. As long as it fits, it's a good choice.

Now, back to the rumble in progress...



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Wow, njkayaker... I must've really rung your bell. Or are you always that adversarial?
That was adversarial? You haven't seen anything yet.

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You can save money by buying a used bicycle.
Actually, let's get specific.

YOU can save money by buying a used bicycle. Most other people cannot.

I'm with njkayaker on this one. In order to ethically save money when buying used, you need to:

be able to do most of the repairs and parts changes by yourself
either value your money more than your time, and/or intrinsically enjoy doing bike repairs and hunting for used bikes
have lots of spare parts on hand, or be willing to risk buying used components on fleabay or by stripping other bikes
know what actually fits you, and what does not
know enough about bikes to know what models and types suit your particular needs
accurately evaluate the condition of the bike and its components
be sure the seller is the actual owner, and that the bike was not stolen

Otherwise, any used bike is likely to turn into a money pit.

And of course, in any such project there are a ton of hidden costs. E.g. if you're doing your own work and doing it right, you'll need a bunch of tools, a truing stand, a repair stand, extra parts, and so forth.

In my case, I'd rather not dedicate a ton of space, or a minute more of my free time than is necessary, to fixing a bike. I'm not mechanically inclined, I didn't get into cycling to become mechanically inclined, and I'm happy to keep my LBS afloat with my intermittent repair needs. I don't need to be an auto mechanic to drive a car; I don't need to be a programmer to own a computer; I don't need to build my own furniture to save $50 on a sofa. For many people, the same goes for bicycles.

Also, if there are a ton of high-quality bikes available for a song on Craigslist, unfortunately odds are that a fair number of them are stolen. There is really no way to know.

There's nothing wrong with buying a used bike (as long as you reasonably believe it was not stolen). But it's not for everyone, and you need to be thoroughly set up, or insanely lucky, in order to truly save money with that approach.
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Old 05-18-10, 08:35 AM   #22
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njkayaker... Bacciagalupe... you guys make some great points. And it's good that I have you guys to bring me back to reality!

Seriously though... you guys did make me stop and think about my bike habits and how my personality steers me. And I have to admit that others may not want to do what I do... but my wife and I are empty nesters who have free time that other folks may not. Add that free time with the fact that I'm an engineer with a tinkering habit and the situation gets dangerous! I've built my own coffee roasters from hot air popcorn poppers... built electrolytic rust removal systems from iron rebar and baking soda... and raised show pigs that placed top in the state (and tasted good too).

But back to bikes... I really don't go out of my way for a deal too often. I just keep an eye on CL and drop an email when I see something interesting. My favorite catches are when someone posts that they want to get rid of components... I prey on people who upgrade a lot. I love people who strip great components off just so they can install the latest and greatest components... I often get Ultegra and Doo-race (Dura Ace) stuff for almost free because they're so anxious to recoup some of that upgrade money. And I just put the stuff aside for a future project. It's easy to build up a bike when I have so little invested in the components.

So yeah... you guys are abso-tively right. I was imposing my own standards and habits on other folks. And I forgot that other people don't like to do things my way.

Ride on fellers!
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Old 05-18-10, 08:52 AM   #23
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fwiw, I did my first three MS 150s on a Trek 730 hybrid bike. It was fine. The MS rides are all pretty chill and the time allowances that they give you are fairly generous. I picked up a Trek 520 loaded touring bike a few years later and did another MS150 on this ride, and it was nice to be faster, but that just meant that I got to stop pedaling an hour or two earlier. Still had a blast either way, talking to folks, enjoying the weather and contributing to a good cause.

Yes, you can always spend money on a better bike, and it can certainly be more fun to do it on something fast and fleet, but if the question is if a touring bike 'ok' for these sorts of rides then the answer is a resounding 'yes'.
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Old 05-18-10, 09:30 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hydrated View Post
njkayaker... Bacciagalupe... you guys make some great points. And it's good that I have you guys to bring me back to reality!
Here's a little more reality:



I found this old Bianchi for 50 bucks as a complete bike with a rattle-can paint job.
The only pieces left from when I found it are the frame, fork, handlebars, canti-brakes and the rattle-can paint job.
A new bike would have been cheaper...but of course not nearly as fun. This is still probably my favorite of my six bikes.
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Old 05-18-10, 09:31 AM   #25
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Thanks for all the good advice!

I did end up buying the Aurora and for only $500 (Craigs List). From all appearances, it's in mint condition. So far, I love it. It fits well, but after a little riding the gears started jumping around. I'm going to take to a bike store this weekend to have them look at it - hopefully its no big deal.
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