I'm a casual rider (maybe 5-600 miles per year) who has been on a '95 Diamond Back Outlook MB that I added communter tires and toe-clips to. Looking to move to something lighter and faster but not the full road bike route.
Bike I've been looking at the most is the Cafe Latte at Bikes Direct and I wanted to get an opinion of the bike from people who have bought and ridden one. It seems to be a good combination of components, even if entry level
Many of the reviews I see devolve into an indictment of BD and their credibility vs LBSs. That is not what I'm looking for.
I'm also going into this with eyes wide open - no-test ride or fitup; assembly is required; etc. I do my own wrenching on bikes, cars etc and know when I need to take something to the shop. I'm just looking for opinions of the bike. thanks
Except for the fixed front fork, I don't think you'll find the Cafe Latte that different from what you have. A lot of people happily convert mountain bikes to hybrids by doing exactly what you did - I don't think you'll see that much gain in speed.
That being said, all of the BD bikes I've seen were nice for what they were - their owners all seemed quite happy with their purchases. I don't think you'll be disappointed in the bike, except that it won't be as big a difference from what you're riding as you hope*.
* A suspension fork can be very lossy. If yours is, then you may see a bigger difference than I've suggested. You could just upgrade to a fixed fork for a lot less money...
2012 Motobecane Fantom CXX, 2012 Motobecane Fantom CX, 1997 Bianchi Nyala, 200? Burley Rock 'n Roll
It could be a few pounds lighter than your old Diamondback. I've no idea if your old bike is double-butted CroMo, straight gauge hi-ten, or something in between. The older mountain bikes we have in my family probably run 27 - 28 lb with decent CroMo frames. I would make a wild guess that the BD bike would be around 25 lb. Losing a few pounds won't make a huge difference, although it's nice when you're climbing hills.
Shifting might be improved, although the older bikes we have (3x7 with various Shimano components) still index pretty well with occasional tinkering, new cables, or whatever.
The gearing should end up being higher than your present bike, so if you find yourself spinning out in high gear now, then the new bike will be better. The low end for the newer bike will probably be higher than you're used to.
I've been pretty happy with my BD stuff, but no experience with this particular bike.