I'm looking at a couple of bikes for roughly the same price ($1,000) on CL: '99 Ultimate and '03 Siena. I've ridden the Ultimate and liked it, but now there's a Siena listed that's about an hour away from me. I'm 5-7, 170 pounds and turning 60 this month. So while I've ridden a lot, I'm not looking for anything more than something I can ride recreationally with ease and relative speed. Short inseam, long torso, which seems like it might mean the Siena's a better fit but I'm not sure.
Someone said that the Ultimate is more of a crit racer design and would be relatively stiff. I didn't ride it long in my test ride, but it didn't seem that way to me. So given that I want something relatively smooth as well as responsive. Anything leap out at you as to which I should pick, given the preferences I've outlined? Somehow I'm thinking the all-Ti aspect of the Ultimate might make it more of a long-term bike, but nothing I've read suggests the carbon elements of the Siena are a problem.
Tried the '03 Siena. Stem had been seriously overtightened, to the point that it was almost hard to steer. Suggests trouble to me -- I've read that these had some bearing problems, and I'm guessing the over tightening was an attempt to minimize the noise caused by those bearings. So back to considering the Ultimate. Only problem: wheels. A Bontager paired spoke X-lite in the front, an Ascent in the back with a bad hub. I've heard people question the durability of both of these rims. So I'm thinking of asking the seller to keep those and replace them with something else. Make sense, wheel experts?