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  1. #1
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    Suggestions on components

    Hi all. I'll be buying a new bike soon, so I'm trying to learn what I can to get the "right" bike.

    A bit of background:
    I've actually never gone touring, and this won't be purely for touring, but I chose this forum because I think it's the closest to what I want. I'm currently bikeless, so this is my do-everything-be-everything bike. Which means I want to be able to load it up with weight -- whether it's camping gear, groceries, or whatever and still climb the mountains around here (Vancouver area), hence the general focus on touring rather than a hybrid. I will also be riding it extensively unloaded (again, it's my 'everything' bike). Mostly on roads, but also dirt or some gravel trails. No serious mountain biking, though.

    I've browsed through these forums and looked around several bike shops and decided that the DeVinci Caribou 2 should handle all my needs quite well. The Marinoni Turismo also looked appealing, but with a 8-10 week wait to get it, it seems the DeVinci is the better option.

    That said, I know very little in the way of components. I've seen some names for a few pieces, but I have no experience with them. I have no idea how they compare up and down the line, etc. So I'm appealing to the vast knowledge in these forums to help me know what should be upgraded on the bike. I'll be doing all the replacements at the time of purchase with the bike fitting, etc, and have the store swap the components for me to have it done professionally.

    Without furthur ado, here's the stock configuration from DeVinci's site: http://www.devinci.com/9786_an.html

    My knowledge so far:
    - I know I want the disc brakes (the one in the store had them installed, the link seems to list the disc brakes (if I understand it correctly), but the photo seems to show some other type)
    - I know many people here prefer bar end shifters, but I prefer the shifting near the brakes
    - The brake levers installed (Tiagra) feel cheap to me. An opinon I've seen expressed on these forums by someone else, as well. I will upgrade those to something that feels better (next level up? two levels up? suggestions?)
    - When searching I've seen a caution about the relatively short chainstay (43.5cm). I don't have large feet, and I'll get the rack + paniers at the time of purchase, so this won't be an issue.
    - I know I need lower gears than the stock setup, but have no idea what numbers to ask for. Help please!

    The remaining parts I'm completely ignorant about. Please post your opinions on any other piece you feel should be upgraded to best enjoy my new machine.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    It's possible to change a stock bike a little for no or a little more money....but major changes cost big bucks.

    I'd shop around and ride a bunch a bikes...and pick the one that closest to your needs stock.

  3. #3
    Macro Geek
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    It looks like it could be an adequate touring/all-purpose bike.

    However, look out for three things:

    1. Check that it has all the braze-ons you will need to attach racks, etc. Otherwise keep looking!

    2. Make sure this bike does not cause your toe to touch the front wheel. Some frame/fork combos can cause your toes to interfere with the front wheel at very low speeds. This is less of an issue with a racing bike, but you do not want this to happen on a touring bike. Slow starts are the norm when the bike is fully loaded. Also, fenders take up space, so make sure there will be enough room for your toes after fenders are installed. (Most bike tourists have fenders.)

    3. Be careful about the short chain stays. Before purchasing, load up some panniers and make absolutely sure your heel does not touch them. My current bike has slightly shorter than average chain stays. When my panniers are positioned as far back as possible, my heels clear the panniers by about a centimeter. And that's fine!

    A few other comments:

    Some people might quibble about the "skinny" 28 mm tires, but I toured for years on 23s, 25s, and 28s. (I recently upgraded to 32s for the first time ever, and really like them.)

    You are correct that the stock gearing may not be up to the task of serious climbing. I would switch the 52/42/30T to something like 48/36/22T.

    I'm with you on the brifters. Bar-end shifters have many advantages over STI-type systems, but some of us use them anyway!

    I'm not sure whether your assessment of Tiagra components is accurate. Many people on the forums use them and are satisfied. The guy who built my bike maintains that there is little difference in quality between the various product lines. Sometimes one product just has a better finish than another, yet mechanically, the two are identical, except one costs twice as much as the other. Proper set-up is vital. If reasonably good components are installed and adjusted correctly, they will be fine.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the replies, I appreciate it!

    Quote Originally Posted by tacomee
    It's possible to change a stock bike a little for no or a little more money....but major changes cost big bucks.

    I'd shop around and ride a bunch a bikes...and pick the one that closest to your needs stock.
    That's what I have done. It's pretty close to what I want, but since it is cheaper to make changes at the time of purchase, I'm asking for more educated opinions on whether there's any item that ought to be changed.

    Quote Originally Posted by acantor
    It looks like it could be an adequate touring/all-purpose bike.

    However, look out for three things:

    1. Check that it has all the braze-ons you will need to attach racks, etc. Otherwise keep looking!
    Check. And I'll have a set of racks and a set of fenders on it before it even leaves the store.

    Quote Originally Posted by acantor
    2. Make sure this bike does not cause your toe to touch the front wheel. Some frame/fork combos can cause your toes to interfere with the front wheel at very low speeds. This is less of an issue with a racing bike, but you do not want this to happen on a touring bike. Slow starts are the norm when the bike is fully loaded. Also, fenders take up space, so make sure there will be enough room for your toes after fenders are installed. (Most bike tourists have fenders.)

    3. Be careful about the short chain stays. Before purchasing, load up some panniers and make absolutely sure your heel does not touch them. My current bike has slightly shorter than average chain stays. When my panniers are positioned as far back as possible, my heels clear the panniers by about a centimeter. And that's fine!
    Thanks for the notes. I'll verify both of those before making the purchase.

    Quote Originally Posted by acantor
    A few other comments:

    Some people might quibble about the "skinny" 28 mm tires, but I toured for years on 23s, 25s, and 28s. (I recently upgraded to 32s for the first time ever, and really like them.)
    That's good to know. I grew up with very knobby mountain bike tires and have no experience with anything else (yet).

    Quote Originally Posted by acantor
    You are correct that the stock gearing may not be up to the task of serious climbing. I would switch the 52/42/30T to something like 48/36/22T.
    Thanks for the numbers. I was hoping someone would be specific on this point (I knew "smaller" but that was it).

    Quote Originally Posted by acantor
    I'm with you on the brifters. Bar-end shifters have many advantages over STI-type systems, but some of us use them anyway!

    I'm not sure whether your assessment of Tiagra components is accurate. Many people on the forums use them and are satisfied. The guy who built my bike maintains that there is little difference in quality between the various product lines. Sometimes one product just has a better finish than another, yet mechanically, the two are identical, except one costs twice as much as the other. Proper set-up is vital. If reasonably good components are installed and adjusted correctly, they will be fine.
    Okay, it's good to know that they're quality on the inside. I'll still find out how much extra $$ to upgrade them, and if it's not much I'll do it just for the feel of it.

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