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Old 07-22-09, 05:10 PM   #1
bikerwho
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My sit.

Currently I'm a college student who has been riding a beater. I saved up 800 dollars now to buy a new bike.
I don't know what to look for but I know that I want it for commuting to school.
That's 26 miles round trip.

I also want it for touring.
I plan on traveling over my breaks via bike.
I also need to put my books and bag somewhere on the bike.

People have suggested bikesdirect.com but I cannot narrow it down.

What do you guys think?


Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-22-09, 05:31 PM   #2
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Is that $800 for the whole package, or just the bike? Depending on what you already own, it may take a few hundred dollars or more to buy touring equipment.
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Old 07-22-09, 05:47 PM   #3
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How about this Dawes cyclocross? Less than $500 and ready for the commute. Use the extra dough, slap on a triple chain ring(48/36/26), add a rack and you've got a tourer. Additional customizing and upgrading can/will be done as you get the money for it.

As a compromise, it'll be cost effective. Won't do either jobs really well, but you can make it work.

Fit is First. If you don't already know the size you need, let a local bike shop help you figure this out. You'll need a good relationship with one anyway, perhaps to help you with assembly, fine turning, and maintenance. And they might just have something in stock that'll work, saving you the hassle of mail order.
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Old 07-22-09, 05:55 PM   #4
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I'm not a big fan of BikeDirect but.............. for the money the Windsor Tourist is a nice deal if you know your sizing..http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/windsor/tourist.htm

I've seen one in person and I have to say that I was impressed. Good looking bike and at $599 with rack...... hard to beat. Is it perfect? Nope. But for the money it's as close as your going to get.

With the money left over you can get some Panniers to go with it.
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Old 07-22-09, 06:03 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by bikerwho View Post
People have suggested bikesdirect.com but I cannot narrow it down.
At $599 including shipping, you could do worse than the Windsor Touring from BikeDirect.com. Three of us rode them to do a Trans America (4244 miles in 73 days) and my daughter has continued to use hers to commute at grad school for the past two years. I continue to tour on mine, but ride my road bike or run when not on tour.

I think all three of us were quite happy with them for our big tour, and my daughter has continued to find it to be great for commuting, but she still lusts after a road bike for more sporty riding on the weekends.

Check out my journals, especially the TA one for more details (see link in the sig line below).
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Old 07-22-09, 07:04 PM   #6
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IM not opposed to threaded headsets, but why does the tourist have it?
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Old 07-22-09, 07:24 PM   #7
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Or you could splurge a little and get the Raleigh Sojourn. 999, but comes with a really solid rear rack, fenders, and a Brooks saddle. Otherwise, as has been mentioned, the Windsor Tourist would leave you a with a little leftover for extras, which is nice. I'm no expert, but when I was in your situation, I was looking for:

A) something that fits perfectly, because that's the most important part of buying any bike.
B) something that you'll be proud/excited to get out and ride. To me, this meant a bike that I really liked the look of. If you're excited about your bike and way it looks, you'll be more likely to take care of it and upgrade the components and make it your own.
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Old 07-22-09, 07:35 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
At $599 including shipping, you could do worse than the Windsor Touring from BikeDirect.com. Three of us rode them to do a Trans America (4244 miles in 73 days) and my daughter has continued to use hers to commute at grad school for the past two years. I continue to tour on mine, but ride my road bike or run when not on tour.

I think all three of us were quite happy with them for our big tour, and my daughter has continued to find it to be great for commuting, but she still lusts after a road bike for more sporty riding on the weekends.

Check out my journals, especially the TA one for more details (see link in the sig line below).
Just out of curiosity, how much does Bikesdirect pay you for your endorsement, by way of the link to your travelog in their ad?

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Old 07-22-09, 07:46 PM   #9
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Just out of curiosity, how much does Bikesdirect pay you for your enforcement, by way of the link to your travelog in their ad?
I only hope your joking.... If you look above his endorsement(not enforcement) you will see I mentioned it as an options before Steph did. I can promise you I'm not a shill. Go look at my posts if you don't believe me. I've spent my fair amount of time bashing them for the crappy selling/shilling practices they have employed in the past(current?).. But......... I have seen one in person. Very nice looking bike for the money. The fact that the OP has $800 total to spend makes it an option.

If he had more to spend I'm guessing I would suggest something else.....
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Old 07-22-09, 08:16 PM   #10
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eh..I'm a college student too and I've been contemplating about which bike to get. I think I'm going to empty my piggy bank on a Surly LHT. I've been hunting around on bike forums and reading reviews for a month now, and I've only seen and heard great things about the Surly. I figure I'd spent a bit more and get a bike thats going to last a long time.

I hope I'm not being rash!
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Old 07-22-09, 09:46 PM   #11
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I only hope your joking.... If you look above his endorsement(not enforcement) you will see I mentioned it as an options before Steph did. I can promise you I'm not a shill. Go look at my posts if you don't believe me. I've spent my fair amount of time bashing them for the crappy selling/shilling practices they have employed in the past(current?).. But......... I have seen one in person. Very nice looking bike for the money. The fact that the OP has $800 total to spend makes it an option.

If he had more to spend I'm guessing I would suggest something else.....
I am totally serious. I am not accusing him of being a shill, because it isn't secret. He is mentioned in their ad. He would be required to give his permission for that and there is always compensation involved.
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Old 07-22-09, 10:06 PM   #12
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I am totally serious. I am not accusing him of being a shill, because it isn't secret. He is mentioned in their ad. He would be required to give his permission for that and there is always compensation involved.
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Old 07-22-09, 10:26 PM   #13
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Is that $800 for the whole package, or just the bike? Depending on what you already own, it may take a few hundred dollars or more to buy touring equipment.

Two of my bikes are too small for me.
I have a 51 and a 53 but I'm a 56.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyclebum View Post

As a compromise, it'll be cost effective. Won't do either jobs really well, but you can make it work.
Elaborate please.

staehpj1 -
I have an old school peugot. What kind of difference can I expect? Is it heavier? Harder to handle?
I also have a trek 820 antelope - Should I expect the bike you recommended to be more like this one?

ronaldhaynes -
how does a threadless fork influence the bike's features?

bncycle -
I can put in a little more since 800 is what I saved
I do work so I do have a steady income.
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Old 07-23-09, 01:16 AM   #14
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bump
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Old 07-23-09, 04:46 AM   #15
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Just out of curiosity, how much does Bikesdirect pay you for your endorsement, by way of the link to your travelog in their ad?
Nothing. I wrote them to say that I was very pleased with the three bikes we bought for our TA and made a suggestion of how they could improve them for touring (different crank). They asked if it was OK to use the link and I said it was fine. That is about the extent of my relationship with them other than the fact that I have since bought a road bike from them.

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Old 07-23-09, 05:21 AM   #16
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staehpj1 -
I have an old school peugot. What kind of difference can I expect? Is it heavier? Harder to handle?
I also have a trek 820 antelope - Should I expect the bike you recommended to be more like this one?
I really can't compare since I am not that familiar with the 820 or your peugot. I will say that the Windsor is pretty much the same bike as the Fuji Touring. Supposedly it is exactly the same except for some of the parts on the fuji being rebadged with the Fuji brand. As far as I can tell that is true.

You can expect touring bike geometry, but on the shorter side for wheelbase and chain stay length compared to an LHT. The weight is about the norm, if anything on the light side. Mine weighs a bit under 29 pounds with Freddy Hardcore fenders, bottle cages, front and rear racks, a little nashbar rack to support the handlebar bag, and a seat bag with two tubes and a few small tools (Seat bag and contents included in the weight, handlebar bag not). Oh and that weight is with lighter than stock tires (28mm gatorskins)

I mentioned it because I am happy with mine and found the price to be reasonable. I like the choices they made in picking components except for the crank which I replaced with a Sugino XD600 to get a better selection of gears. I prefer the STI shifters to the bar ends on some bikes. Some would prefer the bar ends.

I don't see the threaded headset as a clear plus or minus. I like thread-less for ease of maintenance on the road, but If it is set up right before you go you are unlikely to need to maintain it on a tour that isn't more than a few months unless riding in very rough conditions. Threaded is easier to raise and lower bar position with. The stem can be moved up and down a good bit and longer stems are available if you want to go even higher. Also you don't affect the headset adjustment when you raise and lower the bars and you don't have to deal with spacers or extensions. Personally this isn't really factor for me since i like the bars real low anyway.

There are lots of other bikes out there (LHT, Trek 520, Fuji Touring, Jamis Aurora, and Cannondale touring bikes to name a few). The Windsor has been a great bike for us, but it may or may not be the best choice for you; find the one that suits you, but I'd at least consider the Windsor.

BTW: I personally think that the Raleigh Sojourn is an especially bad choice. It suits some, but it is heavy, has bar end shifters, 32 spoke wheels, disc brakes, and geometry like a "comfort bike". All of those are negatives for me. I think folks go ga ga because they see the fancy leather bar tape, Brooks saddle, and disc brakes. To me that stuff isn't really a plus, but even if it was it would be kind of like putting lipstick on a pig. Different strokes though...

There are plenty of other good choices on the market.
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Old 07-23-09, 09:45 AM   #17
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Reason why I asked the question, is because it seems like they put a threaded fork on it because it has a beneficial reason to the bike; being that it is a touring bike. Can any one give an explanation? or is it kind of just random.
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Old 07-23-09, 09:55 AM   #18
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Are people still riding the novara safari ($849) from rei, or is it not popular anymore since they made the changes?
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Old 07-23-09, 10:32 AM   #19
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Are people still riding the novara safari ($849) from rei, or is it not popular anymore since they made the changes?
I looked at and test rode it and didn't think that much of it for road touring. The REI Randonee is more to my liking and I should have mentioned it in my list of suitable bikes. It seems very nice and if you watch the sales the price might be pretty good.
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Old 07-23-09, 04:55 PM   #20
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Reason why I asked the question, is because it seems like they put a threaded fork on it because it has a beneficial reason to the bike; being that it is a touring bike. Can any one give an explanation? or is it kind of just random.
I think Pete(staehpj1) listed the main advantage of the treaded over the threadless: flexiblity. Unless the steerer tube is puposely cut long, threadless headset can only be adjusted shorter unless a "hoaky" extender is used. The quill stem offers a couple of inches up or down which is really great for fine tuning. I want to raise the bars on my Volpe, and right now the only option is a new fork or the hoaky adapter. I think threadless steerer tubes can be made out of lighter material which was probably the driver in high end components, and may actualy be cheaper to manufacture on the lower end components.
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Old 07-23-09, 05:31 PM   #21
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I'm leaning more towards a bike made for fast commuting or a road racer biker.
Since that will be its main function.

Do you need a special bike to attach racks, baskets and ect? Or can you just mount it.

How fast do tour-ers average out in speed?
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Old 07-23-09, 07:34 PM   #22
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I'm leaning more towards a bike made for fast commuting or a road racer biker.
Since that will be its main function.

Do you need a special bike to attach racks, baskets and ect? Or can you just mount it.

How fast do tour-ers average out in speed?
For $800 you can get a very good quality used tourer with all the racks, bottle cages, fenders that you need. A 5-10 year old Trek 520 or similar bike in excellent condition with touring accessories can be had for that price and I'd much prefer one to a new Windsor Touring (although it's a fine bike, it's not really in the same league).

Racks are best attached to mounting points specifically built onto forks, seatstays and dropouts of the frame. Not all frames have them. You can get clamp-on or even seatpost mounted racks but I don't recommend these for long trips/heavy loads.

Most tourers are slow. Don't expect much more than 15mph overall unless your really fit and travelling light.
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Old 07-23-09, 07:45 PM   #23
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I'm not sure if you're joking or if you might be suggesting some impropriety, but I can say Staephj1 seems a pretty stand up guy to me. He's posted many times about his experience with his bike, and they seem genuine to me. Can't say I agree with him all the time though....

If I'm taking this the wrong way, my apologies!

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Just out of curiosity, how much does Bikesdirect pay you for your endorsement, by way of the link to your travelog in their ad?
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Old 07-23-09, 09:36 PM   #24
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Nothing. I wrote them to say that I was very pleased with the three bikes we bought for our TA and made a suggestion of how they could improve them for touring (different crank). They asked if it was OK to use the link and I said it was fine. That is about the extent of my relationship with them other than the fact that I have since bought a road bike from them.
I am sorry if I offended you . While you have not indicated it, others have acted as if I called you a dirty word. That was not my intent. When I intend to insult people, I am not usually that subtle about it.
i see nothing wrong with endorsing a product, but I really do think you should be compensated for it, just like Lance and Levi, etc.
My brother-in-law made in the low 5 figures for a 5 second man on the street interview in a beer commercial a few years ago.
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Old 07-24-09, 01:21 AM   #25
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For $800 you can get a very good quality used tourer with all the racks, bottle cages, fenders that you need. A 5-10 year old Trek 520 or similar bike in excellent condition with touring accessories can be had for that price and I'd much prefer one to a new Windsor Touring (although it's a fine bike, it's not really in the same league).

Racks are best attached to mounting points specifically built onto forks, seatstays and dropouts of the frame. Not all frames have them. You can get clamp-on or even seatpost mounted racks but I don't recommend these for long trips/heavy loads.

Most tourers are slow. Don't expect much more than 15mph overall unless your really fit and travelling light.
bike to bike comparison
if i just had stock tourer and stock road what would be speed diff?
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