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Old 08-23-04, 12:43 PM   #1
yellowstone yet
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Road, Touring or Cross Bike?

I need some help deciding on a new bike. Heres the story: I made a deal with my wife. If I can lose 53# and my Clydesdale status, she will buy me a new bike. Im almost there and looking to save some $ by buying a closeout 2004 model. My limit is $1000 for a complete bike. I would like 105 as the minimum component group. My question is: do I buy a touring bike, road bike, cross bike? Ive done quite a bit of touring in the past on a mountain bike. In fact, that is my road bike right now-an early 90s steel Fisher mtn bike with slicks. It is heavy, slow, and the perfect bike for losing weight. Do I keep it as my touring bike and buy a faster, lighter road bike? Or do I buy a decent touring bike and use it for all of my road riding? Will I notice the difference between a road bike and a bare touring bike, especially at my size? If it matters, Ive never ridden a real road bike since Ive been a mtn biker for 20 of my 42 years.

Secondly, can anyone recommend some models for me to check out? I think I would prefer steel, due to its durability and longevity. I plan on keeping the bike for a long time. I realize that fit will be a big part of the decision but Im just looking to narrow the field a bit. The brands available locally are: Trek, Specialized, Lemond, KHS, Marin. Id be willing to drive a bit if you have recommendations other than these brands. If anyone can point me to a source that breaks down bikes by steel, aluminum, etc., I would appreciate it.

Thanks for the help!
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Old 08-23-04, 01:07 PM   #2
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Ordinarily, I'd say get a trek 520. But you seem happy with the Mtn bike doing tourer duty. Try test riding a few bikes. Allez, A couple Bianchi, Jamis,Cannondales, Treks, and Felts and see what you like.
See what you think of the Specilaized Sequoia and it's many imitators.
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Old 08-23-04, 01:14 PM   #3
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Doesn't seem like a guy can lose getting a touring bike, it's only slightly heavier than a road bike.
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Old 08-23-04, 02:51 PM   #4
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You'll be hard pressed to find a road bike with full 105 for $1000.

I bought an 01 Trek 220 that has 105 complete, for $1200 that was a left over in 2002. Normal price was I think over $1400.

Secondly what do you plan to do with the bike. A full road bike will be faster if you doing group rides. Plus since you already have a mountain bike I don't see what good a hybrid would do. A touring bike is usually heavier, with thicker tires and will be slower, if that is your taste then so be it. Though touring bikes are harder to find.

Lastly can I make a suggestion, that is to find a good shop that you like to deal with. That is more important than the brand of bike. If you don't like going in to purchase items and get your bike tuned up, you will be apt to give up cycling. My shop back in virginia, had great folks, good service, great prices and they held rides right from the shop.
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Old 08-23-04, 02:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yellowstone yet
... Ive done quite a bit of touring in the past on a mountain bike. In fact, that is my road bike right now-an early 90s steel Fisher mtn bike with slicks. It is heavy, slow, and the perfect bike for losing weight. Do I keep it as my touring bike and buy a faster, lighter road bike? Or do I buy a decent touring bike and use it for all of my road riding? Will I notice the difference between a road bike and a bare touring bike, especially at my size? If it matters, Ive never ridden a real road bike <snip>
.... The brands available locally are: Trek, Specialized, Lemond, KHS, Marin. Id be willing to drive a bit if you have recommendations other than these brands. If anyone can point me to a source that breaks down bikes by steel, aluminum, etc., I would appreciate it.

Thanks for the help!
Given what you have available at your bike shops and w/ your mountain bike background, you might want to give the Marin Fairfield a try. It might be a nice compromise between a road / touring bike and a mountain bike. It's nice and solid w/ cromo frame; not too heavy, comfortable riding position; 700c tires (wider than a road-bike but certainly less so than a mountain bike. Also, Specialized has the Sirrus which might be the ticket for you. The Trek 520 bike is popular for good reasons as a touring bike. Of course, it has the drop handlebars, which you might find difficult to adapt to after all those mountain-biking years. There's no reason, for you to feel like drop-bars is 'written in stone,' especially if you're looking for something "multi-purpose." If you find your mountainbike acceptable for your touring needs (I don't), get yourself a lightweight exercise type bike... I've got a Fuji Absolute for that purpose... its got a lightweight aluminum frame, which makes for less smooth riding than a cromo or steel, but for 40 or 50 minutes of exercise, at a fast pase, it's a blast! (FYI, I'm no racer) I've never rode a Lemond or KHS but try some of the aluminum lightweight models and see if one of them demands your attention In the Hybrid "Performance" category try the Trek 7500 or 7500FX. Good luck!
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Old 08-23-04, 03:11 PM   #6
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You could probably swing a Jamis Nova with all-105 for about $1000.
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Old 08-23-04, 03:42 PM   #7
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The Lemond Poprad is the same Reynolds 853 steel some elite frames use.

Sora drivetrain, nylon levers, plastic handlebars, about $800.00. It is Lemonds CycloCross. I got my shop to trade out road wheels for me.

Ride it until the rear gears give out, and put a 105 on then. Very stable bike.

You will have some cash for helmet, pump. gloves, what ever.

I like mine. Nice paint job, and the decals protect the bike.

Good road bike for a big guy. I am 225.
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Old 08-23-04, 03:48 PM   #8
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You can get all 105 bikes for a grand. Felt F70, Schwinn Fastback Pro etc.....

Personally I would find a frame and geometry I really like for $1000 or less and if it has Tiagra or Mirage parts etc..... I would do what jukt says.

But yes all 105 drivetrain bikes can be had for a grand or less.
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Old 08-23-04, 03:54 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Iron Chef
You can get all 105 bikes for a grand. Felt F70, Schwinn Fastback Pro etc.....

Personally I would find a frame and geometry I really like for $1000 or less and if it has Tiagra or Mirage parts etc..... I would do what jukt says.

But yes all 105 drivetrain bikes can be had for a grand or less.
Schwinn Fastback Pro, oops I think that is the ultegra model. Fastback comp I think is the 105 model, (The silver one)
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Old 08-23-04, 04:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jukt
The Lemond Poprad is the same Reynolds 853 steel some elite frames use.

Sora drivetrain, nylon levers, plastic handlebars, about $800.00. It is Lemonds CycloCross. I got my shop to trade out road wheels for me.

Ride it until the rear gears give out, and put a 105 on then. Very stable bike.

You will have some cash for helmet, pump. gloves, what ever.

I like mine. Nice paint job, and the decals protect the bike.

Good road bike for a big guy. I am 225.
The 2004 and 2005 Poprads are 105 and list for around $1200.
Al
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Old 08-23-04, 04:17 PM   #11
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Sorry, but thanks for the heads up. Mine is older than I thought.

Just bought it, this year.
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Old 08-23-04, 05:48 PM   #12
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some folks are listing bikes that are not on his list.

On his list you will be hard pressed to find bikes under $1000 with full 105.

In some of the off brands(there are nothing wrong with them) you can find them with full 105.

Like Iron Horse, Fuji, Felt, Raleigh, maybe even Giant.
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Old 08-23-04, 05:58 PM   #13
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I did find a mostly 105 bike on supergo for less than $1000.

Also saw a mostly ultegra 2004 Scattante R650 Double for $949. Sounded like a good deal. Don't know much about the frame though.

you can google supergo bike shops and browse.
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Old 08-23-04, 06:05 PM   #14
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i BELIEVE the 2k4 Specialized Allez Elite is $999 w/ full 105, but it's Al frame...cf seatpost and cf fork. it rides very nice, but i the annoyingly loud freehub kinda turned me off to it. definitely worth checking out

also, you may be able to find a 2k4 Trek 2100 for that price. Front deraileur is Tiagra ($30 or so to get an ultegra FD) but the rest is 105 and/or Ultegra. Aluminum frame, with CF seatstays, cf seatpost, and cf fork. I went with the 2200 (same frame) and I absolutely love this bike. Very smooth ride, but a good degree of tactile feedback from the road (personal preference).

Melloboy
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Old 08-23-04, 07:03 PM   #15
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There's different kinds of touring. If you plan on doing loaded touring then get a Trek 520 touring bike. It's likely obtainable for $1000, a hundred under list I think. My wife uses one for general road riding and loves it. However, it's geared way to high for touring or even road riding for non-jocks as it comes, so we got our lbs to change out the drive train to an LX mountain bike crankset (22/32/44), 11/32 cassette and LX derailleur at no additional charge.

Road bikes today have no attachment points for racks or fenders and the chain stays are too short for panniers. Some cyclocross bikes do have longer chain stays and have the attachment points. My Airborne Carpe Diem is an expensive example of one. Road bikes generally have steeper head tube angles that makes the bike require more attention to steer than either touring bikes or cyclocross bikes.

With (near?) your price range, you can't beat the Trek 520. If you don't tour anymore, the Schwinn road bikes that are around $800 look high value to me, but they do have aluminum frames which I don't care for. I don't think they are all 105, but they are nice.

There's another option. Find a decent used road bike or touring bike and add some narrow, light weight wheels and tires if it doesn't have them. Then ride it a few years until you know what you want. Three or four years ago I bought an old but very nice '84 Schwinn Voyager touring bike for $250. Over time I put an additional thousand into it (wheels, tires, STI, gear train, handle bars, seat, pedals) and covered a lot of miles. I just built up the Carpe Diem and used about $800 of those parts on it. I still have to old parts to put back on the Schwinn and sell it when I get motivated. On the other hand, those wider rims and tires of the old Voyager might do well on my cyclecross if I want to do dirt roads or heavy touring.

Al
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Old 08-23-04, 09:58 PM   #16
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Someone mentioned SuperGo... That's my que. I have the Scattante R-550 ($750.00). It's full 105 I believe. Mine is, not sure on the new ones. I couldn't be happier. It is an aluminum frame. Rough? I can't tell you. I have no background with anything else. You don't mention your weight, but I'm 40 years old 5'7" and started riding at 205lbs... 193lbs now and its been great.

The drawback is, mail order only. No fitting, no tuneups, no adjustments. I'm a do it yourself kinda guy so none of this is a big deal for me. For you?

Good luck
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Old 08-23-04, 10:13 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al.canoe
There's different kinds of touring. If you plan on doing loaded touring then get a Trek 520 touring bike. It's likely obtainable for $1000, a hundred under list I think. My wife uses one for general road riding and loves it. However, it's geared way to high for touring or even road riding for non-jocks as it comes, so we got our lbs to change out the drive train to an LX mountain bike crankset (22/32/44), 11/32 cassette and LX derailleur at no additional charge.

Road bikes today have no attachment points for racks or fenders and the chain stays are too short for panniers. Some cyclocross bikes do have longer chain stays and have the attachment points. My Airborne Carpe Diem is an expensive example of one. Road bikes generally have steeper head tube angles that makes the bike require more attention to steer than either touring bikes or cyclocross bikes.

Al
I bought a Bianchi Strada which has a road-configured steel frame and carbon forks and road tires. I found this the best combo for the types of rides I do - short (100 miles or less) tours on sometimes crappy roads will a good amount of hills. I thought that aluminum frames were a bit harsh for long rides. Even the Lemond Wayzata (or Poprad - same frame) was too stiff with its aluminum fork.

The Strada has great gearing - 11-32 with a triple. And if you're used to straight bars - that's what it comes with. If you're not sure about drop bars (I don't care for them), you may want to be careful before going for the Trek 520. And while some of the components aren't totally first class (Tiagra front d/r and hubs), it's a pretty good value. Check it out:

http://www.bianchiusa.com/strada.html
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Old 08-24-04, 07:25 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warrenginn
I bought a Bianchi Strada which has a road-configured steel frame and carbon forks and road tires. I found this the best combo for the types of rides I do - short (100 miles or less) tours on sometimes crappy roads will a good amount of hills. I thought that aluminum frames were a bit harsh for long rides. Even the Lemond Wayzata (or Poprad - same frame) was too stiff with its aluminum fork.

The Strada has great gearing - 11-32 with a triple. And if you're used to straight bars - that's what it comes with. If you're not sure about drop bars (I don't care for them), you may want to be careful before going for the Trek 520. And while some of the components aren't totally first class (Tiagra front d/r and hubs), it's a pretty good value. Check it out:

http://www.bianchiusa.com/strada.html
I might want to add the Bianchi Volpe to this short list. It's incredible that this purchase is going to be based simply on component specs. The most serious issue is FIT! If the bike doesn't fit you, you'v wasted your money and the best component specs won't help.

If you were racing, it would be another story as the 105 group set would be very important. However. This group set was NOT designed for touring as it made for racing. Your mountain bike is a better tourer than any road bike with 105 and this is the problem with the Trek 520 but it can be rectified. The best touring bikes do NOT come in 105 but with basically mountain bike gearing like what you are used to already.

Here's my decision. Sell the mountain bike for what ever you can get. Get yourself a good steel touring bike from Fuji, Trek or Bianchi.
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Old 08-24-04, 07:46 AM   #19
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Depending on the size you need ask your LBS about a left over '03 Marin Verona. I just got the Argenta which is one model lower and is built with Tiagra. The Verona is the same frame with 105 components and I was told was only $150 more than the $700 I paid for my Argenta. Maybe I should have gone for the Verona but money is tight and I needed other things than just the bike so I went for the Argenta and have been very happy. Steel frame with Carbon fork and seat stays.
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Old 10-17-04, 07:38 AM   #20
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I am very interested in purchasing the 2004 Volpe,as my MTB is on its last legs. Like the author of this thread, I wouldlike to use it for road, moderate trail riding, and family outings while pulling a trailer. As a father of a young family with a busy schedule, cost is important, and the LBS said they'd sell their 2004 Volpe for about 700. Here are some questions for you. The rear derailler is deore. Will that make my ride as grinding as riding a MTB? Is the Volpe going to facilitate my getting into shape as long as I keep riding it? It is about 27 pounds, is that a factor in buying a bike? Would I just do better buying a road bike or is this something that I can use for quick fitness rides on roads, trail riding, and an occassional long day on a country road?
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Old 10-17-04, 10:18 AM   #21
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http://www.roadbikereview.com/2003,R...9_4338crx.aspx

Click the link.
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Old 10-17-04, 10:26 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yellowstone yet
I need some help deciding on a new bike. Heres the story: I made a deal with my wife. If I can lose 53# and my Clydesdale status, she will buy me a new bike. Im almost there and looking to save some $ by buying a closeout 2004 model. My limit is $1000 for a complete bike. I would like 105 as the minimum component group. My question is: do I buy a touring bike, road bike, cross bike? Ive done quite a bit of touring in the past on a mountain bike. In fact, that is my road bike right now-an early 90s steel Fisher mtn bike with slicks. It is heavy, slow, and the perfect bike for losing weight. Do I keep it as my touring bike and buy a faster, lighter road bike? Or do I buy a decent touring bike and use it for all of my road riding? Will I notice the difference between a road bike and a bare touring bike, especially at my size? If it matters, Ive never ridden a real road bike since Ive been a mtn biker for 20 of my 42 years.

Secondly, can anyone recommend some models for me to check out? I think I would prefer steel, due to its durability and longevity. I plan on keeping the bike for a long time. I realize that fit will be a big part of the decision but Im just looking to narrow the field a bit. The brands available locally are: Trek, Specialized, Lemond, KHS, Marin. Id be willing to drive a bit if you have recommendations other than these brands. If anyone can point me to a source that breaks down bikes by steel, aluminum, etc., I would appreciate it.

Thanks for the help!
105 is good choice. Consider finding 1 year old used bike that the owner never used (hence it is not really a used bike , but a new one). Tons of people buy bikes and never use them.
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Old 10-17-04, 02:31 PM   #23
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I'll throw my .02 in. I'm building up a Surly Long Haul Trucker right now. With careful shopping I should come in right at about $1000.00. Of course, I'm building everything including the wheels. CR18 Suns for 25 bucks a hoop, XT hubs, db spokes... If you don't want to build, or aren't a mechanic, then find a good lbs that will do a package deal, or go mail order. Harris Cyclery would probably build one up and ship it to you. Check their site http://www.harriscyclery.com
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