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  1. #1
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    comfortable road or light touring bike.

    want to get back into road biking after taking a hiatus. i have a budget of about 1 k, will ride about 3k km on it with some centuries, some light touring, mostly around town on roads and bike paths. Have a very sensitive butt and chronic low back pain. I would appreciate any suggestions. i'll ride each for a while. new or used is less important than the right bike.

    my budget is about 1 k. I think i want some kind of road or light touring bike.

    What other questions should i be asking, or what other points should i look for?

    thanks

    bakhurts a lot today

  2. #2
    ld-cyclist prestonjb's Avatar
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    Well when you say light touring the question that comes to my mind is:

    You want to put a light duty bike rack on the bike?

    Because if you say YES then you put a large limit on the selection of road bikes. Seems it is cheaper to not add all of those lugs and drillings for rack mounts and such these days.

    However there are actually more bikes in the $1K (US?) range that still can be fitted with bike racks.

  3. #3
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    Fuji do some sport and touring bikes which may suit your budget.

  4. #4
    Mr. Happy Medium
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    Specialized Sequoia. I love mine. It's geometry enables you to have a very upright road bike that is easy on your back. The new ones have carbon fiber seat stays and suspension seat posts. They are very plush for road bikes. They have room for a rear rack, fenders and larger tires.

    I purchased mine w/ 105 level components for $950, so is should be in your price range. There is even a lower end model, but it lacks the CF stays. I don't have them on my bike, as it was an '03 before the line came out with them, but mine is still a plush ride.

    I looked at the Trek 1x00C models and the Sequoia felt much nicer. I would ditch the stem though, unless it has been improved since 2003. The adjustable stem is a nice concept, but I swapped that jittery, ugly thing at the shop.

  5. #5
    Senior Member saddlesores's Avatar
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    Have a very sensitive butt and chronic low back pain

    mountain bike with narrow rims and slicks?

  6. #6
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    I have a Trek mountain bike. I'ts 15 yrs old and fairly comfortable, but a little small and i really think a road or touring or cyclocross bike would be a better fit for me.

    I had one of the original Cannondales for a long time and it was too stiff.

    b

  7. #7
    Get outdoors! :) Becca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bakhurts
    Have a very sensitive butt and chronic low back pain.
    Two things I would recommend: one, a wide gel saddle. I use one on my hybrid, and have the shock-absorbing seatpost to boot. Saves the backside!

    Second, hie thee to a chiropractor! Unless the damage is permanent, they can help. Use the power of word of mouth to find a good one.
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
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    Enough of the illegitimate war.
    Enough of the hate.
    Enough is enough: vote Democrat!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by gordons9
    Specialized Sequoia. I love mine. It's geometry enables you to have a very upright road bike that is easy on your back. The new ones have carbon fiber seat stays and suspension seat posts. They are very plush for road bikes. They have room for a rear rack, fenders and larger tires.

    I purchased mine w/ 105 level components for $950, so is should be in your price range. There is even a lower end model, but it lacks the CF stays. I don't have them on my bike, as it was an '03 before the line came out with them, but mine is still a plush ride.

    I looked at the Trek 1x00C models and the Sequoia felt much nicer. I would ditch the stem though, unless it has been improved since 2003. The adjustable stem is a nice concept, but I swapped that jittery, ugly thing at the shop.
    I just bought an '04 Sequoia. between the carbon fiber fork, seat stays, suspension seatpost, gel bar tape and 700x32c tires (swapped by lbs on request) the thing rides real nice. Smooth and quick. Probably not as fast as some of those race bikes, but I don't race.

  9. #9
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    that sequoia looks nice. it looks like you commute with it. What kind of rack do you have on it?
    also, has anyone tried the trek pilot 2.1? supposed to be similar to the sequoia.

    bk

  10. #10
    No one carries the DogBoy
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    Have you thought about a bent bike? My neighbor was a big-time cyclist until he messed up his back. He couldn't ride for a while due to his back-pain. He got turned on to a bent bike, and now he's "back in the saddle" so to speak. He has nothing but praise for the bent in terms of comfort/speed etc. Only complaint he has is that its difficult to climb. At first he thought he looked like a dork, but he got over it quickly as he was actually able to ride.

    Aside from a bent, I'd suggest steel, ti or carbon frames over aluminum, as they absorb more road noise. You wouldn't find a new ti or carbon frame in your price-range, but may find a used one. Your best bet may be an old steel frame bike. Very inexpensive, great riding bikes. For new bikes, I suggest you look at some of the less expensive cyclocross bikes. They have wider tires (read more shock absorbant) than traditional road-bikes, and still have the road-bike geometry. If you can find a steel cross bike, that would be ideal for what you are looking for. Steel ride with cushy tires. It would be slower than the 700-23/25 slicks, but it would save your posterior.

    Edit: A specific suggestion I have: Bianchi Volpe

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bakhurts
    that sequoia looks nice. it looks like you commute with it. What kind of rack do you have on it?
    also, has anyone tried the trek pilot 2.1? supposed to be similar to the sequoia.

    bk
    Yes, the bike is mainly for commuting. I have the el cheapo $20 performance rear rack on there. I havn't had any problems with it. Either in mounting or use.

    One thing I forgot to mention about the tires. I asked for an upgrade to 700x32 instead of the 700x25 that came with it. The 700x32 tires don't clear the brakes unless the tire is deflated. A drawback for me if I need to put the thing in the trunk of the car. oh well, i guess I'll get a trunk rack for the car.

    I was also looking at the surly crosscheck. I like the looks of it, and the company seems pretty good too. I went with the sequoia because l went to a few shops and nobody had a crosscheck for me to ride.

    Oh, one more thing about the sequoia. Not sure if it really matters, but the derailer cables are run on the bottom side of the downtube. Seems like that might be bad, as far as dirt getting on the cables. But they don't re-enter a cable housing (well, except for the big loop for the rear). ie. they are housed up until the downtub near the head tube. Then they run down the downtube and to the derailer without housing. There's a little plastic channel thingy on the bottom bracket that helps the cables make the turn.

  12. #12
    Steel is Real. markw's Avatar
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    Build yourself a Surly LHT, it will do all. I use mine as a commuter and will be doing some loaded touring later on. Heck, I've even gone on the go fast club rides with it since my Paramount loaned it's brifters to get it on the road. All is good now though. About 1k give or take to build it with decent parts.

  13. #13
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    Pay special attention to the length of your frame/stem combination, when looking at the set-up of your bike. I find that over-stretching, or feeling cramped, will exacerbate lower back grumbles. A steel frame with relaxed angles (72 parallel, maybe- old school!) would be a good starting point. Low gearing and a great saddle will help (perhaps a springy Brooks?). Seat height must be perfect and stem height should be a source of experiment- maybe higher than you used to think appropriate. You don't want to rock your hips or over/under-extend your legs. Fattish tires, of course.

    Do all those stretches your physio recommends, before and after a ride. Keep the lumbar area warm, but not sweaty. Stop and stretch regularly. Climb out of the saddle, occasionally, just to ease your muscles.

  14. #14
    "I love lamp"
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    Jamis Aurora, highly reccomend it. Under a grand and it has held up to some serious abuse from me.

  15. #15
    Macro Geek
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    Quote Originally Posted by bakhurts

    Have a very sensitive butt and chronic low back pain.
    The riding positions available with drop handlebars may help alleviate lower-back pain. Your spine is stretched out, and the vertebrae do not get mashed together on bumps as much as they do when seated upright. Or consider a recumbent.

    With chronic physical problems, make sure you are properly fitted. The "knowledgeable" person at your local bike store may do an adequate fitting for individuals with no pre-existing physical problems. But if you do have a chronic condition, consider finding someone who has in-depth knowledge of physiology, anatomy, and biomechanics. Because of chronic knee problems, I arranged to have my set-up fine-tuned by a kinesiologist. Her fitting session made a world of difference.

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