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  1. #1
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    Yet another indecisive bike buyer

    I know this topic has been done to death, so apologies in advance, but I just can’t decide on what new bike to get – I seem to change my mind every day
    For the record I am 6ft2 and weigh 85kgs (185 pounds) and am doing a Trans am trip this year

    These are the options that are available to me (prices in Australian dollars)

    Surly LHT built up (around $2,100)
    Pros – Love the understated retro look. Great frame that I know will last for years
    Cons – Just seems really expensive to build once I have added in all the little bits and pieces, even with average componentry like I would be doing.

    Mongoose Randonneur ($1,000)
    Pros – Cheap! Would give me an extra $1000 to spend on my upcoming USA trip and other gear
    Cons – just don’t have confidence in the stock wheels and alloy frame for 3 months of fully loaded touring (probably with no reason)

    Cannondale T800 ($2,200)
    Pros – Feels great, seems to be good quality
    Cons – might as well hang a sign on it saying “Steal me”, especially seeing as I tour and camp on my own and need to leave it unattended sometimes. Pushing the budget to the extreme
    Too flash and posey for me – my friends would give me stick for buying a Cannondale!!

    Fuji Touring ($1,600)
    Pros – Seems to be a good compromise between all of the above factors. Haven’t read any bad reviews – anyone who has bought one seems happy with it. LBS has one in stock in my size so I could get it immediately with no wait (and they will change the crankset to lower gearing)
    Cons – Would be a compromise

    Trek 520
    Didn’t consider as would be a 4-6 week wait from anywhere

    Please HELP!!

  2. #2
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    You know my opinion. Mongoose Randonneur for what you want... a disposable, cheap bike for a one-off trans-Am trip that is well equipped for what it is; Fuji Touring, based again on value for money; then the rest because of cost that you can save for beer. Really, is $1100 for the retro look of the Surly worth it? How serious about cycle-touring are you going to be AFTER you finish this ride?

    REALITY CHECK!!!

    There are precious few Australians on this forum who can offer you advice. I am one...

  3. #3
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    The LHT seems over priced at $2,100.00 hundred. I good configuration would be around $1,500.00 hundred for a full complete bike. I also think you're passing up the Cannondale for the wrong reasons. You can always make a bicycle less flashy with black tape and scratches to the frame.

  4. #4
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dreamy
    I know this topic has been done to death, so apologies in advance, but I just can’t decide on what new bike to get – I seem to change my mind every day
    For the record I am 6ft2 and weigh 85kgs (185 pounds) and am doing a Trans am trip this year

    These are the options that are available to me (prices in Australian dollars)

    Surly LHT built up (around $2,100)
    Pros – Love the understated retro look. Great frame that I know will last for years
    Cons – Just seems really expensive to build once I have added in all the little bits and pieces, even with average componentry like I would be doing.

    Mongoose Randonneur ($1,000)
    Pros – Cheap! Would give me an extra $1000 to spend on my upcoming USA trip and other gear
    Cons – just don’t have confidence in the stock wheels and alloy frame for 3 months of fully loaded touring (probably with no reason)

    Cannondale T800 ($2,200)
    Pros – Feels great, seems to be good quality
    Cons – might as well hang a sign on it saying “Steal me”, especially seeing as I tour and camp on my own and need to leave it unattended sometimes. Pushing the budget to the extreme
    Too flash and posey for me – my friends would give me stick for buying a Cannondale!!

    Fuji Touring ($1,600)
    Pros – Seems to be a good compromise between all of the above factors. Haven’t read any bad reviews – anyone who has bought one seems happy with it. LBS has one in stock in my size so I could get it immediately with no wait (and they will change the crankset to lower gearing)
    Cons – Would be a compromise

    Trek 520
    Didn’t consider as would be a 4-6 week wait from anywhere

    Please HELP!!
    Not that it would make that much difference but Mongoose doesn't offer the Randonneur in the US. That's too bad since it looks like a good bike for a good price. Don't worry about the aluminum frame. It will probably be stiff without a load but that mellows out as soon as you put weight on the bike.

    Really anyone of these would do good service. If you are strapped for money go with the less expensive bikes.

    By the way, building your own bike can be fun and rewarding but it is never cheap. Whatever you figure on the price add more since you will need something else before you are finished. I'd bet that the price of the Surley would climb to be much more than the price of the Cannondale before you were through.
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  5. #5
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
    I also think you're passing up the Cannondale for the wrong reasons. You can always make a bicycle less flashy with black tape and scratches to the frame.
    I'd second that. Road bikes in general and touring bikes in particular are not that hot an item in the US. If it were a mountain bike, I'd say it couldd be stolen in even the smallest town but a road bike? You can't hardly give them away.

    Do plan on carrying a cable lock anyway. "Good fences make good neighbors."
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute
    By the way, building your own bike can be fun and rewarding but it is never cheap. Whatever you figure on the price add more since you will need something else before you are finished. I'd bet that the price of the Surley would climb to be much more than the price of the Cannondale before you were through.
    We're also talking Australian dollars here. my Fuji when I bought it ws around USD$700 in the States, AUD$1750 landed here. That;s why the Mongoose does indeed represent excellent value.

    By the way, I said disposable in my previous post. I should temper that by saying it is far from a disposable bike the *mart sense. Rather, if dreamy finds his touring aspirations are satisfied by a trans-Am crossing, he will likely sell for not much less than what he paid for it. I don't quite see the same with the others.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the replies. I have narrowed it down to the Fuji or Mongoose. I am going to check them both out again on Saturday and will buy one based on gut feel.

    And I apologise if I have offended any Cannondale owners - I guess as a brand they have a different reputation/connotation in the US compared to where I hang out!!

  8. #8
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dreamy
    Thanks for the replies. I have narrowed it down to the Fuji or Mongoose. I am going to check them both out again on Saturday and will buy one based on gut feel.

    And I apologise if I have offended any Cannondale owners - I guess as a brand they have a different reputation/connotation in the US compared to where I hang out!!
    None taken. The Cannondale is an excellent bike but it is expensive. Buy what you can afford and dream of a super bike for your golden years. Me, personally, I want a Bruce Gordon. If I'm not a slug in the next life, maybe. For now the Cannondale is a good second.

    Honestly, I want you and everyone else who dreams of touring out on the road. I don't care what you use, just get out there and ride. The more of us who are out there riding, the more the general public will recognize this as a real activity and not just something that is done by a bunch of crazy people in funny clothes.

    Happy trails!
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  9. #9
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    Bought a bike. Did some test rides, and the decision was easy. The Fuji fitted like a glove, and as soon as I was on it, I had the feeling that I could ride all day on it. The Mongoose just didn't feel as good, and I didn't like the Sora shifters. I ended up getting an excellent deal as the shop threw in over $300 worth of extra bits and pieces to help me make up my mind....

    I have since spent many hours in the saddle, and am very happy with my decision....so comfortable...

    The only thing I don't like is the medieval torture device they put where the saddle should be...the cutout is in the wrong place, and the thing sags in the middle so that the noise points up and jabs in exactly the wrong spot....the Brooks is ordered however and is on its way

  10. #10
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    Congratulations. I sounds like you and the Fuji have become lifelong friends already. And the Brooks will be an investment in comfort. I did a 100-miler on Saturday with nary a backside problem.

    I hope you get many, many years of enjoyment from the bike.

    Cheers!!

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