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First "Road" Ride

Old 09-13-09, 04:42 AM
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First "Road" Ride

In the two months that I've been riding seriously, I've had an aversion to riding on the road. I just didn't like the idea of the cars whizzing by. I've gone out on the road I live on, but because we live on top of a long steep hill, I like to go elsewhere. (Although that seems to be getting easier.) So, I tend to go to a couple of nice bike paths in the area.

One of my favorites is an 80K trip around Traverse Bay in Northern Michigan. The problem with this trail is there is a 20k section that is pretty rough for my Trek FX 7.3. So, yesterday I got around that problem by taking to the road for that section. It was a good section of road with a nice shoulder and I enjoyed it immensely. The only downside was the hills. This particular bike trail is along a railroad grade which means there were no hills to speak of. That's the norm on the trails where I ride. However, it would appear when you get on a road, there are a series of hills followed by some nice easy downhills, at least in this area. Unlike the trails, there doesn't seem to be much in the way of flats.

The bottom line is it was a good experience and I'll be doing more of it. Not to mention I've started shopping for a relaxed geometry road bike. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

John
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Old 09-13-09, 05:30 AM
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What's the budget? Do you intend to do other things, like commute, tour, credit card touring...? Will this bike also see trails?

One possibility is cross bikes. Lots of them around, but there are two types. Most are imitation cross bikes for general riding. A few are genuine racing bikes, and might be more than you want right now.

You mentioned relaxed geometry... my first bike, a 1970 Schwinn Varsity also had relaxed geometry. Back then we used to call them
bikes. A simpler age...

My current bike was also built by the Schwinn family, it's a Gunnar Sport. It has relaxed geometry, but a lively personality. It will also take a 32c with ease.

There is a new bike coming out from Gary Fisher. It's the Chronus, and will take
a 28c tire. The basic categories are race/performance/sport/touring. The Chronus looks to be between the Sport and Performance categories. I am quite curious about it.

Anyway, you literally have dozens of choices. Don't get talked into skinny tires.
A medium size tire won't slow you down much, but will be a lot better on trails.
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Old 09-13-09, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by late
What's the budget? Do you intend to do other things, like commute, tour, credit card touring...? Will this bike also see trails?

One possibility is cross bikes. Lots of them around, but there are two types. Most are imitation cross bikes for general riding. A few are genuine racing bikes, and might be more than you want right now.

You mentioned relaxed geometry... my first bike, a 1970 Schwinn Varsity also had relaxed geometry. Back then we used to call them
bikes. A simpler age...

My current bike was also built by the Schwinn family, it's a Gunnar Sport. It has relaxed geometry, but a lively personality. It will also take a 32c with ease.

There is a new bike coming out from Gary Fisher. It's the Chronus, and will take
a 28c tire. The basic categories are race/performance/sport/touring. The Chronus looks to be between the Sport and Performance categories. I am quite curious about it.

Anyway, you literally have dozens of choices. Don't get talked into skinny tires.
A medium size tire won't slow you down much, but will be a lot better on trails.
Thanks Late,

I'm going to keep my FX 7.3 for trail riding. It has smooth 700x32 tires. I'm going to put some larger cyclo-cross type tires on that for the trail. My wife has a nice mountain bike and we have many trails around our property. So I need something for that. What I'm looking for is something more efficient on the road that I can ride comfortably all day. I'm not interested in racing, just putting a lot of hours in. I enjoy the riding and am "aggresively slow." That's the way I like to ride. So, I'm looking for a road bike that I can be comfortable on and put 700x25, or 700x28 tires on. When I go all day, I usually take a trunk bag along as I've got to be able to adjust my clothing and take some food along. So, it would be good if it's set up for a trunk bag. I know a lot of road bikes don't have the attachment points for a trunk bag.

Budget will be around $2,000 give or take a bit. With the possibility of an occasional over night trip with a credit card, I won't be doing anything other than riding it for enjoyment and fitness.

My original list was a Bianchi Via Nurone(sp) because of the colour, a Specialized Roubaix, and a Trek Pilot. If I can get a hold of the Bianchi to try I would get the Bianchi if the fit is right. They are hard to come by where I live. I've had three Treks and liked them all, but the current version of the Pilot is not in the same category as the others. If they come out next year with an upgraded version, and I can't try out the Bianchi, or, heaven forbid, they change the color of the Bianchi, the Pilot will probably be my first choice. If it sounds like I've already chosen the Bianchi, your right, if it fits and the colour is the same. I love that colour. The problem I have with the Bianchi is that my local shop would not usually order that model without a commitment to buy it. I've never ridden a Specialized, but there are a lot of good reports about the Roubaix. I suspect I'd be happy with any of these bikes. But I sure like Celeste!!

John
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Old 09-15-09, 08:05 AM
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As a side note, have you considered a Cyclocross bike? They can take aggressive trail tires as well as 700x23 or 700x25 tires for road riding. The one I looked at had the same components as my road bike, Shimano 105s and Ultegras, with carbon front fork, slightly more relaxed riding position and the ability to put on a trunk bag.
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Old 09-15-09, 08:22 AM
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OK Hey sounds like a fun ride I know people really like the Specialize Roubaix! I have a Specialized (lower priced version) and love it. Works well....
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Old 09-15-09, 08:33 AM
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Go with the Pilot!. My wife rides one and loves the taller headtube. Slightly more upright than the traditional race bike but the comfort is all day riding. Supposedly a comfort type roadie but believe me, the sucker is fast! We've got plenty of firneds on race rigs and he Pilot loses nothig to them in the speed dept. She's go an older Bianchi traditional setup. She loves the bike but the Pilot is far more comfortable.
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Old 09-15-09, 08:34 AM
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$2,000???

happy shopping that cabbage opens lots of doors!!!

I second it... cyclo-cross...

be sure to look at Kona they have really cool bikes...
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Old 09-15-09, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by RatedZeroHero
$2,000???

happy shopping that cabbage opens lots of doors!!!

I second it... cyclo-cross...

be sure to look at Kona they have really cool bikes...
You ain't kiddin'! If only I had $2K to play around with for bike stuff.. man would I be set!

OP: Good luck shopping around. From the sounds of it, cyclocross seems like a good direction to look in...
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Old 09-15-09, 10:50 AM
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Maybe a touring bike like the Trek Portland?
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Old 09-15-09, 01:27 PM
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Thanks for all your replies. I'll take a closer look at the cyclo-cross. I don't know much about them and thought they might be too heavy. Apparently not. I'm glad to hear the Pilot has a good rep. I've had good luck with Trek and wouldn't mind going that direction again.

By the way, they have changed the color scheme on the Bianchi for 2010. I'm not ready (with money) to buy one right now, so the 2009 models will probably be sold out by next spring. That would leave the Pilot and the Roubaix. The Pilot definitely would have the upper hand because of the rack mounts.

The research and shopping are almost as much fun as the riding.

John
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Old 09-15-09, 01:59 PM
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I am looking for a new roadie next year...

and the cyclos are looking pretty sweet...

some big old slick in town would be lots of fun!
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Old 09-15-09, 02:00 PM
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Personally, I like a nice steel touring bike. If you aren't a fan of weight, this wouldn't necessarily be the route for you, but if you don't mind a couple of extra pounds, the amount of flexibility with gearing and mounting options, as well as the overall smoothness of the ride can only be described as luxurious. A friend of my equated it as driving a Cadillac, not the lightest or fastest, but in terms of ride quality. Unequaled.

Check out the Trek 520 if you like Trek. I personally ride a Jamis Aurora, which is similar. But it was cheaper and had brifters instead of barcons.

Last edited by aidanpryde18; 09-15-09 at 02:01 PM. Reason: I suck at typing
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Old 09-15-09, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by John Bailey
Thanks for all your replies. I'll take a closer look at the cyclo-cross. I don't know much about them and thought they might be too heavy. Apparently not. I'm glad to hear the Pilot has a good rep. I've had good luck with Trek and wouldn't mind going that direction again.

By the way, they have changed the color scheme on the Bianchi for 2010. I'm not ready (with money) to buy one right now, so the 2009 models will probably be sold out by next spring. That would leave the Pilot and the Roubaix. The Pilot definitely would have the upper hand because of the rack mounts.

The research and shopping are almost as much fun as the riding.

John
Hard to beat the Jamis Quest. A lot of bang for the buck. I love my Roubaix, but I am getting a used Jamis Quest for my winter months and trainer.
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