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About to buy a new bike - Looking for Opinions

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About to buy a new bike - Looking for Opinions

Old 11-06-09, 01:11 PM
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robray
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About to buy a new bike - Looking for Opinions

I am seriously considering buying a Marinoni Turismo Extreme. This is a pricey purchase (~$2300CAD) so I am hoping to get some opinions and see if there are things I haven't considered.

I will be using the bike on my 10 km (~6 mile) moderately hilly commute through rainy Vancouver. I commute pretty much year round, except when it snows. I plan on going on some longer rides this spring or summer and eventually doing some weekend touring trips. It is not impossible, but highly unlikely that I will ever go for trips longer than one week.

The things I really like about the bike are:
- disc brakes
- steel frame made in Canada
- drop bars
- good quality components
- rack/fender capable
- good recommendations (co-worker owns one and raves about it)
- pick my own colour and I believe the 70+ year old Marinoni still paints the bikes, but I could be wrong
- gears (I currently commute on a single speed)

Things I am not too sure about:
- touring frame is meant to carry heavy loads and I won't be most of the time
- thicker frame tubing and fork for disc brakes
- could choose steel or carbon fork (currently opting for steel)
- more complicated triple ring setup, maintenance with gears in general
- high priced bike that I would be very sad if it was stolen

I forgot to mention that I would be choosing Shimano Ultegra triple crank, front/rear derailleurs and shifters. There is the option to go with an FSA triple crank and 9spd XT derailleur for some super low mountain bike gearing.

What are your thoughts or recommendations?


Last edited by robray; 11-06-09 at 01:17 PM.
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Old 11-06-09, 01:44 PM
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That's a really sweet bike. It looks a lot like my Bianchi Volpe, except for those fancy disc brakes. But I don't need disc brakes as I ride in totally flat Florida. But if I were going downhill with my panniers fully loaded - yeah, disc brakes would be nice.

I Before my touring bike I rode a very light aluminum Cannondale Road Warrior 4, with flat handlebars. I only had to commute 10K and I used a backpack on my back. For that distance it was OK. My only frustration was when I had a really heavy headwind and I was stuck upright. But only going 10K it was not a big deal. I also used toe cages and those seemed fine too.

But then I moved 30K from work and the Cannondale just didn't cut it. That's when I bought my Bianchi Volpe touring bike. It was wonderful to get the backpack off my back, and have drop handlebars on which I could lean down and get out of the wind. And the panniers lower the center of gravity so the bike, while weighing so much more, feels very stable. And I went to clip-in pedals, which were a huge improvement over toe cages.

I am hardware challenged and do virtually no work on my bike. I rely on my LBS for that. I can change a tire, adjust the seat and handlebars, but that's about it. If you have the funds to pay that much for a bike, you can afford the LBS mechanic, so let them take care of it.

You probably don't need the front rack if you're not going to load it heavily. I use two panniers on my rear rack, which holds everything I need for work. You could always remove the front rack and just mount it when you need it.

If you've been riding a single geared bike in the hills, you will love the gears. The triple sprocket in the front is probably overkill, even in the hills. I had my LBS remove the smaller front sprocket on my Bianchi Volpe. I just knew I would never use it. And, in fact, I've never shifted out of the big ring in the front. We have no hills here so I just don't need it.

Finally, I would recommend fenders for the rain. In Florida in the Summer time I ride home in the rain nearly every day. Fenders are soooo much better.

If you ride at night you can get cheap LED lights which are good for being seen but not for seeing. That works for me because I have streetlights for all but about one mile of my 18.5 mile commute. If you ride dark country roads, you will need to spend some more serious cash on lighting. There are lots of good threads on lights you can easily find here.
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Old 11-06-09, 01:58 PM
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dynaryder
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Sweet ride. If you're not going to be using front racks,then ditching them and opting for a carbon fork will save you some weight. If you're going to be hauling groceries on hills,you should consider the FSA/XT gearing. If you have any mechanical ability I wouldn't sweat the gears;my daily all-weather commuter is a 3x9 setup,and really doesn't require much tuning. The initial cable stretch is usually the biggest thing. As for security,use good locks and maybe look into locking skewers and seatpost bolt.
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Old 11-06-09, 02:07 PM
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helmut
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Honestly, if I had the money you had for a commuter bike with reasonably nice components, I would probably buy the Motobecane Fantom Cross Team. It's titanium, has Ultegra 6700 all around except for an FSA compact double with Mega Exo brackets, nice Ritchey components and wheels, all the eyelets and braze-ons you'd need for front and rear racks and fenders, and it's only $1900. The fork has IS disc brake mounts, so you could throw on some BB7s for about $100 from Jenson, although the Avid Shorty cantis on it probably stop it just fine.
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Old 11-06-09, 02:18 PM
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The triple and the steel fork aren't deal-breakers for a commuting bike, and will be nice if you ever want to tour.

I've had a look at a touring bike or two in LBSs in this area, and I wouldn't say the price is outrageous for that spec, especially if custom paint colour is included in that price.

The one thing that gives me pause, given the price, is the possibility of theft. How securely can you lock it up where you live and where you work? I don't think I'd let a bike that pricey out of my sight.
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Old 11-06-09, 03:51 PM
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Snap! From December I'll be doing a 10k moderately hilly commute through rainy Vancouver, too. I have a Brodie Ronin '09 which is pretty similar to your Marinoni, but with a Tiagra drivetrain and no custom paintjob. I think you've chosen perfectly - the gears aren't that complicated and shouldn't need much adjustment after the initial cable-stretch, the discs will give you peace of mind when you're bombing downhill in traffic and torrential rain, and you'll love the feel of steel. Your drivetrain will get filthy even with the (essential) fenders, so make sure you give your chain and cogs a good scrub once a week. Beautiful bike. Go with the triple, you never know when it'll come in handy. I hardly use my granny ring but when I do I appreciate it - probably no need for the MTB cassette though if you're not going to be hauling weight. I wouldn't leave it locked out in the open, hopefully you've got a decent lockup at work. And make sure your fenders and rear rack fit OK around the discs - check with the shop.
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Old 11-06-09, 03:59 PM
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i would suggest you to buy a bike that includes a good dynamo hub....at that price range you can have a very very nice commuter that has it all (fenders)...
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Old 11-06-09, 07:22 PM
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That is a nice bike. Very sweet.

If you are in Vancouver I suggest heading to the MEC and looking at the new bikes they have in stock. The MEC Cote might fit the bill nicely at half the cash. http://tinyurl.com/yjqlxnq
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Old 11-07-09, 01:55 AM
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Thanks for all the suggestions. I had a giant post typed in, but something happened and I lost it all. Here is the much shorter version.

I like the sound of titanium. I wish it was possible to test ride that Fantom. It even has rack mounts. I will test ride the MEC Cote on Sunday if they are doing test rides. I forgot that MEC is selling bikes now. Both the Fantom and the Cote are bikes that I hadn't considered and they both meet my criteria.

Here is a bit of my bike history. I have two single speed road bikes. The first one I got is an 80's Motobecane (made in France) steel touring bike that I converted to single speed. I got it for free. It is super comfortable. It doesn't owe me anything. The second is a Bianchi Roger singlespeed cyclocross with disc brakes. I thought this was going to be my answer to bike maintenance and it is the only bike I ever bought brand new. Anyway, I have had tonnes of problems with the bike and components on it. More problems than any other bike I have ever owned. But besides the problems I noticed that it is not nearly as comfortable as the old steel Motobecane.

Is that steel vs aluminum or non-disc vs disc or both? What I mean by non-disc vs disc is that I heard bike frames and forks have to be thicker to handle the stress of the disc brakes.

I did test ride the Marinoni, but it was a non-disc version and it was very poorly setup. I find it tough to compare. The sales person told me that they will properly fit the bike if I order one.

Last edited by robray; 11-07-09 at 02:02 AM.
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Old 11-07-09, 11:10 PM
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I like the FSA triple with 22 granny. I can then get a suitable low gear with a 12-23 cassette. Discs are overkill and heavy if you are not doing fully loaded touring.
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