Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Commuting
Reload this Page >

Nashbar AL-1

Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

Nashbar AL-1

Old 07-21-13, 12:38 PM
Senior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 341
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Nashbar AL-1

Nashbar AL-1

ME: 19 mile a day commuter. Like many of us I believe in N+1 and have several bikes. I ride whatever suits my mood or the weather that day, but in the summer I lean towards my road bike. Until now, my road bike has been a 1988 Jamis Quest and it has served me well. I have however been pining for a more modern drivetrain. I researched upgrading the Jamis, but soon realized that for the money I could just buy another bike.

$500 was my budget and I immediately started surfing bikesdirect since I have bought two bikes from them that I enjoy and consider to be good values. In this case though I couldn't find anything that met my needs. So I searched around some more and found the AL-1. Here's what I liked.

It has the new SORA without the thumbshifters.

That was pretty much the kicker since everything else is the same for a build at this price point. Cheap but servicible parts that will eventually be upgraded.

It arrived quickly, ordered on a Sunday and arrived on Wednesday. It came in a box. The box showed some damage, but the bike came out none the worse for the abuse. I assembled it and was surprised to find everything was adjusted sufficiently. Typically there will be quite a bit of fidling with gears and truing of wheels, but mine was set right straight out of the box. That is until I rode it.

I am 5'8" 150lbs and normal proportions. Based on measurements from my Jamis and consulting the Nashbar geometry chart, I ordered the 51cm. Here is where I had to start fidiling. The next smaller size has a shorter stem and narrower bars and I think they should have specd that for the 51cm also since I'm guessing anyone else that orders this size won't be much larger than me. No biggie though, fit is an individual thing and I probably could have made it work with the supplied parts. I had a shorter stem and narrower bars and swapped them out. Nice and comfy now.

The ride is not harsh and about on par with my steel framed and forked Jamis. I haven't experienced any Ultegra or higher level drivetrains, but I can't complain about the SORA shifting. It does the job. Its not OMG light weight, but its definitely not a porker. Using my scientifically calculated arm, I'd say its right around 22lbs, which makes sense coming in a couple lbs lighter than my Jamis.

Here is where I go on a bit of a rant. When will manufacturers stop getting stupid with the gearing? The AL-1 comes with a 12-25 cassette which leaves a big fat hole in the range where your average rider needs it most. The exact same cassette can be had in 13-25 and 14-25, both of which will still net you 30+ mph in top gear and give you smaller steps in the middle of the range where you will spend most of your time. My AL-1 now has a 12-23 which accomplishes the same thing, but sacrifices a lower gear. It was all I could find locally and I don't have many steep hills in my area.

To sum it up the AL-1 is a good value for a low priced road bike. The drivetrain spec is a bit better than other bikes at this price, which is what sealed the deal for me.
WorldPax is offline  
Old 07-22-13, 01:56 PM
Senior Member
joshuatrio's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Central California
Posts: 198

Bikes: Giant TCR C1

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks for the review. I've always thought about picking up one of their bikes.. They are running 22% off today, so you could get over $100 off, bringing this bike down to around $380. Not a bad buy !!
joshuatrio is offline  
Old 07-22-13, 02:14 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 108
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I was literally ready to order one, but they only have 48 and 51cm. Oh well.
phulin is offline  
Old 07-22-13, 02:34 PM
no motor?
Unlisted member
no motor?'s Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 6,193

Bikes: Specialized Hardrock

Mentioned: 29 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1376 Post(s)
Liked 429 Times in 294 Posts
I knows what you mean about the big gap in the middle of the gear ranges. I went from 7 - 8 cogs on the cassette last year to fill that gap, and love the difference it's made.
no motor? is offline  
Related Topics
Thread Starter
Last Post
Bicycle Mechanics
11-11-13 07:03 PM
Road Cycling
02-10-12 01:52 PM
Road Cycling
04-26-11 08:49 AM
01-25-11 12:46 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.