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A new custom Audax

Old 01-14-06, 03:46 PM
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Finally taking the plunge after a year learning to cycle again.

I can now do 20 miles a day without any discomfort on an old heavy steal framed bike with drops.

Next week I will go and see a framemaker and have a nice steal bike made with traditional geometry and fairly high drop handlebars. I am tall with long legs so starin to get a good fit on bikes that expect you to ride upside down.

Something like this by Robin Mather

but with a triple chainwheel, of course and a quill stem with shorter reach.

Now which groupset? 105 or Veloce?

I am told that since I have never used anything but downtube shifters I will quickly adapt to either ergo or STI levers. The Campag/Shimano arguments don't interest me, but the correct choice is difficult. I have had my hands on both hoods and can't really decide. Like any consumer goods, you don't realy know till you have been separated from your money for a few weeks!

The STIs look superficially more suited to my hand size and their twin lever approach seems more simple, but when I look at how I ride with my hands constantly moving all over the whole lenght of the bars it seems to me that the thumb shifters might be an advantage. I will have bar top brake levers as well. With the lesser reach of the campag geometry and the thumb levers close to the tops I might have control more flexibly distributed around the whole bars.

Any comments?
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Old 01-14-06, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Labarum
I am told that since I have never used anything but downtube shifters I will quickly adapt to either ergo or STI levers.
I think that's probably correct. They're both excellent products by excellent manufacturers, and despite the Mac-vs.-PC religious tone that sometimes permeates Campy-vs.-Shimano discussions, you're not going to go too far wrong with either one.

I went through this choice myself recently, and in the end I went with Shimano because I had a slight preference for the feel. It's sometimes said that Campy is better if you have larger hands and Shimano if you have smaller hands, so perhaps that was the reason... my hands are small.

It's good that you change hand positions on the bars a lot... I used to not do that enough, and I put myself through a case of handlebar palsy as a result. (Learned a lot about how my ulnar nerve works, but that was about the only upside.) It's just a guess, but somehow I doubt that a desire to ride with multiple hand positions would favor Campy much... no matter which style shifter you use, you've still got to put your hand in the right position to shift it.

Best thing, if you can manage it, is a decent test ride with each. Many bike shops will let you do this, and even if they don't want you taking a bike you haven't bought out on the road, they'll usually be glad to set it up on a trainer in the store and let you ride it to your heart's content. Selecting shifters is a lot like picking a bike frame... what matters most is how well it fits you, and the only way to be sure is to try it.
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Old 01-14-06, 04:19 PM
Time for a change.
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Can comment on the frame as I rode the Salisbury 100 a few years ago with a local group and my "Roadie Friend" was trying to get me into Audax rides. I think he wanted me as company as not many people in Sussex do it. He had a Mather frame, and although he was not the original owner, he did like the Frame. All I can remember about that ride was Brassknocker Hill, and although I was on a Mountain Bike, Me and the Mather frame kept pace up it. The rest had too high gearing for their legs and finished up walking. Shortly afterwards another of the riders in this group got a Mather frame and I haven't seen them since- Probably somewhere in the UK still riding off into the distance.
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Old 01-14-06, 04:53 PM
Let's do a Century
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Good luck with the new purchase!! It's always fun getting a new ride.

I can't help you very much with the Campy vs Shimano thing. Shimano is all I've used but I've been very happy with their equipment, designs and operation. I've used their 105's, Ultegra and some Dura Ace components and lean towards Ultegra and 105's as far as component selection. I had an Ultegra front derailleur that broke and needed an emergency replacement so I'm currently using a Tiagra. That seems to work better than any derailleur I've had so it's a keeper!!

Whatever you get I would think you will really enjoy the "Brifters" over the down tube shifters over time.
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