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Quality of Bikes.

Old 02-14-07, 04:38 PM
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stapfam
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Quality of Bikes.

Been trying to suss out what it is that decides what bike I am going to buy and I have no idea.

Being a mountain biker- I am not influenced by the latest trends like most others. The bike will be a Hardtail with front suspension that works and will be a basic unit without air suspension or lockouts. Geometry will be suitable for the type of riding I do, which is XC or enduros and the Groupset set will be Shimano XT as this works. Wheels I do not worry about as they will not be up to my standard- unless I was buying a topend bike- and I have a good stock of spare and riding wheels that have been aquired over the years. Even the brakes will be the basic V Brakes as I do not regard Disc brakes as necessary.

Then there is the Tandem but I will not be buying one of those again in a hurry- Too expensive and the only way to get the right one is to Customise literrally every part that goes onto the frame. As I already have one- I do not envisage spending $8,000 on a new one for quite some time.

Then there is the road bike. Not my favourite form of riding but still requires a bike up to a certain standard. Weight was my priority on my choice last year. I now have a Giant SCR 3.0 which is not sold in the US but so you can see it- the link is

http://www2.giant-bicycles.com/en-GB...oad/124/14226/

Has a few faults for an out and out rider, and mainly back to my pet peave of wheels, but for me is a suitable bike for an experienced rider. Had to change the pedals and bar stem but so far it is in standard form with over 2,000 miles on it in about 8 months. Just started messing with the gearing to enable me to tackle a couple of Mountains this year but the bike is still fairly standard

I do not need a better bike- or rather bikes. Each of them has a limit on its capabilities but so do I. The Bianchi MTB is well proven and Still goes up hills- The road bike will get me out when I am unable to get offroad and gives me nearly as much enjoyment. And then there is the Tandem. Set up for XC riding with probably the best Hydraulic disc brakes around with a set of wheels that are indestructable and front suspension that will take everything that Full downhill at speed over rough terrain can throw at it.

None of these bikes are special but they are suitable for the use that I give them. They still work and are in excellent condition- OK the paint on the Tandem and Bianchi is a bit scratched and There are a few deep scars in the components where trees got in the way but Paint doesn't affect the ride. Worn out chains and Cassettes do but mine aren't worn.

Only reason for posting this is to give heart to some of you out there that do have cheap bikes. It's true that a bike will only let you ride to the limit of it's capabilities- but if you are like me- then you have not found those limits yet. In fact- I doubt as to whether I would find the limits on my bikes. Well I did on the Tandem and that is why it cost me so much on upgrading it- but If you had a Kami-Kaze pilot like Stuart up front- Then You would upgrade it too.
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Old 02-14-07, 05:31 PM
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The only suggestion I can offer is don't post this request in the Mt. Bike fourm. All I got for a request for suggestions for my son's girlfriend was a bunch of dorky replies.
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Old 02-14-07, 05:54 PM
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Interesting question, Step.

I doubt I'll ever buy a complete new bike again. In my case I don't think that it's a question of dissatisfaction with the quality of what's out there as it is that I just get more satisfaction from building up my own.
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Old 02-14-07, 06:09 PM
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With two kids in college on a single income, buying a new bike seems a self-indulgence right now-- fun though it might be. I have three steel bikes that all have a different but old friend, homey feel. They have the mix of parts and long worked out fit that suits me. The damned things don't seem to wear out except for normal maintenance and upgrades (or sometimes "downgrades" to NOS components. Were I to buy, say, an upgunned Roubaix, Seven, or, be still my heart, a Pegoretti, I would probably find a more refined riding experience.........but, equally probably only about 10% noticably more refined. I can live without that margin, my vanity calls for no more than I have, and depleting the savings just doesn't seem worth it.

But, if Steve wants to raffle off his new Roubaix because he's quitting cycling for lawn darts, I'll gladly join in.

***And if was a younger, fresher, less beat up body-- then I would gladly peel of some bucks!!
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Old 02-14-07, 06:21 PM
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For me it is always a balancing act between several sometimes conflicting considerations.

First and foremost has to be what is my purpose for the bike? Will it have a narrowly defined role, say a fast road bike for 30-40 mile rides in the hills with a fast group? Then I would want a light, stiff frame with agile geometry, light wheels and tires, a quick and sure shifting gear system. All choices would place performance considerations ahead of comfort and versatility.
If I wanted a bike for fast-ish century rides, the emphasis would shift a little more toward comfort. The frame would still want to be fairly light, but a little more relaxed geometry and compliant ride would be in order. Wheels would need to be a bit more durable. Tires a little higher volume for comfort. The saddle would be a B17 (of course). Gearing would be a bit wider range. Shifting speed would be less important. Weight would still be important, but not as important.
If the bike was to be for general road riding and commuting, the geometry would be more relaxed still. The seating position would probably be more upright. Weight would be even less of a factor. There would be more options of wheel size, handlebar type, seat type, brake type.
Another big factor in any bike decision is budget. How much can I or am I willing to spend on the bike? That can really change the decisions a lot.

Another way is to see and fall in lust with a bike and then figure out what kind of riding can be done on it. That can be fun too!

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Old 02-14-07, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
Interesting question, Step.

I doubt I'll ever buy a complete new bike again. In my case I don't think that it's a question of dissatisfaction with the quality of what's out there as it is that I just get more satisfaction from building up my own.
Planning and building your own bike, choosing all the parts, is a joy almost as great as riding it.
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Old 02-14-07, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
Interesting question, Step.

I doubt I'll ever buy a complete new bike again. In my case I don't think that it's a question of dissatisfaction with the quality of what's out there as it is that I just get more satisfaction from building up my own.
I'm thinking I may never buy another complete bike (or frame) either--and this is no knock on the many fantastic choices that now exist. Rather, I've been riding since I was in my twenties and still have every bike I've ever owned. I dearly love tending to and riding my elderly bikes. And I've got enough of the newer stuff to make me realize that when it comes to improvements, I reach diminishing returns pretty quickly. My odds of racing--or even riding a paceline--are zero. I'm a tourist and a photographer, and I'm happy to noodle along at whatever pace suits me on a given day.

Bottom line: A bike that is reliable and comfortable is a joy forever--just like one's other good friends.
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Old 02-14-07, 07:24 PM
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I think a logical extension of buying a new bike when one is a little bored with the standard market offering is going the custom frame route. Here one is guaranteed fit (more comfort, power and less chance of injury) and one can choose components, wheels, forks and frame material to suit your whim. The tradeoff is price and time to wait for delivery. Serotta, Seven, Calfee come to mind.
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Old 02-15-07, 03:33 AM
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Originally Posted by BluesDawg
Planning and building your own bike, choosing all the parts, is a joy almost as great as riding it.
+1

Started building my own because of odd size. Found out that the machinery satisfied my urge for the race cars I can no longer afford. Now I have trouble deciding if I am a rider who wrenches out of necessity or a wrench who rides to see what works.
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Old 02-15-07, 05:33 AM
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I have a Giant OCR 2, and just equipped it with full Dura Ace. While many would question the wisdom of this, what I now have is a frame that I find quite comfortable and responsive, with top end components for under $2000. Try and find a new example at your LBS for that amount.
Also, if I do decide to upgrade, I already have the grouppo. Works for me.
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Old 02-15-07, 06:49 AM
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I built all four of my bikes from the frame up, well my road bike actually has a custom made frame too so it goes a bit beyond the frame up. I love the process of creating a bike suited just for me and my riding.

I built my MBT up from a Santa Cruz superlight frame. One suggestion I would make that I did on my bike and I was very happy with is that I used a Fox rear shock with a shut off switch. I bought a remote switch for this that mounts on the handlebars. It allows me to have a hardtail when I want one and a full suspension bike for when I want one of those. Best of both worlds at the flip of a switch.

Each of my bikes is a custom but my city/folding travel bike is the most custom.
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Old 02-15-07, 07:08 AM
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You are all fortunate in that none of you are limited in your choices due to your size. I am short enough that very high end off-the-peg bikes simply don't fit me. They aren't made that small. So, I buy mixtes. I have some old steel WSD bikes with the front wheels 24", and the rear wheels 700c. I've got one tiny Nishiki Pro which just barely fits, because it's about a 48cm frame--the smallest steel high end bike I've found, other than those specifically designed for children.

But I have nothing exotic like Colnago, Ciocc, Pegoretti. Like JT, I tend my elderly bikes and love them.

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Old 02-15-07, 07:25 AM
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I'm far too inexperienced to even consider building a bike. I wouldn't know where to begin with choosing components that would get me where I want to go. I'll be buying a bike this spring to replace/upgrade from the one (the only one) that I have now. This forum has got me reading a bit, considering options and wondering a lot. I think I want a flat bar road bike with a steel frame and fairly relaxed /upright riding position geometry. I have major back problems and don't think a regular road bike will work for me. I know I want a better bike with better components that will help me to ride a little further in the time I have to ride, and to do it in comfort. I haven't seen a lot of choices in the money area that I want to spend (somewhere around $1500 or so) I think a Jamis Coda might fit the bill. There is a dealer in town and I will be checking that option out soon. Are there other recommendations that anyone would care to make? I ride for fitness and fun, don't race, never will, might do an event ride someday, but that will always be secondary to just getting on the bike and riding to drip some sweat and see a few cows.
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Old 02-15-07, 10:39 AM
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T-man, you have many options in the kind of bike you are talking about. But do yourself a favor and look into the many options available in handlebar design.
I won't try to convince you that a properly positioned drop bar would be your best option, even though I definitely find my drop bar road bike to be my most comfortable bike for my back with its herniated L-4 disc. But I will tell you that the least comfortable option available for a road bike is a mountain bike type flat bar. There are several types of upright bar which have some rearward sweep to give you a more natural hand and wrist position than a flat bar would.
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Old 02-15-07, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Jet Travis
My odds of racing--or even riding a paceline--are zero. .........I'm happy to noodle along at whatever pace suits me on a given day.
+1 I'm never going to be the closing pitcher for the Red Sox either, but some things in life you just accept.
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Old 02-15-07, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by East Hill
You are all fortunate in that none of you are limited in your choices due to your size. I am short enough that very high end off-the-peg bikes simply don't fit me. They aren't made that small. So, I buy mixtes. I have some old steel WSD bikes with the front wheels 24", and the rear wheels 700c. I've got one tiny Nishiki Pro which just barely fits, because it's about a 48cm frame--the smallest steel high end bike I've found, other than those specifically designed for children.

But I have nothing exotic like Colnago, Ciocc, Pegoretti. Like JT, I tend my elderly bikes and love them.

East Hill
East Hill,

You might find this interesting. http://www.lunacycles.com/custom.html
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Old 02-15-07, 04:22 PM
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My father bought me a brand-new Bianchi road bike for Christmas 1962. I bought myself a brand-new Nishiki Competition road bike in 1971. I have purchased all of my other bikes used, always from private parties. Since I thoroughly enjoy the bikes I already own and don't have enough space for all of them, I have zero motivation to spend hard-earned cash on a new bike for the foreseeable future. Besides, I would far rather ride a rare classic than a ubiquitous like-everyone-else's newer machine.
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Old 02-15-07, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by BluesDawg
T-man, you have many options in the kind of bike you are talking about. But do yourself a favor and look into the many options available in handlebar design.
I won't try to convince you that a properly positioned drop bar would be your best option, even though I definitely find my drop bar road bike to be my most comfortable bike for my back with its herniated L-4 disc. But I will tell you that the least comfortable option available for a road bike is a mountain bike type flat bar. There are several types of upright bar which have some rearward sweep to give you a more natural hand and wrist position than a flat bar would.
I've wondered about that as a mod to whatever I end up with. The bike I'm riding now has that sort of a bar and if there is one thing this bike is, it's comfortable (at least to me). I was in a Jamis shop today and rode the base model Coda around in the store for a few laps. Liked it. But that's pretty much to be expected, since my comparison world is so limited. Thanks.
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Old 02-15-07, 06:54 PM
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Having ridden for about 11 years now, the makeup of a desirable bike (for me) has come bit by bit, as I have ridden many different bikes...and listened to what other's have to say. Just something simple like learning that Ultegra parts are more desirable for me than Dura Ace, or that weight isn't really that important, can take a lot of time and experience and independance.

I've always bought new bikes. I can't really afford them, but one thing I promised myself when I started cycling was that since I am very mechanical and interested in all kinds of history, I didn't want to become entrenched in cycling's design history. I just don't have time, and I want to concentrate on riding bikes... not hunting down such and such model from this year or that. Don't get me wrong, I think that kind of stuff is great, but, like golf, I want to avoid it because it plays into my weaknesses.

I learned over the years that there was a lot of "traditional" stuff (like lugged steel frames) that really appealed to me aesthetically and practically, so buying a new Rivendell was the best of all worlds.

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