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Thoughts on this bike.

Old 07-24-15, 11:36 AM
  #1  
rararob
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Thoughts on this bike.

Hi everyone,

I'm new to the forum and this is my first post. However, I have been creepin' on posts for a while now. I was hoping to get some thoughts on a bike I am thinking about purchasing. I will give a bit of info about me, my experience on a bike, and my uses for the new bike.

So I have been riding a bike for about 5 years in San Francisco. I found an old 80's frame in a dumpster that included the frame, pedals, handlebars. It has drop style bars and is a 16 speed with downtube shifters. I took it to an LBS and paid about 300 USD to have them throw on some parts to make it functional. I've been riding it like that ever since. In terms of use of the bike, I used it for a few years to commute. Then I stopped commuting with it after I had a significant crash. The crash really changed the way I looked at the bike and I no longer wanted to ride the route I used to get to work because the liklihood of another crash was still significant. Since then, I have mostly used it for weekend riding: causal moving around.

Anyways, the bike has served me well. It's been relatively low maintenance other than lots of flat tires. Lately, the derailuer has been causing issues and frequently resulting in the chain coming off. I have considered having it fully refurbished because I think it would be beautiful if I could get it all cleaned up. Its a nice pale blue, Italian steel thing. I am also considering just replacing it with a new bike.

I initially started looking at the commuter city bikes that have popped up. I've looked at Public Bikes, Linus, Brooklyn, etc. However, I decided that the upright city/dutch bikes are not for me. I should mention here that the "look" of the bike is *very* improtant to me. When I fantasize about a bike, it always looks like a road or touring bike. It's usually vintage, and it always has a more aggressive geometry and drop bars. So, after testing the city bikes, I decided that it would not be worth the expense because I felt no love or connection to anything I road. I also realized that I like to be able to ride aggressively, even just for fun, and the upright style and super fat wheels just don't allow me to play the way I want to.

So I decided to look into a road or touring bike. In all honesty, it is more than I need. I will mostly ride this on weekends: as a replacement for my car. I will use it for casual commuting, farmers markets, pedaling around the East Bay where I now live.

Originally, I was looking at a place called Galaxy Bikes. I love this guys work. He takes old bikes and fixes them up. The components vary, but are generally decent. He can also do a full refurbishment on my existing bike. When I dream of a bike, it often looks like one of his creations. I have been discussing options with him. WHile I like the idea of having him refurb my bike, it would like be the same price or more than buying one of his existing bikes. So I am not sure how I will go if I pursue this route.

Then I found the most stunning bike I have ever seen. I would like some thoughts on what you all think about the components. It's relatively expensive, in my opinion, at 1200 USD. It's more than I was planning to spend, but not outside of my budget. I cannot find a single review of it on the internet, at least not in English. The company is based in Poland and makes the bikes by hand. That is part of the cost. I dont really care about this, and would be happier with the same bike made through a cheaper process. The frame is also guaranteed for life, but I can't imagine it will be easy to work that out with a company in Poland that only has one distributor in the US, and one shop in all of the country that actually carries the bike.

I took the bike for a spin in the wrong size and I really like it. It rides smooth, looks amazing, and makes me happy to ride.

Anyways, I'd love your thoughts on it. If any one owns this bike, even better. I know that at least one woman on this forum previously ordered a different bike from Creme and was unhappy with the welding.
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Old 07-24-15, 11:43 AM
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I don't know anything about the company. I know that you said you love the looks of it, and to you that is extremely important. I know that you said you rode one and it made you happy. So, what is the problem?
Get it and ride the crap out of it.
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Old 07-24-15, 12:17 PM
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I wouldn't worry about the welds on that Creme, it's lugged. I'd worry about it being worth $200 next year, whereas if you were to get something like this Colnago you might even end up making money if you decide to sell.

JMO, enjoy whatever you end up with.

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Old 07-24-15, 12:26 PM
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Since you asked about the parts, Tiagra and Sora are often seen as lower end Shimano components. Personally, I haven't had problems with them and although they aren't as good as the top tier parts, they will undoubtedly do the job they are supposed to. Whether having them at this price point is a good deal though, is for you to decide.

I'd also suggest looking into the used market. You could easily get something higher specced at a fraction of its original price and below the price of this bike you are looking at now. Combined with a quality steel frame, you can't really go wrong.
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Old 07-24-15, 01:05 PM
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I agree that Echo Doppio is a sweet looking bike, but I always like the look of a classic steel frame with a quill stem.

The drivetrain is a bit below what I would expect at that price point, but I think you would be pleased with it. If it speaks to you ,and it is within you budget, I think it could be the one for you.

If you like thge bikes shown at Galaxy Bikes, you can also browse through the For Sale section here in the Classic & Vintage subforum and see if there is anything there that interests you.
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Old 07-24-15, 01:07 PM
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Why not do some modest repairs on your current bike? Spend some time learning about components and what makes a bike worth the asking price. In the meantime do your own wrenching. Replacing an RD in most cases only requires a set of hex wrenches, screwdriver, and perhaps a something to cut the derailleur cable. It is worth having a simple multitool which will have the hex wrenches on it. It's useful for other maintenance too. Check the Park Tool website Park Tool Co. Park Tool Co. or the late Sheldon Brown's site Sheldon Brown-Bicycle Technical Information for detailed instructions on how to do your own maintenance and repairs. You don't give any information on what RD you are using now but I bet you would be surprised at how inexpensive it will be to buy one on eBay and install it yourself.

I wouldn't consider paying $1,200 for a bike that came with Sora and Tiagara components on it. There's only one level below Tiagara (Shimano Claris 2400) and it is the one that comes on much cheaper entry level bikes Shimano Road Groupsets: The Hierarchy | Evans Cycles | Ride It Blog | News, reviews, how-tos. I don't buy the highest priced components as I am not a "weight weenie" and only want parts to last a long time, work well, and not require a lot of maintenance. You get this with mid-range components in either the Shimano or SRAM lineup.
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Old 07-24-15, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by FRANK CANNON View Post
I wouldn't worry about the welds on that Creme, it's lugged. I'd worry about it being worth $200 next year, whereas if you were to get something like this Colnago you might even end up making money if you decide to sell.

JMO, enjoy whatever you end up with.

I see this all over craigslist! LOL
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Old 07-24-15, 01:31 PM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by FRANK CANNON View Post
I wouldn't worry about the welds on that Creme, it's lugged. I'd worry about it being worth $200 next year, whereas if you were to get something like this Colnago you might even end up making money if you decide to sell.

JMO, enjoy whatever you end up with.

I was not worried about the welds, personally. I would be able to select the bike in person, should I go that route.

That Colnago is pretty sweet! I'm tempted and will think about it because its just across town from me. However, that bike has been on Craigslist for a while so I can't imagine I will have much luck selling it for even more down the line. Even though a conversation about selling is not particularly relevant. Whichever bike I choose, I plan to be with it for a very long time!
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Old 07-24-15, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Little Darwin View Post
I agree that Echo Doppio is a sweet looking bike, but I always like the look of a classic steel frame with a quill stem.

The drivetrain is a bit below what I would expect at that price point, but I think you would be pleased with it. If it speaks to you ,and it is within you budget, I think it could be the one for you.

If you like thge bikes shown at Galaxy Bikes, you can also browse through the For Sale section here in the Classic & Vintage subforum and see if there is anything there that interests you.
Thank you for the tip, I will definitely take a look at that forum page.

I agree on the drive train. That is what gives me pause. I'm trying to determine if looks are enough to pay what is asked.
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Old 07-24-15, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by 10mg View Post
I see this all over craigslist! LOL
All over Craigslist as in the person has been posting it in the same location for a long time? Or all over Craigslist as in it pops up in a wide swath of locations and suggests scam?
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Old 07-24-15, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by rararob View Post
All over Craigslist as in the person has been posting it in the same location for a long time? Or all over Craigslist as in it pops up in a wide swath of locations and suggests scam?
I don't think it's a scam, i've just seen it posted on CL Sacramento, SF, bay area, etc...
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Old 07-24-15, 01:54 PM
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You didn't say what type of bike your current ride is. It may be worth restoring if you like it.

Photos?

Don't count on your C&V rides appreciating over time. They may a little, it depends a bit on the bike. But, it also depends on how it gets used. If you pay a premium cost to get a pristine bike, then wear it out... it won't resell for that premium amount. And you may end up paying hundreds of dollars for a second rebuild if you don't do it yourself.

In fact, that is a point, you should be able to diagnose and repair your current ride.

Not a big thing but the bar tape looks prettier to start from the middle and work outward (Galaxy Bikes). However, it tends to unravel much quicker when done that way than when wrapped from the ends to the middle, and then taped in the middle.
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Old 07-24-15, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
You didn't say what type of bike your current ride is. It may be worth restoring if you like it.

Photos?

Don't count on your C&V rides appreciating over time. They may a little, it depends a bit on the bike. But, it also depends on how it gets used. If you pay a premium cost to get a pristine bike, then wear it out... it won't resell for that premium amount. And you may end up paying hundreds of dollars for a second rebuild if you don't do it yourself.

In fact, that is a point, you should be able to diagnose and repair your current ride.

Not a big thing but the bar tape looks prettier to start from the middle and work outward (Galaxy Bikes). However, it tends to unravel much quicker when done that way than when wrapped from the ends to the middle, and then taped in the middle.
Thanks for your thoughts. I agree. My current ride is a Bianchi. I'm not sure on the model or exact year, but I put it at mid to late 80's. I do not plan to buy a bike based on possible appreciation. I plan to buy a bike and then ride it to death. I was just commenting on what other responses discussed.

I should learn more about bike maintenance. It is a bit embarrassing how little i know, after having ridden for 5 years. However, I have a really demanding job and limited free time. I have not yet wanted to spend my non-working time learning the details of bike maintenance. I can change a flat and that has been sufficient. I usually pay an LBS when I have needed any further assistance. If I were to restore, I would likely pay someone to do that for me.

I will take some pictures of the bike this weekend. It is a lighter blue color. The color has that soft quality that seems so rare on modern bikes but so common on vintage makes. It's hard to describe.

I didn't know that about bar tape, thank you for the tip. The bar tape on my existing bike is pretty beat up
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Old 07-24-15, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by VegasTriker View Post
Why not do some modest repairs on your current bike? Spend some time learning about components and what makes a bike worth the asking price. In the meantime do your own wrenching. Replacing an RD in most cases only requires a set of hex wrenches, screwdriver, and perhaps a something to cut the derailleur cable. It is worth having a simple multitool which will have the hex wrenches on it. It's useful for other maintenance too. Check the Park Tool website Park Tool Co. Park Tool Co. or the late Sheldon Brown's site Sheldon Brown-Bicycle Technical Information for detailed instructions on how to do your own maintenance and repairs. You don't give any information on what RD you are using now but I bet you would be surprised at how inexpensive it will be to buy one on eBay and install it yourself.

I wouldn't consider paying $1,200 for a bike that came with Sora and Tiagara components on it. There's only one level below Tiagara (Shimano Claris 2400) and it is the one that comes on much cheaper entry level bikes Shimano Road Groupsets: The Hierarchy | Evans Cycles | Ride It Blog | News, reviews, how-tos. I don't buy the highest priced components as I am not a "weight weenie" and only want parts to last a long time, work well, and not require a lot of maintenance. You get this with mid-range components in either the Shimano or SRAM lineup.
Isn't Shimano Tourney A070 below Sora?
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Old 07-24-15, 03:04 PM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by VegasTriker View Post
I wouldn't consider paying $1,200 for a bike that came with Sora and Tiagara components on it. There's only one level below Tiagara (Shimano Claris 2400) and it is the one that comes on much cheaper entry level bikes Shimano Road Groupsets: The Hierarchy | Evans Cycles | Ride It Blog | News, reviews, how-tos. I don't buy the highest priced components as I am not a "weight weenie" and only want parts to last a long time, work well, and not require a lot of maintenance. You get this with mid-range components in either the Shimano or SRAM lineup.
You're a little confused about the Shimano Groupsets. Even you own source shows Sora and Claris below Tiagra. And Tourney is the lowest of them all. Of course, your source is a little old, as it only lists 105 as being 10spd.

Dura Ace (11spd) >> Ultegra (11spd) >> 105 (11spd) >> Tiagra (10spd) >> Sora (9spd) >> Claris (8spd) >> Tourney (7spd)

Normally DA/Ultegra/105 are considered the high end components.
Tiagra/Sora/Claris are considered the middle components.
Tourney are the low end components, and have the thumb shifter (which most people think are really annoying).

Although I can see some people putting Claris in with Tourney, but the thumb shifters on Tourney and the regular brifters on Claris would have me put the separation point between them.

Now, if you're only going to have 2 groups, then most people would put the separation between Tiagra and 105.

GH
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Old 07-24-15, 03:21 PM
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You are mixing road and mtb components

Most sites that list the Shimano and SRAM components separate them into road bike and mountain bike categories. From eBay Shimano road bike: 2200 (now Claris) Sora Tiagra 105 Ultegra Dura-Ace

Tourney, Althus, Acera, Alivo, Deore, SLX Zee XT Saint and XTR are mountain bike components

I have been very happy with 105 for road bike components and Deore for MTB parts. Those on older bikes have run for years and years over many thousands of miles. I had to buy a set of Dura-Ace bar end shifters recently because that is what Shimano specified for the RD I needed to use on a wide range rear. Ouch, particularly as there have been a lot of complaints about one of the plastic parts in the shifter breaking and the difficulty getting a replacement for a very simple part.
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Old 07-24-15, 03:30 PM
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You might be able to find out what year your bike was made by contacting Bianchi Possible Serial Number Identification

Several bicycle manufacturers, including Bianchi, use serial number identification and have done so for many years. Most companies press a series of numbers and letters in the metal surface on the bottom of the bicycle bottom bracket shell. Some bicycles have numbers pressed into the inner surface of one of the rear frame dropouts. Contacting Bianchi with the serial number of the bicycle may allow for model or year identification. The company is still in existence unlike a lot of the manufacturers who have gone under and sold the brand name.

F.I.V. E. Bianchi S.p.A. Via delle Battaglie, 5 24047 Treviglio (BG) Italy 39-0363-3161 bianchu@bianchi.com
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Old 07-24-15, 05:48 PM
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No shame in an old Bianchi. That color is called Celeste.
She might be too, I don't know.



Post your bike in the Classic and Vintage section and they will tell you what you are working with. You'll be way ahead money and satisfaction wise when you rebuild this yourself, Rara. As for that Colnago, it's tough to sell a nice bike like that on CL. People want a million gears but they don't understand it's about the ride.

Definitely check out some older high end stuff before you pull the trigger, $1200 is a big budget for a vintage ride, not so much for a new bike.
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Old 07-24-15, 07:39 PM
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Good ideas

My Bianchi is not Celeste, it's more of a blue than that.

These are good ideas about identifying the bike I have. I will look for the serial number this weekend and get some pictures posted as well.

It is unlikely I will pull the trigger on the Colonga. As beautiful as it is, 1300 is more than the new bike and I don't love that color. I would love to track down that grip tape though, it is amazing!!!!
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Old 07-24-15, 08:29 PM
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Forget that Colnago dude. I just wanted to point you in the vintage direction, I think that's where your eye and riding are at.

Start posting in C&V right now.

https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-vi...ead-1-1-a.html
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Old 07-24-15, 09:10 PM
  #21  
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Yeah, that Creme LOOKS nice....but I think it is grossly over-priced for what it is.

"Chro-moly"? What kind? The fact that they don't specify what grade of tubing, makes me think it must be the lowest grade tubing...'cuz if it was the good stuff, they'd be advertising that fact.

A mix of low-end components...

Low-end FSA crankset...

No-name wheels?

If you want a new steel bike, look at the steel bikes on Bikesdirect- you can get a similar bike for about half the price.

But from what you say, the problems with your current bike are very minor. Get some good tubes and tires..adjust the derailers, and few little things, and you'll be good to go.
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