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New to cycling - Help with decision

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New to cycling - Help with decision

Old 01-11-19, 11:33 AM
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ChrisTho
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New to cycling - Help with decision

Looking for something for recreation, light exercise around the neighborhood on concrete trails. I've done some research and I know I want a steel frame with wider tires. Looking to purchase online for around $800. Came across the Raleigh Grand Sport and the Motobecane Strada LDT 2.0 at same price point. I guess it comes down to parts and looks. The Raleigh is definitely flashier. Thanks for your input.
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Old 01-11-19, 11:36 AM
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BrocLuno
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So what do you want the bike to do? I know the ones you are looking at are drop bar, but ... Drop bar, flat bar, or riser bar - sometimes fatter tires come with other bars ... As in "gravel bike" as a classification or hybrid ...

Do you want a rear rack? If so, it should have attachment points on the seat stays.

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Old 01-11-19, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by BrocLuno View Post
So what do you want the bike to do? I know the ones you are looking at are drop bar, but ... Drop bar, flat bar, or riser bar - sometimes fatter tires come with other bars ... As in "gravel bike" as a classification or hybrid ...

Do you want a rear rack? If so, it should have attachment points on the seat stays.
drop bars. Donít need rear racks, or other add ons. Donít plan on taking off road. I guess I meant to say mid size tires
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Old 01-11-19, 12:11 PM
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Gravel bikes if you are dead set of drop bars

Hybrid bikes WITHOUT suspension if you're not. (I like a suspension on my hybrid but I don't stay strictly on paved surfaces. If I did the suspension would have no purpose)

For the leisurely ride around the neighborhood you'll find the drop bar set ups have a forward leaning position that isn't ideal for short rides, but great for long ones. It's awkward for the first few miles but you get used to it and it's more efficient for the next 30-50 miles. The more upright position found on flat bar hybrids is great for the first 5 miles but can be hard on the next 50

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Old 01-11-19, 12:18 PM
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Absolutely true
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Old 01-11-19, 12:20 PM
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I agree that the Raleigh looks better, but the Motebecane has better components (Shimano 105 vs Shimano Claris). It also has 32mm tires where the Raleigh has 28mm.


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Old 01-11-19, 01:27 PM
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You can always buy the Motobecane and paint the frame.

You can always paint the frame.I have ridden thousands of miles on flat-bar and drop-bar bikes. One is not necessarily more comfortable than the other. It is a matter of setting up the bike properly to suit the rider.

Considerations---if you do not bike a lot, and you do not have a strong core, you will want a more upright riding posture. Neither flat-nor drop bars dictate this. You can get a riser stem and run flat bar chest high, or a down-sloping stem and run them as slow as the drops on drop bars.

I commuted for years on flatbar bikes and always had the bars low for aero efficiency---but I was slender and strong back in the day. Nowadays I am weak and fat ... but i ride exclusively dropbar bikes on the road. I run up-angled stems and spacers, so the hoods are as high or higher than my old flatbar setups.

However ... for most casual riders, a flatbar setup is probably easier to adapt to. I wouldn't choose it but ... try test-riding some different models and see how you feel.

Specifics---The Raleigh (https://www.raleighusa.com/grand-sport) has a steel fram and an allow fork. I don’t get it. The fork will transmit road buzz right up the bars into your hands. An alloy frame and steel fork is a great combination. An Alloy frame with a carbon fork is golden. Anything with an aluminum fork … meh.

The Raleigh has 23-mm wide rims (outside width I assume.) Could easily take 32s on the wheel … not sure about the frame clearance.

The website doesn’t specify which generation Claris but I’d assume the latest. The picture shows the cables under the bar tape, which is consistent with the latest Claris … but the picture could be wrong. It happens.The latest Claris is supposed to be as good as the old Sora at least—so it should be fine.

The Motobecane (http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...road-bikes.htm) has a steel frame And fork. Marginally heavier but probably marginally more comfortable ride—but frankly, it wouldn’t make a difference over five miles, I’d guess.

The 105 group is Superb. If I were you I’d buy the Motobecane Just for the 105 group. The partial 105 group sells for half the cost of the whole bike—and is worth it.

The Motobecane has Weinmann rims---a very respected brand, but I am sure they make cheap stuff too. However, those don’t look like cheap wheels—and they look to have a semi-aero profile.Also, we know the frame fits wider rubber—and the tires make more of a difference in ride quality than anything else.

Also, if you compare riding positions … the Motobecane shows the bars set at the level of the seat, with a big stack of spacers and an up-angled stem.The Raleigh shows fewer spacers and has what looks like a 6- or 7-degree stem pointed down. You could flip the stem and gain a little height—but you would have to buy a new stem to get the bars up to saddle level. You might want to consider that when shopping.

The bent over, laid-out racer position looks cool, but it takes a lot of leg and core strength to stay that way. If that is what you want, either bike could give you that. The Motobecane comes with a more upright riding position out of the box.

Personally I prefer the Motobecane. I have an ancient Raleigh (1984) which I have set up sort of like the Motobecane (Tiagra 4600 instead of 5800, though. I have 5800 on a couple other bikes.) It comes in around 26 pounds with bottle cage, tool bag, and pedals—not a lightweight, but not heavy, and a pure joy to ride. I run skinny tires and it is still pleasant—which I put down to a steel frame and fork.

I’d get the Motobecane in polished steel, maybe stick on a Shimano front brake, a lighter seat, a shorter stem and maybe shorter-reach handlebars, (because of my fat belly and bad shoulders) lights, a bottle cage, and a tool bag and ride it for decades.

The Raleigh? It doesn’t even mention what brakes it has ... so something generic and probably fine for daily pleasure-cruising. It looks like a good bike and the modern Claris group is highly regarded (I run old Claris on one bike and it is fine. The new version is supposed to be much better.) If it calls out to you, buy it. You will not be making a mistake.

However … if I were you I’d consider visiting some local shops, telling them you are looking for a bike in that price range, and trying both flat- and dropbar models. One never knows until one tries … in some cases.

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Old 01-11-19, 02:03 PM
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Some more difference between flat and drop bar set ups....

I commute with a flat bar. I'm on roads. I like the more upright position that gives me better visibility of the world around me. I also have more control with the flat bar when I might need to dodge obstacles (road debris, people, cars, etc) in a hurry. It's also handy for just being able to dodge and duck in and around things like curbs and lamp posts any anything else. This is why I commute on a flat bar hybrid.

But...it's not as efficient as my drop bar gravel bike.

I can go further and faster with the gravel bike. It is a joy to ride for distance in a straight line (or even on a windy road...but not dodging obstacles and jumping over curbs and stuff like that). For a 40 mile trip on a rail trail...drop bar gravel bike. No contest.
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Old 01-11-19, 02:05 PM
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Thank for the insight! I definitely will go test some bike to get the feel. I'm fairly in shape (rock climbing), but have been inactive for a few months due to back issue, so comfort and a smooth ride are my main concern. Thanks for the descriptive and honest response! you have been much help.
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Old 01-11-19, 02:18 PM
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Where I live, the local shop will assemble a Bikes Direct bike * for a fee, with the same skill and attention to detail as the brands
they set up to sell on the showroom floor.. ( They are a Raleigh Dealer..+ others.. )

just no warranties, , (you deal with BD, for that.) . though a return trip.. after cables , brake and shift, settle in , for a touch up, is included..

*or other , purchased in the carton.. bikes, bought seeking low prices.. but not mechanically inclined, with proper tools..






....

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Old 01-11-19, 02:31 PM
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$800 is within many decent LBS options, with the benefit that you'll get to test ride beforehand, assuming you don't need an exceptionally large or small size that are less likely to be in stock. You may even be able to score a big discount on an older model that the LBS wants to clear out.

As far as doing research online for options, look into the endurance road bike category. They are geared toward comfort, tend to be more upright, and have more tire clearance than a racing road bike. They aren't going to have as much tire clearance as a gravel bike, but if you're sticking to paved surfaces, a gravel bike is probably going to be slower and heavier.
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