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I now have a Thoroughbred in my Stable

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Road Cycling It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle. -- Ernest Hemingway

I now have a Thoroughbred in my Stable

Old 10-09-06, 09:49 AM
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I now have a Thoroughbred in my Stable

I now have my first road bike.

Bike:

Basso ZER aluminum frame (made in Italy)
carbon fork
carbon handle bars (with flat tops)
carbon seat post

Campangolo Veloce Group (172.5mm crank length)
Campangolo Vento G3 rims
Vittoria Rubino Pro tires

Tacx bottle cages
Selle Italia Trans Am seat
Shimano pedals
Adidas Carbon shoes
Topeak saddlebag

fully dressed bike weight: 19.5lbs (8.86kg)
bike cost (before tax): $1900
frame size: 55cm seat tube, 55cm top tube

History:

Ive had a Bianchi hybrid for 10 yrs, and I would ride it maybe 15-20x per summer, but only on bike paths.

It wasn't but the beginning of August that I picked up a used (10 yr old) mountain bike from a co-worker wanting to get rid of it. Took it to our family cottage and had a blast riding over the beach and some nice forest trails. Problem with the bike is the frame is small for me; my left knee would ache after riding it for a bit.

A week later I was at a dept. store and saw some full suspension MTB at half price, so picked one up for under $200. With that bike I went to some bike parks with trails for MTB and had a blast, but also saw how inadequate (and brutally heavy) the bike is. But I would only MTB during the weekend, usually with a friend.

During the week I wanted to keep the bike exercise going, so I would take out my Bianchi hybrid for about 1 hr, 3 nights a week, at a large industrial park near my house. The more I rode the hybrid, the more I realized I really needed a true road bike. I kept challenging myself each time out, and discovered new things along the way.

First off the big gel seat was killing me, so I bought cycling shorts (which helped quite a bit) and then a bike racer friend from work gave me his used Italia seat, which, although stiffer, allowed the bike to be more responsive (the gel seat had springs on it). My hands and wrists would ache from gripping the end bars too tight, trying to go fast like I would on a road bike. Bought some gloves which helped a bit, and learned to ease up on the bars.

After joining this forum I began doing research into a new road bike but I wasnt really in any rush since autumn was approaching.

But a few weeks back a kid with his SUV ran a stop sign and smacked my bike as I crossed the street. Luckily nothing bad happened to me besides some bruises and scrapes, but the Bianchi was just not worth fixing (fork and front tire bent, sheared pedal, bent crank arm). I settled for cash with the kid and sped up my new bike purchase.

Route that I took to getting my first bike and why:

I visited a few of the more well known bike stores and narrowed the search down to these bikes:

2006 Cannondale Caad 8 w\105
2006 Cannondale Caad 8 w\Ultegra
2006 Cervelo Soloist Team aluminum w\Ultegra

2005 Cinelli Aliante w\mix of Ultegra/105
2006 Aquila Prima w\Ultegra

Each of these bikes came in around $2000 or less.

My heart was keen on the Cinelli. My intention was to put aside a Saturday and try them all. But my racer friend kept hounding me to first get a proper fitting. He believes I just don't have enough experience on this sort of bike and unless something is really different from one bike to the next, they would ALL feel great or stiff or whatever.

So I took his advice and booked one evening with a guy that does fittings (on a Serotta adjustable fitting bike). It's interesting that with each adjustment he made the pedal effort became much easier. Where I had picked a cadence (on the fixed gear) that I could do maybe 20 mins on, by the time he was done I could easily have done 2 hours! I had a friend with me and he saw the readout where my heart rate (I wore a monitor) was about the same but my power output kept improving with less effort.

Once the fitting was done he pulled out a sheet with a bike frame design, then he measured where the seat, bars, pedals, etc. were. He wrote down all the measurements, put them into the computer and gave me a print out (the store keeps a copy too). He explained to my how my postion on the bike is now and how it will change. The bars are set to one setting, by next summer theyll need to be adjusted.

This store carries a lot of brands, many of them Italian. I would have liked to buy an Italian made bike but felt this was a pipe dream due to the costs of them. Somehow I managed to work a deal with the guys in the store. They took my fitting chart and measured frames that would fit me perfectly. Ultimately we settled on the Basso. The frame is several years old (unused) but they felt it would suit my purpose of a road and entry-level race bike.

I figured it this way; these guys know WAY more about bikes, fit, performance, materials, brands, etc. than I do right now (or may ever). I gave them (and my racer friend) a bit of faith that they would take care of me, get me the right bike for me, even if I don't know half of what it can do but may discover in the future.

Bike and riding impressions:

Keep in mind I've gone from a 10 yr old hybrid and cheap, very heavy mountain bikes to an aluminum road bike. The bike is quite light and stiff, the 120psi tires add to that stiffness. It is very smooth, almost too quiet (from what I was used to). No clunky shifts, no iffy brakes, it goes where you point it, it takes corners like a knife. On a flat road I look down at the computer and I'm doing 30km/h like it's nothing. What used to take so much effort on the hybrid (even more on the MTB) is no effort at all on the Basso. Like a high performance car it makes going at speed effortless.

Shifting with the levers is easy to learn, and quick. The low position on the bars is hard on the neck and sometimes tough to see forward. The flat area on the bars is very comfortable.

My biggest hurdle is the cleats; Ive never had to use any so I'm totally new to clipping in and out. I have been practicing and it's getting more fluid, but it'll take some time.

Id to thank people here for their information, advice, feedback and encouragement.
Attached Images
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Basso_full_shot.jpg (76.2 KB, 421 views)
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Head_Tube_Basso_logo.jpg (69.7 KB, 78 views)
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Basso_B_rearBrake.jpg (80.0 KB, 86 views)
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Rear_Derailleur_Veloce.jpg (97.7 KB, 105 views)
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Old 10-09-06, 10:41 AM
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CONGRATS....enjoy and ride the hell out of it. Looks great....I love the silver color.
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Old 10-09-06, 10:53 AM
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great looking ride, now instead of posting on BF go pound the pavement
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Old 10-09-06, 10:53 AM
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Nicely done Nostromo

You have spec'ed it out nicely, and it looks and shows in nice proportions. In your case that fitting fee was money well spent.


Thanks for all those great pictures of Labicicletta as well
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Old 10-09-06, 10:53 AM
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Basso. Veloce. Ventos.

A good solid bike.
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Old 10-09-06, 11:31 AM
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Where did you go to get fitted? I'd love to find a shop that does a complete fitting. There are five bike shops within 10 miles of me and none of them do anything like that.
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Old 10-09-06, 11:37 AM
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Cool Bike!...those frame joints are absolutely scrumptious!
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Old 10-09-06, 12:12 PM
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Looks great! A very simular group list to what I am looking to build up myself in the near future. 19.5lbs fully dressed - does this include the seatbag w/ tools etc?

I've only seen a few Bassos, but those I've seen I've liked every one of them. Enjoy the great ride.
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Old 10-09-06, 12:31 PM
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I've got a coworker that owns a Basso. He hasn't ridden it in years. I said he ought to get off his asso and ride his Basso.
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Old 10-09-06, 02:52 PM
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Thanks for the replies. I just took it out for about 2 hrs (after a gym workout too). I'm finally confident with the cleats and I'm glad my workout partner came along (he rode on a garage sale 10 spd I picked up from my brother-in-law, says 'Rossi' on it). By talking with him at parts I completely forgot I had the cleats on, and when I had to stop I had no trouble unclipping. As long as I knew I was going to unclip, I'd lean into the leg I was going to use first, and that worked out fine.

On one short stretch of road (less than a km long) I clocked 43 km/h and it was effortless, even with a mild headwind at me. I'm itching to try it on a longer road.

The bike is still stiff (to me). But I'm settling in, gear changes are smooth and fast, brakes are excellent, the frame's rigidness isn't so bad now, I like the sharp responsiveness I get from it. The speed pickup is fast, effortless, smooth. I left my friend behind several times, just couldn't resist.

Sea Green Sky; the place was the one ViperZ mentioned. It's a top notch store, good staff, been around for years, tons of Italian bikes and they take good care of you (with prices too).

cuda2k; no, 19.5 is without the saddlebag. It's still very light, sometimes I forget and the bike is up in the air when I pick it up.
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Old 10-15-06, 12:24 PM
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I haven't been able to ride my bike all week due to the crappy weather (no snow, just really cold and windy). Well today looked like it might be good (11C with sunshine) but it's more like -1C with over 20km winds (gusts to 40).

Being off the bikes so long I just couldn't take it anymore so I hopped on my MTB first and did the full trail near my place. Took forever to get warm but after 1/2 the ride eventually I did. Got home having done 1hr 15 mins and felt warm enough to take out the Basso.

I pulled an hour on it but man is my neck and upper back sore. My thumbs would get numb on the hoods and my feet cramped a bit in the Adidas. Once the shoes were clipped in and I was in the park I really felt connected to the pedals, I could feel how much easier it is to put the power down or just pick a speed and stay with it.

The severe wind gusts didn't help things, especially when it was pushing right at me while trying to go up hills. But traffic around the industrial park was non-existent so I could focus on the things I had to do.

Gotta say I'm thrilled with this bike. Even with the wind and other issues I managed to cruise around 25-27km/h for most of the way (picked 1 gear and stuck with it), and did touch 40km/h on one flat road with the wind at me. Bike is smooth, quiet, shifts clean, accelerates fast and corners like on rails.

Wish I could ride a few times a week to get used to all this, but it looks like it's time to put the bikes away until spring. My hat is off to anyone that can brave this type of weather (or colder).

Last edited by nostromo; 10-15-06 at 01:19 PM.
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Old 10-15-06, 12:29 PM
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Congrats. Mine is now Italian-American.
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Old 10-15-06, 01:32 PM
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Awww, c'mon. Ya can't wimp out on us like that! The coldest I've ridden so far this year is 32 F (0 C) and I was SWEATING. It hasn't really gotten below that yet. My coldest ever is -12 F (-24.4 C).

Just bought myself some cold weather clothes, so I'm looking forward to a drop in temp. All I need now is a pair of gloves. Think I'll swing over to Kohl's and Walmart and see what they've got.
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Old 10-15-06, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by bmclaughlin807
Awww, c'mon. Ya can't wimp out on us like that! The coldest I've ridden so far this year is 32 F (0 C) and I was SWEATING. It hasn't really gotten below that yet. My coldest ever is -12 F (-24.4 C).

Just bought myself some cold weather clothes, so I'm looking forward to a drop in temp. All I need now is a pair of gloves. Think I'll swing over to Kohl's and Walmart and see what they've got.
Actually I'm kicking myself as yesterday I visited a few bike stores, asking around about their clubs for the spring. I should have picked up some warm headwear to put under my helmet. That was pretty much the coldest part of me, I could feel the cold airflow thru the helmet. I did have some layers, tights, and gloves which kept most of my body warm.

The Adidas also have venting in them, so I can feel cold air moving thru them as well, but I put a thin and thick pair of sports socks on first. The nose drippage didn't help matters....
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Old 10-15-06, 02:48 PM
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WOW,...Thats a nice bike. Love the classic geometry. Seems like all you see these days are butt ugly compact bikes that look more like mountain bikes. The Campagnolo "Veloce" is super sweet on that bike, and you should be proud.

~oh yeah,...the Campagnolo "Vento" wheels are gorgeous.




makes me want to ride down quiet country lanes in the fall, singing Italian opera.
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Old 10-15-06, 02:52 PM
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Very nice ride. Now make sure it gets lots of exercise!
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Old 10-15-06, 02:55 PM
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having ridden so many shimano groups, how do you like the campy? impressions? Isn't veloce the lowest end of the nicer stuff?
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Old 10-15-06, 03:25 PM
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I can't really say I rode a lot of Shimano, although my hybrid and MTB both have them. I can tell you the bike is quiet, the shifts are fast and smooth, brakes are amazing. Don't know where Veloce falls in the heirarchy, but it looks well made and works well together.

The guy that put my bike together said the Campy stuff improves in performance after a break in, so we'll see how much better it is in the spring when I can ride it more often.
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Old 10-15-06, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by nostromo

The guy that put my bike together said the Campy stuff improves in performance after a break in, so we'll see how much better it is in the spring when I can ride it more often.
This is very true. Test road a veloce equiped bike yesterday and real noticed how much smoother my Bianchi shifts with 10k KM on it. Very nice bike enjoy.
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Old 10-15-06, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by clausen
This is very true. Test road a veloce equiped bike yesterday and real noticed how much smoother my Bianchi shifts with 10k KM on it. Very nice bike enjoy.
clausen, you're in TO as well, you've seen the weather we're having. Is it me or is Oct. colder now than last year? Remember 2 yrs ago it was over 25C on Halloween night? Even last year was warm at Halloween.
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Old 10-15-06, 06:25 PM
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Very nice build! I've had a Basso for a couple of years now. The frame is very well built and the ride is very smooth for an aluminum bike. I'm sure you're going to enjoy yours for many, many miles to come!
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Old 10-16-06, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by nostromo
clausen, you're in TO as well, you've seen the weather we're having. Is it me or is Oct. colder now than last year? Remember 2 yrs ago it was over 25C on Halloween night? Even last year was warm at Halloween.
It does seem a little colder this year but with proper gear it doesn't bother me. It's the rain/cold combination I don't like, can get pretty sick riding in it. Sick = time off bike .
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Old 10-22-06, 09:38 AM
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This week I managed to get out on the Basso twice. Wed. night was mild and a perfect autumn evening and I managed to get in around 1hr 15mins total. I still had the 3 major issues that held me back from getting more out of my ride; my feet would cramp in my shoes, my neck/shoulders got really stiff from my stance over the hoods, and my thumbs would get numb at times over the hoods. Even stopping to alleviate these problems didn't work for long, they just came right bike during the next leg of the ride. By the time I was done it was all I could do to get home and stretch out.

Contrast that with yesterday; I did the same amount of time on another sweet autumn day but with far less discomfort. I used double socks in the cleats as it was cooler, and that helped with the cramping (for some reason). My shoulders held up better and my thumbs were fine most of the time. The wind was a bit tougher but I noticed my peak riding speed went up from 27km/h to 29km/h and I hit 45km/h several times, where before I could barely hit 43km/h. I felt 'better' on the bike, more connected, and can see doing a steady week or two in the spring will really sync me up with the bike.

Another thing I managed to do was, while just pedalling steady, I 'tuned' in on my leg/feet motion, and at times I would do as suggested by the fitting tech to 'scrape the mud off your shoes' while pedalling. I picked up a few km/h more and felt how much more involved my legs were, from the hams to the calves and quads (and hips/glutes too). I just have to be 'aware' of doing this more, interesting feeling. I also got waves from 2 other road bike cyclists, which was cool since when I rode my hybrid down the same route I never got noticed. I saw them both check out my bike, as I did theirs (a Specialized and Dawes).

I finally managed to take the requisite white garage door pic too (and then it rained!).
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Last edited by nostromo; 10-22-06 at 09:47 AM.
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