Road Cycling ďIt 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.Ē -- Ernest Hemingway

Can't decide. Help!

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Old 04-25-03, 06:20 PM
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Chuvak
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Can't decide. Help!

I finally decided to get my first real road bike. Iím 5.8 and at a 170 lb. I would use the bike fore everyday riding/training, not commuting nor racing. The roads in my neighborhood are bumpy and I decided on a steel frame, durability wise. I checked a couple of bikes out today in my LBS. My budget is on a $1000 level. Iíve been shown several bikes at that price range and I just couldnít decide on what to get. I donít remember the particular models, but one was a Specialized, the other was Bianchi, both are NOT 2003 models. Specialized had an Al frame (which is not what I really want) but came with 105 and Ultegra rear derailleur, carbon fork and seat post. Bianchi had lower-end components but had a steel frame and fork. They both were at about the same price. My main concern is the aluminum frame vs. steel. I want the bike to last me a long time, and after reading several posts on this forum my opinion about Al is not good at all. On one hand Specialized bike offers better components along with carbon fork and seat post, on the other Bianchi has a steel frame, but with lower end components. Help me out on this one. I know that I provided little information about the models but I would like to know your opinion, what bike would you choose? Should I change some of my preferences considering what Iím going to use the bike for?

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Old 04-25-03, 06:23 PM
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gonesh9
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the specialized sequouia and allez are great bikes, and the carbon forks and suspension seatpost (on sequoia) help smooth it out. but steel is a much better material. might be a little heavier, but much more durable. if you're not racing or anything, you will apreciate the feel of steel in the long run IMO.
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Old 04-25-03, 06:27 PM
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Pound more pound less. Weight for me is not all that important. After all I ride 35+ mountain bike with steel frame, doesnít bother me a bit.
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Old 04-25-03, 06:39 PM
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Look at the bianchis eros or veloce. The components are in the low end of campy's but perform pretty well. The eros is about 1100 or so and the veloce a little higher. However if you want the bike to last go with steel.
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Old 04-25-03, 09:56 PM
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it turned out that bianchi is a 2003 model, here it is
http://209.217.20.46/site/bikes/index.html
then click on Campione under Road section. What do you think?
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Old 04-25-03, 10:57 PM
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I like bianchi, but I really would not make the decision based on the Specialized being Aluminum. Have you ridden both of them, to see how they feel. You might be surprised how good a ride the specialized has.
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Old 04-25-03, 11:03 PM
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There is a lot of misinformation on this forum on the subject of aluminum. I would urge you not to base your decision on the opinions expressed here. You will likely never put the frame through enough cycles at a sufficiently high stress to cause a failure. Even if you should, Specialized has a lifetime warranty and excellent service.
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Old 04-25-03, 11:13 PM
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Originally posted by Waldo
You will likely never put the frame through enough cycles at a sufficiently high stress to cause a failure. Even if you should, Specialized has a lifetime warranty and excellent service. [/B]
I was going to make a separate thread, but since you mentioned it, here goes the question. How much can Al frame actually take? Not counting crashes, just straight up riding. I promise itís the last question
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Old 04-25-03, 11:57 PM
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a properly designed Al frame, under normal conditions can give you many years of service.

I have not seen an Al frame break/crack under normal conditions. Not on road bikes, actually.

Al frames are rigid and strong. That is why this material is very popular on MTBs. While steel is ductile and will tend to flex more, giving a more comfortable ride.

as long as you don't crash. I dont think there would be any problems with Al frames.
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Old 04-26-03, 01:56 AM
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Chuvak,

At your weight, aluminium will not be a problem. For huge men (and dare I say women), 250+lbs. and what-not, I'd recommend steel for it's strength under extreme loads. I'm actually amazed at the massive bodies I've seen on "dainty" road bike frames. They seem to defy physics...or else it's a perfect demonstration of how strong a bike frame actually is. I'm 185 (I think) and ride both alu. and steel. I still don't see what all the bickering is about. I've kept my rides thus far around 60 miles (as routine) and feel the same on both materials. Maybe 80-100 mi. is a different story. But, I'm sure I'll be beat up on any material after a century ride! I'll find out this summer and get back to you guys n' gals! The first (aluminium-framed) century is coming up.

Steve
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