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Another person needs new bike help please

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

Another person needs new bike help please

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Old 04-28-03, 09:36 AM
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Pastry
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Another person needs new bike help please

Hello All,

I am new to this forum and new to biking. I recently decided to take up road cycling and spent most of yesterday trying out a couple of bikes. I tried a Klein Q-Carbon and a Bianchi Veloce. Having never been on a 'real' road bike it was quite an experience. First I should say that my price range is/was around $1000 but both of the bikes I tried were about $500 more than that. I didn't have a chance to try any of the lower end bikes as I was wooed by the beauty of the Klein (it's on sale) and wanted to compare it's ride to a steel frame. So a couple of questions. The Klein was the first I tried and boy was it light, the fit was comfortable except for some pressure on my forearms and wrists, I think it may also have been my death grip the first few miles. The LBS was out of the longer stem the owner thinks will make quite a difference in my wrist/arm issues and also I needed a narrower handlebar. I loved the lightness and the lightning quick response of the Klein (especially on hills) but it felt a bit unsteady and twitchy to me. I feel like most of that may be needing to tweak the stem and handlebar size my arms felt really wide apart, but am unsure, is it maybe too light and quick a bike for a newbie? The LBS is getting the stem in in the next couple of days and they are holding the bike until I can check it out with it. I'll also try it out with narrower handlebars. Bottom line I love the bike it's comfortable, light, amazinf response, easy shifting etc etc. I feel as if I could get used to the 'quickness' with some practice.
To compare I next checked out a steel frame/ carbon fork Bianchi Veloce. When I first hopped on it didn't feel as 'right' as the Klein, I felt more stretched out. We switched the stem and what a difference, my arms and wrists felt great. The bike also felt more stable to me and I felt more in control. I really feel like this had a lot to do with the better fit in the handlebar/stem. I also think I was probably overall more comfortable after my first ride. It was very different response wise than the Klein but not bad. All in all it was a great ride and I enjoyed it but it just seemed to lack to the pizazz and verve of the Klein.
So I feel torn and unsure on a number of fronts first and foremost about price, the bikes I tried are more than I originally anticipated spending. I am planning on going back and trying some lower end bikes today to get a feel what saving some money will get me but I feel like I may have been spoiled. Many experienced bikers have told me that if I do buy a lower end bike I will probably want to eventually upgrade as my riding level improves whereas I could spend the money now for the higher end bike and upgrade my performance to match the bike.
Most of all though I want to feel comfortable on the bike and safe. I know no matter what I buy here will be a learning curve as I get used to the road on two wheels. I'm planning on spending alot of time in the saddle this summer so I want to make the right decision. While I love the feel of the Klein I am worried that as a newbie the lightness may be a detriment but once I got used to it I could really fly. The Veloce felt great but I am worried that the steel may seem 'heavy' as I improve my skills. Silly me is also worried that whatever I get I will wish I got the other one Arg. Overall it's just super hard to compare as I am so new to this. Any comments and/or insights would be greatly appreciated. I am going to try both bikes (as well as the lower end ones) again and then maybe I will be able to be able to have bit more clarity on this. I apologize for any ignorance on my part in terms of language and vocabulary but I'm getting the hang of it. Thanks.
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Old 04-28-03, 10:16 AM
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The most important thing is it fits ccorrectly, and feels comfortable to you. Bianchi and klein both make very good bikes. A steel frame is only slightly heavier, realisticaly that extra pound won't make you regret it later. Alot of people prefer steel frames to anything house. Sounds like you found a good LBS to fit the bike properly to you. I like the campy veloce group on the bianchi. I don't see the weight listed on bianchi's web site.
I say whatever feels best to you get that one. If it feels right to you you will ride mroe and enjoy it more, and you can upgrade components later.
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Old 04-28-03, 10:48 AM
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I just got a Q Carbon and really love the bike. I also tried the Bianchi and liked it as well. I can tell you the carbon chain stays one the Klein really make for a smooth ride. The only thing I dont like about my Klein is that I have Tiagra shifters and wheels but I will upgade them once I get more time in the saddle.
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Old 04-28-03, 11:30 AM
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I read carbon rear doest really do anything.A saw supergo got a bunch of 02 bianchi imolas and selling for $899,ORG. $1399.
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Old 04-28-03, 11:47 AM
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Well I also tried out the Specialized Allez Comp and the Giant TCR 2. The Klein was smoother than both of these. I don't know if just frame design of the carbon makes it smoother but it is. Plus the Klein has the best paint job of them all which I hate to admit also helped me make my choice.
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Old 04-28-03, 11:59 AM
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Pastry,

The longer stem you are looking seeking for the Klein
will tame some of the twitchiness of the bike, it will
definitaly slow down the steering.
Both are excellent bikes, so it comes down to
which one "sings" to you, which components
you prefer (campy vs. shimano) etc.

Hope some of this helps,
Marty
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Old 04-28-03, 01:14 PM
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I will say that you should be careful with a bike that's on sale. I've had shops tell me that the 56c bike that they've got on closeout will fit me perfectly (I ride a 60). If they're too eager to get you on the bike and get it out the door, they might fudge a little on their fit advice. Remember, if you have to do too much to make the bike ride so that it's comfortable to you, you might want to look at something else. Try different sizes in that bike and see what's up before you buy it and regret it.
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Old 04-28-03, 01:41 PM
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Pastry
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I think it must of gotten cut off in my original thread but I mentioned that I am extremely happy with my LBS. They are being amazingly patient and helpful without being pushy at all. My significant other, a long time road rider, has been going there for years and they have great reputation here in town. The level of service and attention is phenomenal. The owner took tons of time with me yesterday working on fit and feel so I feel pretty confident that no bike is getting pushed on me just because it's on sale or they want to get rid of it. That said I am off to the LBS this afternoon to try some others and see what I think. Although I am dying to have a bike RIGHT NOW , I'm working on being patient, doing the research and best of all trying the bikes. Thanks for your concern and words of advice from everyone.
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Old 04-28-03, 02:13 PM
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Sounds like you're in a good position to know that they're not going to put you on something you won't like after two weeks.

Remember, there's supposedly some correlation between patience and virtue, though I've never seen it.
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Old 04-28-03, 04:29 PM
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Pastry,

I know exactly what you're going through. I prevaricated for about 6 months about buying a road bike (although I've ridden MTBs for 4+ years). I ended up missing out on the closeout deals from last year's models and having to wait for this year's large frames to come in stock

For what its worth I bought a Trek 1000 a month ago. When I bought it I was aware that I could get similar spec bikes for about 20% less if I could be patient and wait for stock to come in to the other LBS (Saracen Morzine, since you're wondering). The fact is I didn't care and still don't - I'm still at the stage where I try to ride it as often as I can and have to stop myself gazing at it endlessly at every drinks stop

What I would say is that I also test rode a 1200 (Tiagra vs Sora plus carbon fork vs aluminum for £200 extra). I seriously considered it but discounted it as I wasn't sure I'd enjoy it enough - thats the only thing I regret.
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Old 04-28-03, 04:46 PM
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Once you get the right fit just worry about which one is going to be more comfortable over the long haul. Which is going to still feel good under your butt after you have done a century. Steel is known for it plush ride. Aluminum is reported by some to be harsh and by others to be nice. You will have to judge by your own experience. Ride both as much as your LBS will allow and then ask yourself which one is still going to feel good after 50 miles, 100 miles, several days in a row of 50 or 70 miles or whatever should you decide to take a tour. You are up in the price range that you are looking at some pretty good bikes. You might also want to check out a couple of other shops just to see some other bikes in that price range. Klein and Bianchi are very good bikes, but so are Trek and Lemond (like Klein, all made by Trek) and so are Jamis and many other names. At that price point you will end up with a nice ride, whatever you select.

Good luck and let us know what you end up with. Enjoy!!
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Old 04-29-03, 06:49 AM
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Well yesterday I took out the WSD Trek 2000. It was a comfortable bike and good fit but it just didn't make me feel all warm and fuzzy like I did about the other two from bike buying round 1. It just didn't feel as comfortable ride wise. The most apt description would be more vibration and 'janglyness'. Not bad but noticeable even on a short ride. (Please excuse my less than technical terms)

So hopefully the new stem for the Klein will be in today or tommorrow and I can give it another whirl, I may just go down today again and give it a ride for the heck of it to get more feel.

One thing I did find yesterday is even after my first few short rides I am feeling overall much more comfortable about being on a bike in general. I actually got up a little speed going down the hills yesterday, no death grip on the brakes. Yay for me!!! I can't wait for a real ride. Thanks for the comments and input, I'll keep ya'll posted with new developments.
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Old 04-29-03, 09:08 AM
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I think both bikes are great...I rode the Klein and loved it. Remember that when getting on a new bike or even back on an old one after prolonged time off they may feel "twitchy". I noticed this after staying on mountain bike too long. This would be especially pronounced on a quick bike like the Klein...Good Luck
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Old 04-29-03, 11:48 AM
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If you like the Veloce but want to save a few bucks try the Eros. I got one last year and couldn't be happier. If you are not inclined to race then you won't know the difference. Most people on these boards get too hyped on specs. It ain't in the bike, it's in the legs.
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Old 04-29-03, 02:32 PM
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Oh i think a lot of it is in the bike.Spec's do count.
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Old 04-29-03, 05:31 PM
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Well I rode the Klein again today and I must say I think it is love. The new stem is not in and I didn't get the narrower handlebars on but otherwise it just felt great -- no not great but fabulous! The feeling was much more comfortable and relaxed than my first ride and I was ready to go many many more miles, too bad the LBS was closing. I was able to transition that twitchy feeling into control and everything just clicked, I think with getting the stem and handlebars taken care of I'll be good to go. I will most definitely give it a test ride or two or three before I completely seal the deal. I want to be 1000% sure before I lay down the cash. Thanks again for all the comments and please keep letting me know if you have any insights or tips.
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Old 04-29-03, 05:39 PM
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Pastry
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If you want to take a look go here

http://www.kleinbikes.com/bicycles/bikes.asp?p=1020
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Old 04-30-03, 09:05 AM
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So, this bike (the Klein) sings to you.
its synergistic, no?
I say go with that one, anything else you
buy will be a compromise and you'll never be
happy with it.

Marty
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Old 04-30-03, 09:11 AM
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That is the same as mine. I only have a few hundred miles on it so far but I still love the way it rides.
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Old 04-30-03, 09:55 AM
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Nice ride but for that much money i would want 105 throughout.
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