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

Ponder new bikes

Old 06-02-07, 06:16 PM
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songfta
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Ponder new bikes

I figured I'd ask the brain trust of the Bike Forums for assistance in picking a new bike.

You can read my current thoughts on my blog:

http://www.randomduck.com/2007/05/31/pondering-bikes/

Basically, I'm budget-constrained due to working in the non-profit sector. That said, I'm sure I can get something quite good if I look hard enough.

I don't need to buy immediately, but if I go too much longer I'll need to sink in a decent chunk of change into my current LeMond to keep it running smooth on the longer rides that'll come fast-and-furious starting in mid-July.

And for those who aren't familiar with my LeMond setup: it's a 2002 Tourmalet with a triple setup, a mix of Tiagra and 105 parts with upgraded wheels (Mavic Aksium front, Mavic CX22 w/105 hub rear), Ultegra cassette, 105 SPD-SL pedals. The frame is Reynolds 853 for the front triangle, 530 for the rear triangle. The fork is still the stock steel fork that came with the bike. It's been a trusty steed since I bought it in July 2002, but I'm at a point where I'm outperforming the current setup.

My rider profile: former alpine ski racer, former mountain bike racer who currently rides at A/AA level on Potomac Pedalers rides, and often rides with a lot of Cat 2, 3 and 4 racers. I ride a lot of large hills and climb well for a guy my size (6' 4"/193 cm, 194 lbs./88 kg - will be in the 187 range by September, which is my norm toward the end of summer). Most of my rides are between 60 and 100 miles.

So please indulge me with your thoughts. You can either post here, or leave comments on the blog (or both).

Thanks a 'mil!
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Old 06-02-07, 06:22 PM
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BigSean
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Callfee. For a guy your size.
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Old 06-02-07, 06:53 PM
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songfta
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My one issue with a Calfee: the price. Just the frame alone would blow my budget - I'd have to deck it out with the kit I currently have, which isn't the best stuff in the world (though perfectly workable, in a pinch, but a lot of it is old to the point of needing replacement).

But if I can drag out the LeMond for the rest of the season, the $1500 price tag for a Calfee Luna might be workable.... maybe.

Thank you for your input!
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Old 06-02-07, 06:55 PM
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if i were you i'd lean towards perhaps a pedal force or something from GVH bikes for a frame and then swap over whatever you want, sell off the rest of the old stuff on ebay, then round out the components from GVH/ProBikeKit/Whoever's got stuff on sale. you can put together a sweet bike for 1600$.
you can also recoup a lot from selling your old/unneeded stuff on ebay.
If you're just talking frames you've got a lot to choose from. Theres quite a few killer Alu/Scandium frames out that are a fraction the price of a lot of the overpriced CF frames.
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Old 06-02-07, 11:15 PM
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Surferbruce: thanks for the candid advice. The Pedal Force group buy looks quite good, though waiting until October is going to be agonizing, and will mean sinking some good cash into keeping the LeMond afloat for the remainder of the summer and the beginning of fall (at a minimum, it'll need a new chain, brake pads, cables and housing).

And I'm really not a fan of a straight alu frame's ride quality. I've tried quite a few, and I'm just not sold on the comfort on longer rides (plus the roads around metro DC can be really punishing, in and of themselves, on shorter rides). I've tried 100 percent alu frames from Cannondale, Specialized, Orbea, Fuji and Canyon (a wonderful German brand that's nigh-on-impossible to get in the States - their monocoque carbon frames are wonderful, if ridiculously expensive given the terrible dollar/euro exchange), and all have felt far too punishing on 20-mile rides - thus why my search (as noted on my blog) has put carbon stays as a must-have if I'm going to have any alu in the mix. Do you have any suggestions for an all-alu/scandium frame to try that might meet the long-distance comfort factor?

One other question (more in regard to going the PF route): I have an Easton EC70 fork (carbon steerer) that should work on a frame with a 1-1/8" head tube. However, it's not integrated headset specific. It is necessary to have an IS-specific fork for an IS setup?

Last edited by songfta; 06-02-07 at 11:40 PM.
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