Bike Forums

Bike Forums (https://www.bikeforums.net/forum.php)
-   Road Cycling (https://www.bikeforums.net/road-cycling/)
-   -   Decisions, decisions - GVH vs. LBS (https://www.bikeforums.net/road-cycling/64387-decisions-decisions-gvh-vs-lbs.html)

diddidit 08-31-04 05:46 PM

Decisions, decisions - GVH vs. LBS
 
I've pretty much decided to get a new bike in time for next summer, so I've been ogling the racks at my LBS and wandering around the internet. My original object of lust was a Trek 1500 (currently on sale at my local place for $950), although I figure on getting some wheels with some more metal in them to handle my moosish size (6'2", 230 lbs or so) and frost-heaved Michigan roads.

But then someone posted a link to GVHBikes, and I see that from Gary I can get an Ultegra-equipped Viner Competition for $1350, roughly the same price as the Trek with the aftermarket wheels. There's little doubt it'd be a higher-end bike than the Trek, but I wouldn't have the immediate support of the local bike shop.

I guess I'm leaning towards the GVH Viner. I have a Viner frame now, and I really like the way it rides despite submediocre components. I don't have any experience with other bikes, though, so I'd appreciate opinions either way. It also sounds like Gary has a good reputation; my LBS has been helpful with my annual broken spokes, but it's pretty much staffed by mountain-biking kids. Has ordering a bike posed any problems for anyone?

Thanks, all -

did

rcams 09-01-04 08:33 PM

I can vouch for GVH having bought from him a few years bak (4 or 5). He was easy to work with, flexible with setup and components and willing to take the time to make sure I was happy. The only problem I had was a bottom bracket cup (right side) that worked its way loose after the first hundred or so miles. I e-mailed Gary and he sent the next up Campy bottom bracket, brand new in a box. Also included the wrench and thread lock with instructions and asked only that I return the old bracket. I will buy my second bike from him in the next year or so. Go for it!

BUNCH99 09-02-04 12:17 PM

I just ordered the Raleigh from him a couple of months ago. Good service and they were very fast building the bike and getting it on to the truck. It did take alooooonnnngggg time for that FedEx truck to get to my house! Make sure that you are certain of your size before ordering. My bike was too big and I had to send it back, they swapped it out and resent it to me. This was a bit a problem; besides the time that it took for the bike to travel back and forth on the truck, I was also out another $100 for shipping costs.

diddidit 09-02-04 05:50 PM

How did you guys determine what size to get - did you use any of the online fit calculators? I test-rode a Bianchi Eros today in a much smaller size than I'd expect, and it actually fit pretty well. My current frame is a 63 cm; the Eros was (I think) a 55.

I'm exploring other bike shops in my area now, too; the shop with the Trek has sort of turned me off with some lack of thought in their service, so I don't plan on going there for the big purchase.

Thanks for the replies -

did

rcams 09-02-04 06:15 PM

I had an older steel frame that I put a good 15,000 miles on before going to GVH. Since I spent so much time dialing that bike, I pretty much gave them all the critical measurements and then let him figure out the correct size of the frame I had decided on. I guess you could try 3-4 of the fit calculators and then see where you average. I'm kind of a believer that you can make adjustments in non-frame areas like seat-setback, seatpost height, stem length etc. to compensate for a frame that's a cm. off, but you do want to get as close as possible. You can get anal over wieght and sizing ignoring the fact that most of us over 25 yrs old are pounds overweight ! Dropping 5 pounds of ber belly is a lot cheaper and healthier than shaving grams off a seatpost and crankarm....

Tarantula 09-02-04 06:18 PM

Go for the Viner. I got one from GVH and they are terrific. If you are worried about LBS loyalty, I bought a frame form Gary and purchased the group from my LBS. This way the LBS put the bike together with the majority of parts that I got from them. The LBS now has an ownership in the bike and takes extra care when I bring in my machine.
Plus...the ride on the Viner is terrific and they are not a "cookie cutter" bike that everyone else is riding.
Good luck.

diddidit 09-02-04 07:01 PM


Originally Posted by rcams
I had an older steel frame that I put a good 15,000 miles on before going to GVH. Since I spent so much time dialing that bike, I pretty much gave them all the critical measurements and then let him figure out the correct size of the frame I had decided on. I guess you could try 3-4 of the fit calculators and then see where you average. I'm kind of a believer that you can make adjustments in non-frame areas like seat-setback, seatpost height, stem length etc. to compensate for a frame that's a cm. off, but you do want to get as close as possible. You can get anal over wieght and sizing ignoring the fact that most of us over 25 yrs old are pounds overweight ! Dropping 5 pounds of ber belly is a lot cheaper and healthier than shaving grams off a seatpost and crankarm....

I figured that my bike would be a good starting point, as I know what I like and I've figured out what needs to be changed.

As for weight, tell me about it - last summer @ 260+ lbs, if I rode on the drops I got a knee in the gut with every pedal stroke. I've got a ways to go, but damn, what a difference this year. I don't go numb in the nads, either.

Dark Arrow 09-03-04 09:29 AM

Not sure where you live and exactly what your looking for in a bike. So take my comments with that in mind. I'm not a fan of Internet sales for people who really don't know exatly what they want and in what size and so forth. There is some adjusting you can do with the seatpost, crank and stem but that can vary with geometry as well. A compact frame will adjust smaller obviously but not as big as a full sized frame and they both may be the same size. Unless you sit on the bike and get professionally fitted I think you are taking a chance with not getting the correct size. This may not matter if your bike sits many days more than you sit on it but it becomes critical if you 're going to use it regularly. Comfort is one thing but a mis sized bike can also lead to injury and ultimately less riding. There is more to fitting a bike than just getting the frame size correct. You have different Stem and Crank lengths as well, especially for you larger folk. My last new bike for me needed a different stem and Crank Arm to fit me perfectly. I'm 6' 195lbs and ride a 58cm bike. My LBS adjusted my cleats /pedals and swapped out the crank arms and stem for those that fit me perfectly not to mention adjusted my seat for and aft to keep my knees perfect in my spin. I'm savy enough to adjust brakes and gears myself but not everyone is, and on a new bike after 100 miles or so you will start to get some stretched cables that need adjustment. (free at my LBS for a new bike and $$ for something else) One other thing to consider is that when you get a bike shipped to you it doesn't come completely assembled. It's usually a minor job to assemble them but if you don't know what your doing you risk damaging parts or incurring more cost by taking it to a shop to reassemble. My advice would be to find a LBS even if you have to drive a bit that caters to road cyclists and buy a bike from them. You might pay a pinch more but in the end you'll have something that fits you. BTW the Trek 1500 at $950 you mention is a good deal and is $400 less than the Viner. $400 bux goes a long way in getting good clothes shoes or pedals. Numb nads could be improper seat positioning too. Check you seat angle. Good luck !!!

Chris

markm109 09-03-04 10:05 AM

If the lbs you're going to doesn't stock road bikes, I'd find one that did. I'm in SE Michigan and there are plenty of lbs to choose from. Some are better than others. It's nice to have them around and I've purchased all of my new bikes from various lbs. And I've upgraded some older ones through lbs as well. I buy clothes and equipment on-line because they don't have what I want and may consider a bike next time.

The internet offers much more variety than you can get in a lbs, but it's nice to have a lbs you can go to when you need them. I try to support the ones I would like to see stay in business.

Mark

boze 09-03-04 10:32 AM

another satisfied gvh customer here!

i got the viner only a few weeks ago and i couldn't be happier.

i'm 6'4.5" and i got the 64cm Viner Comp with the triple and cheap-o carbon fork add ons. the competitivecyclist.com fit calculator didn't see me on a 64cm but maybe i'm more flexible from doing yoga or something.

i actually got mine with a 14cm stem and i think i might be better with a 13cm, but i'm going to see how it goes. gary at gvh will replace stems for free - well, i'd imagine i'd have to pay for at least half shipping but anyway.

the ride of the steel frame will be way more comfy than that Trek 1500. i had my first chiropractor visit after a few weeks of Viner ownership and my doctor was like "hey, you don't need to be adjusted this month! is anything different?" and i'm sure it was the bike. i feel way less beat up now after longer rides.

sorry if any of this is repeat info.

so for fit - what worked best for me was the competitivecyclist.com "French Fit" + 1cm. my old bike only had a 59cm top tube and i felt a bit squished on it even though i'd swapped out the stem for the longest one i could find (a 15cm).

you'd probably be a 60 or 62cm i'd think? try to test ride some road bikes in that size and take note of how long their top tubes are and then get the Viner with the t-t length that's the same as your best test ride experience.

good luck!

jdecristo 09-03-04 02:37 PM

I've never bought anything from GVH, but I live in Oregon and have heard of the company and its all been good. I bought a bike on eBay and had it shipped to my LBS where they made sure it fit and I also bought some extras from them, and that worked well. I have heard people say that if you buy your bike from the LBS they will treat you better, but I've never heard how that works. Do they give you a discount on repairs, or on stuff, or do they give you a foot rub when you come in? My experience is that I'm treated just great buying tires, seats, shorts and all the other stuff, never having bought a frame or bike. One last thing, most LBS's offer a "fitting" at a price, and you may want to do that with your new bike to get stem, pedals, seat hight etc. fitted correctly. I'd go for the Italian bike...

Bolo Grubb 09-03-04 02:44 PM

what is GVH?

boze 09-03-04 02:56 PM

http://www.gvhbikes.com <- a doofy website but a great online bike seller with a better reputation and more personal attention than someplace like bikesdirect.com that mostly focuses on budget stuff.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:19 AM.


Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.