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Windsor touring bike

Old 03-24-08, 01:49 PM
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What discourages me more than anything is that there are several crucial parts with no (listed) brand name whatsoever, including the wheels (noname spokes, hubs, freehub, rims), BB, and headset.

I'd be confident enough in the frame itself, and most of the components as noted are good or good enough (if the gearing was changed a little, not really a deal breaker imo). It's the noname stuff that keeps me away.

Last edited by Philatio; 03-24-08 at 02:36 PM.
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Old 03-24-08, 02:00 PM
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This is probably one of the best discussions on the Windsor Tourist that I have seen yet. I did a lot of research on them last year when I was thinking about buying one. I finally made up my mind after over a month of research and purchased one thought their EBay seller. I received tracking number for my shipment and after almost a week of no activity on the shipment I contacted them to figure out what the problem was. I must say that their customer service was very fast a friendly. After several days of continuous E-mails back and forth we figured out that the processing department had tried, but was unable to contact me to let me know that “They were oversold in the tourist”. I was then issued a complete refund along with there apologies that this happened.

I had every intention of trying to buy one at a later date but when I tried to contact them a month ago to find out if the size frame I wanted was in stock, I got no response. After that I decided not to buy a Windsor Tourist now I am the proud owner of a 2003 Trek 520 that will arrive on my door step tomorrow. I bought the Trek used off EBay for a price I couldn’t pass up.

My advice would be to buy a Windsor if your budget is tight because it seems to be a good bike for the price. The only negative is their customer service, it seems to be hit or miss.
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Old 03-24-08, 02:58 PM
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Ya know, I seriously considered the Windsor as well at one point, but got extremely nervous after reading a lot of negatives on the net. Of course, I don't if any of those naysayers were competing bike dealers. I did send BD a few emails which were verrry slow to be returned, though.

My suggestion to anybody looking to buy from bikesdirect is to keep the nose to the grindstone, and make LOTS of calls to local shops before making the commitment. You may be VERY pleasantly surprised to find a dealer who will work with you, isn't a *****, and who really appreciates your business.

I decided to put off my purchase on a Jamis Aurora because I couldn't find a local dealer who didn't want full MSRP + costs to swap stems. Decided to make one lasssst ditch call...and boy am I glad I did.

Yeah, I'm paying full list + tax all right, but look what the dealer's throwing into the package...

A brand new 08' Aurora
Jandd Exedition rack + install ($72 list)
Arkel Tail Rider rack bag ($100 list)
Planet Bike Superflash rear tail light ($20 list)
Cateye Strada Cadence computer + install ($45 list)
Weigel Frame Saver treatment ($30 normally)
Setup with White Lightning chainwax and keep the bottle ($12)
Swap out bar and stem for my size.
New handlebar tape.
Stainless steel brake, derailleur cable instead of galvanized.
Installed my Power Grips instead of the toe clips.

Watched the mechanic take his time building it for over 3 hrs, measuring EVERTHING, including brake lever position to fit my hands and offered advice and suggestions...and he wasn't even done when I left!

Will be picking up the bike this week.
Can't wait. Can't wait to send my friends there too. Seems to be reasonable on ALL his service...$35 for tuneups etc.

They also said they could build up one of those bikesdirect bikes for $60-$100 dollars..not baaad.

Of all the bikesdirect bikes, that Mercier Serpens looks like the wildest deal..853 frame, full Ultegra. Maybe some day.

Ok, so the bottom line is; Keep Looking for the right dealer. I'd publish his shop name, but I don't want to get him in trouble, if ya know what I mean. Let's just say "along Lake Michigan".

Last edited by theranman; 03-24-08 at 03:08 PM.
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Old 03-24-08, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Philatio
What discourages me more than anything is that there are several crucial parts with no (listed) brand name whatsoever, including the wheels (noname spokes, hubs, freehub, rims), BB, and headset. People can talk about how it is the same frame as the Fuji Touring all they want, but they simply aren't spec'ed out the same.

I'd be confident enough in the frame itself, and most of the components as noted are good or good enough (if the gearing was changed a little, not really a deal breaker imo). It's the noname stuff that keeps me away.
Have you actually compared the spec on the two or looked at the two side by side? They appear to be spec'ed the same to me on both the name stuff and the no name stuff with the possible exception of maybe the headset which I am less sure of. The stuff has held up well on at least three Windsor Tourists on a TransAmerica tour, if that eases your mind at all.

The parts you mentioned as no name on the windsor spec look likely to be the same in the Fuji Specs to me. The cassette may or may not be different, both are SRAM, but the Windsor doesn't list the model number. The hubs look identical and the word Fuji in the hub name equates to "no name" to me. Things like the seat post and stem look identical except they don't say Fuji on them on the Windsor. The saddle look like the stitching on the cover may be different, so it may be different, but it looks and feels very similar to me. In any case I liked the saddle well enough that I rode the 4244 miles of the TA on it when I had several other saddles in the house to choose from.

See Fuji spec for the items you mentioned below:
Cassette/freewheel SRAM PG-950, 11-32T 9-speed
Front hub Fuji Sealed Alloy Road, 36H
Rear hub Fuji Sealed Alloy Body and Cassette, 36H
Spokes 14G Stainless Steel
Rims Fuji Double Wall Aluminum, 36H, Black CNC sidewall
Tires Kenda Eurotrek, 700 x 32c
Bottom bracket Sealed Cartridge Bearing

The Windsor spec for the same stuff:
Cassette/Freewheel SRAM 9-speed, 11-32T
Front Hub Windsor Sealed Alloy Road, 36H
Rear Hub Sealed Bearing Freehub 36H
Spokes Stainless, 14g
Rims Double Wall Aluminum, 36H, CNC sidewall
Tires Kenda Eurotrek, 700 x 32c, presta valve tubes
Bottom Bracket Sealed cartridge

I only listed the spec for the parts you mentioned. The rest of the list seems to match as well or better with the exception of the headset which is FSA on the Fuji and no brand listed on the Windsor. The stem in the 2007 Fuji picture does look like it might actually be different
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Old 03-24-08, 03:38 PM
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yea I compared the two a little after a first wrote that - I took the Fuji comparison part out of my post. Was hoping noone caught it.

The noname stuff is still a little concerning I guess. But noname from Fuji isn't really any different from noname from Windsor.

I'll be buying something in that price range later in the year, and I very well might end up with the Windsor. It will probably be either that or something 20 years old (not that there's anything wrong with that) on ebay.
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Old 03-24-08, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by theranman
Yeah, I'm paying full list + tax all right, but look what the dealer's throwing into the package...

A brand new 08' Aurora
Jandd Exedition rack + install ($72 list)
Arkel Tail Rider rack bag ($100 list)
Planet Bike Superflash rear tail light ($20 list)
Cateye Strada Cadence computer + install ($45 list)
Weigel Frame Saver treatment ($30 normally)
Setup with White Lightning chainwax and keep the bottle ($12)
Swap out bar and stem for my size.
New handlebar tape.
Stainless steel brake, derailleur cable instead of galvanized.
Installed my Power Grips instead of the toe clips.
Sounds like a good dealer to deal with. I hope you love the bike.

I will say that I HATED White Lightning. We applied according to the instructions on the bottle and the buildup was horrible and it tatooed anything that got near the chain. It was bad enough that after about 1500 miles using it we paid a shop to degrease the drive train so we could use something else. Maybe if applied more sparingly and wiped off more thoroughly it would have been better, but It was the worst I have ever used when it came to build up. We switched to Boeshield T-9 and were MUCH happier with it.
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Old 03-24-08, 04:02 PM
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I've been using White Lightning for a looong time, and if you're good about wiping it off, it'll be good back to ya. Plus, it's one of the few lubes that you can actually squirt on and ride away. Like most of the other lubes, it works better if applied the night before, but I usually just squirt it on, wipe, and ride. A few dealers have raved about the Boeshield, so maybe I'll try it some time. Time for a little google search.
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Old 03-25-08, 06:41 AM
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Originally Posted by theranman
I've been using White Lightning for a looong time, and if you're good about wiping it off, it'll be good back to ya. Plus, it's one of the few lubes that you can actually squirt on and ride away. Like most of the other lubes, it works better if applied the night before, but I usually just squirt it on, wipe, and ride. A few dealers have raved about the Boeshield, so maybe I'll try it some time. Time for a little google search.
When we tried White Lightning we followed the directions on the bottle which did not mention wiping off excess. I am sure it would have had a lot less buildup if we had thoroughly wiped it off. We were in dry dusty conditions. Given those two things build up was awful.

Boeshield seems to be very good in the lack of buildup and general cleanliness of the chain. Our chains seem to stay shiny and clean looking. I suspect that we do need to apply more frequently than with some other lubes.
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Old 03-25-08, 07:03 AM
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I've been using Boeshield for quite while and like it very much.

"I suspect that we do need to apply more frequently than with some other lubes."
True. Particularly after a rain.

As an aside: Wouldn't it be nice; since Bikes Direct has taken an interest in using your journal (Pete) to promote the Windsor; if they made good those short comings that you found initially and perhaps some of the gripes that have been aired in this thread. Think how far that would go in setting the Windsor Tourer ahead of some of it's current competition and drawing nigh to the better equipped stock bicycles. Perhaps a model with an upgraded component package, such as Cannondale does. Are you listening, BD?
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Old 03-25-08, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by foamy
I've been using Boeshield for quite while and like it very much.

"I suspect that we do need to apply more frequently than with some other lubes."
True. Particularly after a rain.

As an aside: Wouldn't it be nice; since Bikes Direct has taken an interest in using your journal (Pete) to promote the Windsor; if they made good those short comings that you found initially and perhaps some of the gripes that have been aired in this thread. Think how far that would go in setting the Windsor Tourer ahead of some of it's current competition and drawing nigh to the better equipped stock bicycles. Perhaps a model with an upgraded component package, such as Cannondale does. Are you listening, BD?
I corresponded with the owner of Bikes Direct about the bikes and he mentioned they were considering making the suggested changes especially the crank and gearing. I think they were considering calling it by a different name, something like Windsor Grand Touring I think. That was a few months ago and I have no idea if they will do it or not.
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Old 03-27-08, 11:07 PM
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Thanks for all the responses. I'm still a couple of months away from buying one, so I'll be able to shop around a while before making a decision. Don't want to rush into a bad bike. I'm riding the Natchez Trace in June, so if worst comes to worst I can use my road bike(Raliegh) since it's such a short distance and I won't need to carry 50 lbs worth of gear.
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Old 03-30-08, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
I can't say you are wrong, but will quibble on the count on the Windsor. Similar reductions are probably possible on the LHT so in effect I am probably lowering the numbers across the board equally and not affecting the balance between the three choices. I won't redo the numbers for the Surly, because I haven't ridden one, but assume the situation is similar. I agree that your conclusion is generally correct.

Windsor, Minimal Mechanical Skills: $600 for the bike, $100 to upgrade the gearing, $50 for rack (a bit less and optional , but I won't quibble on this one), $0 for tires (originals good enough to use until worn out, one of us rode the TA and is still using them)., $0 for brake pads (originals good enough to use until worn out), $50 for initial tune-up, $0 for saddle (quite happy with original saddle), $50 for another tune-up at, say, 2,000 miles. Total: $850 ($800 if you opt to use the rack as did one of my companions).

Windsor, Good Mechanical Skills: $600 for bike, $75 for gearing, $50 for rack (a bit less and optional , but I won't quibble on this one), $0 for tires (originals good enough to use until worn out), $0 for pads (originals good enough to use until worn out), $0 saddle (quite happy with original saddle), $0 for service. Total: $725 ($675 if you opt to use the rack as did one of my companions).
I saw the famous Windsor Tourist this weekend. It's a nice looking bike, and performed well at the slow speeds it had to maintain - unfortunately for him, staehpj1 was riding with me, and didn't get the chance to 'drop the hammer.' I don't understand why the bike draws such heat. Bikes Direct marketing aside, it's a good bike.
 
Old 03-30-08, 08:44 AM
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Well, that sums up tings for me. I'm glad that I didn't get a bike for bikesdirect for my ex-fiance. I probably would have been cursing up a storm at the low quality and the customer service.

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Old 03-30-08, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by flyingcadet
Well, that sums up tings for me. I'm glad that I didn't get a bike for bikesdirect for my ex-fiance. I probably would have been cursing up a storm at the low quality and the customer service.

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I don't think this thread indicates that the bike is poor quality nor does it show that bikesdirect has poor customer service. staehpj1 said he bought 3 of these bikes, rode them 4000+ miles across the country and is very happy with them. I do not know what else you could want from a touring bike than to hold up well over a transcontinental tour. I'm happy with my bike as well, and I had no problems with bikesdirect. I've now put 100+ miles on mine commuting. It rides great. So far I have had no issues with the bike. The one bike quality concern mentioned on this thread was wheel build. I've taken mine through some rough roads, potholes, and about 5 miles on a rough crushed stone trail. I haven't broken a spoke yet. Granted I don't have many miles yet, but I am happy. Even if it turns out I have to rebuild a wheel later on down the road, I think I got a great deal.

I think the real issue with bikesdirect is that you need to know what you are getting into when you buy from them. There is no test riding, bike fitting, component exchanges, etc. like you would get in a bike shop. In addition, you have to be prepared to do some assembly and adjustments or pay someone to do it. I would order from bikesdirect again, but I plan on keeping this bike a long time.
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Old 03-30-08, 02:51 PM
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I'd sum it up by saying that the only way "I" would buy a BD bike was if I was a bike mechanic OR the deal was sooo screaming that it would be worth it to have a real mechanic build it up. After seeing what I could get from my dealer for the price of the Jamis, no way would I opt for a Windsor Tourist. Now that full Ultegra/853 Mercier Serpens for $1295....THAT seems like a pretty decent deal, but once again, you'd have to plan on spending an extra few hundred $$.
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Old 04-25-08, 06:29 AM
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Well, the honeymoon is over with my Windsor Tourist and I thought I'd post an update. I've put around 370 miles (or 600 km) on the bike and I have had some issues. The one serious complaint I have is that my bottom bracket had to be replaced. I developed a clicking noise in time with cadence that was getting worse over time. I invested $35 at my bike shop on a crank puller and bottom bracket tool and used them to disassemble and reassemble the bottom bracket and cranks. I tightened the bottom bracket, chainrings, and crank arms, yet my clicking noise was still there. Last night I replaced the bottom bracket (with a Shimano UN54 from my bike shop for $30) and clicking is now gone.

The bottom bracket that comes with the Windsor Tourist is a "Chin Haur" model. I've discovered a lot of bike manufacturers use Chin Haur headsets and bottom brackets. My guess is that they are probably put in at the same Taiwanese factory that builds the frames. In any event, I think a bottom bracket should last more than 600 km. That is unacceptable.

I was worried about wheels and I haven't had any problems with those, even though I ride through a rough construction zone daily. No broken spokes. Wheels are still true. I haven't even had a flat tire yet.

One issue with the wheel was my own fault for not checking things carefully during assembly. I hit a pothole and developed a squeaking noise. Inspection revealed the rear tire was rubbing on the chainstay. Apparently the factory did not tighten the quick release rear wheel enough or it had somehow come loose. Hitting the bump caused the axle to shift. I fixed it by tightening the quick release. Luckily my rear wheel didn't fall off while riding. I should have carefully checked that before riding.

Lastly, my own ignorance caused be to break my left brake/shift lever. It's a long story, but a mistake made adjusting my front derailleur caused the cable to bind and the high cable tension broke something internally in the shifter. THAT sucks! I was so frustrated that I pulled the front derailleur off and sold it. I've been riding stuck in the middle front ring for about 200 miles.

I decided to switch to bar end shifters for simplicity and lower cost. I've collected the parts off of ebay and now have a new Campagnolo front derailleur, Dura-Ace bar end shifters, nitto noodle handlebar, tektro brake levers, and a nitto technomic stem. I plan on installing all that stuff over the weekend.

I'm still overall pleased with my bike and I have learned a good bit about bicycle mechanics. However, if I was to buy again, I might think more carefully about similar models like Jamis Aurora or Surly Long Haul Trucker that have name brand hubs, rims, headsets, and (of course) bottom brackets.
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Old 04-25-08, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by m_yates
The bottom bracket that comes with the Windsor Tourist is a "Chin Haur" model. I've discovered a lot of bike manufacturers use Chin Haur headsets and bottom brackets. My guess is that they are probably put in at the same Taiwanese factory that builds the frames. In any event, I think a bottom bracket should last more than 600 km. That is unacceptable.
FWIW: On the three WTs that we bought the bottom brackets are still fine with well over 5000 miles on each bike. I am not sure if we have the same BB as you or not. Our's were purchased in early 2007 so maybe BD has changed what they are spec'ing or maybe you were just unlucky.

Originally Posted by m_yates
Lastly, my own ignorance caused be to break my left brake/shift lever. It's a long story, but a mistake made adjusting my front derailleur caused the cable to bind and the high cable tension broke something internally in the shifter. THAT sucks! I was so frustrated that I pulled the front derailleur off and sold it. I've been riding stuck in the middle front ring for about 200 miles.
Ouch! A good argument for having a shop set up the bike if you don't have the mechanical skills to do it properly. Alternately learning the ropes with someone more experienced or at least more mechanically inclined looking over your shoulder. Why on earth would you sell the front derailleur? The model that came with the bike would be my first choice if spec'ing new.

Originally Posted by m_yates
I decided to switch to bar end shifters for simplicity and lower cost. I've collected the parts off of ebay and now have a new Campagnolo front derailleur, Dura-Ace bar end shifters, nitto noodle handlebar, tektro brake levers, and a nitto technomic stem. I plan on installing all that stuff over the weekend.
Bummer I hope you got the parts cheap and they work out well for you. Personally I consider bar ends a big step backwards, but many prefer them. Perhaps I am just weird, but I like down tube or even stem shifters better than bar ends and think STI is a big notch above all of it.

Originally Posted by m_yates
I'm still overall pleased with my bike and I have learned a good bit about bicycle mechanics. However, if I was to buy again, I might think more carefully about similar models like Jamis Aurora or Surly Long Haul Trucker that have name brand hubs, rims, headsets, and (of course) bottom brackets.
Given the results I wouldn't be happy at all, but it does sound like much of it was your fault. The LHT is a nice bike and if you have a local dealer that sells them you would have been better off, since it sounds like you would have been better to have had them set up and maintain it.
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Old 04-25-08, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
Ouch! A good argument for having a shop set up the bike if you don't have the mechanical skills to do it properly. Alternately learning the ropes with someone more experienced or at least more mechanically inclined looking over your shoulder. Why on earth would you sell the front derailleur? The model that came with the bike would be my first choice if spec'ing new.
Yes, this has been a (costly) learning experience. My $600 Windsor is now about a $900 investment. I'm still overall pleased because I did want to learn about bike mechanics and I now own a bunch of bike tools and a bike stand. I'm also much better prepared to be a self-sufficient cyclist. I now know how to do basic tune-up stuff to take care of my wife and children's bikes. You are correct that the costliest mistake (breaking the STI lever) was my fault, but I don't see how I did anything to cause the bottom bracket to fail.

As for the front derailleur, the model that comes with the Windsor Tourist is a Shimano Tiagra FD-4503. What happened was the cable popped off the derailleur (again my fault) and I apparently did not route it properly when re-attaching it. The Shimano technical service instruction illustration is not correct I believe. Other people have had the same problem with this derailleur (https://bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=67815 https://bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=286640) After I realized my (expensive) STI lever was broken, I decided that friction shifting on the front would be simpler (thus the switch to bar ends - plus they are much cheaper than the STI levers). Given the difficulty I had routing the cable to the front derailleur, I decided to swap to something that others use with bar end shifters. All this led me to look at what Rivendell bikes does (I know many would question the wisdom of following Rivendell for advice, but oh well...). This led me to the Campagnolo front derailleur. While I was at it, I got noodle bars and a technomic stem to give me a more upright riding position. I don't like the anatomical handlebars that come with the Windsor. So, a good bit of the additional cost is my personal preference, and I can't blame the bike for that. As I said, my main complaint is the failure of the bottom bracket.
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Old 04-25-08, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by m_yates
After I realized my (expensive) STI lever was broken, I decided that friction shifting on the front would be simpler (thus the switch to bar ends - plus they are much cheaper than the STI levers). Given the difficulty I had routing the cable to the front derailleur, I decided to swap to something that others use with bar end shifters.
FWIW: there is no reason that derailleur doesn't work fine with friction shifters.

I am not sure I understand what the problem is with the cable. It seemed reasonably straightforward to me. If it was confusing initially for you it seems like it wouldn't be once you figured it out.

I agree that the very small amount of miles you have on the bike means that the BB failure was not really acceptable. I am inclined to consider it a manufacturers defect and would have tried to get a replacement from BD. Given that a decent BB can be had for $20 I wouldn't be too concerned though.

You are right that the mechanical skill you gained are probably worth what it cost you.

I hope it all works out well for you and you have many happy miles.
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Old 04-25-08, 09:27 AM
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I bought a Windsor Tourist about 6-8 months ago and have been commuting to work 5 days a week as well as doing most of my shopping. Before I even start talking about the bike, if you have no mechanical skills or tools, skip the bikesdirect.com website and head to a bike store, unless you are willing to learn as you go, and use the bike locally before you tour.

I did add SKS Fenders, thinner road tires (25c), clipless SPD pedals, lights, and a rack on the front. But, as of now, the bike is stock, even the seat.

For me, it has been a great deal and am glad I bought it. I knew my size, knew what (name brand) components it came with, and the components that where of no name have been good so far.

Everyone knows the shimano components that comes with it, so like them or not, they work, feel good, and have functioned for me fine. I never liked triples, but all shifting is smooth, once the rear derailer was adjusted (I did not, however have to adjust the front derailer). The cranks are fine, nothing special Truvativ Touro's, and the brakes are run of the mill canti's, which once adjusted, work fine. But I'd have to say the brake pads probably need to be replaced, maybe even from the get go.

The bottom bracket. Those boys at BD need to learn to crack the whip at the plant in Taiwan so they grease the threads a bit.

The wheels are no name, but have been great to me so far. I am about 220-230lbs and ride my bikes hard (all road riding on this, but no curb jumping), and they have held up great, still true, spokes have good tension, and don't chatter like other machine built wheels I've ridden (like on a the bikesdirect fixed gear I have, or on a set I bought from Nashbar). Hubs are still smooth front and back but really haven't inspected them.

Frame's been okay, finish looks great out of the box (but wish I could lose the graphics), few chips here and there from my abuse. Front fork flexes a bit on very hard braking on steep declines, but I am a big guy.

The cassette is probably the weakest link. I haven't replaced it but I have taken it apart. One of the teeth on the 2nd highest gear has bent, and the thing is very heavy steel, with plastic spacers between each gear that align them, with a single allen bolt holding them all together. Before I do any 2 day + rides, it will be replaced with something lighter and more durable.


I remember trying to decide on whether to buy this, the Surly LHT, or build my own. The LHT does come with a more shimano parts, like hubs, cassette, chain, and a more up to date frame with a threadless headset, so its not a bad buy either. But it costs more than a $300 more, and that can buy a lot of accessories. If you have more disposable income, buy a LHT trucker hands down, but if you're looking to save money and know how to or want to wrench a little on your bikes, the Tourist is a good buy too, and its been proven capable of touring the country.

Last edited by Jerseysbest; 04-27-08 at 12:54 PM.
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Old 04-25-08, 11:13 AM
  #46  
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Slightly related message.

I had trouble finding a seat collar for a mountain bike I am building, which I measure at 30mm, so I tried the collar off my Windsor Tourist which fit right on.

I have a bad habit of measuring poorly , could someone confirm the size of your seatpost collar on a Windsor Tourist?

Thanks.
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Old 04-25-08, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Little Darwin
Slightly related message.

I had trouble finding a seat collar for a mountain bike I am building, which I measure at 30mm, so I tried the collar off my Windsor Tourist which fit right on.

I have a bad habit of measuring poorly , could someone confirm the size of your seatpost collar on a Windsor Tourist?

Thanks.
I am not at the bike now. I will try to measure if I get a chance, but the front derailleur is listed as 31.8mm, so I would have thought it would be the same size.
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Old 04-25-08, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
I am not at the bike now. I will try to measure if I get a chance, but the front derailleur is listed as 31.8mm, so I would have thought it would be the same size.
The front derailleur is 28.6mm. It is listed wrong on the bikesdirect web page. I know from experience. I looked at the bikesdirect specs on the web page before ordering a 31.8mm Campagnolo derailleur for the bike. I had to buy a Wheels Mfg front derailleur shim to make it fit.
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Old 04-25-08, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
FWIW: there is no reason that derailleur doesn't work fine with friction shifters.

I am not sure I understand what the problem is with the cable. It seemed reasonably straightforward to me. If it was confusing initially for you it seems like it wouldn't be once you figured it out.
This thread more clearly explains the problem with the cable:https://www.bikeforums.net/bicycle-mechanics/187886-shimano-sl-r440-front-shifter-woes.html

As quoted by maddmaxx:
I have seen front derailleurs in this setup that have a shallow cable groove on the end of the cable pull arm. If this is so, the cable goes over the end of the arm and then under the screw instead of directly to the screw. This will make a significant difference in the ratio of the derailleur.
At least I think that was the problem. I didn't really spend the time to try and set it up properly after my shift lever broke.

I know I could have made the Shimano derailleur work with friction shifters. I sold it out of frustration more than anything else.

Last edited by m_yates; 04-25-08 at 02:36 PM.
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Old 06-12-08, 03:45 PM
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Here is an update: I got my first flat tire on my Windsor Tourist after 887 miles. It was on the back tire and I noticed the tread was noticeably worn compared to the front. Last night I rotated the tires from back to front and checked over the wheels. The wheels are still true and I haven't touched them since I first set up the bike. For those worried about broken spokes and wheel quality, it looks pretty good to me. I am >200 lbs and carry rear panniers daily, so I am not easy on wheels. Hopefully the tires will last a few hundred more miles now that I have rotated them. I am up to 910 miles now on the bike. I've changed a lot on the bike to my liking, but the bike quality seems solid to me.
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