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Looking new bike in $2500 range - any comments welcome.(15 posts)

Looking new bike in $2500 range - any comments welcome.Granite-Granny
May 20, 2002 6:51 AM
Okay here is the deal, I decided to try and improve my mountain biking last season by buying a road bike. I got this great deal on a Klein Quantum Pro for $1700 only 1 year old and great condition. The problem was it didn't fit me properly and I ended up getting pains in my arms and back. I generally felt cramped. It was a 55". Anyway I loved the bike apart from the fit.

I just sold it this weekend for $1500 so I am going to add another $1000 to that to buy a new bike. I'm just looking for advice as I am not really knowledgeable on road bikes.

I have had a couple of recommendations. The Trek 5200 that I think comes in at around $2300 and the Giant which comes in at around $1800 with ultegra.

What are peoples comments on Carbon frames? Stiffer or more flex than aluminium? Better than Aluminium?

I am leaning towards the Trek at the moment but how good are the Bontrager wheels and other components? I totally loved the Rolf Vector Pro wheelset that was on my Klein.

Any other options I should look at? I was warned against the new Litespeed with the aluminium front triangle and carbon rear!

My riding is probably 2-4 days a week on mountain roads around Salt Lake City. I will probably be tending towards a 2 day a week road ride with 3 days mountain bike. Typically I do a 35 mile road loop but have a couple of century rides I want to sign up for.

Comments appreciated
re: Looking new bike in $2500 range - any comments welcome.Kyle
May 20, 2002 7:27 AM
I don't think you can be completely accurate in generalizing about a frame material--design is more important. But here are some comments:

Trek: This bike is extremely well engineered. It's stiff where you want it to be, but absorbs road noise well--perhaps better than most aluminum bikes. They're sized kind of small, so be careful of that. I feel like the ride is kind of 'plastic', (many disagree) but it would be a great dedicated race bike. Can't you get them built any way you want now (project 1 or something?)

Giant: By all reports a terrific alum. frame. You can't go wrong here if it fits and you like the ride. Could you afford the one with all the candy? A friend of mine has one and it's incredible.

Have you considered steel or ti? You could probably get a steel Salsa (or maybe an Independent Fabrications with a lower spec) or maybe try an Airborne if you can find a dealer? You might find you like the rides on these--though, again, material is less important than design.

If you live in Salt Lake you should be able to try nearly every bike in existence. I made a trek (no pun intended) down there a few years back when I was looking for a road bike. Great selection.

The only useful advice really, is to go out and ride them for yourself.

Good luck
Trek 5200 or 2300singletrack
May 20, 2002 7:41 AM
The 5200 is a great bike, I ride with several guys that
love them. One of them switched this year to the 2300 with
a few modification, weight in at 16.5 lbs. I think several
of the team guys will soon be riding the 2300. I think he
has got a little less than $2,500 in it.
re: Looking new bike in $2500 range - any comments welcome.weiwentg
May 20, 2002 8:09 AM
there's also Airborne's Zeppelin. should be under $2.5k. the Giant is an excellent frame with aggressive geometery. if you anticipate doing road racing, strongly consider the Giant. if you're sure all you're going to be doing is short road rides and centuries, then consider Ti - the Airborne, the 'low'-end Litespeeds, the Douglas frames at Colorado Cyclist, etc. or perhaps a steel frame.
the Litespeed Al bikes look OK (never rode one), but you're not getting a great deal for the price.
if considering a compact frame with limited sizing, make damn sure you fit first.
Rambouillet/Atlantis from Rivendell? (nm)cory
May 20, 2002 8:09 AM
Steelman with Chorus?gtx
May 20, 2002 8:21 AM
http://www.steelmancycles.com/
Agree..Mike Prince
May 20, 2002 11:27 AM
And Steelman can probably get it to you as fast as the LBS could get in a Trek for you. Also at this price point Carl Strong, Don Ferris at Anvil, Tom Teesdale, et al will be quite competitive. Just saw a Teesdale ad on the RBM newsgroup recently that he is offering custom True Temper steel frames for something like $500-600 as his monthly special. Steelman was offering a free Ouzo Pro fork with his SR525 frames as well recently. Look in the archives and you will find kind words about all of these builders.

It's your $2,500 to spend, but for this money I'd look toward the smaller builders before you lock yourself in on a more "mainstream" brand. They are highly regarded on this board and most offer excellent value. Not that Trek, Cannondale, etc are bad bikes, but at this level of spending I'd look for something a bit different. Just MHO.
yup nmgtx
May 20, 2002 11:48 AM
What's holdinggrandemamou
May 20, 2002 11:35 AM
the bike up? Looks like some sort of stand on the rear hub. I bought a stand that my cranks slide into. Unfortunately with my cadence sensor I can't use it.
I have never heard one good reason....sprockets2
May 21, 2002 1:22 PM
to go with steelGuy over any of the other small builders-or some of the bigger ones for that matter. He seems to be a decent guy, and makes a decent bike from what I have experienced first hand, but so does just about everyone else usually mentioned on this forum. He just doesn't stand out, in my experience.

Being an owner and fan is one thing, and we can understand a bit of overzealousness on the part of such an individual, but if you are actually going to RECOMMEND him, one should probably provide some good reasons for doing so. (Reasons beyond "I like my bike").

On the debit side, for a welded, no-frills frame, his road frames seem rather expensive, more so if you adjust the top tube to less than full-on race geometry (his tt are not short and its about $200-I think-for an adjustment). Further, his steel forks are downright quirky-they are straight-and seemed a touch RIGID in my short experience with one.

Again, not a bad bike, but some guys talk about these bikes with a certitude that seems unwarranted. For about the price of one of his FRAMES you can get a decent Lemond BICYCLE-also welded-with the same tubing. It should make one pause to think.
I have never heard one good reason....gtx
May 21, 2002 3:38 PM
Yes, his prices have crept up over the years--that's normal for a small builder who manages to get a name for himself (not easy to do, but Steelman has done it). I don't own one, just built up quite a few when I worked in shops and they were all spot on (which was not the case for the majority of the Trek products I built up over the years). I also have several friends who are very pleased with their Steelmans. He's certainly not the only game in town, just a good option. If I was looking to buy a frame today I'd get one of his 525 frames, which seems to be a pretty decent value. I don't really understand your comment his fork--quirky? --and being straight bladed has nothing to do with stiffness. If you want a better price on a steel frame go with a Teesdale or Dean or something, but from what I've seen his road frames are among the nicest tig welded frames out there. So, maybe there's no point in spending $2500 on a bike, but if you do, a Steelman will be hard to beat.
Giant TCR 0.bnlkid
May 20, 2002 9:34 AM
For around $2700 you can get a Giant TCR 0 with full Dura Ace and Ksyrium wheels. I bought this bike in March to compliment my steel ride and just love it. I have trouble deciding which bike to ride sometimes. It is very stiff, the compact frame makes for very confident handling. I haven't ridden it over 30 miles in one sitting, so cannot comment on fatigue of a long ride, but the smoothness is very comparable to the a steel bike. Steel is still a better ride, but if you want a bike that climbs and accelerates, the Giant is a good choice. It is probably comfortable enough to do a century on, but I think I would opt for a steel bike for that.
re: Looking new bike in $2500 range - any comments welcome.Carbon fiber fanatik
May 20, 2002 5:18 PM
just an opinion. Carbon fiber is the way to go.. there simply is no better or more engineered material than carbon. My mountain bike is a kestrel CS-X loaded with LP composite goodies.. My road bike is a martec, but i love it cuz its as goofy looking as me.. Carbon is a directionally applied material and can be manipulated in ways other materials can only dream of. Kestrel is an awesome choice and there are several others, look around, ask a lot of questions, but most importantly, keep one thing in mind, the most important quality of any frame, regardless of material is the fit... good luck!
Lemond Victoirejohnrg
May 21, 2002 7:59 AM
I think you may be able to pick up the bike close to $2500.
Landsharkwillin
Aug 28, 2002 1:31 PM
Check out the Landshark website. This is a custom made steel bike, with beautiful braze welds and super cool paint jobs.

You can buyt a dura ace kite, decent wheels, and the frame seperatly and pay yur local bike shop to put it together for you.

Also check out GVH bike's web site. This guy lists the best deals Ive seen. You could pick up an Eddy Merck titanium with Ultegra in your price range.

Or buy used. You can buy a 2002 model 5000 dollar list bike on this web site that has 1000 miles or less ( ie--new) for 2500 as well.

You have big time choices