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New Bike & assorted ramblings(12 posts)

New Bike & assorted ramblingsLen J
May 10, 2001 8:24 AM
I may be one of the luckier guys on earth. For our tenth wedding annivarsary, my wife surprised me with a hand made gift certificate worth $4,000 to be used to buy the bike of my choice. I have to tell you that I have been riding for over 20 years, have bought a new bike about every 5 to 8 years, have usually bought used & have never spent more than $1,200 for any bike. I don't race, but do ride hard and seemingly endlessly. I didn't know how to spend this much on a bike.

Sometimes I can be Anal, no more so than when I am spending money on something that I am not sure I deserve (Don't we all feel this way sometime). Anyway, to make a long story short, after paying for a serrotta fit, reading as much as I could on materials, components & bikereviews, and testriding (5 mile minimum ride) over 15 different bikes, I bought a Trek 5500 carbon with full D/A. (I know from reading previous posts that some of you are groaning at my choice but you gots to go with your gut sometimes)

I felt that the Trek carbon D/A combination was the best bike for the money, with the best combination of ride smoothness, components & responsiveness. It also was the best testride by far. I opted out of a custom fit frame because the Trek fit me like a glove (Lucky genes). Didn't get the postal colors, I am more subtle than that.

Will I ever truly take advantage of the full capabilities of either the D/A group or the frame? Probably not, but will I enjoy having something of this quality? absolutly yes.

I have had the bike about two months, put about 1,200 miles on it, and love it.

It has been an interesting journey to make this decision, I've learned much. Reading this board's posts helped quite a bit. Thanks.

Anyone else struggled with justifing to themselves the purchase of a high end bike?
Didn't have to justify it to myself, but I felt I had tobill
May 10, 2001 10:08 AM
justify it to others, which is really a shame. I was worried about looking all poser, but, like guilt, the feeling goes away.
Enjoy your bike.
re: New Bike & assorted ramblingsMikeC
May 10, 2001 10:08 AM
Congratulations, Len. Every now and then we get the chance to do something that really makes someone's day (or in your case, decade!). It seems that your wife knows you pretty well.
I'd love to spend $4,000 on a bike. I'd get a Seven Cycles Odonata frame, then add many of my existing components (including my Record 10). I believe that Seven's customizing program would result in both an immediate comfort and efficiency benefit, and also extend my cycling life by reducing physiological stresses. For me, titanium is the way to go, and the Odonata suits my riding style (fast recreational rides, but no more races). Unfortunately, my financial priorities now rest with my two kids Montessori school payments, my mortgage, our car know the story. Your choice sounds great for you, and it's wonderful that you fit it so well right out of the box. Many happy miles!
re: ThanksLen J
May 10, 2001 10:35 AM
Appreciate the thoughts. Been thru the "live & work to finance the kid's phase" Still have 3 in College, so this was a double surprise. Looked at the seven, liked the ride & quality, would have been $1,000 more for the same components as I got. $3,500 was a reach for me, $4,500 would have been a stretch. I think it would have been the difference, for me, between enjoying & guilt. When the 5500 fit me so well it was a no brainer.

Thanks for the congrats.
re: New Bike & assorted ramblingsDSA
May 10, 2001 11:07 AM
Len - Congrats and enjoy your new bike. This past fall, I decided to invest $3000 in a new bike. Much like you, I test rode about 15 bikes including Trek carbon & aluminum frames, Cannondale, Colnago, Litespeed, Merlin, IF, etc. In the end, I fell in love with a traditional steel frame with chrome fork & chain stays - a deep blue Tommasini Sintesi. To complement the Italian heritage of my new steed, I rigged it with the Chorus 10 speed gruppo. While it's not tricked out with titanium, carbon fiber or specialty wheels, it's light, responsive and beautiful in a way that only an Italian bike can be. I didn't need a 16lb bike - in fact, I didn't "need" a new bike at all - but I did want to invest in a high performance, quality bike.

Every time I get on the bike I can't help but crack a smile - I worked hard to fund my investment and I thoroughly enjoy it. When I was doing all of the research I often asked myself why I was spending so much time and money on a bike. As I look back, I have no regrets.
Nice- Congrats9WorCP
May 10, 2001 2:12 PM
Hey DSA,

Spill a little more. What size, what does it weigh? Colorado Cyclist? Wheels? Year? Etc, etc.

I'm curious. Oh yeah, How much?
Details on the TommasiniDSA
May 11, 2001 7:09 AM
9WorCP - Here are the juicy details...

53cm C-to-T (53.1cm TT) lugged frame - deep blue with yellow & white accents
Columbus Neuron tubing
Campy Chorus 10 speed (12-25 cassette & 170mm crankarms)
Red Mavic CXP33 rims w/ Chorus 32h hubs, DT 14/15 double-butted spokes & alloy nipples
Michelin Axial Pro 23mm tires
Red Chris King headset
Deda 215 bars & Murex stem
Thomson Elite seatpost
Selle Italia Flite saddle (red, white & blue)
Speedplay X2 pedals

As for weight, I haven't had it on a scale yet, but I'm guessing it's in the low 19# or high 18# range. I'll weight it this weekend and get back to you. Also, I'm going to take some photos this weekend and post them on the site's photo board.

I got it in November from Colorado Cyclist - the frame was a 2000 model year that had been marked down from $900 retail to $600 because of a few small superficial scratches on the inside of one of the seatstays. They threw in the 2000 Chorus gruppo at a 25% discount as well. With the upgrades to the bar, stem, headset & wheels plus the pedals, cyclometer, etc., I got the whole package for $2200.

The bike is absolutely gorgeous. I have non-cyclists pull up at intersections to tell me how beautiful the paint job is - the deep blue paint, the chrome fork/chain stays and the red rims/headset are quiet a combination. The little touches like the details on the lugs and the signature white "T" on the BB and seat post collar are what set the bike apart in terms of asthetics. It's a joy just to look at.

As for riding my new steed, well, it's everything I had hoped for and more. The ride is comfortable without being whippy, a happy medium for a 185# hammerhead who rides in Maine, where the "roads" can leave a lot to be desired. The handling is crisp and precise - the "traditional" Italian geometry really works for me. As for the wheels, some of you weight weenies are probably b*tching that I could have saved some weight by going with Open Pros or some boutique wheels over the CXP33's. True, but I went with the durability and heft of the CXP33s - I know of too many fellow Mainers who have blown spokes on tricked-up lightweight wheels. The roads up here are unforgiving and I'm not challenging Lance for the title as boss of the peloton, so the CXP33 has been a great choice.

There aren't too many Tommasini's out there, but the owners that I've run into are absolutely fanatical about them. I'm beginning to understand why...
May 15, 2001 5:52 PM
Hope you can post it in the photo section some day. Sounds like a great set up. Total Steal. Congrats again pal. And thanks for satisfying my curiosity. :)
Good going Lenseth1
May 10, 2001 12:32 PM
My thinking is, "The more you spend on a bicycle, the less you can afford NOT to ride it."

Plus, think of all the people who spend their money on golf or boats or cars. What are you getting from your new bike compared to those people? A big fat golfer's belly with skinny little chicken-legs.

Damn, now I want a new bike. I suppose your wife wouldn't buy me one too?
Good going LenLen J
May 10, 2001 12:37 PM
I think I've already " gone to the well once too often" to ask her for you.

Thanks for the thoughts.
Does your wife have a sister? (nm)Spoke Wrench
May 10, 2001 2:59 PM
No Message
re: New Bike & assorted ramblingsJL
May 11, 2001 8:19 AM
Congrats Len.

I just bought a new 5200 myself (my wife wouldn't give me $4k for the 5500), to replace a 10 yr. old Diamondback. I tried to keep the purchase under 2K, but the deal and the ride convinced me to add the $$$ to the purchase. I've ridden almost everyday since and love riding it.

This board helped me a lot also. I had to justify to myself (and to my wife a little bit more) that the purchase would be worth it. In fact, I love the new ride so much I'm thinking about giving up golf every Sunday (another passion I've had), so I can ride instead. I sometimes think about the money that I spent, and say, Wow think what else that money could of purchased.

Do I regret it though? NO. Will I keep justifying it to myself? NO. I'll just ride, and think what a great bike.

Good luck.