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New roadie(5 posts)

New roadieDJ Krug
May 18, 2001 5:08 PM
I'm in the hunt for my first road bike. Here's what I've decided so far:

- I'm willing to spend the money for a bike that I can grow into and will be reliable through many miles.
- I'm committed to fitness.
- I don't like Cannondale (in road bikes - sorry to all their fans :))
- I like the Trek 2300 and the Lemond Zurich, though I can't find any bikes that are my size to demo (I'm 6'2" 185 - 58-60cm, maybe?)

Any comments on the steel vs. the aluminum? On the rides? Any other suggestions? Anyone tried the Lemond Aeroluminum? The component packages are near identical, so I think it will come down to the feel. Should I call bike shops in a 100 mile radius hoping I can find one close to my size to demo, or should I trust that a good fitting and a special order will satisfy me? I have a good LBS with a proprietor that I trust. Thanks in advance.

Dave
Saratoga Springs, NY
re: New roadieChet-RE
May 18, 2001 7:25 PM
I'm the same size as you (6'2", 180 lbs). I ride a 59L Serotta CSI. I used to have a 60cm Trek OCLV 5200. I found that to be a little long in the top tube for me. The easy fix would have been to go a little shorter on the stem, but I wasn't fond of it's riding characteristics and I had the opportunity to ride a Serotta. Put the Trek up for sale the next day and have never been happier with the bike. Heck being from Saratoga Springs, NY you should get a tour of the Serotta manufacturing facility. I think they just moved to Saratoga Springs a year or two ago. I went to their Glens Falls facility, met Ben and got a tour... It was awesome.

Anyway, I'm sure your not ready to spend $3500 or $4K+ for your first road bike. I'd recommend going with a steel frame over aluminum and test ride a couple different sizes if you can or get measured and fit. If the bike is somewhat close (within a cm or so) you can make small adjustments with the stem and saddle position to make it right.

Good Luck... -c-

My Bike:
http://gallery.consumerreview.com/roadbike/gallery/files/Serotta5.asp
re: New roadieAgainst-the-wind
May 18, 2001 7:26 PM
I have a 2000 Trek 2300, and before that I had a Giant steel. I am 6'1", 190lbs, and I ride a 58cm bike. I love this bike. At the weight we are at, I don't think there is much of a difference in the "forgiveness" of steel vs Al. As for the bike..it is very responsive, feels fast, feels like it wants to be fast. I have been happy with all the components on the bike, the Ultegra set is nice. And the Rolf wheels are excellent. Their OEM pedals are nothing to write home about (spd), you may want to upgrade. I have ridden a couple century's on it, no problems. The bike just fits me well. I ride about 100-125 miles/week on it, and I can't say anything bad about the bike. The Lemond is a nice bike also..I guess you'll just have to get out and ride them and see how they feel. Anyone who picks this bike up comments on the lightness. Go with your gut though...if you prefer the feel of the Lemond....thats not a bad choice either.
education first...dave
May 18, 2001 8:02 PM
I recommend reading up on fit at coloradocyclist.com, sheldonbrown.com or peterwhitecycles.com, before making a final purchase. You'll find a lot of disagreement about "proper" fit.

The biggest mistake I see, is people buying frames that are at least one size to small, then needing lots of stem angle or steering tube spacers to get the bars up to a normal height of 6 to 10cm below the saddle.

Start by getting an accurate inseam measurement, something few people bother to do accurately. Frame size is usually 27 or 28cm less than the inseam measurement. A frame that has the proper vertical size will have 2-4cm of clearance to hard (weight bearing) crotch contact, in bare feet. More clearance is not needed, and often creates "the bars are too low" problem, since smaller frames have shorter head tubes.

The frames you are comparing have slightly different geometry. The Lemond frames have a little more top tube length and a slightly shallower seat tube angle. The 72.5 seat tube angle on the Lemond effectively shortens the top tube by .67cm, when compared to the Trek. A 57cm Lemond compares closely to a 58cm Trek. The 59cm Lemond is slightly larger than a 60cm Trek.

The Trek frames run small for their stated size, and come in even sizes. The Lemond frames come in odd sizes. Both are only available in 2cm increments, which can cause a problem in getting the best fit. A lot of higher level frames come in 1cm increments.

If you're after a smooth ride, aluminum is not the material you'll want to put at the top of your list, particularly one like the Aeroluminum, which has a bladed downtube and short seatstays - both make for a harsh ride.

If you have a good LBS, the proprietor should be knowledgeable on all aspects of fit, but a lot of them, unfortunately are not. I'll bet most can't calculate the effect of seat tube angle on top tube length. Hopefully yours knows what knee-over-pedal(KOP)means. If not, look elsewhere. After getting the proper vertical size of frame, KOP and saddle height must be set, followed by stem length selection. After riding awhile, further adjustments to KOP position and stem length can be used to optimize performance.

You should be able to accurately determine your proper frame size by riding any brand, with known dimensions, and comparing them to the model that you desire. The only thing missing from most geometry tables is the head tube length, which I consider very important. If you're close to buying, but not sure, post again for more help.
re: New roadieBrianU
May 19, 2001 5:36 PM
You got some good information here from the other posts. About the only thing I will add is something I read at this site somewhere, never buy a bike from someone that you would not want to go riding with.