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HELP ME PICK A BIKE!(22 posts)

HELP ME PICK A BIKE!doctorbarth
Jun 4, 2001 3:05 PM
New to road, been riding mtn. for 3 yrs, ran 4 marathons. I want to get into road. Budget is $2500. 6', 160lbs. So many choices! I've looked at colnago, merckx, and lemond. I think I'd prefer steel. Please give a new rider some impt. info. Help me pick my bike.
Tommasini Sintesi...C-40
Jun 4, 2001 3:35 PM
One of the best buys around it the Tommasini Sintesi at Colorado Cyclist ( Excellent quality frame, and only about $2100 with a Campy Chorus 10 speed group. Just be sure to get the right size. Keep the standover clearance in the 2-4cm range. Too many people buy frames that are 2cm smaller than necessary, and end up with lots of steering tube spacers. See fit info at, for inseam measuring technique.

The Colnago Master X-light is also an excellent steel frame, but would run over your budget, unless you're willing to buy from overseas suppliers like or They both sell Colnago frames (and Ksyrium or Nucleon wheels) a lot cheaper than anyone in the states. Totalcycling has very limited selection at this time. Square Deals lists a lot more selection. It's always best to get assurance of availability before ordering.

Both brands favor folks with long legs, over the long torsoed rider.
also check...Hank
Jun 4, 2001 3:54 PM
Steelman, Ibis, Ritchey (yes, I like those west coast guys...). Hand built steel with Chorus or Dura Ace is hard to beat in my opinion. You also might want to ask around and see what kind of custom builders you have locally. This guy has good prices on Steelman and Land Shark:
Ride them all....The General
Jun 4, 2001 5:26 PM
I also pre-fer steel, coming from a MTB background I didn't know what I had until it was stolen out from under me. My old Astra-Dailer frame. To replace it I road every bike I could get, this was't easy considering I ended up with a 61cm frame and not to many bike shos stock them that large.

Ride the Alum, Carbon, Steel & Ti and decide for your self what fits and feels right. Take them out for at least 1/2 hour rides and put them through the test.

As for me, I ended up with a Ti- Lemond Victorie.

I had not considered Ti until I road it, then I couldn't look at another bike.

The General
also check...jschrotz
Jun 4, 2001 6:19 PM
Gotta agree with Hank. I've had a Ritchey and absolutely loved it. Sweet sweet ride. Check out Hampsten Cycles as well
( ). They build their steel frames in Seattle. I've been riding one for the past 3 weeks and can't say enough good things about it. The guys there are really good and will work with you to get exactly what you want. The carbon fork they match their frames with is incredible ( ).
Happy bike hunting.
Tommasini Sintesi...doctorbarth
Jun 4, 2001 6:53 PM
I have found your info on overseas to be wonderful. $$$. Have you ordered anything from either company before? I'm leaning toward the colnago master due to overseas prices. Please feel free to email me at You have been VERY helpful.
rb and
Jun 5, 2001 3:58 PM
Have both received good reviews. I've ordered Ksyriums from totalcycling with complete satisfaction. The current problem at totalcycling is a lack of selection on some items, like no Ksyrium clinchers, and very few Colnago Master X-lights. Sdeals lists more, but like I said, confirm availability before ordering, and know your size.
I agree - the best value in steel is Tommasini.Allen
Jun 4, 2001 7:32 PM
I would spend the extra money and buy it with Chorus or Record.
I like Tommasini, but....Hank
Jun 4, 2001 11:29 PM
the best values in steel would probably come from a small American builder who isn't famous yet, or who doesn't charge famous builder prices. Check out Anvil, Mikkelsen, Curtlo, Teesdale, or a builder near you - also the Steelman 525 is a great frame for the money.
Just curious ...bianchi boy
Jun 5, 2001 7:11 AM
Name me a small American frame builder who can sell you a quality steel frame and fork for less than the Tommasini Sintesi ($899), the GIOS Compact Pro ($699), or Cinella Super Corsa ($795). I haven't found one. Then consider that you can get Italian frames from dealers that will build them up with a complete Chorus group for an extra $1,200. Don't get me wrong -- I am sure that these American frames are very well built and probably a little lighter than the Italian ones. But American handbuilt frames are definitely not the low-priced option.
Just curious ...Hank
Jun 5, 2001 11:13 AM
prices: Curtlo, Anvil and Teesdale all build frames at around the $700 mark. Add a steel fork and I think you still might squeek in under the $899 you list for the Sintesi. Not sure what Mikkelsen is charging these days but I think it's in there, too. The Steelman 525 frame and fork listed for $925 last time I checked - and GVH sells it for quite a bit less ($695 or something crazy like that). I rode Italian bikes all through the 80s, like them and all, but I just think the US builders blow them away (I still have a Merckx (Belgium) - awesome bike, but there's no comparison in build quality between it and, say, my Ibis Mojo). If I was to buy a new bike today, I'd get the Steelman 525 and build it up with a Chorus kit from totalcycling - I'd have a pretty nice ride for about the same price or less than the Ultegra equipped Sintesi in the Colorado Cyclist.
paint won't compare and no chrome...C-40
Jun 5, 2001 3:49 PM
on those low priced American bikes. There's a lot more work in a lugged frame with chromed lugs, dropouts, fork and rear triangle.
Have you seen a Steelman?Hank
Jun 5, 2001 4:21 PM
Incredible powdercoated finish. Click on any of these to see what I mean:

I have nothing against lugs - all my road bikes are lugged, and some have chrome. My point is that dollar for dollar, you'll get a better built bike from a small US builder.
check out
Jun 5, 2001 5:23 PM
After reviewing the Steelman sight, it confirms my opinion. A tig welded bike with no chrome, and plain paint with simple decals. I'm sure they are welll made, but pretty basic for the money. Tommasini has fancy graphics that are painted, not decals. The Tommasini is a lot more bike and still $40 cheaper.
check out
Jun 5, 2001 5:46 PM
I've ridden Tommasinis, worked on them while working in shops, have had friends who owned them, worked in shops that sold high end Italian bikes (Colnago, Ciocc, etc.) and high end US built bikes (Steelman, Ibis, etc.). I've had and still have an Italian bike. I like Italian bikes. I've lived in Italy. Half my relatives are Italian. I visit Italy and ride there at least every other year (as recently as last fall--I keep an Italian bike over there--a Faggin, which has snazzy paint and chrome and lugs--it's even built up with Dura Ace). Yes, the Tommasini has a lot more Italian flair than a Steelman, but I'd take a Steelman any day of the week. If you are ever in Redwood City, CA, go check out Steelman's shop (he's a nice guy). I doubt you'll come away saying his bikes are "basic."
Word of caution...PsyDoc
Jun 5, 2001 7:54 AM
Although standover is important to consider, also keep in mind the length of the top tube. You may find a bike that allows you to have 3cm of standover, but stretches you out too much in the top tube and you have to run a shorter (sub 100mm) stem.
highly unlikely on a Colnago or Tommasini..C-40
Jun 5, 2001 3:53 PM
I've got a very short torso, at 5'-7" with a 32-5/8 inch inseam. I still use a 110 stem on Colango and Tommasini frames that I've owned. It's more likely that the top tube could be a little short.
Check the classifieds here too, lots of sweet deals.Largo
Jun 4, 2001 5:26 PM
www.gvhbikes.comkeith m.
Jun 4, 2001 7:43 PM
Gary has some nice frames to choose from. I like the Colnago CT1. My personal ride is the Bianchi ev2 with record, I love it.
Having just gone that route ...bianchi boy
Jun 4, 2001 8:52 PM
Do yourself a favor and have a professional frame-fitting done first at a local Serotta dealer or some other comparable system. Then start looking for a frame that fits your body type. I bought a new aluminum-frame Bianchi last fall and never could get comfortable despite trying a number of different stem combinations. Then I had a frame-fitting done and found out I should be riding a bike with a relatively short top tube, the opposite of my Bianchi. I narrowed my choices down to several Italian steel frames and finally settled on a GIOS because its dimensions were the closest to my ideal frame size, and it was also the best deal. has lots of quality steel frames, as well as a few aluminum and ti ones, and great prices on build kits. Unfortunately, the frames I liked best, he didn't have in my size. I couldn't find a steel Colnago in my price range anywhere. I finally narrowed my search down to the Tommasini Sintesi at coloradocyclist and the GIOS Compact Pro at Excelsports. I ended up ordering the GIOS because its size was a better fit for me and Excel was much more willing to work with me on substituting and exchanging parts, and the total price was about $150 less. I could have been happy with both bikes, tho.

I also explored custom frames, but you can buy a quality Italian steel frame with a complete Campy Chorus build kit for about the price of a custom frame alone. I just couldn't justify spending that much for a frame when I could get an entire bike for the same amount. And, having owned an older steel Bianchi for 16 years, I think the Italians make some very good steel frames.
Check Gunnarmike mcmahon
Jun 4, 2001 9:00 PM The Hot Dog seems to get great reviews, and it's hard to beat the price. Maybe some Gunnar enthusiasts (or detractors) out there can give you more information.
consider also...4bykn
Jun 5, 2001 9:22 AM
Airborne. I have a new Zeppelin and love the bike. For 2500 you can get one built up really nice. Steel is nice, but don't rule out other materials. In your price range there are many quality bikes available of many different materials.