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which system?(55 posts)

which system?Rogan
Sep 24, 2001 6:01 AM
I am new to biking. I have been to my bike store near home, and the guy there was very helpful and told me get a Litespeed, as they are light and fast - makes sense to me. Only problem I have is with gears - seems to be a choice between Shimarno any Campey (Kampi? - Italian I think). The guy said the Campey was better, as the gearing was higher, but he didn't sound too sure when I asked why that was better, if the bike was fast anyway.

Can any of your more experienced guys help me out - appreciated.

re: which system?marty
Sep 24, 2001 6:29 AM
Both brands are good. If you are looking to save some money, go with Shimano Ultegra vs Durarace, which is more expensive, but a lb lighter. I am curious why the shop is recommending a Litespeed. Certainly, it is a great frame, but if you have a budget, there are plenty of frames out there that are good at much less cost. If price is no option, of course get the Litespeed. Be warned, if you start showing up at group rides with a top of the line bike but without the fitness to go with it, you could be setting yourself up for some ribbing.
Good luck.
Sep 24, 2001 7:04 AM
.....and most of it NOT good-natured.

Shimano-probably more bang-for-the-buck. Their groups come in significantly cheaper. Quieter. All the latest innovations in more of their groups.

Camagnolo-expensive. Noisier (but not in a bad way). Better looking (opinion). When we are riding our bikes on Mars, a Campy owner will still be able to get parts for and rebuild his gear. Much harder to do with Shimano.
RibbingLone Gunman
Sep 24, 2001 7:15 AM
However, you can't rebuild pivot points, chains, cassettes, chainrings on Campagnola and Shimano has a 2 year warranty on their parts.
re: which system?Galibier
Sep 24, 2001 6:58 AM
Quick primer: Shimano and Campagnolo ("Campy") are the two predominant component manufacturers. Shimano is Japanese, while Campy is Italian. Both make excellent components at various price points, including professional-level component groups, such as Shimano's Dura-Ace and Campy's Record or Chorus groups. Campy Record is the most expensive, largely due to the somewhat exotic materials used in certain components. Dura-Ace and Chorus are priced approximately the same, as are the lower-level groups, such as Shimano's Ultegra and Campy's Daytona. Any of the groups I've mentioned will serve you quite well; the main difference is that the more costly groups are lighter.

In choosing between Campy and Shimano, the principal differences are (1) the shifters work differently and (2) Campy offers ten rear sprockets while Shimano offers only nine. (Thus, 10-speed Campy-equipped bikes offer two extra gears over nine-speed Shimano-equipped bikes.) In all other respects, the component groups are essentially interchangeable. Therefore, you should compare the Campy shifters with the Shimano shifters; if you prefer one shifting method over the other, then you will probably be happier with that particular group. If you have no strong preference for either shifter, then it probably makes sense to get Campy components, as they offer a ten-speed rear hub. (Note that I use Dura-Ace and am quite happy with it, but I would probably select Chorus if I were building up a new bike from scratch. Ten-speed over nine makes sense.)

Hope you enjoy your new bike!
re: which system?Elefantino
Sep 24, 2001 7:05 AM
Is it just me, or do alarms go off in anyone else's head when you hear of a LBS employee telling someone "new to biking" to "get a Litespeed"?
re: which system?Lone Gunman
Sep 24, 2001 7:19 AM
You mean like someone wanting to start a flame war on the two incendiary subjects? What? On this forum?
Yeah, a bit of an alarm in this post...RhodyRider
Sep 24, 2001 7:21 AM
Sounds like a really lousy, mercenary employee and/or LBS. Perhaps they've pegged "Rogan" as a sucker with a fat wallet. Hence, an easy big-profit sale of a high-end bike when they should be counseling him toward a good entry-level ride instead. (No alarm on the fact that the recommended bike is Litespeed, however; let's not turn this into another LS-bashing thread. Bike store jerk doesn't equate to bagging a particular brand.)
Alarms for the LBS, not the LS.Elefantino
Sep 24, 2001 7:36 AM
Next thing you know, someone will start a "Which is better ... Campy or Shimano?" thread.
Wait a minute. Wasn't that THIS thread?
Meaningful vs meaningless differencesRich Clark
Sep 24, 2001 7:06 AM
First of all, it's the engine that makes the bike faster. That's you. You will be able to go exactly the same speed on a given bike whether it has Campagnolo or Shimano parts.

Campy cranksets have a 53-tooth big chainring; Shimano is 52. All other things being equal, at a given pedaling cadence, more chainring teeth mean more wheels revs per pedal rev. In the real world, the difference between 52 and 53 is meaningless.

This is made even more meaningless by the fact that you can set up any bike with your choice of cog combinations in the back. Here, the smallest cog is the highest gear, but a 53(front)/13(rear) combo is not "faster" than a 52/12. Not that anybody could ride long on the flats in that big a combo anyway.

Campagnolo's higher-end groups have 10-speed shifting (10 rear cogs), while Shimano's are stil 9. This yields the potential for finer gradations from one gear to the next, and closer spacing is a good thing. Some people might argue that the really narrow Campy 10-speed chains wear out faster, but that's a subjective judgement. Campy's 10-speed system seems to be at least as reliable as anything Shimano makes, judging from people's comments.

Campy adherents strongly believe that these are higher-quality, more reliable parts. Campy Ergo "brifters" (the brake/shift levers) are made to be serviceable; Shimano STI's are considerably less so. But both are reliable, generally.

Shimano stuff is cheaper and more widely available.

Racers use both, and win races on both. Lance Armstrong won the Tour de France on Shimano.

I would be concerned about a bike shop that couldn't explain these things. When buying a high-end road bike, a great roadie shop that is really good at bike fit and configuration is critical, especially if you're new to this.

Some people recommend that a new rider's first road bike should be something more modest -- in the $1000 range -- to allow for the learning cycle. I think if you took a poll that most folks here would probably tell you that their first road bike was not as perfect for them as later bikes. It takes some experience to get a sense of what works and fits best. Again, a really top roadie shop can be a big help here.

Good luck,
Correction & addition......Len J
Sep 24, 2001 7:20 AM
Correction. Shimano Doubles always come with a 53/39 unless changed out. Triples come 52/42/30.

Addition. There seems to be some shops that don't handle Campy and are much more comfortable handling Shimano.

Sep 24, 2001 7:54 AM
"Campy cranksets have a 53-tooth big chainring; Shimano is 52."

This is not true.
Yes, of course, sorryRich Clark
Sep 24, 2001 4:40 PM
Funny how things get stuck in our heads. I was looking at bikes once and -- as it happened -- the Campy bikes were all doubles and the Shimano bikes were all triples. Just coincidence. But somehow that "Campy=53, Shimano=52" thing took root. Stupid.

Thanks guysRogan
Sep 24, 2001 7:48 AM
That has certainly cleared a few areas up.
To give the store guy a break, he did point out that he could sell me a cheaper bike, but that I'd be back in a year or two with lots of worn out parts, plus there was the problem of steel/Aluminimum frames wearing out and failing over 5 years or so, which is where Titanium comes in cheaper over time - the Litespeed has a lifetime guarentee. Here's what I wrote (very fast) of the specification he gave me.

Litespeed frame.
Serium wheels with Michlin tubeless tires.
Rekord/duro-ace brakes,gears,cranks, chain and stuff.
ITM stem and handlebar
Cell saddle (with gel I think)
gas pump
little bag for stuff under the seat
2 cages for holding water bottles (and the bottles)
U lock.

all-in at $4500 not including pedals and other stuff.

Seems reasonable, having spend a little time looking around the web. Any views?
what I would doclimbo
Sep 24, 2001 7:58 AM
if you don't really know bikes yet, don't spend $4,500, even if you have the money. Start with a cheaper bike and figure out for yourself what YOU like, join a club, go on group rides, not racing but with other folks who ride all types of bikes. See what is out there, how they ride etc. Go to shops, take test rides. I have been riding for 4 years and still don't know what's best (except Campy I know is for me). If you buy this bike I'm sure you'll be very happy (hell I certainly would be, my bike only cost me $1,000) but you should try out as much as you can before you buy if this is to be your only bike for several years.

PS. No such thing as a fast bike, only FAST riders. They all go fast with the right engine.
Thanks guysDoctorNurse
Sep 24, 2001 8:07 AM
Jeez dude, I guess that $4500 is cool for this setup, but really, what is your budget? I think that the LBS may be genuine with their comments about AL/Steel frames, and no question that Litespeed makes a helluva bike but seriously, 4.5K is a lot of smackers, and you could get a really high quality bike for half that amount and have anough to get some other things that you may need (being new to the sport and all) including a helmet, good set of pedals, cycling specific clothing for both warm, wet and cold weather, a good pair of stiff soled shoes, a trainer/rollers for those REALLY rainy/snowy/difficult days, a spare wheelset, good eye protection, a cycling computer/HRM, videotapes of the TdF, a subscription to OLN to get the Euro cycling events live and maybe a good training manual by Friel or Carmichael all of which could be bought within a $4500 budget PROVIDED you don't blow the whole thing on the bike..

Mind you, I ain't tryin' to tell you how to spend your hard earned dough, but try to look at all the peripheral equipment a well prepared roadie would need, and look at the overall budget for the bike again and then go back and have another discussion with the LBS about your needs.

Additionally, most roadie shops will tell you that super-duper high end wheels like Ksyeriums are best for races and specific rides, and that a much less expensive, (albeit not a cool) wheelset would be better for daily rides, especially for a newbie, especially now that the season is winding down, and road conditions may get sketchier with rain, and stuff....

Again, do what you wanna do, but really, you can get sooooo much more bang for the buck if you don't blow the entire budget on just the bike...

cycling is the best medicine

Thanks guysGregJ
Sep 24, 2001 8:07 AM
Getting a cheaper bike and then returning in a year or 2 with lots of worn out parts is total BS. So is the line about the steel and Al frames failing. I suggest going elswhere and spending around 1-1.5 k, 4500 bucks for your first bike is way too much. Great bikes are available for much less money.
not a chanceterry_n
Sep 24, 2001 8:16 AM
I absolutely agree with Climbo, $4500 on a first bike is out of line. While your LBS person may be right about the upgrade path (I know myself that there is always another bike), you might be just as likely to end up with a $4500 clothes rack in your garage that never gets ridden. As a beginner I doubt you will not detect the esoteric subleties that exist between that Litespeed and a $2000 Trek, Specialized, Cannondale, Lemond or any Italian frame. Even after lots of riding time you may not detect them. You might very well end up with a first bike at less the price that lasts forever. I think you're being lied to by someone who wants to make a profit on your lack of consumer experience. Even if $4500 is a nit to you, I still think you're being robbed by someone who does not have your best interest in mind. Judging from the questions you've asked, you've clearly not done any research about these parts or materials and I for one think that research is absolutely the key to this kind of purchase. Spend a couple of weekends, vist all the stores in your town, ride a lot of different bikes with different frame materials and do yourself of big favor.
Re: Thanks guysElefantino
Sep 24, 2001 8:16 AM
Let me echo that I don't mean to tell you how to spend your money. If $4,500 for a bike to you is not what $4,500 for a bike is to me (read: grounds for divorce), then by all means spend it. Our economy needs it.
But you have to know that your $4,500 Litespeed, or a $5,000 Colnago, or any other high-end bike, is not a bike that is going to make you the instant Lance. It won't make you faster. It may, however, make you feel the part.
I work with a guy who owns a BMW M3. He bought an automatic because he can't drive a stick. He is also one of the worst drivers I've ever ridden with. But he had $50K to spend on a car, and he wanted the best, so he spent $50K on an M3. Did it make him a better driver? No. Do we laugh at him behind his back? Sure.
Is he happy? Ecstatic. Are we envious? Positively green.
boy, is HE opinionated!!!Rusty McNasty
Sep 24, 2001 10:17 AM
"steel/Aluminimum frames wearing out and failing over 5 years or so"
Say What??? I have a 13 year old Cannondale, and 2 steel framed bike which are over 20 years old (one is nearly 35 years old). This guy is giving you a load of hogwash.
"the Litespeed has a lifetime guarentee"
For as long as the "lifetime" of the litespeed company, that is. Who knows how long that would be in these times?
Do you really NEED a $4500 bike, or are you just going to be another cyclo-poseur? If you are really going to USE it (minimum of 200 miles a week), then yeah, go for it. If you just want a flashy titanium bike, and don't care $hit about the quality, buy an airborne zeppelin.
Thanks guyscioccman
Sep 24, 2001 10:29 AM
The LBS is wrong when he says alu/steel break down after 5 years.

I have a hand built aluminum bike with a lifetime warranty.

I have two aluminum bikes as a matter of fact. One with Campy rec 10 and one with DA 9. Neither is significantly better for the rider. 10 speeds are nice, but easily do withoutable. The only consideration might be cost. Wasn't for me.

I have no plans to go TI because I am too much in love with incredibly stiff frame and forksets which offer the best energy transfer money can buy, in my opinion. I've not ridden a carbon fiber that is as stiff as my rides. That is not to suggest it's not out there.

You can find beautiful Italian aluminum bikes with Record 10 for less than $3000. I have.
Is Lightspeed the right bike for you?Kristin
Sep 24, 2001 7:57 AM
Does it fit? That's the primo question to ask. Did this guy pull out a tape measure at all during when you looked at the bike? Did he explain anything to you about the importance of just 1 cm in the cycling world? I just went through this and I learned the following:

Bikes are like shoes. There are different sizes and sizing from brand to brand varies. While a Buster Brown size 8.5 fits me fine (I don't really wear buster browns), a Nine West size 8.5 is too big. Well, its the same with bikes. The term used to describe this is geometry. Each frame manufacturer designs thier own geometry. Some compontents of geometry include: Top Tube Length, Seat Tube Length, Chainstay Length, Seat Tube Angle. These factors will affect how you feel on a bike and how well you'll perform. Its very important to understand fit first. But its also very difficult to understand. Spend some time learning about geometry before you shop.

I quickly discovered that there are only a few manufacturers that make frames that would fit me well. Then my budget narrowed the selection even further. In the end, I only had 5 frames to choose from.

Read ET's "Idiots Guide to Bike Fit." Its on the main RBR page and its quite thorough. However, it reads more like a thesis on quantum physics than a Dick & Jane book, so get a cup of Jo first and dig in. Once you're armed with some info about road bike fit, shop around at a few places.

I really hope this wasn't flamebait. Fool me once...
Wow, well said. You have learned a lot this year haven't you nmMB1
Sep 24, 2001 8:00 AM
listen to kristinbianchi boy
Sep 24, 2001 9:37 AM
Before you spend a dime on a new bike, go to a bike shop that does professional fittings (like a Serotta dealer) and find out what frame size and geometry is best for you. A good fitting will cost between $50-100 and it's the best money you will even spend on cycling.

After the fitting, then start looking for frames that fit your body. As Kristen pointed out, knowing that information will shorten your list of potential bikes considerably. I started out looking at LeMond's, and after having a fit done, realized they had exactly the wrong geometry for me. For the same reason, I would never buy a Litespeed -- because the geometry wouldn't fit me.
listen to kristincioccman
Sep 24, 2001 10:58 AM
Just gotta add what has been mentioned here before. A brand new rider doesn't know what a good fit is and a good fit to some salespeople may mean whatever is the most expensive rig they've got on hand. That doesn't look obviously too small or large. A rookie is at their mercy.

Furthermore, bikes with the same geometry can be made to fit right or wrong with different pieces. Get a seat tube that has the clamp in a moved position from directly center over the tube (like a Record) and voila, your seat is suddenly 3 or so centimeters back from simply a different seat tube. Anyway, fit is a matter of taste once you're in the general ballpark and not out of line with some guidelines. I rode a bike with 2cm higher seat tube and 1.5 cm longer TT that fit very similar to my current ride. 1 cm shorter stem and seat tube with the clamp directly over the center of the seat tube actually made the layed over position shorter in total than my current main ride. I was perfectly comfortable on a un-noticeably longer wheelbase.
I should addRogan
Sep 24, 2001 8:15 AM
should have said at stage 1 - I am far from rich (darn), but the money is not too much of an issue as I sold by motorbike to finance the bike purchase, as part of a conscious change of life-style. I want to get heavily into cycling, as I currently run lots, but my knees and back are giving up on it - the cycling seems to be a far easier option on the joints whilst still demanding many of the same facets as ruinning - strength, endurance, mental approach and so on. So without wanting to seem over confident, I know that I can do this, and am "taking it seriously", hence the want to get a decent bike.

The other factor is, like motorbiking, I don't like the idea of used stuff, as I like to know the maintainance record of anything that I am roading down hill on at life threatening speeds.

I don't plan to race (but hey, who knows?) but do plan to do distance, commute and mebbe some cc touring too.

Course, the shop guy knew that cos unlike with you guys, I remembered to tell him first - sorry!
ride a lot of bikes, buy the one you like best.dzrider
Sep 24, 2001 9:00 AM
It sounds to me like you walked into a shop and asked the sales person for the best bike. The best bike for you is the one you like to ride and you can only answer that by riding bikes. Test riding bikes shouldn't be a chore. If you do it well, the time you spent on it will look small. If you do it badly the money you spend will be wasted.
Sep 24, 2001 9:18 AM
You need to understand that if you're like 97.6% of us, you will start lusting for a new bike every 9.8 days on average. You will successfully fight off your cravings for the first two months, then you will start using the "gateway" drugs: clothing and components.
Within the first twelve months, you will buy six pairs of cycling shorts and thirteen jerseys. However, you will own just one pair of socks, which you will wash every three weeks. You will also receive cycling gear catalogues in the mail every 4.2 days, and place them in every bathroom in your house, on your bedside table, and on that little thing in front of your TV.
After you have upgraded to Dura Ace or Record, you'll start looking for boutique parts made out of carbon fiber or enriched uranium. Then, you'll decide you need to upgrade your frame.
You will start hanging out at your local bike shop, and the employees will start telling jokes about you behind your back. But they will have your Visa number memorized.
DO NOT BUY THE BIKE YOU'RE LOOKING AT! You will still feel the need to upgrade, but you're starting at a level that will bankrupt you within three years!
I AM NOT JOKING! I've been riding for more than twenty years, and have spent an amount equivalent to the gross national product of Italy. I have to die before 2003 if my kids have any chance of going to college!
You can buy a great bike that will gain you respect and is better than your riding ability for under $2000. Anything else will set up a flux-shift in the time-space continuum, and we will ALL die.
LOL. However too true. (nm)Len J
Sep 24, 2001 9:27 AM
great post !!! ROTFLMAO nmclimbo
Sep 24, 2001 9:37 AM
Hello, my name is _________ and I'm an addictKristin
Sep 24, 2001 9:47 AM
LOL - that is so true. I find myself at stage two currently. Accumulating jerseys (4) and shorts (4). I also have 4 pairs of socks. :-)

Man, we need a 12 step program for this!
Hello, my name is _________ and I'm an addictLen J
Sep 24, 2001 9:53 AM
12 Steps of Bike Buying"
1.)Admitted we were powerless over the effects of a new bike-that our current ride had become unridable
2.)Came to believe that a ride greater than our cureent ride could return us to sanity.
3.)Made a decision to turn our money over to the LBS
4.)Made a searching & fearless inventory of the weaknesses of our current ride
5.)Convinced our wives of the exact nature of these shortcomings.
6.)Were entirely ready to have our LBS replace all these defects with new technology.
7.)Humbly asked our LBS to relace these shortcomings.
8.)Made incessant lists of all the rational reasons why this new purchase was necessary
9.)Made direct arguments to anyone who would listen as to why this purchase was necessary.
10.)Continued to research in order to convince ourselves that we made a good decision while we wait for delivery.
11.)Sought thru contact with other like minded people, to reinforce what knowledgable consumers we are.
12.)Having commited to this purchase, we try to carry this message of salvation through consumption to anyone who will listen while we continually look for the next great bike.
So very right!cioccman
Sep 24, 2001 10:38 AM
Over 20 years of cycling and probably 14 bikes, of all kinds. Two at this time, just got rid of the last mountain bike. :( No worries, you all know what I mean. That just means another in the plans!

Too many shorts to count and the jerseys still come in once every two weeks. I just had to separate a dresser drawer from combo current shorts and jerseys to separate drawers.

Wearing out parts? Impossible. Everything is constantly being upgraded. Right now though I'm on the cusp of nothing to do but buy more wheelsets.....
Rogan -- Lots of advice has been thing is unanimousKristin
Sep 24, 2001 11:46 AM
Everyone has said that this bike isn't a good purchase in your situation at this time. I sense that it will be hard for you to walk away from this, as you were all set to buy. But do try. Discovering that you spent all you money on the wrong bike is menatally draining. Plus, it requires additional mental enery to keep yourself upbeat about riding in light of your mistake. I know all about it. I made a mistake in my purchase. $4500 is a TON of cash to toss.
Rogan -- Lots of advice has been thing is unanimousJon
Sep 24, 2001 12:56 PM
I really could add no more to the EXCELLENT advice given above, but to add my wholehearted
agreement. Listen to all of it! The LBS salesman is giving you erroneous and dishonest advice,
and on that basis I personally would never buy a bicycle from that shop. Down the road the honesty,
integrity, and service you receive from a truly good shop will probably outweigh your choice of
frame material and components in importance. Do yourself a favour, find a good shop, keep
about $3,000.00 of your current budget in your pocket, get a moderately priced bike that fits, and ride
it about 50,000 mi. THEN decide on upgrades, a new bike, or whatever.

By the way, welcome to CYCLING ADDICTS ANONYMOUS.


Just Another Junkie
I should addRev. Lightspeed
Sep 24, 2001 11:49 AM
You do not happen to be from Alabama. You fit the discription of a member of my churches son. By the way I ride a litespeed with Ultegra it is like a 99 98 natchez lowend if there is such a thing with litespeed I paid 1000 for it. Deals can be found. My frame looks really good. I could buy a whole new build kit for mine new wheels and a new fork and still end up paying half of what your looking at. If you are going to spend that much by all means buy the Vortex it is a cool frame.
Good luck
commute?Rusty McNasty
Sep 24, 2001 12:02 PM
Better have a secure inside location to park it! $4500 bikes grow feet amazingly fast!
Yeah, when I bought my road bike, I naively asked whatbill
Sep 24, 2001 12:31 PM
sort of lock should I use. They looked at each other, then they looked at me, and one of 'em said, "you don't need a lock with that bike. Because you don't leave it anywhere."
You should run awayRich Clark
Sep 24, 2001 5:27 PM
So you're commuting and touring. You told the shop employee this.

And he's trying to sell you a $4500 racing bike with lightweight aero wheels? With no rack braze-ons? (Well, probably not, unless it's an Appalachian or other touring frame.)

You are not being well-served by this shop. They are trying to take you for a sucker. Don't be one.

You are spending enough money to buy two excellent brand-new bikes, one for commuting and touring and the other for racing. I suggest you buy the first one now (somewhere else) and the second one later.

(And the crap about aluminum and steel fatiguing in 5 years is proof that they will lie to make a sale. That's unforgivable. Forming a good relationship with a bike shop that will support you down the line is critical; this one sounds like a bad bet.)

re: which system?mackgoo
Sep 24, 2001 8:38 AM
Litespeed and Campy? Now that's a nice bike.
re: which system?marty
Sep 24, 2001 9:58 AM
Even if you can afford the $4500, think twice. I am assuming that you will be riding with groups, friends, etc., and if so, recognize that (as petty as it may seem) if you want to get the most out of riding, you will want to earn the respect of your fellow riders. We roadies can be a snobby bunch at times, and if you show up with that new Litespeed without at least a few thousand miles of road stories to go with it, you will be subject to behind-your back musings. If you shop around, you can get a great bike(with Ultegra) for under $2000. I would rather have someone admire my riding ability than my bike any day.
Okay, picture a car. Any car. Now, take out the engine.bill
Sep 24, 2001 9:59 AM
That's what you're buying. Everything but the engine (because, of course, you're the engine). And you're buying a shell in which to put YOU as the engine, in all of your repetitive motion glory.
Now, would you buy a car the way you're buying this bike? Will the engine fit the shell? Will you like the result? There are reasons to do it this way, and reasons not to do it.
If you have such confidence in this bike store guy that you will buy, essentially unseen, the car without the engine, then go ahead and do it.
But, if you think that maybe you'd like to learn a little bit about what you like or don't like about the way that engine is going to fit into the shell, or the way that the ride handles, or the way that the controls work, what are the options available, the transmission choices, etc., (because, as you can gather from the other posts, there is better and worse but mostly just different, which means, better or worse for you), then do a bit of research first, and you may find yourself laying out $4,500 on something more to your liking. Or, maybe better, buy cheap, and then, in a year or two, you'll know what you're looking at.
Caveat: My first bike was a Litespeed, purchased under similar circumstances (the difference being that I STOLE that bike -- less than a third of what you're talking about). At this point, I like the bike and it drew me into road riding. I really still don't know if it was a mistake. I do know, however, that I have spent an ABSOLUTE FRIGGIN FORTUNE since then upgrading this and that, and I think that I would have done it had I spent twice as much or half as much. So, whatever you get, I'd say you're likely to rethink it in awhile, regardless of how much thought you've put into it now. So, let that thought free you. If you're in for a penny, you're in for a pound. You can't do it perfectly, and part of the fun is re-thinking it later.
Last thought: In the scheme of things, one of the coolest things about bikes is that, for relatively modest sums compared to most other endeavors, you can own and ride the best stuff on the planet. Lowly you and me can ride, essentially, what the best pro's ride. I'll never own a Stradivarious, or a Raphael, or a house on Malibu beach, or a '58 Les Paul, or a Ferrari, but I've got some very cool bike stuff. So, I not only doubt that the Litespeed (if it fits, and, don't be intimidated by fit -- if you work with someone who knows what they're doing it's not that hard to get a good fit) will be a mistake, but, if it is, in the scheme of things, there are worse mistakes, and you can start over. Let that free you, too.
re: which system?Birddog
Sep 24, 2001 10:09 AM
This is the best collection of answers without any flames that I have seen on this board.
My advice: Buy the best bike that fits for under 2 grand. You'll get a lot of bang for the buck, a descent ride and within a year or two you'll have a much better idea of what you want in a frame. I rode a Giant Allegre for the better part of 10 years. It cost me about $450.00 and I wore out everything at least twice. I kicked some ass and I had mine kicked on that bike but it always gave me great pleasure to pass some guy on a titanium/carbon/sub atomic superbike. There is an old saying about racers "98% rider 2% bike". I have two sets of wheels that cost more than my bike complete. It is now my "beater bike" and I'm getting ready to put it's fourth paint color on it. I'll tear it down and rebuild it for bad weather and as a spare. I'll probably never get rid of it, hell I've put in excess of 45,000 miles on it, it's like an old friend. I did have one other bike in those ten years but it was stolen. I now ride a Serotta. I bought the frame used and built it up on the cheap leaving me some extra cash for all those other niceties like new tires,winter clothes, some new wheels. The list is endless.
Good Luck,
Rogan; listen to what these people say!look271
Sep 24, 2001 3:29 PM
Excellent advice. All of it. I can only think of one more thing to add. Have you ridden a bike lately? How long ago did you ride a "10 speed"? If it's been more than say, 10 years, you will be amazed at how much better shifting has become, braking; everything. Even if you get a sub 2k bike(which will still land you a very nice ride), you just won't believe how good they've gotten. Ride one of these for a couple of years; then you'll be able to appreciate a Litespeed or other higher end bike. The LBS you went to just sees $$$$$ when you come in.
Rogan; listen to what these people say!cycleguy
Sep 24, 2001 5:02 PM
I'm humbled by all the nice advice and not a word of conflict. Group hug. I must be in bizarro world.
Kinda gives you the "warm fuzzies", doesn't it?(nm)look271
Sep 24, 2001 5:23 PM
re: which system?johnjohn
Sep 24, 2001 3:45 PM
Rogan, Your post has brought out the "Wisdom of the Ages" as far as this board is concerned. I certainly hope you will heed all of the above advice. Listen, I'm brand new to all of this stuff as well and got the same pitch at the LBS. Truthfully, I was all ready to buy into the "high-end" sell, soft as it was, when at the last moment I got scared and fled the store under the pretense of wanting to do "a couple of more test-rides." The sad fact is that I hadn't even ridden a single bike other than the one the salesperson was showing me since deciding (just days earlier) to take up cycling!!! Well, I slowed things down from that point and actually spent some time shopping around and riding as many models as I could. I'm not sure I learned a helluva a lot more with these intial efforts, but it certainly didn't hurt. And wouldn't you know it, the bike I ended up liking best (all factors considered) was a $600 Univega. Go figure. Now, 1000 miles later, I'm even getting a bit better on it. I've lost 15 pounds (or as my skinny ass brother likes to call it "a Kestrel"). I still get passed A LOT, but people are very nice because they know what to make of me. More important I get to ride right next to the Pacific Ocean and I'm doing my first 1/2 Century next month.

Whatever you decide to do I hope you'll ride as many bikes as you can, educate yourself about what's out there, and figure out what you really want out of yourself and your bike. Whatever this might be, if you're honest, there's a good chance you'll be satisfied with your decision regardless of monetary considerations.
I'm gonna stick my neck out hereDog
Sep 24, 2001 7:24 PM
I bought several bikes, continually upgrading. In the long run, this cost me far more than just buying what I wanted in the beginning.

If you have the bucks, get the frame you want and the Campy Record. Do that, and you'll have no excuses, and won't need to upgrade for a long time.

You'll likely never regret the Litespeed (or Colnago...) and Record or Chorus components, or Dura Ace. They all work fine.

Splurge on yourself. Be proud of your bike. It will make you want to ride it more.

Do some shopping around, though, and think about it a lot before buying. Don't just walk in a bike store and buy the first thing a teenager recommends.

But isn't that like saying...Rich Clark
Sep 25, 2001 5:32 AM
..."since you always find things in the last place you look, you should look there first"?

How can a new road rider know what will be right for them after they've gotten a year's worth of miles in?

I'm all for investing in a good bike...Kristin
Sep 25, 2001 5:50 AM
I agree with everything you said. But it sounds like the LBS guy decided what bike Rogan should buy before the first word was spoken. He likely won't regret a Lightspeed if it fits properly. But, if its too big, or too small, or too short, or too long, he likely will regret it very much. If he wants to spend the whole chunck of change up front, that's fine. I just hope he invests in a bike that will serve him well.

Perhaps he'll be fine on any bike. It seems that some folks, yourself included, are made of rubber and can adapt physically to anything. Then there are some of us who don't bend so well in a new environment. How flexible his choice is will depend on how flexible he is.
I agree, not necessarily Litespeed, thoughDog
Sep 25, 2001 9:51 AM
Whenever I discuss buying bikes, I assume people will try to buy bikes that fit, as much as they try to buy shoes that fit. People seem to emphasize that a lot here, but with me it just seems obvious. I would never buy shoes without trying them on; why would someone spend thousands of dollars on a bike without doing the same (although bikes are a lot more adjustable than shoes are).

I agree he should look around and consider other bikes, especially if he's considering spending that much money.

Rogan: I am pleading with you for the sake of this board!!!Elefantino
Sep 24, 2001 7:42 PM
Please, PLEASE tell us which bike you end up buying. Here's why:
• If it's the Litespeed, a number of us will likely jump off cliffs — figuratively, I hope.
• If it's a Trek 1000, with an aluminum frame that will in all probability last only three or four rides before it falls apart (well, that's what the guy said, isn't it?) — or, worse, if it explodes in your garage because of the way the cheap frame welds mix with carbon monoxide or ordinary household bleach to form military-class explosive compounds — a number of us will likely feel guilty that you didn't listen to the caring LBS employee.

PS: If you REALLY want to screw us up, tell us you bought a 17-year-old Masi from a guy named Dave in Bloomington, Indiana.
Sep 25, 2001 5:34 AM
That Masi would have to be at least 22 years old. :-)

What if he buys an Airborne?Rich Clark
Sep 25, 2001 5:34 AM
Will several of us drown ourselves?

hehe. Sorry.

(Airborne owner)
Or a VooDoo Rada?!? It'll be mass hysteria. (nm)RhodyRider
Sep 26, 2001 8:20 AM