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Comfortable, all-day road bike?(16 posts)

Comfortable, all-day road bike?mtnbiker62
Sep 25, 2001 6:39 AM
Do any manufacturers still make a comfortable bike that can be ridden all day? When I started riding, I had a steel Bianchi Trofeo. It had parallel 73 degree angles, and was a very comfortable ride. For the last 4 years, I've been riding an aluminum road bike that's slowly been pounding my butt and back to mush. I'd like to get back to that feeling I had with my Bianchi, so I'm looking for recommendations. Budget is an important concern for me, so please don't recommend any high zoot boutique bikes...I'm an everyday working stiff, with two kids in school and the threat of layoffs hanging over my head every day! Thanks in advance.
re: Comfortable, all-day road bike?mackgoo
Sep 25, 2001 6:49 AM
As you say really still you can't beat steel for comfort. Look for an older EL-OS that was the bread and butter a few years ago. I must say I just picked up an old Ti Bianchi and it's pretty darn comfortable. Get a Bianchi EL-OS you'll be in heaven. Keep on the lookout. I've seen the EL's on E bay.
touring bike??alex the engineer
Sep 25, 2001 7:01 AM
Maybe you need the longer wheelbase of a touring or audax/sport touring bike?
Trek makes the 520, which is an affordable steel touring bike, and the 1200, which is a fairly comfortable aluminum sport-tourer. Mercian makes a couple of audax bikes and touring bikes, as well as many road bikes, and with the pound sterling being so much less than the dollar, even with shipping and duty included, you can't beat their prices. All of their frames are steel, and they will make a bike to your order.
English Bikes.MB1
Sep 25, 2001 7:16 AM
They really make some intriguing models and seem to have entirely different riding and style concepts than American manufacturers. I'd love to have one someday but the wife would insist I sell something first.

Thorn bicycles from St. John Street Cycles has a nice web site with a good service reputation.
English Bikes.De-ranger
Sep 25, 2001 7:22 AM
Try Kate Winslett...
How about a used tourer?cory
Sep 25, 2001 7:44 AM
Several years ago I bought a used Trek 620 (Reynolds 531, touring geometry) just for a knockaround bike. It was really cheap out of the newspaper--I think half the families in America have something similar stuck away in the garage--but had decent (for its day) componenents and was in good shape.
I rode it as it was for awhile, then over the last few years it's had tires from 700x23 to 700x35, Brooks saddles, mountain bike bars, mustache bars, priest bars, downtube-, bar-end and thumb shifters (both indexed and friction) and now, since I converted it to a single speed, no shifters at all. Through all the weird stuff I've done to it, it's just rolled along, solid, fast enough and, until I got my Atlantis last year, the most comfortable bike I've ever owned.
Second thatscottfree
Sep 25, 2001 7:59 AM
When the entire world went 'touring bike' in the mid-80s, some fantastic bikes were made (especially in Japan), sold to slap-happy Americans, and never ridden. They're still out there -- as Cory says, stuck in half the garages of America -- and if you keep an eye peeled, for less than hundred bucks you can have the sweetest all-day ride imaginable.
as long as we're talking about English bikes -MJ
Sep 25, 2001 7:48 AM
Paul Donohue does a sweet custom steel job. 631 may be a more forgiving frame material than 853 - it doesn't weigh any more (to people who don't talk grams per part) and is cheaper.

good deals (no high zoot) and you get to deduct VAT - Euro Tax

my custom cross bike with a Daytona triple came in at US$1500 (including VAT - which you get to deduct)

if you want to go with an 'American' bike the Trek idea above sounds good - but custom shouldn't be overlooked (Steelman is reasonable as are others)

it sounds like you're after a tourer though - have you checked the reviews?
Tell us more, what style of bike and what do you use it for? nmMB1
Sep 25, 2001 8:30 AM
re: Mercian/Bob JacksonSteveS
Sep 25, 2001 8:56 AM
When I was cycle touring in the UK a couple of weeks ago, I dropped off my old King of Mercia touring frame to be repainted by Bob Jackson and while at the shop, bought a Bob Jackson touring bike. I can't guarantee it, but when they arrive here in a few weeks, I might end up selling my classic 56cm Mercian with a new paint job. Great riding and beautiful bike, especially if you can appreciate lugs. (Of course, I will still have the brand new Bob Jackson for my next tour.)
steal is realbianchi boy
Sep 25, 2001 8:59 AM
Most of the US mass bike mfgs have quit making steel bikes because everyone is so caught up on low weight. I agree with you about aluminum frames, despite what many proponents claim, and feel that steel frames are significantly more comfortable. There are still some nice steel bikes around, if you shop around. Lemond Zurich or Buenos Aires, for example, if the long top tubes fit you. Some other examples Jamis, KHS.

Some of best selection and prices for steel bikes I have seen are at GVH has a wide selection of US and Italian steel frames and great prices on build kits. You could buy a quality steel frame (eg, Casati) with Daytona 10-speed (or Ultegra 9) for about $1,200 from GVH. Not bad. Another nice option are the Gios steel frames at, which you could buy for about the same price built up, if you like a frame with a shorter top tube. Or the Tomassini Sintesi sold by, which is about $1,600 w/ Ultegra group.
re: Comfortable, all-day road bike?Rich Clark
Sep 25, 2001 9:49 AM
It sure does sound to me like you're a candidate for a steel or ti touring bike. Something with relaxed geometry, long chainstays, maybe some squooshier tires.

In the $1k and under category, look at the Trek 520, Fuji Touring, Bianchi Volpe, Novara Randonee. You can put racks and fenders on 'em, and they make great commuters too. Not particularly light, but tall gearing in back to help get up hills.

My all-day country road bike is a ti Airborne Carpe Diem, set up as a light touring bike. With 700x32c tires and a Selle Italia Max Trans Am saddle, 42.5cm chainstays and a chro-moly fork, it's a very very comfortable ride that's still reasonably light.

The Bianchi San Remo may be pretty close to the bike you remember, too.

what I'll use it for...mtnbiker62
Sep 25, 2001 10:34 AM
I'm attempting to get back into some semblence of physical condition, and I need to lose quite a bit of weight. The bike will be used mostly for LSD training...on my current bike, my butt can only stand rides of about 2 hours or less.
re: Comfortable, all-day road bike?Me Dot Org
Sep 25, 2001 11:13 AM
Have you tried the Bianchi Veloce (Campy) or Reynolds 631 Ultegra)? I rode a Veloce on the aids ride this year and found it extremely comfortable. A little further down on the Bianchi line is the Eros with Mirage components and a steel fork.
Consider a used BridgestoneMel Erickson
Sep 25, 2001 12:44 PM
These can often be had for a song and were/are very well designed and made bicycles (although not imported to the US since around '94). Grant Petersen, founder of Rivendell, was the product manager for Bridgestone and his influence shows. Rivendell is famous for rethinking bicycle fit and empahsizes comfort. A Bridgestone RB-1 recently sold on E-bay for $400 with an assortment of high end, but slightly dated, parts. It was 7-spd but undoubtedly a comfort machine that would also perform.
Cheap Solutiongrzy
Sep 25, 2001 1:34 PM
Put a set of narrow slicks from Conti, et al on your MTB. For less than $100 you'll have a very comfy ride and money left over to buy shoes for your kids. Get exotic and have a second set of wheels so you can swap between knobbies and slicks in a 60 seconds flat.