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In search of...uhm...the bike!(14 posts)

In search of...uhm...the bike!Woof the dog
Sep 26, 2001 1:26 AM
Friend got his bike stolen and insurance (home-owner's) covered that with $2200. He likes to ride, and occasionally race (D's collegiate), and wants to have "a nice bike." He was thinking about something Italian, like Colnago, or a Ti frame, but I am like: dude, you don't have enough money for that. He doesn't know too much about different components, materials, prices and stuff, while I am feeling lost with the wealth of info. I don't know where to begin.

So many options: steel vs. aluminum. What wheels - ksyriums vs. custom durace hubs wheelset? Custom frame or stock frame for that money? Where to look for a frame: online or better at the bikeshop?

Obviously, the most important thing is the frame (and fit). Say, he is 170-80 lbs lowly cat 5. Previous bike was Moser. Any ideas? Hell, just tell me how would you spend 2200-2500 bucks?

Thanks a lot. Remember, your suggestions will help us decide on a bike he wants to have for a while. It will be his only bike.


Woof the dog.
re: In search of...uhm...the bike!nestorl
Sep 26, 2001 5:18 AM
This is how I would spend 2500:

1. spend considerable amount of time deciding what is the right geometry for the frame.. Go to LBS. Say I want to get measured and am looking for a high end bike..they will love me (at least as long as they think I will spend 2500 there). I would need to make sure I know the size of seat tube (and whether it is c-c, c-t, etc), Top tube, stem, stand over clearance, etc.

2. Then, go online and buy the frame that fits... something below 1500 would do...Kestrel CF), LOOK (Ti), or maybe a Cinelli Alante (Alum and CF). ALL mid-top of the line.

3. Then buy a Durace kit (try

4. have the lbs put it together..

I'll have an amazing race-ready bike for the money.

Isn't that just a little unethical?NewRoadBiker
Sep 26, 2001 5:50 AM
I mean, even though I haven't been super satisfied with the service at my LBS (mainly the owners fault, not the guys who work there), I don't think I could bring myself to using them for the fit process and then buying on-line! Even a step beyond that, then going back and having them assemble the bike I had them measure me for and then bought it on-line!?! That would seem a little too weird to do. What the person who posted should do is to find someone in his/her area that they could *pay* to do a bike fit for them...there's a guy in Knoxville (Greenlee's Bike Shop - Doc) that will do a fit set-up for $45, maybe they could find a similar deal in their locale. Then buy the bike on-line and then finally take it to the LBS and pay for assembly. That would be a reasonable thing to do IMO. :)

Isn't that just a little unethical?nestorl
Sep 26, 2001 6:29 AM
I disagree... If the bike shop wants a custumer they will be willing to measure me, even if they thought I was not going to buy the frame there. By doing so, they ensure that they will have my business for a long long time. Whoever is charging 45 for a bike fit is who is really being UNETHICAL!!! It takes about 15 minutes of a lbs mechanic's time.

For the bike shop this are the choices:

1. refuse to help me and loose my business..
2. spend the 15 minutes and then charge me 100 put the bike together PLUS have me come bike for all my LBS needs.

Where is the unethical issue here?
Well...maybe it wouldn't be ifNewRoadBiker
Sep 26, 2001 7:11 AM
you were up front with the LBS about what you were going to do, but I do still think it'd be a little weird. ...and if you were upfront about the fact that you were going to buy on-line, they would probably charge you for their time to do the measurements, unless you've got a really good shop who has the foresight to look to future sales or you know somebody there. Anyways, I suppose we'll have to agree to disagree on this one.

BTW, the $45 I mentioned for the fit at one of the local shops, I believe is a more extensive process than what you're talking about. In other words, I'm told he does all the measurements and then when the bike is assembled he takes the time with you on a trainer to get everything just right...I believe this takes a bit more time than 15 minutes, but I'm no expert by any means! :) In fact, as my username indicates, I'm just a new road biker...and loving it thus far! :o)

Even betterRich Clark
Sep 26, 2001 6:03 AM
Do all that, except have the LBS order the frame and parts too.

Pick a shop that has an ace wheelbuilder, and have them hand-build the wheels.

Be amazed when the total price including labor is very close to the same as it would have been just buying the LBS's labor and ordering the parts/frame online.

And be very satisfied when, down the line, you find that your ongoing relationship with that good LBS with the great wheelbuilder is priceless.

two $1000 bikes from Haiku
Sep 26, 2001 5:25 AM
because you said it would be his only bike. i faced the same, only to find that once i had my specialized, which came in at around $1k, and then the bianchi, around $1k, and a new saddle that worked well enough, and some cages, seatpacks, cycle computers and the other flotsam, you're around $2200-$2500.

just my take on it. i have a spare if the main ride is needing maintenance or major repairs, tires are wearing out and i'm waiting for mail order delivery, etc., and a little variety is nice. it's even nice to have two identicals.

if i had it to do again, i'd do the same--but, in my case, i had $1000 the first time and the words to convince my the second time. now, if i had $5k to spend on a bike, i'd surely have two really nice $2k bikes and some spare crap for my parts bin and lycra drawer.
Sep 26, 2001 6:03 AM
Should be plenty available in that price range. I'd start from the Moser and try to figure out what I would change about that bike in terms of fit, geometry, stiffness, etc. There are lots of frames for $800 or less to choose from. I'd get a Chorus or Ultegra build kit and have a few bucks left over for accessories.

I wouldn't recommend deliberately deceiving your LBS by wasting their time fitting you for a bike you have no intention of buying. Eventually you will have to go there because you need their help and it's best to have a good relationship when you do. They won't resent your buying a bike elsewhere, but nobody likes to feel tricked.
since you asked what I would do ...jacu
Sep 26, 2001 6:33 AM
Here's what I would do with 2200-2500.

Frame: Steelman SR525 .... about a grand with fork.

Group: Ultegra, but upgrade to Dura Ace STI ... about a grand in the latest CC catalog. I'm sure you could find a better price, CC was just handy.

Bars/stem/ etc: whatever comes with the group above. IMO, doesn't really matter that much (especially on a budget).

There you have it. A semi-custom handmade frame/fork from NorCal's best builder (and the best builder in the country, if you ask me) built with a group good enough for recreational riding and the occasional Cat5 crashfest.

totally agree!milkman
Sep 26, 2001 3:25 PM
I think these guys make some sweet frames, fully customized. I am personally looking into the MTB frame, but if I was looking into a second road bike, this would be the one.
Tommasini Sintesi with Chorus 10...C-40
Sep 26, 2001 9:20 AM
If you want a high quality classic Italian bike, this is s great one for around $2200. I rode one for several years and always enjoyed it. Colorado Cyclist is one source. Unfortunately they are only stocking one color and 2cm increments on the frame size (they're made in 1cm increments and many colors).

GVH bikes has some nice looking Viners on their web site that would be worth investigating.
re: In search of...uhm...the bike!Turtleherder
Sep 26, 2001 11:56 AM
Check out GVH bikes. Gary always has good deals on some fine machines. Might be able to pick up a landshark for that price. Would second the Tommasini. I have one, it rides like a dream and is a thing of beauty. Also check out the Kestrel Talon. Bonded, all carbon fiber frame from a company that knows how to make them. Around $2,200 with full Ultegra I believe. There are almost too many choices in that price range to list. Research it fully and ride as many as you can.
re: In search of...uhm...the bike!snapdragen
Sep 26, 2001 6:25 PM
This is exactly what my friend did when his bike was stolen. The LBS charged $75 for a complete fit, measured him from head to toe. Then put him on a trainer and watched him pedal for about 20 minutes. Gave him an extremely thorough report - down to recommeded shoes - then helped him pick out his bike from Colorado Cyclist! (He went with the Douglas frame)
Thanx all (nm)Woof the dog
Sep 28, 2001 12:14 AM