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i want an amercican bike!(28 posts)

i want an amercican bike!NL
Oct 22, 2001 1:12 PM
i'm looking for a roadbike (i quit mtb, never had a roadbike before) and can use some tips! i'm 1.77m (5'10?) and 58kg (140lbs), no races yet, just for training.
doesn't have to be the lightest bike on the planet, tiagra or ultegra would be fine. any suggestions? don't want an european bike! think i want aluminium and liked the 'mongoose' which was at interbike (saw a pic of it)
limit: $2500
thank you very much
the netherlands
re: i want an amercican bike!look271
Oct 22, 2001 1:22 PM
Try Cannondale. They have the aluminum thing down and they're made in the good 'ol USA. They have several models for less than your $2500 limit. They use some of their own components, so that makes them even more American, if that matters.
Be the envy of all your friendsmr_spin
Oct 22, 2001 1:30 PM
Why not get a Litespeed! They are American-made, and supposedly rare in Europe, unlike Trek or Cannondale. Litespeed is just starting to make aluminum bikes this year, so you are in luck, although I don't know how far your $2500 will go.

The Lotto team will be racing Litespeeds next year, so your friends will all envy you if you get one first!
Why Aluminum?jtolleson
Oct 22, 2001 1:47 PM
A lean and featherlight fellow like you may decide to think twice about frame material (no, I'm not wanting to start an "is aluminum really harsh" flame war). Just consider it. You'll need a decent size frame (56-58 cm depending on the manufacturer) and in aluminum, your slight body weight won't exact force compliance. Just a thought.

As far as the Litespeed suggestion goes, is Colo Cyclist still blowing out Classics? Then you could get one within your budget I think. Also offers some well regarded American ti built here in the Rocky Mtns.

If you want to go Al, I'd second the Cannondale recommendation.
IMHOMel Erickson
Oct 22, 2001 2:02 PM
Cannondale makes the best aluminum ride at the present time. I second look271.
third itcyclopathic
Oct 22, 2001 3:41 PM
if you want Al US bike get Cannodale.
/but for as much money you can get Ti Litespeed/
u want aluminum, you want a Klein. trust me. (nm)aet
Oct 22, 2001 2:28 PM
How "American?"grzy
Oct 22, 2001 2:46 PM
You want the frame built in the USA or the far east with an American name? It makes a difference. Probably best to avoid the MTB companies trying to get a road presence, you mostly get "me too" geometry and handling, but not always. Not that that is all bad. Ultimately it comes down to what you can test ride locally and get service and what things cost in the Netherlands. You can nail some deals mail order/net, but gettig the fit and everythng else right is all on your shoulders.

Saying you don't know exactly what you want, but that it should be aluminum seems a bit puzzling. Why not just a "good American bike" and leave yourself open on the materials. BTW - alulminum does offer one of the better values for cost and weight, but it's pretty stiff. Steel and carbon can be affordable and offer some alternitives. The Lemond Ti was being introduced right around your price point, but who knows if that still exists. One thing for sure - it's a good time to be in the market for a car or a bike. I'd hate to be working in the retail situation right now.

Cannondale is a pretty good bike - good value and lots of experience in the aluminum frame biz. You can pick up a CAAD4 for a SONG right now. Still, you MUST get the fit right or you're simply wasting your time and money.
CAAD4 for a Song? where?E-ticket
Oct 23, 2001 12:29 PM
I'm looking to buy aluminum, frame only. Can Cannondale be had on the internet, or LBS only? I'm ready to sing...
Do you know the way to.....grzy
Oct 23, 2001 1:12 PM
No, not San Jose, but rather Santa Cruz.

Call The Spokesman in Santa Cruz (831)429-6062 - they had a slew in stock a while ago. A buddy picked up a new CAAD4 frame and fork w/Cane Creek headset installed for around $630. Another scored a Kestrel 200 SCI w/fork for around $1050, new. Dunno what they currently have nor do I work there or have any vested interest. They like to call me their "virtual employee" b/c I'm always sending folks there way and they usually buy. My wages are, you guessed it, virtual. Ask for Wade, Mike or Sean and tell 'em Dr. Jekyll sent you - they'll know who it is. Hopefully the shipping will be minimal and you can avoid sales tax if it's being shipped out of state.

The Spokesman is but one of many fine bike shops in SC, but I like dealing with them the best having dealt with most of their competition. They really have the high-end covered well in addition to customer service and they're quite well connected in the industry.
why tiagra?Rusty McNasty
Oct 22, 2001 4:29 PM
the stuff is cr@p! it might be good for a hybrid, but that's about all.
Gotta go Klein. nmcioccman
Oct 22, 2001 4:41 PM
shut upWoof the dog
Oct 22, 2001 5:27 PM
Dropout is upside-down...old man got some kranky ideas about bikes, you know. Yes, Klein is probably the highest quality al. ride, but there is a reason bike doesn't get raced too often: try changing a rear and you will see what I mean.

To the original poster: you gotta stop thinking mountain bikes. You can forget forever brandnames like Bontrager (sp?), Mongoose, Raceface, Rockshox and this other really really ugly and crappy sounding mtb. jargon. Road world is ruled by Mosers, Bianchis, Cannondales, Colnagos, Pinarellos, Lightspeeds and Sevens equipped with Ultegra or Dura-ace or Chorus components and Mavic wheels. Yes, there are cross-overs like Specialized which make good bikes as well.

If you are young and light, it doesn't mean a steel frame is for you. My aluminum frame doesn't beat me up at all, 'cause I'm a young and tough dawg! When you get older and start feeling feeble and weak just like most people here (ha ha), then go ahead and get a steel bike. Or get a nice steel frame if you have money to toss left and right.


Woof the barking dog.
if you've gotta change a rear in a crit, you're already deadcioccman
Oct 22, 2001 5:37 PM
I've got a Q Pro. Incredible ride. Gotta go Klein.
Oct 22, 2001 5:48 PM
It ain't that good. What are you comparing it to? The only thing the Klien has going is funky Gucci fade paint jobs for the cafe crowd. And you pay extra for those combinations - good thing they save $$$ using cheapo aluminum construction. The word garish comes to mind. Lotsa luck doing a touch-up.

In most crits you get a free lap if you flat - assuming you don't lose two messing with your wheel, you're still in the game.
regardless of dropout direction, if you can't change a rearcioccman
Oct 23, 2001 7:19 AM
you have no place whatsoever in any crit. LOL

If it takes anyone 10 extra seconds to change a rear wheel because the opening is not facing down, you've got no place on a bike at all! LOLOLOL This is the stupidest thing I've ever heard.
Oct 23, 2001 9:54 AM
I gotta pipe in on this one. Klein has been making oversized al tubes bikes longer than anyone else. They use what they call Gradient tubing which is tapered on both the interior and exterior surfaces of the tube. This process makes the frame lighter and strengthens it at stress points. They guarantee their al frames for lifetime with the original owner.

I love my Klein, I've logged in over 15K miles and the more I ride it the more I love it.

As for the Gucci paint job, you might have a point. I was kind of taken back when I accepted delivery of my Klein. The burnt orange/yellow paint job sort of set me back (they list it as "Germany" in their 2002 color palette). I felt like I was riding a bike out of Barnum & Bailys. After awhile it grew on me. It's different to say the least. Touch up is near impossible.

The main things I don't like about my Klein is the Rolf wheels which I can't get parts for, the Icon junk which my LBS never has in stock. And the Shimano sti shifters that I can't rebuild.

As for changing the rear wheel. The first time I changed a flat I went my mote and couldn't figure out why I couldn't yank the rear wheel out of the drop outs. Then it dawned on me I was pulling in the wrong direction. When I replaced the wheel, same problem, I ended up scratching the right chain stay, before I discovered the problem. I don't race, so time is not a factor. I'd say once you get used to it, it's a no brainer.

I'm debating whether to purchase another Klein. If I do, I'd pick a paint I could touch up and check into touch up paint. I'd purchase the 2001 quantum pro frameset, and have it built up. The 2002 with carbon fiber seat stays might be a bit pricy for my taste. The only drawback would be owning two al bikes, seems like I would like a bike constructed from different tubing such as steel, so I could have two different ride qualities.

If you're talking American bikes the list is long. First the comes to my mind is good old American custom steel such as Strong, Steelman, Anvil, Moon, Sachs....

My own thinking is that oversized al is best suited for big guys who want stiff frame with no flex in the bottom bracket. I've never felt my Klein too harsh, but when I slapped on a ti railed saddle I was in heaven.

My third bike, when I hit the age of 64 in five years, will be ti or carbon.

I learned that whatever you buy, be aware of marketing gimmiks and avoid botique wheels that come and go in two years. Stick with stuff that has been around awhile and parts are readily available at your LBS. Unless you have two rides it avoids downtime as I am going through now.

I've never heard a guy who owns a Klein rag on his own bike, but this probably owns true for any bike....
Oct 22, 2001 5:42 PM
Old farts get TI frames when they have real money to toss around. Sometimes long before they get old. The ride of steel and the weight of aluminum...or something like that! I got it instead of Viagra, works like a charm. ;-)

Woofie's right - ditch the MTB bias.
spank the monkey!bn
Oct 23, 2001 10:52 AM
mnkyboy you should know better- no ti ride truly replicates the feel of steel, get real! don't be tryin' to make an apple an orange.
Oct 23, 2001 1:22 PM
Yeah, steel is heavier, requires paint, rusts and is better suited to mass production. Still have my real steel ride. Dunno too many people who worry about paint on a ti ride. There's apples, then there's crab apples...
I know its not al, but Gunnar is US all the wayDoothaBartman
Oct 22, 2001 7:13 PM
Gunnar makes steel frames in Wisconsin or Michigan, I can't remember which, but like another poster said, it's not a U.S. company putting bikes together in another country. I'd really think twice about alluminum if I were you. I bought an alluminum bike that set me back 1700, and that was cost to retailer... I figured cause it was so expensive and so high tech as far as frame design and materials that I would have zero complaints with the bike. A year later I realized how wonderfull steel frames are. I found a Gunnar frame for sale on ebay for 350, and I got a Profile carbon fork for another 120. Altogether, if you wanted to build up a Gunnar frame, you could do it for around 14 or 15 hundred dollars, or you could just get one of their package deals and pay a bit more. I don't think I'll ever ride alluminum again after getting my Gunnar, and I recomend them to anyone, despite the fact it's such an inexpensive option.
Gunnar is coolLeisure
Oct 22, 2001 10:24 PM
It may be a slightly watered-down Waterford but it's definitely US, it's still a well-constructed Reynolds 853 frame and it's got great ride quality. Brand new it's ~$600, and even at full retail you could get it with full Dura-Ace or Chorus and still undercut your budget.
But I'm biased because I just got one. Mine was with Campy Daytona components and the reasonably expensive Wound-up fork, and at retail it was ~$1900. You can look up their stuff on
re: i want an amercican bike!MJ
Oct 23, 2001 12:52 AM
I thought Mongoose was English...?

anyways - you can get a number of good American bikes in NL, or order them from the states - but (generally) your money will go farther in Europe if you buy a European bike - so if you don't mind blowing money to get the same thing the big two; Cannondale and Trek, are widely sold in the NL, Kleins are as well...

in NL the further you get away from those two or three the less likelihood of finding anything in a shop that you can test ride or covet whilst drooling

it seems like everybody else's suggestions are on the money for an 'American' bike, though really you're just talking about the frame - a number of integral bike parts (like Shimano/Campie) aren't US based...

good luck
MONGOOSE??? You gotta be kidding!!DAC
Oct 23, 2001 4:00 AM
Mongeese are low-end chinese-built garbage! They sell them at Wal-Mart for $69 each!
I don't even think there IS a mongoose roadbike! Even before they became department store junk, they were only ATB and BMX.
Do you REALLY want to buy from a company that pimps their corporate name in dime stores?
Sorry, Charlie...MikeC
Oct 23, 2001 11:31 AM
There are two types of Mongoose- the "dime store" bikes and some pretty decent MTB and road bikes. There are some major league riders using Mongoose MTBs, and this is a very good bargain ti road bike:
Mongoose Bosberg-Made in the USA
Custom drawn 3AL/2.5V Ti with bi-ovalized down tube, bullet rear stays, 6AL/4V machined dropouts
Reynolds Ouzo Comp carbon fiber fork with alloy steerer
Cane Creek Aerohead wheelset with titanium spokes
Shimano Ultegra/Dura Ace drivetrain
3TTT Forgie handlebar and stem
Is that a Mercian made in US???nm
Oct 23, 2001 11:40 AM
Mercian is British (nm)Rusty McNasty
Oct 23, 2001 11:53 AM
you're really slow, McNusty!nfm
Oct 23, 2001 11:56 AM