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Can I get another opinion?(22 posts)

Can I get another opinion?DoctorNurse
Dec 11, 2001 1:09 PM
Okay...I am thinking about my bike for next season (something I know a lot of us are also doing) and I have decided on a mid level steel frame of some stripe (Probably Torelli/Mondonico/Merckx, maybe Olmo or Carerra- about 1200-1500 F+F) and running Campy Daytona....Okay, big decisions made...

Given that I anticipate racing with this bike, but can really only afford 1 bike on a somehat limited budget (~$2500-$2800 complete, and I mean out-the-door-ready-to-go complete!) I wanted to do some small upgrades and I wanted to hear what you cats thought about my selections....

1. Upgrading BB/Cranks to Chorus
2. Chris King Headset
3. Open Pro wheels with Chorus Hubs
4. 24 SS spokes (Radial lacing on front)
5. 28 SS spokes (2x drive side and radial lacing non-drive
side on rear)
6. Brass Nipples (I want light and fast, but I'm also not
trying to true wheels every 5 minutes)
7. Not sure about shoes/pedals yet....
5. Bar, stem and seat will depend on the fitting I intend
to get for this ride,

Overall, do these changes make sense given my overall objective of making the most reasonable/affordable (although I ain't got noooo problems paying for good quality stuff, esp. if it'll last me awhile!) upgrades possible in order to have an efficient, fast, reliable, easy to maintain bike (I am currently tweaking the engine as we speak!)

BTW, I am a lightweight...6'1' and 155 lbs, been riding for almost a year now and money is a little tite (with all my student loan payments and all), but I am looking for the best quality ride possible....Should I just go with a full gruppo upgrade? Any wheel suggestions? Any suggestions period?

Thanks for your input!

Peace....

DoctorNurse
my $.02gtx
Dec 11, 2001 1:21 PM
for $2500 w/o pedals you should be able to get full DA or Chorus, but that may require that you build the bike yourself. Chorus, especially, can be had very cheap from a place like:

http://www.totalcycling.com/

Yes on the brass nips, standard handbuilt wheels and King hs!!!

If you want steel, I would say you should at least consider some of the top US builders like Steelman or IF. I have a Merckx, and though I love it, it is not of the same build quality as my US-built bikes.

Oh, BTW, Steelman has a deal right now--10% off complete bikes--should fit right into your budget with DA or Chorus.

http://www.steelmancycles.com

Have fun!
must agreejacu
Dec 11, 2001 7:58 PM
For that amount of money, you simply could not do better than a Steelman. The build quality and aesthetics of a Steelman will be much better than the Euro frames you mentioned. And for $2500, you should be able to get a Stage Race (Steelman's all-around road frame) with a sensible full Dura Ace or Chorus build.

And by all means, if you opt for a Steelman get the steel fork and stem. Sure, it's a wee bit heavier, but the cool factor more than outweighs a few trivial grams!

And yes, I may be a little bit biased. I do ride a Steelman. And I do think that Brent Steelman is a totally professional class act. Best active framebuilder in the US, I think.

Check out his website. And, call him up. It will either be Brent or his wife (can't remember her name at the moment) who answers the phone.

Best of luck,

jacu
re: Can I get another opinion?cioccman
Dec 11, 2001 1:24 PM
For under $3000 you can get full bore Record 10 with carbon levers, carbon seatpost, the whole enchilada. I did, even got Nucleons with AP Light tires.....

I didn't go steel either....
re: GVHbikes, one bike, one build kit, two sets of wheelsdzrider
Dec 11, 2001 1:25 PM
Get my vote for most cost effective way to do what you want to do. Upgrades to headsets, bottom brackets, and stuff like that don't make a lot of difference in performance. Wheels do. Get a good solid 32 hole wheelset for training and a lighter pair for race days. You can do all that with a good steel frame from GVH.
CK headsetKEN2
Dec 11, 2001 1:46 PM
You don't mention how long you plan to keep this bike, but unless it's something like "indefinitely," I think the CK headset is overkill for function, i.e. I would take about $50 and buy a reasonable headset (lots of good choices out there) that will function absolutely the same as the CK and put the other $50 into better wheels, shoes, anything where it will really make some difference. Nothing agains CK mind you... But if you're really on a budget, the difference between, say, Sidi Genius shoes and typical $100 shoes is really noticeable.
total overkillgtx
Dec 11, 2001 4:22 PM
if/when he sells the frame he can keep the King hs. But I agree with you. I actually like the $35 Ultegra hs (as far as I can tell it's the same as DA but with a steel crown race). Too bad Shimano isn't doing a threadless hs. I use a King on my mtb.
Yupgrzy
Dec 11, 2001 6:53 PM
Problem is he then has to spend more money to sell his bike. Overkill for sure, but anything worth doing is worth overdoing. Right?

A Shimano Ultegra level HS is a good sealed unit and works fine. You can make it threadless by boring it out on a lathe if you know anyone who has access or a kid taking metal shop in high school (do they still offer it?).
get the chorus group...C-40
Dec 11, 2001 2:34 PM
The chorus group is the best value. No upgrades are needed. It's usually not cost effective to get Daytona and upgrade only a few items. You get the best deal on a complete group.

If you want 28H hubs, you have to get record hubs. 24H hubs are not available in chorus or record. I don't believe open-pros are available with less than 28 holes. If you use 32H chorus hubs, DT revolution spokes will keep the weight to a minimum.

The Colnago Master X-light (steel) frame & fork can be had for as low as $1000 from places like sdeals.com or totalcycling.com. If the geometry fits, it's an excellent value.
re: Another opinionallervite
Dec 11, 2001 2:48 PM
You can save about a 1/4 pound with a Ti bottom bracket.
You can save considerable weigth with after-market hubs.
You can save important rotating weight with aluminum nipples which would be ok for a light rider
Chris King is top notch quality stuff, but you are not going to save any weight and it's going to cost you a lot compared to generic.
re: Can I get another opinion?tr
Dec 11, 2001 2:54 PM
My two cents, I like the Carrera with chorus. If you shop real good you can buy everything you need for a good total and then have someone realiable build it up for you. I think headset is the least important on your list and that shoes and pedals should rank higher than 7. All in all your choices are fine.
re: Can I get another opinion?tr
Dec 11, 2001 5:28 PM
I forgot to add that i think Daytona is fine also. I have a bike that has daytona 10 on it and have ridden it many miles and it does just fine. The only thing i don't like is the bottom bracket and that is just on looks alone, not performance.
My 2 cents:rckymtnmd
Dec 11, 2001 3:01 PM
I think that you will be very happy with any of those frames and Daytona parts. One of my road bikes is Equipped with Daytona 10 and I love it. Here is my opinion.

1.Keep the Daytona crank but upgrade the BB to a Phil Wood unit.
2.Great headset but I have never had a problem with Campy units (Chorus).
3.Open Pros with Daytona hubs. There is almost no difference between Chorus and Daytona hubs. I own both and the biggest difference is the skewer.
4.Both Chorus and Daytona hubs only come in 32 & 36 hole. Radial spoking will void the warranty on Campy hubs.
5.Ditto, One thing to consider is the new Campy Zonda wheels. From what I have read they seem like they will be a good value.
6.I have used both and I have never noticed that the Al nipple wheels lose their true faster than brass.
7.I ride Campy Pro Fits. I like them but the release is pretty high. For shoes, you’ll have to try them on and find what is comfortable.
8.I ride TTT bars for no particular reason.
re: Can I get another opinion?Bernie
Dec 11, 2001 4:56 PM
Everything looks fine, except for them Brass Nipples. Those things will slow you way down. On climbs, brass nipples are a killer. I know many people who have lost races simply cause some sales person talked them into getting brass nipples for their wheels. Don't go brass, they weigh a ton, and they always seize at the worst possible moment.
Hope I'm not barking up the wrong tree here...Dog Breath
Dec 11, 2001 5:55 PM
The framesets you mentioned tend to be somewhat pricey because there is a middle man involved. The importer marks them up, and then later the shop. I would only buy them on closeout.

I hate to always bang the GVH drum (gvhbikes.com, but he seems to be the go to guy for closeouts. He also imports Viner direct, compare the prices with other frames, they seem like a great value. His build kits set the benchmark for pricing.

Excel sports has Gios steel frames from $349, once again the price is low because they are importing direct, and the weight is only a few hundred grams more than Ti.

I would spend as little as possible to get a relatively light racing bike that will be durable for training, and will hold up in a crash. If money is tight, you will need it for entry fees, transportation to races, proper food, shoes, replacement parts, entry fees, clothing, contingencies, etc.

I haven't done any research on the lower priced groupos, but I will tell you that I am a big Campy fan. Having said that, I think for a low cost racing bike Ultegra is probably worth exploring because it may offer better value, and parts are easier to find, including Shimano compatible aftermarket wheelsets.

There have been some engineering types of late on the various boards who have debunked the notion that saving rotating weight, such as in wheels, makes a significant performance difference over saving frame or other weight. There is an article on this at bike.com. Keep in mind that you may not be racing on smooth surfaces. I would go for a 32 or 28 spoke setup, without the fancy lacing if durability is important to you. Save the tricks for your second set of wheels.

My recomendation: Viner Nemo with Ultegra. Maybe upgrade the cranks to Dura Ace. If you are going to be putting in big miles and want a wide platform Look PP296 are cheap and easy to find (look on eBay). Speedplay are lighter, but the cleat weight is more, and the platform is small. With the right stem, seatpost, and saddle you will have a bike in the 18 pound range, which is plenty light enough. If you are really worried about weight, save 3.5 oz by running a down tube shifter on the left side. It will clean up the front of the bike as well. My wheel builder recommends Mavic Open Pro with brass nipples. This would be a killer bike for less than $2K I'm guessing. Plus if you crash and ruin the frame you can probably replace it for around $650 or so. Price it out. It will probably be a pleasant surprise. If you trust Easton Carbon for handle bars and post, they are cheap on eBay right now.
Just be prepared to wait a few weeks because the vendor - all4bikes? does not keep them in stock.

For shoes, I would opt for the Sidi Shadow (look overseas, they are cheap there). They are convenient, secure, light, and not overly stiff. Many go to a sloping top tube frame in their quest to safe a few ounces, while ignoring the shoe factor. The Sidis are light. Avoid the Energy. It is has unecessary gimicks and the parts can and do come off.

Hope this is of help to you.
OK, you smell bad also!!grzy
Dec 11, 2001 6:49 PM
Sorry, I know it's an old joke, but given your handle I thought you might appreciate it. Maybe not?
another .02Leisure
Dec 12, 2001 12:49 AM
-I've got (newer) Daytona and I think the hubs are the highlight of the group. They're about $5 cheaper than Chorus, $10 cheaper than Record. It won't cost much to upgrade, but it won't matter much either.

-In retrospect, I wish I had gotten the CK headset, but it's not a big deal that I didn't (yet).

-Going from Daytona to Chorus cranks probably won't feel much different. One thing I might look into though are the FSA carbon cranks, possibly with the soon-to-be-released megalight FSA Ti ISIS BB. Those cranks are really stiff, and that BB will end up with the NEXT LPs on my mtb before long.

-I'm with Canis Belchus on making your first wheelset reliable before lightweight. Stick with 2-3x. The weight-savings of radial lacing are small, almost noone warranties their hubs for it, and my general observation is that it feels kinda sloppy.

-If you're still determined to go radial, Chris King is the only hub I know of off-hand that warranties their hubs for that lacing, and they are also one of the few companies that will be Campy-10 compatible anytime soon. I've found that you can mute the buzz a bit with generous internal greasing, but I'd recommend having it done by someone that's pretty familiar with the hubs. I've heard the engagement mechanism can be finicky.
re: Can I get another opinion?mackgoo
Dec 12, 2001 3:25 AM
Check out www.sdeals.com depending on where you were looking for group price's you may find you can afford Record. These guy's can not be beat on price.
When you get to a certain level with components most evaluation is truly opinion.
Thanks so much for all the info!DoctorNurse
Dec 12, 2001 5:40 AM
Wow!

I come into work today and get this treasure trove of info and suggestions....How cool is that? (And they say that the members of this board aren't any good...Pish tosh!)

Look folks, thanks a ton...I will definitely take your suggestions re: lower cost, stronger wheelsets and headsets, more carefully consider my hub/spoke combo, and use the extra $$ to invest in some high end shoes and the appropriate pedals...

One question? Any drawbacks to AL nips? I can dig that the Brass ones are heavier, but still not too sure what the deal is on AL...Again, thanks everybody!

peace....

DoctorNurse
nipplesDog
Dec 12, 2001 6:42 AM
unless this is a special featherweight climbing bike, AND the wheels will be EXPERTLY built, stick with the brass; ain't worth the risk (alum is weaker)
re: Can I get another opinion?Spox
Dec 12, 2001 5:44 AM
If money is tight, full Daytona works well; a friend of mine did pretty well in Junior Worlds with full D's...forget that CK; invest on good hubs and build wheels w/ 28 revolutions like 3x in both and alloy nipples w/ Locktite; pretty light and durable. Saddle and shoes/pedals and fitting is most important because they are the 'interface'...glittering and showstoppers are useless, because if you start racing, there is always risk of crash...for a racer bike is a tool. If your good enough 'they' give you DA's or Records. Save your moneys to massage and tests and coach and and and...

Like remember when Jeremy Yates took rainbow jersey with almost stock Avanti Kona (pretty cheapo tool) in long final sprint (flyer)
Agree re Gary Hobbs, and let me add . . .DCW
Dec 12, 2001 7:37 AM
a vote for Ksyriums and cassette installed from TC or Sdeals for about $550. Gary could have you out the door, less wheels and cassette, for under $1700-1800 for built steel, with upgrades to stem and bars. That gives you room for other essentials, including a six pack of Extran and a TdF tape.

My K's have given me no trouble or out-of- true problems in 4000+ miles. Can't say that about the predecessor Chorus/OP's. A lot of folks here rip pre-built wheels, largely on the basis of price, but my only experience is with K's. They're great.