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Wretched advice, et al, Part II(30 posts)

Wretched advice, et al, Part IIJekyll
Jul 1, 2002 11:03 AM
OK, so we seem to have established that telling a newbie that a C-40 with Record and Lew's is probably a bit much. And that there is no compelling reason to spend more than $500-750 on bike and gear to try out the sport (or less if you can find something used).

Let us them turn the spot light back on ourselves: What was your first "real" road bike? (not "I rode a hybrid or MTB" kind of thing - but your first real skinny tire, drop bar job)

Me? I worked summers mowing the grass at the place my dad worked to buy a Schwinn World Sport (around 1985, I think). I raced on that bike and rode it from 4 years - if I see one like it again on eBay, etc I may pick it up just for the memories.
I probably enjoyed that bike as much as or more as all of the long list of multi thousand dollar machines I have owned since then.
Well, if it has to be skinny tires and drop barsscottfree
Jul 1, 2002 11:30 AM
that would exclude the Hercules/Sturmey-Archer 3-speed 'English Racer' I bought used for 30 bucks in 1961 and rode the living hell out of until I got motorized in '67 at age 16. Five years later, back from 'Nam and in college, I bought -- once again used, for 60 bucks -- a no-name (Columbia?) 10-speed (we'd call it a 5 speed nowadays) with stem shifters that must have weighed 40 pounds. Rode the living crap out of it, thought it was wonderful. Various used bikes followed, of varying quality.

Never bought a new bike, or spent significant money on one, until I spent $550 for a Univerga Sportour in 1984, high-zoot for the time with top-of-the-line Suntour. Still ride that bike a lot.

Since then, I've spent millions (my wife would say). But I had tens of thousands of 'cheap-bike base miles' in before I started spending real money on new bikes, or worrying much about what I rode.
re: Wretched advice, et al, Part IIhikerryank
Jul 1, 2002 11:32 AM
Mine was a Fuji Team I bought about a year ago new for $1300. Spent my graduation money on it. As I mentioned before, now it is a loaner bike and soon will be lit up like a christmas tree for night riding.
out of curiosity, what was wrong with it?ET
Jul 1, 2002 12:16 PM
Colorado Cyclist made it sound like the Fuji Team was the meanest, fastest, winningest speed rocket on the planet, all for a very reasonable price.
My first...PsyDoc
Jul 1, 2002 11:36 AM
...real road bike was the Sears Spirit (I think that is what it was called). A red, white, and blue paint job 10-speed that my parents got me for Christmas around 1978. I got some real quick use out of it as my mom left the gate open and my dog decided to take in some different scenery. I rode about 4-hours on the bike before I finally found him. My mom decided to have him neutered to keep him from wandering...good thing my dad did not like to wander.

The first road bike I bought myself was a white Univega around 1980. I worked full-time in a pet shop one summer to buy it. When I saw it, I just had to have it and put $25 down for the LBS to hold it for me and then I made weekly installments until it was paid off. After the Univega, I bought a Trek 2300 (carbon main triangle and neon yellow aluminum stays, headtube, and BB), then a Merlin Extralight, and have been riding a Seven Axiom Ti for 9 months.
2000 Trek 1000 w/ soraPhatMatt
Jul 1, 2002 11:53 AM
Mine was a 2000 trek 1000 w/sora and shimano 545 for pedals. I bought it used and it hooked me. I did not like the shifting on it very well, but than again my MTB had XTR and I was use to pretty good shifting. Other than that and teh sh!ty a$$ plastic handelbar tape the bike wan not bad. It was good enough to hook me and, and get me to work every sunday for 2.5 months to save the OT to buy a new bike.
Schwinn Letour...circa 1975ColnagoFE
Jul 1, 2002 11:46 AM
console shifting. heavy as sin. finally abandoned in a dumpster in iowa city after the headset went out. rode and crashed the heck out of that bike. was my primary transportation until i got my driver's lic.
Ditto...circa 1973.Len J
Jul 1, 2002 11:51 AM
Rode it for 2 years and then it was stolen, replaced it with a Peaugot that I kept another 5 years until we had our second kid, sold it used & really became a parent.

Fuji Absolutelonefrontranger
Jul 1, 2002 11:47 AM
Also lovingly known to the LBS rats as the "Obsolete". Six-speed no-name indexed Suntour group, stem shifters, bolt-on axles and "cheater brakes". It was a 30-lb POS when I bought it brand new, but my intentions were to do some recreational touring and T-shirt rides, and that's what the shop and my teenaged budget recommended. Little did I know that 15 years later I'd have more cash tied up in bike equipment than I do in my new Subaru.

Bought the Fuji for $350 in 1987. Rode the living crap out of it, including putting over 25K miles on it ultra racing in '90. Wish I'd never sold it, because 3 months after I sold it in '92 to make way for a "real" racing bike (Giant Cadex with 105) I was told by my coach I needed to ride a fixed gear to work on my horrendous pedaling style. The Absolute had horizontal dropouts, the Cadex didn't.

Lesson learned: if you have a cheap steel road frame, DON'T sell it because turning it into a SS / fixie / rain bike / commuter has far more value than the maybe $100 (max) you'll get for it on the market.
1978 Nishiki International, then a 1997? Klein Stage CompPdxMark
Jul 1, 2002 11:50 AM
The Nishiki was lovely... candie apple red, sun tour derraileurs... rode up to & through college.... then no riding for far too long... Got back into cycling in 1998 and bought a close-out Klein Stage Comp.... a great bike... another lovely paint job... now being ridden by a friend
Raleigh Medalepukka
Jul 1, 2002 11:58 AM
my grandad bought it me with his retirment cash loved it,replaced every part on it over the years,i remember my first quick release wheels and buy those bolt on wheel guides for my brakes so it looked like the pros ride
Department store wonder biketerry b
Jul 1, 2002 11:58 AM
Bought from a chain in NY called "Two Guys", long since departed to wherever department stores go when they die.

The bike - lime green from somewhere in Asia, Suntour all over the place, 10 speeds, safety brake handles. Kept it through high school and one year of college. Replaced it with a used Raleigh Grand Prix that I traded a Kodak Pocket 140 camera for, it having been my high school friends ride. Kept that until 1990 (or 17 years for those counting) when I sent it to Goodwill. Big mistake, would love to have it now as a project.
Only 1 year ago...Dark Sonix
Jul 1, 2002 11:58 AM
...I was riding a modified 85 schwinn sprint to train for mountain bike racing (since then I ride mainly on the road).

I got the bike for free (ex-girlfriend's sister's sitting in the basement) and added a new seat, bars/stem, old exage levers, real brake pads, old MTB clipless pedals, beater wheels, and $10 specialized tires. all clearance or back of the shop type stuff. I think i might have spent $100 or $150 at most.

It is so heavy and only has 10 gears, but i rode it almost every day, on training rides and centuries alike, for about two and half years. i think the extra weight helped me get stronger faster. in late summer 2001, i knew that I loved the road, and made a committment purchase in the form of a new klein quantum. i still have the sprint and sometimes take it out for a joy ride or loan it out to friends who want to try riding.

in hindsight, i think the fixed beater/used bike is the way to go until you can decided whether this sport is for you and at what level you want to participate.
re: Not sure of the make/model,JL
Jul 1, 2002 12:03 PM
But it was yellow and a 10 speed/stem shifters/"cheater brakes" as another poster put it. I rode it everywhere in the neighborhood (early 80's). That bike played a lot of "ball tag" meaning it saw equal road/off-road. I'm not sure if I/my parents paid anything for it. I was in grade school/early high school I think when I got it. It was discarded at some point during my college years at which time I bought a new Diamondback Centurion in 1991 (which I still have) and rode, but stopped for some reason ('93) after I got married. Last year, I moved up to a Trek 5200 after getting back into cycling and into shape with a renewed passion for the sport.

Happy riding.

198? c'dale crit 3.0 w/105, biopace, dntube shifters, etc. nmJS Haiku Shop
Jul 1, 2002 12:04 PM
re: Wretched advice, et al, Part IIWalter
Jul 1, 2002 12:16 PM
Very first was a dep't store AMF "Scorcher." After that I tried putting together an old English frame with parts I scrounged by hanging out and "apprenticing" in a Schwinn shop.

What I really consider my first road bike though was a beautiful blue Motobecane Nomade that I bought new in 1977 or so. $225 if memory serves. It was bottom of the Moto line but like all other Motos had beautiful paint and detail. I replaced the Huret stuff with a SunTour Superbe rear der. and barcon shifters and later found a cheap alloy wheelset. It probably still weighed 27 pounds but I didn't care. Would ride from N. Miami to Ft. Lauderdale Beach and be pretty happy with my place in life. I once rode to Coconut Grove before it became "trendy" and they had one of the few bike races around. Good times and fond memories.

It eventually gave way to a Cannondale in 1986 while I was in college.
Back in '72Mel Erickson
Jul 1, 2002 12:32 PM
It was some no name french frame that I built up with Huret, Weinmann, etc. I rode it for about 1 1/2 years and bought a Panasonic at the police auction.
re: Raleigh Sprite 27 I got from my brother.dzrider
Jul 1, 2002 12:34 PM
5 speeds, cute, straw handle bar basket. I had to give it back when he moved to Florida where the land was flat and he enjoyed riding it. I got an Austro-Daimler Inter-10 to replace it and the disease set in.
re: Wretched advice, et al, Part IINo_sprint
Jul 1, 2002 12:39 PM
Well, I started racing BMX at 9. I had at least 10 different bikes, Torker, Cook Bros., DB, Redline. I then turned to mountain biking when it was an infant. No Norba. I rode Bridgestones and Mountain Goats. There were no organized races that I knew of. We did much pseudo racing with the Dels Angels. I then took my Dad's old late 70s steel Peugeot 5x2 roadie to college. Rode that thing all over. Just out of college I moved to the place where the sand meets the ocean and had little desire hump those MTBs around like I used to. I had less free time too. Roadie was the only way to go.

The first roadie I purchased was a $3000 Klein.
re: Wretched advice, et al, Part IIStampertje
Jul 1, 2002 1:07 PM
A $120 Koga Miyata off the classifieds in Amsterdam. Downtube shifters, 6 gears in back, unspecified Shimano. The rear wheel lasted about 2 years' worth of riding and has now been replaced by a track hub...
re: Wretched advice, et al, Part IImbologna
Jul 1, 2002 1:15 PM
1980-something Bridgestone 300. I was a freshman in high school. I saved up money from cutting lawns, and looked at bikes for weeks before buying it! I still have it, and rode it until March of this year. For years, I rode that bike everywhere. Plus, things seemed a lot less complicated. I never worried about weight, saddle height, stem length, types of pedals, etc....

The Bridgestone doesn't exactly fit anymore, but as much as I love my 2002 Klein Quantum, that Bridgestone was a great bike!

Ahh the memories!.........
1973 team raleigh replicarufus
Jul 1, 2002 1:53 PM
when i was thirteen i worked for my parents picking strawberries, earning about $40, and they paid the difference of the $113 price, which i worked off over the next couple of years.

no idea what it weighed or what components were on it, but they were pretty cheap, but i thought it was the coolest bike in the world. of course, not knowing any better, i had them move the shifters from the downtube to the stem. had the same red/orange/black paint scheme as the team bikes. it's still up in a shed at my parents' house somewhere, probably just about rusted to nothing.
re: Wretched advice, et al, Part IImapei boy
Jul 1, 2002 2:39 PM
About 1964 or so, my dad got me a ten speed, Huret-geared Royce Union with Wing Nut skewers. I could never get the wing nuts tightened down enough so that the wheels would stay on the bike. Every time I'd go over a big bump, the rear derailleur would automatically crunch down into the smallest cog. There was nothing I could do about it.

In college in 1971, I sold a 12 string Martin guitar and used the money (about $250) to buy a Gitane Tour de France. Reynolds 531 Frame. Simplex derailleur. Bar end shifters. Sew-up wheels, usually shod with cheap Wolber or Hutchinson tires. I lived in Santa Barbara. I rode the thing relentlessly. I rode up San Marcos Pass a couple times a week. I never did any studying.
1974 Motobecane Grand Touringgrzy
Jul 1, 2002 2:43 PM
We still have that bike in the basement at my parents house. Replaced it with a Moto Grand Jubile around 1978 which I still have and has been halfway around the world and back (Diego Garcia and the Philippines).
Schwinn 354DaveG
Jul 1, 2002 3:08 PM
First road bike as an adult was a 1990 Schwinn 354. AL frame with CrMo fork, Exage 300 7-speed and the quickly replaced Biopace rings. About $400 new. Served me well for several years. While I can now appreciate more expensive bikes, I'm not sure that I necessarily enjoy riding more because of them. The only thing that has changed is my perception of how much bike is "good enough"
Coast Kingfiltersweep
Jul 1, 2002 3:34 PM
OK... I was in 3rd grade in 1976 and won a "10-speed" Coast King in a raffle. It had a Shimano indexed shifter called "Posi"- something. It also had DISC BRAKES... but it was the 70s.

I didn't touch a bike in college.

SR year I paid next to nothing for a Nishiki of dubious origin. It had no wheels, and I'm not sure that it wasn't stolen. Oddly enough, that same bike WAS STOLEN from my apt. storage locker a few years later. I was so ready to ride (and at that point in my salad days I was doing mostly "see and be seen" recreational riding) that I went out and bought a mtn. bike that easily fit in the back seat of an old 63 Olds that I was restoring (but I digress). Since it WAS my salad days, I really bought a piece of junk mtn bike, but I rode it for years.

Eventually I realized I was earning 3-4 times the money I was when I bought that wretched mtn bike, and that I hated the "see and be seen" MUTs around here (on your left, on your left, on your left) that I purchased a roadbike (not a nice one, I might add... that came a bit later).

I never judge anyone by WHAT they ride.... maybe a bit on HOW they ride (ie. idiotic hammerheads that run lights, or BMXers riding unpredictably, or someone with a full team kit and $5000 bike that can't make it up a hill).
Trek 660 circa 1989mmquest
Jul 1, 2002 4:07 PM
and I'm still riding it, downtube shifters and all!
1976 Schwinn Continental.....GreenFan
Jul 1, 2002 6:27 PM
Rode it for about 12 years, replaced with a Nishiki something or other and was profoundly impressed by the weight difference, rode that for about another 12 years and replaced it with a Trek really tired of the gearing and long wheelbase and added a Pinarello Paris to the garage...time will tell which bike gets the nod for fondest memories...maybe one that I don't even own yet ;)
It was a...Leisure
Jul 2, 2002 12:54 AM
I had a late start learning to bike. I was in second grade ('81/'82) listening in relative apathy to all my classmates go on about their cool BMX bikes when my parents bought me a (gulp...) Huffy. With a banana seat and low-rider handlebar, red and sand paintjob. It's funny, even then my classmates were telling me about what a wonderful brand Huffy was and I figured they were messing with me. They were always messing with me.
Two or three years later it was Christmas and parked next to the tree was...another Huffy. But this one at least looked cool. It had twelve speeds, drop bars, these funky attachments to the brake levers that let you brake from the top of the bar, and was primarily black with some white trim. I was really hoping for an Erector set. Being a present, my parents never let me know the price, but I spied the same model at Sears and I think it was $120. Of course, the more I looked at it the less unhappy about my parent's decision I was and I rode that thing quite diligently for a sheltered, socially withdrawn nine or ten year old. My silent goal every time I took that thing out was to ride up the mountain my house sits on (Mt. Olympus, as it were) as far as the roads would go. I'd pass by classmates' houses en route and wonder what they were doing. I remember an old lady telling me as I passed by how well I was doing and that noone else was riding that far up. Of course, I knew even then that adult cyclists weren't riding around in neighborhoods like I was, but I was flattered anyway. I would get to the top, look over Salt Lake Valley for a while, listen to scrub oak getting rustled by the breeze and feel good about myself for a bit. And then I would turn around and streak down as fast as gravity would take me. I didn't have a helmet back then. Did anyone? You know, it's been such a long time it never occured to me I did all that descending without one.
I rode that same bike through highschool, but was never a "serious" cyclist. In fact, my route stayed pretty much the same and I was riding less often. But now I had changed schools and was noticing not only my male classmates' houses, but the females' as well. I remember getting some catcalls from cute girls in the upper classes and I responded with crusties. Those rides were the last I ever did on that bike.
College came around and my parents finally let me use one of the Trek Antelopes they had picked up along the way. It's the same frame that's presently sitting on my beater bike. It was a white frame with Suntour stuff and a gel seat. I spent one semester at Cal Berkeley with it, and that was the first time I did any practical commuting on a bike. I transferred mid-year to Cornell and for the first semester hardly touched the bike. Too cold. During my sophomore year my roommate (a semi-pro caliber racer) introduced me to mountainbiking. I was converted instantly. Just riding around, getting all messy in a lot of wet leaves covering slippery mud, rocks, and roots surrounded by dreary cold under a dark tree canopy masking the perpetually overcast sky. It was just the strangest spiritual sensation being so isolated in all that dark cold but surrounded with all that life.
Odd that I grew up in Utah and never learned to mountainbike until I went to New York State. I never skied either. Somebody should have smacked me.
When I finished college about 5 years ago I was long since sick of the old Antelope. It had served me well but was so worn out and everyone was getting suspension. Plus, I was moving back home and figured I'd finally get acquainted with all this Utah mountainbiking I was hearing so much about. So I got a Proflex 756 with LX and that Girvin linkage fork (now the fork on my beater bike). There's been a slow progression of upgrades since then, leading up to my pride and joy custom-speced Rocky Mountain Instinct. Ironically, that bike is color coordinated a lot like my first roa
I started late, with a Specialized Allez A1 Sportweiwentg
Jul 2, 2002 4:12 AM
in short order, I discovered that it was not a great bike. NEVER go in without doing your homework. later, I got the TCR, and the Allez went home to Singapore - I'm a student in the US, and I go home 2-4 months out of every year.
and then I discover that it's not about the bike. I can kick a considerable amount of butt on a bike with a 105 triple, no-name finishing components, and heavy wheels (32-spoke CXP33s).
but do I regret getting the TCR? not at all. it's a terrific frame, and sometimes when I hit the pedals I think of the Star Trek theme, and the image of the Enterprise accelerating to warp speed. the Allez frame is pretty good, 105 works quite well indeed, and the CXPs aren't quite as hefty as I thought they'd be. but it's not the same as the TCR, and I can actually flex the frame slightly, even at my light weight.