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Need expert advise(7 posts)

Need expert adviselckdspks
Aug 2, 2002 9:36 AM

First off I have a confession; I am an avid mountain biker. I build my own bikes, do all my own wrenching and build my own wheels. I have been into dirt for over 10 years.

I want a road bike.

Fact - I am getting a road bike w/Chorus and a Flite saddle. That much is known.

I don't have the slightest idea what bike frame/fork to get. None, zip, nada, no clue. I don't even know where to start! I am not talking about size/fit, but about company, material and geometery.

Also, wheels. In MTB land the only good wheels are hand built with regular spokes (14, 15, 14/15, 14/17 etc) on Mavic rims. Is it the same on the road?

I could easily mimic my mountain bike; Thomson stem/post, King headset, American Classic hubset, Easton carbon bar and Speedplay (road) pedals...but is that the best for the road?

So ANY advice would be grand. Tell me what frame/fork you like, what parts here and there and why. Money is not a factor...not because I am loaded or anything because I am not, but because I am buying an addition to my life and you shouldn't put a price on that. But I do need help to make sure I get this right the first time.

re: Need expert advisebob_vanderhaus
Aug 2, 2002 9:53 AM
If you are not going to race, and want an all around fast machine, I would go for a nice steel frame with a carbon fork. Bianchi and lemond make pretty sweet affordable steel frames. I have a bianchi veloce from about 6 years ago that I still prefer over my 16 pound race bike for long rides. Don't spend too much money, because the more you ride the more you will know what you truly want(both in fit and performance). Ultegra or centaur(new veloce) is a good place to start.
you came to the wrong place... he heyeah right
Aug 2, 2002 9:53 AM
i'll bite

chorus = very good
flite = very good
thomson = very good (although you may want something with more lay back)
king headset=very good
mavic open pros=very good

actually you've got a very good start, as far as frames, that's whole can of worms

search around here and you'll find that these truths are mostly accepted

steel is real (good ride) and for some, real heavy
look at lemond, cinelli, khs (cheaper, also jamis), bianchi, custom: serrotta, independent fabrications, waterford etc.

titanium is like steel, but lighter and doesn't rust
look at litespeed, airborne, or if you've got a big budget, go custom with seven, i.f., serrotta etc.

aluminium is either too harsh or just right depending on your feelings. (big difference in ride between different manufacturers because they use different tubsets and manipulation) some frames don't last as long as you would like. klein, trek, cannondale, specialized, or more epensive, colnago, pinarello, fonderist, merckx, well pretty much everybody

carbon goes on a model by model basis, but generally has a fairly comfortable ride. some don't like trek oclv bikes, too dead of a ride, some don't like becuase of the wannabe image. colnago makes expensive, but good. look bikes are also popular with some

what you get has a lot to do with what you are going to use it for.

I like steel i ride a frame from a company called waterford (it's a lugged frame) i love it, but i don't race yet, so the extra weight isn't a factor.

i'd seriously consider ti if i were you, and had a little money and was looking long term. look at litespeed or other middle range ti bikes. if you're looking to spend more than that think custom, but i think most would say that fit is more important on a road bike than on mtb.

hope that helps.

have fun
and also....bob_vanderhaus
Aug 2, 2002 9:56 AM
32 spoked open pro's are nice, solid, fairly light, fairly cheap and very strong wheel.
re: Need expert adviseNo_sprint
Aug 2, 2002 10:13 AM
If you don't know diddly about materials, geometry, brands, etc., then you'll either have to familiarize yourself with all of it or someone else will have to do that sort of thinking for you. LBS's are notorious for fitting those lacking in knowledge to what they happen to have in stock. Beware.

You sound to me like a great candidate for a custom bike. Some are a little pricier, however, you can get what I consider to be the top custom bike for less than what a Colnago C-40 will cost ya. This way you won't be on too large or too small a bike.

I recommend you look at the following, contact them all and make a decision. Look up Calfee and Parlee and get info on their custom carbon bikes. Look up Serotta and Bill Holland and get info on their custom Ti bikes. Look up Sachs, Waterford and Land Shark and get info their custom steel bikes. Look up Huber for a custom scandium or look into gettin' fitted on a QPro carbon.

You can get most of these custom bikes for less than what many off the rack sized Litespeeds or Colnagos will cost ya.

Good luck.
Additional Informationlckdspks
Aug 2, 2002 10:29 AM
First off, thanks! The valuable information I have gotten so far has given me a direction to research.

Materials: I was leaning toward Ti or Steel, last night I spent some time on Airborne's website and looking through my Colorado Cyclist catalogs...the pages I used to skip over (road stuff). If Ti has the same feel as steel but will last longer, I am going Ti. (BTW, my wedding ring is hand made from Ti 6AL/4V, just got married last December)

Type of riding: While I do not have any plans to race, I am sure it will happen BUT I am not looking for a 'race' bike. I like longevity in my life, hence the Chorus and my leaning toward Ti. Also, my in-laws are touring cyclist from WAY back, so I know I will go along on a tour here and there.

It will probably take me a few months to figure out what I want, in the meantime I will keep my eyes on this site and read all I can. I will post a pic of what bike I end up with, I will probably do the build myself and lace up the wheels to boot.

Thanks Again
and you came here ... on a Friday????tarwheel
Aug 2, 2002 10:46 AM
Welcome to the Friday free-for-all.

The best advice I could give you would be to spend $50-100 at a decent bike shop for a professional fitting, such as those done by Serotta dealers. Getting the right size frame, stem, etc., is the most important issue in buying your first road bike. Forum regulars here will argue ad nauseum about the benefits of ti vs. steel vs. carbon vs. aluminum, but most will agree that proper fit is essential and more important than frame material. That said, I think steel frames offer the best combination of performance, affordability and comfort. Many cyclists make the mistake of valuing lightness and stiffness over comfort and then pay for it in the long run. You will be able to ride a lot more miles and get yourself in better shape, if you are more comfortable on your frame. Light weight is the most over-rated characteristic in bike frames.