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I did it! I bought a bike!(24 posts)

I did it! I bought a bike!Tenny24
Sep 4, 2002 7:16 PM
Well I finally did it, thanks for all of your advice guys! I went out tonight and put a deposit down on a new road bike! I went with one I hadnt talked to you guys about, but I read reviews on this site and it got great reviews. I got hte Giant OCR3. I paid 799 cdn does that seem fair to you guys? Now I just have the long wait of waiting for them to put it together and tune it up. I liked the Tiagra shifters on the OCR2 a lot better, but i liked the price on the 3! I figure that I will use these ones for a while and then upgrade them to 105's next year. The bike shifted great, I was expecting notchy shifting but it was perfect, couldnt have asked for better. HOpefully it stays that way! I am sure the 105's and up are smoother shifting, but this one still shifted great! I dont like how you cant shift in the drops, that was the only thing that I had against the bike, but I can live with that, I will upgrade eventually. I cant wait to get this thing! it looks really cool in yellow to. I am going to need a new bike computer since I decided to keep my mountain bike and not trade it in (part of the reason why i went with a OCR3) the guy at the store recommend the shimano flight deck, it attaches right to the handle bars, the only down side was the price, $100cdn. I liked how it had the built in controls though, do you guys think that it is worth the money? Anyone in South eastern Ontario from this board? and want to teach me how to ride one of these things properly lol. Thanks guys
re: I did it! I bought a bike!jwarrenod
Sep 4, 2002 7:40 PM
Its hard to beat the function and price of a Cateye Mity 3. Everything but cadence, easy to hook up and cheap. Nothing against the Flight Deck, I might end up with one some day as I'm a gadget freak, but the Mity 3 is a very good every day computer.

Enjoy the ride, you've got what 2 weeks of road biking left up there!

re: I did it! I bought a bike!GMS
Sep 5, 2002 4:45 AM
I think an OCR is an excellent first bike, particularly since it is very easy to adjust the handlebar and seat positions a significant amount.

I think the Cateye Astrale is a good deal for a bike computer. 45 dollars and it does everything including cadance, and it displays cadence and speed simultaneously. No heart rate.

I was told not to get a Flight Deck because it is possible to have a perfectly working bike... and have the optical Flight Deck interface things go bad, and have to warranty the otherwise perfect bike just to get that fixed. And, it costs twice as much as other computers that do the same things. If it works, it's a fine computer, though.
good deal..2300 Edmontonian
Sep 5, 2002 4:58 AM
When I was researching for my first bike I couldn't find an OCR 3 for less than C$899, so you definately got a good deal!.. and than I ended up buying a Trek 2300 with my dream $350/day acting job.
The one thing I overlooked was all the extra costs, pedals, shoes, clothes, good helmet and gloves, and even a computer. So I had to buy all these things later on, and instead of C$2500, my entry into road biking almost cost $3000, so make sure you consider those costs too. Unless you already have some decent stuff.
The weather's getting bad DOWN there. Good riding though!
Of course you did, now get going.MB1
Sep 5, 2002 5:03 AM
We have the Shimano Flight Deck on 3 of our bikes (Cateyes on the other 6). Can't say we care for Flight Decks much and they are fairly expensive. If I didn't already own them I'd use a cheap Cateye of some sort.
Cateye question for MB1 (and others who care to reply)scottfree
Sep 5, 2002 5:51 AM
Is it just me, or do or are Cateye buttons periodically reluctant to work? I have two of them, both bought new this summer(an Enduro and a Velo), and with both of them I frequently have to push the mode button two or three times to get it to change screens. A minor thing but it's damned annoying, and it seems odd that two Cateye models bought two different places have the same quirk.
Don't pay all that much attention to my computer while riding.MB1
Sep 5, 2002 6:22 AM
I couldn't tell you if this happens or not.

I don't change the screen while riding much. I just want to know the distance traveled to help follow route sheets. If we are riding familiar roads I tend to not want any information from the computer.
I don't have a problem getting the screens to change, but...Kristin
Sep 5, 2002 7:37 AM
I do have to hold the buttons down longer than two seconds when switching modes.
OCR3Captain Morgan
Sep 5, 2002 5:23 AM
I just got the new OCR3 in anodized white. The new 2003's come in this color and also red. If yours is yellow, then that's the 2002 model. Not much difference between the 2002 and 2003, however. List price is US$600 this year. I got mine for US$569 at LBS.

Only complaint is with Shimano Sora. I definitely have to be careful when shifting, as it is somewhat clunky. You will definitely notice it if you try to shift when pedaling hard. However, I live in FL, and ride all flats, so I don't have to worry about shifting too much.

I second the Cat Eye Mity 3. The only thing it doesn't have is cadence, but you can easily determine it yourself. The LBS puts these on most of his bikes, even the higher end ones. I also use a separate HRM (Polar).

Good luck!
Smooth shifting won't be an issueKristin
Sep 5, 2002 6:24 AM
So does the OCR3 come with Sora then? If so, you can shift from the drops. Just lift your thumb up and hit the lever. Smooth shifting is a matter of tuning the bike properly. Sora isn't more clumbsy than 105 or Tiagra--or Ultegra for that matter. (Of course DuraAce lives in a class by itself and we won't compare it to the others.) Seriously, the quality difference between the groups is mostly an issue of weight. You pay more for lighter group, which will allow you move faster.

And don't buy that bike computer. $100 is way over the top. The computer I have only cost $25 and has more than enough information on it. Get the Mity3 and then spend the left over $80 on a heart rate monitor. There have been several "What do you wish you'd bought sooner" polls on this board and the answer has been overwhelming: Heart Rate Monitor.

From one newbie to another: BEFORE you start up a steep hill, make sure you shift off of the big ring in the front. Its next to impossible to shift to a smaller chainring once you are already climbing the hill. Its embarassing to fall over because you can't turn the pedals anymore.

Weight differentialCaptain Morgan
Sep 5, 2002 6:59 AM
Do you know what the difference in weight is between a Sora bike and 105? The stock OCR3 with Sora runs 27 pounds by my measurements.
Weight differentialTenny24
Sep 5, 2002 7:30 AM
I am not to sure, I weigh 240lbs so I didnt really care to much about weight :) haha

Anyone with a OCR3, could you please post a few pictures of your bike or point me to a website with it
I guess I was wrong...both Littleton and Bikeseller sayKristin
Sep 5, 2002 7:35 AM
Smoother shifting is also a factor between component groups, as well as quality of manufacturing. I had been told it wasn't. I wonder how big a difference there is in shifting "cleanness" between Sora and...say...Ultegra. Anyone know?

I couldn't find any information on the weight of the Sora Group by itself. "Heavy" is the only description anyone seems to give. So I'm not sure. The articles below are really good for newbie questions about this stuff. I wonder if LFR hand a hand in writing the one for Litteton (didn't she work there?)?
that's because they want you to buy the expensive stuff..dotkaye
Sep 5, 2002 7:48 AM
Based on my experience with Exage (even cheaper and older than Sora) vs 105 groups, there is no perceptible difference in shifting if both groups are correctly adjusted.

Here's what the inimitable Sheldon Brown had to say about Sora:

From: Sheldon Brown (
Subject: Re: Shimano SORA Group
Date: 2002-08-14 07:56:08 PST

A shy person asked:

> How is 'SORA' 's reputation. When my LBS started assembling bikes with it
> last year they weren't very impressed. Have you been riding with it? How is
> the shifting? Can't shift in the drops?
> What about reliability/repair frequency???

The major problem with Sora is the stigma of low price. Snobs and
elitists like to puff themselves up by sneering at equipment that is
less expensive than what they use.

The principal area they rag on is the fact that the thumb button for
rear upshifts/front downshifts is inaccessible from the drops. I've
never had an owner of a Sora bike complain about this...most folks don't
ride in the drops that much of the time anyway. Shifting from the drops
is no more inconvenient with Sora than it is with, say, bar-end
shifters, and it is a LOT easier than the down-tube shifters that were
the norm through the early '90s.

Personally, I prefer this arrangement to that used on the more expensive
Shimano models, because I find it less confusing. With Sora, the
upshift and downshift operations are done by different digits, moving in
different directions. Other road STIs use two parallel levers, moving
in the same direction.

A unique Sora advantage is that they have adjustable reach on the brake
levers, so they can be adjusted for comfortable use by people with small
hands. No other drop-bar brake levers have this feature (though all
decent MTN levers do.)

It shifts as well as anything, and has had no worse reliability than
anything else.

The Sora cranks are basically identical to Tiagra, but the chainrings
are steel. Steel chainrings are heavier, but they are also much more
long-lasting than aluminum, so this could be a plus for many
high-mileage riders.

There are basically two things I don't care for in the Sora group:

The rear derailer seems cheesy.

It is limited to 8-speeds. If they had a 9-speed version, I would have
bought it instead of the 105 I use on my Hetchins.

One caution, though. While all Shimano hubs are basically equal in
quality, less expensive bikes often get less careful setup/assembly in
shops. All new bikes come with the hubs adjusted too tight, and the
assembler is supposed to adjust them--but this is a step often skipped
on less expensive models, and if it is omitted, the hubs are liable to
wear out prematurely.

Sheldon "Anti-Snob" Brown
| Love seems the swiftest, but it is the slowest of all growths. |
| No man or woman really knows what perfect love is until they |
| have been married a quarter of a century. --Mark Twain |
Harris Cyclery, West Newton, Massachusetts
Phone 617-244-9772, 617-244-1040 FAX 617-244-1041
Hard-to-find parts shipped Worldwide
Nice article...thanks (nm)Kristin
Sep 5, 2002 7:57 AM
How can you tell if a hub is adjusted too tightly? nmGMS
Sep 5, 2002 8:43 AM
Hell, my youngest daughter's comfort bike hasscottfree
Sep 5, 2002 10:44 AM
Shimano C-201, which doesn't even crack the heirarchy list, and it shifts 95 percent as clean as any 'better' group. The fact is, derailing a chain isn't complicated and Shimano learned how to do it a long time ago. (They learned from Suntour well).

Unless you want to upgrade to friction shifting, which will require some effort on your part these days, you won't notice much difference in smoothness between the groups.
I dunno, I think Sheldon is a cool sort of crank, but my limiteddjg
Sep 6, 2002 9:40 AM
experience with Sora makes me wonder. I got my brother into road biking just a few years ago and he started with a Trek 1000. I don't know whether a different wrench could have optimized the performance in some way, but it just did not shift as crisply as Ultegra or DA, even when new (and the build was done by a good LBS). Not close. In its defence, I will say that it shifted pretty reliably. I didn't much care for the 1000, but it did the job--rode basically like a road bike and it's hard to say the Sora didn't do its job (my brother enjoyed the Trek/Sora combo enough to eventually want to invest more time in training and more money in a bike). I don't see any reason to sneer at it (or its owners)--the equipment works and everybody has different budget constraints--but it seems to me that there are reasons other than irrational snobbery to spend more if you can.
27 lbs? Is that really true?jtolleson
Sep 5, 2002 7:46 AM
Even entry level bikes 5 years ago were beating that... hovering in the 23-24 lb. range.
27 lbs? Is that really true?Captain Morgan
Sep 5, 2002 7:53 AM
I had weighed myself on my bathroom scale, and then picked up my bike and weighed again, and the difference was 27. HOWEVER, I just called Giant to confirm, and they said they do not publish weights, but that it should be way less than 27.
Large OCR-2 is 23 lbsTerrapin
Sep 5, 2002 7:58 AM
There's no way that OCR3 adds FOUR POUNDS of weight due to Sora (and the OCR2 is using Sora hubs, so that's a wash).

Was your scale on a carpet or rug? That screws up the readings.
It's not trueTerrapin
Sep 5, 2002 7:54 AM
I road-tested the OCR3 from my LBS (because the OCR2 I wanted wasn't available in my size at the time), and there is NO WAY it's 27 lbs. It's far lighter than my old Shogun Tourer, and that's 27 lbs. And this is the LARGE OCR frame I was riding.

Either it's considerably lighter than 27 lbs, or my LBS operates in a low-gravity zone.
It's not trueTenny24
Sep 5, 2002 9:33 AM
I agree there is no way its 27lbs, it felt to me that it was lighter then the Trek 1000 that I tested. It seemed to weigh the same as a Trek 1200 if that helps any.
re: I did it! I bought a bike!Terrapin
Sep 5, 2002 7:49 AM
Congrats. I have an OCR2, and the frame is way better than I am, LOL. I think the OCR series is the best deal for beginner road riders, a nice frame for a great price.

You may want to check for a good price on the Sigma Sport series of computers (I have the "90" due to its useful Avg. Speed display). They're under $35, and they work great for me and everyone I've known. They look great, are easy to use with big thumb buttons, and have a nice set of features, and can be set up for two different bikes simultaneously. Nice accurate measurements, too.