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Bike Recs... Need Some Help(27 posts)

Bike Recs... Need Some Helpwookieontherun
Jan 1, 2003 10:24 AM
Hi All,

I've been spending a lot of time reading the board and looking through reviews and I thought that you all could help me out here. I've decided to make the transition from mtn bike to road biking as I'd like to eventually get into road bike racing. I have also been invited to ride in little 500 (bike race at Indiana University-- see breaking away if you want to know more about it) So the purpose of this bike will be training for these races as well as riding in them. On top of all of this I'd like to use the bike for supported touring purposes, so I would never need to carry saddles on it.

This past week I went ahead and bought some shoes that I like (shimano racing shoes) and a pair of speedplay pedals (Zero Titaniums) that I knew I would use on whatever bike I got. Last week I tried out a Cannondale Road Racer 2000 series bike and didn't like the way it road at all. It just didn't feel great at all.

Currently I'm looking at a Trek 5200 because of the carbon frame primarily. Does anyone else have some recs of things I should look at or things I should notice as a novice road bike buyer looking to buy a great bike? Also does anyone have some other bikes I really should be looking at?

Thanks for all your help!

re: Bike Recs... Need Some Helpgtx
Jan 1, 2003 11:20 AM
Just study up on the whole fit thing, test ride as many bikes as you can and then come back with more questions. Not sure what the 5200 goes for, but try the Lemonds, too. If you have a Serotta dealer maybe see if you can ride a Fierte (I think they can be built up for about $2k). Check out the Giant TCRs and Bianchis, too. There are a lot of nice bikes out there.

Here's one of Kerry's excellent posts on fit, with a ton of good links.

Kerry "Bike size for new roadie." 12/31/02 4:21pm
need more info...C-40
Jan 1, 2003 11:21 AM
You don't mention your height or weight. This can be important in picking a frame. Lightweights should shy away from aluminum frames.

What are "recs"?
need more info...wookieontherun
Jan 1, 2003 11:30 AM
FYI- 5'9" 140 lbs, recs=reccomendations :-)
need more info...The Human G-Nome
Jan 1, 2003 2:39 PM
Lightweights should shy away from aluminum frames. >>>


it should be noted that many aluminum frames are only built for lightweights.
aluminums not for lightweights?fbg111
Jan 1, 2003 3:31 PM
I was wondering about that comment too. I thought Al and Carbon were more for light/med weights, while steel and Ti are better for heavyweights.
aluminums not for lightweights?-explanation...C-40
Jan 2, 2003 5:53 AM
Aluminum frames are generally the stiffest and harshest riding frames due to their oversized tubes.

Lightweight riders feel the effect of these overly stiff frames more than their heavier (and larger) counterparts.

I'm 5'-7" tall and weigh 135-140. I've owned an number of 54cm Cannondales and found their ride to be significantly harsher than a steel frame with standard diameter tubes.

Aluminum would be my last choice for a new frame. The possible exception might be a frame with Easton scandium alloy aluminum tubes that are stronger and not drastically oversized.

Lightweights should avoid any frame that utilizes greatly oversized or bladed tubes of any material, unless they are willing to endure a harsh ride.
I see...fbg111
Jan 2, 2003 6:05 AM
I'm 190 and my alum frame can be fairly harsh on rough roads. Conversely, it's great on smooth aspalt. Stiff and responsive. I suppose you need to know where you'll be riding it, although most riders will probably encounter both smooth and harsh pavements.
Jan 2, 2003 9:17 AM
I'd say lightweights (like myself at 145) should avoid super narrow tires pumped up real hard (120 + psi). AL frames, and stiff frames in general, are fine, as long as they don't have super short c-stays (like many C-dales, etc.).

Sheldon Brown puts it well when he says, "The frame feature that does have some effect on road shock at the rump is the design of the rear triangle. This is one of the reasons that touring bikes tend to have long chainstays--it puts the rider forward of the rear wheel. Short chainstays give a harsh ride for the same reason that you bounce more in the back of a bus than in the middle...if you're right on top of the wheel, all of the jolt goes straight up."
re: Bike Recs... Need Some Helpfbg111
Jan 1, 2003 3:41 PM
Be sure to test ride the Giant Carbon TCR's.

I'm partial to the Giant TCR's, seeing as how I ride an aluminum 02 TCR2. Can't speak for other models, but the TCR's are great. Handle well, and were a good deal. The compact frame theoretically decreases the manufacturing cost, so if it fits you well, you get a lot for your money. Here's other relevant threads I've bookmarked:
compact frames reduce cost??motta
Jan 1, 2003 4:37 PM
This whole argument that compact frames reduce manufacturer costs is wrong. You can be sure Giant put a large amount of R&D dollars into developing, designing and marketing the whole notion of the compact frame. Not to mention the added costs of carbon aero seatposts in multiple lengths, the early version of the adjustable stems they were using and the Once team sponsorship. Giant delivers alot for your dollar across their entire line, not just compact road frames. They were slow to catch on but they stood by the concept, even to the point of losing market share and dealer floor space in the road market. Now it seems every manufacturer has a compact road frame in the line.
compact frames reduce cost??weiwentg
Jan 1, 2003 4:52 PM
>This whole argument that compact frames reduce manufacturer costs is wrong.

what the other poster probably meant is this: limiting themselves to 3 or 4 sizes probably decreased costs.
compact frames reduce cost??motta
Jan 1, 2003 6:03 PM
If a maker sells 100 bikes they still have to produce 100 bikes irregardless of size. How does limiting the number of sizes save them money? The one who can potentially save money is the dealer. The fact that a compact frame in any given size will fit more people would allow for less dead inventory, they would not be stuck with a 48cm or a 60cm frame that is has a very limited market, tying up inventory dollars. Of course, as we have seen on recent posts, most dealers are complete morons and would somehow screw this up as well.
compact frames reduce cost??Fez
Jan 1, 2003 8:28 PM
in theory, having to produce fewer sizes or varieties of frames can reduce costs at the manufacturing level.

producing 100 frames in 4 sizes is going to cost giant less than 100 frames in 8 sizes. kind of the model t concept. they can order fewer different sizes of tubes and other parts and production is streamlined with the fewer sizes. tracking and shipping the finished product may be easier for giant as well as for the dealer
other parts?motta
Jan 2, 2003 5:19 AM
On the scale that Giant purchases tubing buying a couple of less size lengths will not translate to significant savings to you or them. What other parts are you refering too? There are no lugs, these are tig welded or monocoque. They all have the same amount of components and accessories no matter the size. Tracking and shipping 100 bikes is still tracking and shipping 100 bikes, compact or traditional. Don't forget color, Model T's came in one, not so with compact frames. You can make the argument that smaller frames use less paint, the potential savings there is huge. Millions, maybe.
other parts?fbg111
Jan 2, 2003 6:01 AM
Do you have any facts or experience to back your claim that fewer tube lengths will not translate to significant savings? Otherwise, I don't buy your argument. It's a common manufacturing concept that reducing the variety in the parts you order reduces cost, regardless (irregardless is not a word, fyi) of your purchasing scale. In fact, the larger the scale, the greater % of overall cost you save. For example, when Daimler-Benz bought Chrysler, one of their rationals was that by combining parts throughout both the Mercedez and Chrysler lines, they could drastically reduce the number of parts necessary to build their cars, simplifying parts procurement and manufacturing, and thus cutting costs.

Same concept behind the compact frame. As for the added expense of different length seat posts, I suspect that does not add nearly as much as different sized frames, especially since, in Giant's case, there are only about 3 different seat post lengths anyway.
irregardless not a word???motta
Jan 2, 2003 6:35 AM
What dictionary do you use?
They are not reducing the amount of tubing needed. It will still take just as many tubes to build 100 compact frames as it would 100 traditional frames. They all have seattubes, headtubes, chainstays, etc. Nothing is being left out. So where is the savings? FYI it is seven different lengths of seat posts. More than double your estimate.
Jan 2, 2003 6:57 AM
It's only a word because a bunch of morons have continued to missuse it. It's what's called a non-standard word. This means that it has a place in the dictionary due to it's use (or rather missuse) in our language. It's ridiculous that the prefix ir and the less suffix are lumped into the same term.
"regardless" is the word you should use.
What's even funnier is that we have a poster on this board named "irregardless". I suspect his tongue was planted firmly in his cheek when he chose that nick.
irregardless not a word???53T
Jan 2, 2003 8:49 AM
No, it's not a word in English. I would like to study you further. I have never met a person who would argue the validity of such an obvious linguistic misconstruction. Irrespective is a word, regardless is a word.

As far as manufacturing simplicity and cost, this is a tough one. I have worked in manufacturing. It is true that we valued a parts list reduction, but it was hard to quantify. We used some older manufacturing systems (MANMAN by CA) that had quite a bit of overhead associated with costing, binning, kitting and reordering. The actual variable cost of the manufactured unit did not change when we reduced parts, only if we reduced the total cost of the BOM. It was universally believed that fixed overhead would be reduced by reducing part count. However, modern networked inventory systems with bar-coded parts and bins, as well as better trained materials management staff have resulted in measurable cost savings independent of part count reduction. The better your manufacturing system, the less benefit there is to having reduced part count. If Giant’s systems are old and cumbersome, reducing the number of frame sizes could result in cutting the MM staff and reducing fixed overhead, but this is not likely the case.
irregardless not a word???motta
Jan 2, 2003 10:37 AM
According to Websters 2nd edition it is an English word. Furthermore, common useage is what defines words in our everchanging lexicon. Refer to someone as queer and you get a negative response, common useage has transformed this word and its' meaning to something that is no longer uttered in polite society.
the fact that it exists in the dictionary...Frith
Jan 2, 2003 11:05 AM
doesn't mean you should use it. You should have used "regardless". ADMIT YOUR MISTAKE. Common usage through ignorance doesn't make it right.
irregardless not a word???53T
Jan 2, 2003 1:25 PM
I have before me Webster's New Universal Unabridged Dictionary (Second Edition). It lists irregardless as "regardless: a substandard or humorous redundancy".
Webster's thinks it's a joke. I don't think it's all that funny.
it's hilariousmotta
Jan 2, 2003 1:40 PM
It maybe substandard and humorous but it ain't incorrect.
it's hilariousHeron Todd
Jan 2, 2003 2:16 PM
>It maybe substandard and humorous but it ain't incorrect.

Here is what the American Heritage Dictionary has to say about the matter:

Usage Note: Irregardless is a word that many mistakenly believe to be correct usage in formal style, when in fact it is used chiefly in nonstandard speech or casual writing. Coined in the United States in the early 20th century, it has met with a blizzard of condemnation for being an improper yoking of irrespective and regardless and for the logical absurdity of combining the negative ir- prefix and -less suffix in a single term. Although one might reasonably argue that it is no different from words with redundant affixes like debone and unravel, it has been considered a blunder for decades and will probably continue to be so.
Blunder. I should know. While in graduate school, I participated in a public debate against a group from the Soviet Union. The crowd was over 1000 people, and I had never addressed that many people before. I was quite nervous and wound up saying "irregardless" several times. A number of people told me later that many in the audience were visibly cringing each time I said it.

Todd Kuzma
Heron Bicycles
LaSalle, IL
compact frames reduce cost??Heron Todd
Jan 2, 2003 8:47 AM
The factory has to reconfigure its jigs for every size frame built. Building fewer sizes reducing downtime caused by reconfiguring. However, the biggest cost savings comes from inventory reduction. Manufacturers inventory product, too. Manufacturers often run out of popular sizes too early and are stuck with less popular sizes at the end of the season. Reducing the number of sizes reduces risk, allows for a smaller inventory, and can increase inventory turns.

Todd Kuzma
Heron Bicycles
LaSalle, IL 815-223-1776
exactly what Fez saidweiwentg
Jan 2, 2003 12:16 AM
I was thinking fewer tube sizes = lower costs. plus a less complex supply chain, which certainly also helps the dealers. either way, if we're right, the customer saves (which is what matters to us). of course, the tradeoff to us is imperfect sizing.
limiting themselves to 3 or 4 sizes probably decreased costs.fbg111
Jan 2, 2003 5:37 AM
yep, that's what I meant.