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Which Bike? Tough Decision. Opinions???(7 posts)

Which Bike? Tough Decision. Opinions???BigFatSal
Jul 10, 2003 3:45 PM
Here's the deal. I'm a former mtb racer who hasn't ridden in 2 years (long story...). I'm finally getting back on my bike and riding. Getting into shape slowly, but its a tough road back! Anyway, I'm starting to really love road riding. I've got an old CAAD 3 Cannondale and am thinking of getting something new and really nice (I think I deserve it). I've got my eye on either the Pinarello Prince or the Look 381i. I'd like to use it for general all-around riding: training, long rides, doing some crits, and eventually some longer road races. I'm 5 foot 7", 152 lbs and my local shops don't stock these bikes in anything close to my frame size so I'd have to choose on research and recommendations, not riding and comparing myself. Any ideas about how to do this in addition to reading the reviews on this site? Any opinions on the bikes? I'm leaning towards the Look 381i. And wheel recommendations (1 good all-around set)??? I Appreciate the help.
get one of theseafrican
Jul 10, 2003 6:15 PM
Fondriest

I have a SAT U107 team lampre time trial bike from them, it rocks big time. Everyone loves it, how can you miss. The picture is from the top tube....

http://www.fondriest-usa.com/index.php
Merak with 10 speed! (nm)Iwannapodiumgirl
Jul 10, 2003 7:05 PM
re: Which Bike? Tough Decision. Opinions???config
Jul 10, 2003 9:56 PM
Walked into one of my LBS and they have a Fondriest Madonna di Campiglio for 1800 euro w/ Centaur groupo. It was so tempting to me.
Fondriest looks like some beautiful stuff.... Thanks (nm)BigFatSal
Jul 10, 2003 10:40 PM
Prince adviceFranchise
Jul 11, 2003 3:55 AM
I may have to recommend the Look in this case. The Prince is a great racing bike. It handles impeccably, the power transfer is very smooth and efficient, but it can ride on the edge of harsh. I've done centuries on mine(vintage 2001), and I have raced it in crits and shorter distance races. I must say that I feel the Prince is much better suited to crits and shorter road races than longer road races and long rides. For these, I would suggest a CT-1. I have one(vintage 2002), and I feel it is a better all around bike. It(CT-1) is still efficient and it handles very, very well, but with the geometry, I feel it is better suited towards longer races and rides in addition to everything else.

You may also want to look into a Pinarello Marvel. I think competitivecyclist.com may have some on clearance. The ride is a little more compliant, although the frame may be a little heavier than the Prince(not that anyone would notice it, though). Also, it doesn't have the triangular shaped downtube. This tube is the reason I love my Prince. It, along with the entire tubeset, makes the bike so stiff. At the same time, it may be too stiff for some.

Also, I think the carbon monostay does not tend to absorb shock, but rather make the rear end a lot more responsive and handle better on descents when compared to a full carbon rear triangle(CT-1, also responsive, but better dampening in my opinion), and a full aluminum rear triangle(Pegoretti CCKMP, another one of my bikes, that sometimes tends to skip the rear wheel when descending on less than perfect pavement).

I hope this helps, and you should also explore other options than the LBS. I currently do business with competitivecyclist.com(Brendan), cbike.com, and I plan on getting two more Colnago's(dream plus b-stay and master x-light) from Maestro.com. FYI, I got my Prince from pavancycles.com, and Antonio gave me a great deal on an entire bike, when the exchange rate was more favorable.

Really, your options are endless. Good luck with your search, and let me know how it turns out.

As for wheels, this is a whole other can of worms. If I could only have one set, it may well be either Campagnolog Neutrons or Mavic Ksyrium SSC SL's. The Mavics are raceable and bombproof for racing. I have never had any trouble with either of these wheels, and they are to me, two examples of some of the most dependable wheels out there. They both spin up(accelerate) quickly, and they are very durable.

Alternatively, I would invest in some open pro rims(or reflex if you prefer tubular) on either dura-ace or record hubs, depending on your groupset. I also have several pairs of these wheels, laced 3 cross. They do just as well as any other wheelset out there, and they are serviceable at any lbs in case a spoke breaks. Hope this helps!
Hugely helpful... Thanks a ton... (nm)BigFatSal
Jul 11, 2003 1:03 PM