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First time road bike advice(13 posts)

First time road bike adviceGemini Jim
Nov 28, 2003 1:04 PM
I recently moved to Italy and have already gotten the road bike bug...I've been MTBing for about 13 years. So now I'm researching...

I am fortunate enough to be only about 1 hour from the Pinarello factory/showroom in Treviso. I visited today, and they can hook me up with a 2003 Surprise with Veloce group for $1440 (US). Alternatively, I could get the bike with the Shimano 105 group for $1640 (US).

Other local choices include local-Italian-made frames with Campy or Shimano groups for less...i.e., an Alum frame with Campy Mirage for $850 (US).

Anyone else with recommendations?

You're in Italy?!!AJS
Nov 28, 2003 3:16 PM
...then the group to get is a no-brainer! I'd spend the extra $200. that the 105 costs on a better Campy group - like Centaur.

As far as the frame, I'd go with the one that I got the best fit with. If you're near the guys that build Pinarello's, then they should know something about proper fit on a road bike. And any decent LBS there should as well. C'mon - it's ITALY! ;)

Good luck, and whatever bike you choose, just be glad that you're now a roadie!! Welcome to the fold!
Fly me over, I'll help you pick it out.....Mariowannabe
Nov 28, 2003 3:36 PM
Seriously, if you can get a local shop built frame made for you by an Italian craftsman, go for it. Definitely go for the Campy.
Fly me over, I'll help you pick it out.....Gemini Jim
Nov 28, 2003 9:49 PM
I guess I have a little bit of Pinarello envy--they are beautiful bikes! However, as a newbie to the road scene, I'm guessing there are other worthy frames that maybe aren't built to the same level of perfection? My MTB comparison: Foes, Intense or Ellsworth versus my Cannondale Gemini.

The Pinarello seems like the dream choice, but a locally-made frame with better group seems more logical.

Fly me over, I'll help you pick it out.....crewman
Nov 29, 2003 9:56 AM
I was in a small town called San Danielle in the Friuli district for the month of September(i have family there)
I had a real tough time finding bike shops period.
I must have spent a week driving around, after talking to my cousin he said that cycling is not that big in Italy(good figure). He said the biggest sport in Italy is "Soccer".
Here,s what I did, I e-mailed Manufactures of high end road stuff and asked for thier retailers in the area I was staying. I was looking for MET helmets and DMT shoes which are booth made in Italy and they sent me a list of shops that carry the stuff. Then from there I just visited the shops and to see what they looked like. I ended up buying all my stuff from a large sporting department store that my cousin got a discount at and saved 30% on the stuff.
If I were you there are alot of frame builders in the area. That area has the most builders, look up some of the smaller ones and get a custom built bike for half the price of a Pinarello(way over priced bike) and be sure to put "CAMPY" on it after all you are in Italy.
You're not far from these guys either :O)Live Steam
Nov 29, 2003 6:07 AM

Everyone else will have Pegoretti envy! Realy beautiful bikes. They're near Verona.

Why the move to Italy? School? Work? I did a summer semester in college at the School of Architecture in Venice. Something I hold near and dear to my heart. I always deamed of moving there. I am already envious of you. :O)
You're not far from these guys either :O)Gemini Jim
Nov 29, 2003 11:15 AM
I'm in the Air Force. I spent the last 11 years in Japan and moved to Aviano Air Base in Jul 2003. I'll be here till Jul 2007, so doing the roadie thing just seems right. Aviano is one-hour North of Venice at the foot of Mount Piancavallo. Cortina is about 100km north-west of me.

I'll probably follow Crewman's advice to buy a local, no-name frame with Campy group.

You mean you're in paradise :O) Can't go wrong with that! nmLive Steam
Nov 29, 2003 11:19 AM
Aviano '94-'98DanoK
Nov 29, 2003 11:35 PM
I spent 4.5 wonderful years stationed at Aviano. That area is total cycling heaven for both road and MTB. I lived northeast of the base in Montereale. When I arrived there in 1994, I went down to Treviso and bought a Pinarello Gavia. I then proceeded to ride that bike all over the place around there. Up and over Piancavallo and Bosco Cansiglio more times that I can remember. I also did a lot of riding away from the base towards San Daniele. The rolling foothills around there offer an amazing network of riding.

Anyway, if I had to do it all over again, I would still get the Pinarello. I love the ride of that bike and their quality is top-notch. Especially the paint job. Almost 10 years later, I still ride that same Pinarello and will never part with it. I wouldn't get the Shimano group over there, not because its Italy all that crap, but because Shimano is considerably more expensive in Italy than it is in the USA....about 30-40% more. The cost of Campy in Italy is about the same as it is the USA, but Shimano is a lot more expensive over there. If you do go Shimano, don't let anyone give you any crap like you've committed some sort of sin by buying Shimano on an Italian bike in Italy. The Italians themselves love Shimano and put in on many of their bikes without any hesitation at all.

Enjoy your stay there....the riding is simply awesome. There was a MTB club in Aviano when I was there that I rode with that was about 50% Italian / 50% American. For the life of me I can't remember the name of the club, but they maintain the riding trails around the "chrome-dome" church on the hill overlooking Aviano.....their trail network connects all the way up to Piancavallo. I wish I could remember the name of the club.....good folks to hook up with for training and MTB racing.

I'm due to PCS again in 2005 and I am going to try like hell to come back to Aviano. I couldn't care less what the job or unit is, I just want to live and ride in Aviano again.
Where are you now?Gemini Jim
Nov 30, 2003 12:44 AM
I spent 92-99 at Misawa, 99-03 at Yokota & I'll be here till 2007.

Nov 30, 2003 12:02 PM
I'm in Stuttgart, Germany until April 2005. I left Aviano in '98 for England. Left England in 2002 for Germany. German cycling is OK, but its nothing compared to Aviano.

I thought of an alternative for you if you want a locally made bike for a reasonable price. My second choice after the Pinarello would be to go to Conegliano and get a Spezotto. Guarantee that this is one brand that very few people in the USA has ever heard of, but they are very popular in northeast Veneto and Friuli and have been making bikes in Conegliano for decades. They will fit and custom make for you whatever you want in aluminum or steel....welded, lugged, brazed, and your choice of tubesets and paintjobs. Then build it up for you with whatever group you want.

As far as quality goes, some Italian world champions in multiple road and track disciplines have won their titles on Spezottos...I couldn't tell you who they are, but I saw photos from what looked like the 1970s in their shop. I do know that whenever I saw a Spezotto on the road, it was a serious cyclist riding it who wouldn't be satisfied with second-rate work. When I visited their shop, I was very impressed with their frames. Not super fancy, just good solid racing bikes for a very reasonable price. I especially like the fact that they are all custom.

Spezotto's shop is (unless they've moved on the SS13 in Conegliano. If you drove to Treviso on the SS13 from Pordenone through Sacile to Conegliano and Treviso, you passed their shop when the SS13 bypasses downtown Conegliano. There is a place where the SS13 passes under a bridge while passing around downtown Conegliano....Spezotto is on the south side of the road where that bridge is. Not very good directions, but they are worth seeking out.
Outstanding...thanks!Gemini Jim
Nov 30, 2003 11:06 PM
I was just at Ramstein & Coleman Barracks (Mannheim) a few weeks ago. I attended an NCOA grad at Ramstein & visited one of my troops in prison at Coleman Barracks. Germany seems to be a lot more modern than Italy...heck, even Japan was more modern than Italy.

Hey DanoKboneman
Dec 1, 2003 1:10 PM
It's zelig. Good to see you're still in DE. I've re-upped for the umpteenth time and going on 6 years in the UK. Company's kept me on ex-pat package so it's a financial wet dream. Traveling around Europe, going to the tdf every year, the Worlds and riding year 'round is the balls. You going to re-up after 2005?