View Full Version : Argh! decisions (long) Help!!

04-28-2003, 06:01 AM
Hello All,

I am new to this forum and new to biking. I recently decided to take up road cycling and spent most of yesterday trying out a couple of bikes. I tried a Klein Q-Carbon and a Bianchi Veloce. Having never been on a 'real' road bike it was quite an experience. I must say that although it all made me feel a bit uncoordinated I absolutely loved the feeling of being on a road bike!!! First I should say that my price range is/was around $1000 but both of the bikes I tried were about $500 more than that. I didn't have a chance to try any of the lower end bikes as I was wooed by the beauty of the Klein (it's on sale) and wanted to compare it's ride to a steel frame. So a couple of questions. The Klein was the first I tried and boy was it light, the fit was comfortable except for some pressure on my forearms and wrists, I think it may also have been my death grip :) the first few miles. The LBS was out of the longer stem the owner thinks will make quite a difference in my wrist/arm issues and also I needed a narrower handlebar. I loved the lightness and the lightning quick response of the Klein (especially on hills) but it felt a bit unsteady and noodly to me. I feel like most of that may be needing to tweak the stem and handlebar size my arms felt really wide apart, but am unsure, is it maybe too light and quick a bike for a newbie? The LBS is getting the stem in in the next couple of days and they are holding the bike until I can check it out with it. I'll also try it out with narrower handlebars. Bottom line I love the bike it's comfortable, light, amazinf response, easy shifting etc etc. I feel as if I could get used to the 'quickness' with some practice.
To compare I next checked out a steel frame/ carbon fork Bianchi Veloce. When I first hopped on it didn't feel as 'right' as the Klein, I felt more stretched out. We switched the stem and what a difference, my arms and wrists felt great. The bike also felt more stable to me and I felt more in control. I really feel like this had a lot to do with the better fit in the handlebar/stem. I also think I was probably overall more comfortable after my first ride. It was very different response wise than the Klein but not bad. All in all it was a great ride and I enjoyed it but it just seemed to lack to the pizazz and verve of the Klein.
So I feel torn and unsure on a number of fronts first and foremost about price, the bikes I tried are more than I originally anticipated spending. I am planning on going back and trying some lower end bikes today to get a feel what saving some money will get me but I feel like I may have been spoiled. Many experienced bikers have told me that if I do buy a lower end bike I will probably want to eventually upgrade as my riding level improves whereas I could spend the money now for the higher end bike and upgrade my performance to match the bike.
Most of all though I want to feel comfortable on the bike and safe. I know no matter what I buy here will be a learning curve as I get used to the road on two wheels. I'm planning on spending alot of time in the saddle this summer so I want to make the right decision. While I love the feel of the Klein I am worried that as a newbie the lightness may be a detriment but once I got used to it I could really fly. The Veloce felt great but I am worried that the steel may seem 'heavy' as I improve my skills. Silly me is also worried that whatever I get I will wish I got the other one Arg. Overall it's just super hard to compare as I am so new to this. Any comments and/or insights would be greatly appreciated. I am going to try both bikes (as well as the lower end ones) again and then maybe I will be able to be able to have bit more clarity on this. I must also say that my LBS has been fabulous in the process, incredibly patient and informative without being pushy. I feel lucky!! Thanks in advance Sonja

04-28-2003, 08:00 AM
hi sonja. first of all, i don't think that the weight of the bike will really affect you that much being a newbie. while Klein makes some very good bikes, you might check out Trek. they make a few womens specific bikes that maybe more in your price range. there are other bike manufacturers too, like Fuji, Kona. don't go with the first thing you ride, because this is a huge investment. try lots of bikes. also, remember that the LBS may want you to buy what THEY think is right for you. only you know that, and in time, with a little patience, you will find it.

as far as frame material, i ride an aluminum, and do love it. however the ride is a little "rigid" and aluminum is known for not taking the bumps too well. that is why aluminum is good to race on. my next bike is going to be steel for sure. steel has more shock absorption, and "in general" is more comfortable. don't negate steel right away. take a closer look. i think you will find that on longer rides, the steel will be more comfortable. it won't make a difference at mile 10, but around mile 30 or 40 you will notice.

i am not saying aluminum is bad, far from it. i love my aluminum frame.

you also want to make sure your lbs has measured you properly so you know exactly what size frame to buy. and this is my biggest piece of advice that was given to me. besides the minor adjustments with stem, seat, seat post etc. THE BIKE MUST FIT YOU. not the other way around. if you are measured and are between sizes, take the smaller size of the two. you can make more adjustments to it(stem, seat post etc.) whereas the larger

of the two has a longer top tube, and that can't be altered.

also make sure you find out the return policy, so if you change your mind, you can get your money back or exchange it.

just my .02 cents.

good luck, let us know how it goes.

04-28-2003, 08:03 AM
couple of quick thoughts:

bike shopping can be stressful. I know I thought too much about it and analyzed too much. Best advice... goes with what "feels" right. Second consideration is the shop you'll be dealing with... make sure they are going to work with you and not just take your money and send you out the door. When you sit on the bike that's right for you, you will feel it.


04-28-2003, 08:18 AM
My 2 cents worth...

It sounds like you do already have clarity! You've landed in the aluminum vs. steel (well, there's carbon and titanium too) debate, and there's no *right* answer. As you've found, different materials and different bike geometries feel and behave very differently. The fact that you can discern these qualities now is a good sign (I didn't know how to shift on my first test ride).

Just remember buying a bike isn't (necessarily) a lifelong commitment. Regardless of what you buy now, in 5 years you'll probably be lusting after something new anyway. ;)

If you've found an LBS that will work with you, and it sounds like yours does, that's a great start.

Kim (a titanium snob at the moment)

04-29-2003, 04:49 AM
Well yesterday I took out the WSD Trek 2000. It was a comfortable bike and good fit but it just didn't make me feel all warm and fuzzy like I did about the other two from bike buying round 1. It just didn't feel as comfortable ride wise. The most apt description would be more vibration and 'janglyness'. Not bad but noticeable even on a short ride. (Please excuse my less than technical terms)

So hopefully the new stem for the Klein will be in today or tommorrow and I can give it another whirl, I may just go down today again and give it a ride for the heck of it to get more feel.

One thing I did find yesterday is even after my first few short rides I am feeling overall much more comfortable about being on a bike in general. I actually got up a little speed going down the hills yesterday, no death grip :) on the brakes. Yay for me!!! I can't wait for a real ride. Thanks for the comments and input, I'll keep ya'll posted with new developments.

04-29-2003, 03:32 PM
Well I rode the Klein again today and I must say I think it is love. The new stem is not in and I didn't get the narrower handlebars on but otherwise it just felt great -- no not great but fabulous! The feeling was much more comfortable and relaxed than my first ride and I was ready to go many many more miles, too bad the LBS was closing. I was able to transition that twitchy feeling into control and everything just clicked, I think with getting the stem and handlebars taken care of I'll be good to go. I will most definitely give it a test ride or two or three before I completely seal the deal. I want to be 1000% sure before I lay down the cash. Thanks again for all the comments and please keep letting me know if you have any insights or tips.

04-29-2003, 03:34 PM
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05-21-2003, 09:46 AM
I don't know much about road bikes but Klein mountain bikes are top quality so I would assume the same for their road bikes. Plus, they have the best paint jobs around :) It sounds like you've already made up your mind so "Go for it! " :)

06-01-2003, 08:41 AM
The paint job was what won me out on my Klein Attitude. It was a little more pricey then I wanted to pay, but honest she's beutiful, she's fab.

07-03-2003, 08:56 AM
My advice is to ride as many bikes a possible. Every combination of frame material aluminum, steal, carbon, combinations. But the best thing you can do that will serve you now and in the future is to get a BIKE FIT. Serrota and Seven (high end Frames) offer a bike fit to help riders make new purchases easier, and more accurate from the start. Starting with a frame that fits your body type first, and then tinkering with the stem, seat post etc... later, give you more comfort, and improved handling.

Once you have your own body specs and frame requirements then go shopping. That the sales person pull out the frame specs for each bike in you price range to see what matches up with you specs. Better yet go online and check them yourself. This search for dealers in your area. LBS's are limited to carrying on a few brands of bikes - sometimes by finances and mostly by regional sales contracts. Shop around, ride a lot of brands. But start with a BIKE FIT