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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    2,041

    An important decision

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    If you know me (I've been quiet lately, sorry), you know I'm a die-hard all-weather commuter and a bicycle tourist now too.

    By the way, I finished my 1400 mile, 6 week, 40 Missouri State Parks tour with my dad a couple weeks ago. I had a wonderful time!!

    I own just one bike, and have had only one bike since I started bicycling for transportation almost 10 years ago. The bike itself changed once, I gave my old bike to my daughter. So I still only have one bike.

    I'm sure you can see my problem!

    My all-purpose bicycle is a Trek 7.3 FX. Her name is Crush. She has fenders and a rack, a brooks saddle, a trekking bar, a mountain bike chainring, a longer stem for that more upright position. Crush is perfect for being versatile! But there are certain things I'd like to do that I can't do with her. The most pressing thing is, I'd like to bike with people who are on road bikes. Therefore, I need a road bike.

    I think I could use the same frame but with skinnier tires, lose the fenders & rack etc, put on drop bars. I believe I don't need something vastly different than that frame, though I understand the geometry that typically goes with drop bars is a little different than the geometry that goes with a straight bar.

    I've been checking in at the used bike shop. Typically they have just 4-5 bikes and they are too big. This weekend, they got in a 48 cm Cannondale R300, circa late 90's or early 2000's. Aluminum frame, triple chainring, seems to be fairly similar to Crush, but I could set it up as more of a road bike. It's already got the drop bar, I could put on a double chainring and spd pedals.

    I want to bounce this off of you all, see what you have to say. It's not an amazing bike but I'm not looking for something amazing. They're asking $425, the tires have little wear, it's a reputable bike shop, I'm confident it's a fair price for the components & their condition.

    I guess my question is, is this the bike I want? Will this fulfill the intended purpose? Should I wait for something else to come along? I'm willing to be patient. I'm not willing to pay much more than that price, including accessories or components.

    One thing I'm uncertain about is if the frame is a good size for me. I feel cramped in the drops, but aren't you supposed to feel cramped in the drops? It's just an awkward position and I'm not used to it. I don't know what a road bike is supposed to feel like. It's comfortable in the hoods. It might be a titch small. Crush is 17", I am 5'5".
    2009 Trek 7.2FX WSD, brooks Champion Flyer S, commuter bike

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Taylor, MI
    Posts
    220
    The Bicycle Blue Book indicates that if it is stock, it may be a bit over priced. See http://www.bicyclebluebook.com/Searc...8642&year=2000.

    I have very little knowledge of Cannondale geometry, but I would think it may be one size too small. Depending on your proportions, you might be able to swap for a longer stem to not feel cramped.

    Stock gruppo is Shimano Sora and that is pretty low level, but serviceable none the less.

    My 2 cents. Good luck in your search.

    P2
    2018 Trek Silque SLR6 - Selle SMP Glider
    2018 Specialized Dolce EVO Comp - Selle SMP Glider
    2011 Trek Madone 5.2 WSD -Selle SMP Glider
    2013 Giant TCX W - Oura 143

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,897
    I don't understand why you need a road bike. Is it because you're not fast enough with your current bike to keep up with the road bikers?

    Also, plenty of people have road bikes with triple chain rings. There is no law that says you have to have a double. You should have whatever works best for you, whether that's a triple, double or compact double.

    Also I do not feel cramped in the drops with my bike. I feel comfortable. I was not comfortable in the drops with my old road bike -- my hands hurt and I felt I was not in control of the bike. After switching to a WSD bike with a compact handlebar, I feel fine in the drops.

    - Gray 2010 carbon WSD road bike, Rivet Independence saddle
    - Red hardtail 26" aluminum mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle
    - Royal blue 2018 aluminum gravel bike, Rivet Pearl saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver 2003 aluminum road bike
    - Two awesome worn out Juliana saddles

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    1,301
    FWIW I'm 5'3 and my MTB is a 15 and my road bike a 48. I have longer arms and legs with a short torso.
    2012 Jamis Quest Brooks B17 Blue
    2012 Jamis Dakar XC Comp SI Ldy Gel
    2013 Electra Verse

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    4,516
    I'm 5'4.5" (and all leg) and ride a 52 cm Cannondale R600 named Blueberry (hence my screen name) from the same vintage (which, incidentally, still has the triple chainring on it). FWIW I paid ~500-600 for it about 8 years ago in mint condition. I do worry that the frame would be too small for you (and I think it's a tad overpriced).

    I, too, question whether you need a road bike to keep up with road riders. If you are out of top end gears, you might (that is a problem with the Trek hybrids - as we looked at making a touring bike out of DH's 730). However - it sounds like the modifications you need/would want to do to your current bike to make it zippier would make it less useful to you as a commuter. This would, I think, require 2 bikes. The only other option might be to have 2 sets of wheels with different tires - so you can switch between them with reasonable ease.

    If it were me, I would keep looking.
    Most days in life don't stand out, But life's about those days that will...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,501
    Quote Originally Posted by Melalvai View Post
    aren't you supposed to feel cramped in the drops?
    I'm very open in the drops, actually. A little compact in the hooks maybe. But if you don't feel cramped in other hand positions, it's probably the bend of the bars, not the frame geometry.

    Are the weight and gearing comparable to the bikes you're craving to keep up with?
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    Off the top of my head, I'd say the bike is a size too small, because I am 5' 1" and I had the R600 for my first road bike in 2002. It was a 48 cm. and, I totally understand why you want a road bike.
    The crappy components are what made me want to get rid of this bike after a year. Although my speed went from an average of 11-12 to an average of 14-15 after switching from a mtb with slicks, the bike never shifted right. I never could get it in the big ring. Ever.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura
    2017 Specialized Ariel Sport

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    2,041
    I rode it some more today and kept adjusting the seat and adjusting the seat and finally got it barely comfortable. I decided not to get it. I think I would be fighting its size all the time with different stem, seat, etc.

    I wanted a double instead of a triple just because I wanted more of a road bike.

    My current bike would actually be ok with the people I'd like to ride with sometimes, except I have it weighted down with fenders, rack, lights, a more upright geometry, lots of things that sacrifice performance for comfort. It's set up as a commuter bike and it is not going to go fast. No, I'm not running out of gears at the top end. I just can't keep up with them, on my bike. Equipment does make a difference.

    I think I can easily keep up with the ones who aren't super serious about it, after pedaling 1400 miles all over Missouri!
    2009 Trek 7.2FX WSD, brooks Champion Flyer S, commuter bike

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Boise Idaho
    Posts
    1,162
    Good decision, I am the same height as you and I ride at least a 52cm. So It sounds like you need to keep you racks, etc so you can commute, but you could look at different tires and perhaps a different wheel set to get a bit more speed out of the current bike.
    A nice supple, folding tire can really boost your rolling speed. Here's a blog post w/ several links about tires, size and speed that may be helpful.
    Sky King
    ____________________
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    Surly ECR "Eazi"
    Empowering the Bicycle Traveler
    biketouringnews.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    I am not sure why you think you have to have a double for a bike to be a real road bike. Do you mean a traditional double (I really don't know anyone with one of these, unless they are racing or very young) or a compact double? I have one road bike bike with a compact double and another road bike with a triple. There's very little difference between the two.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura
    2017 Specialized Ariel Sport

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    2,041
    I don't have to have a double. I just wanted one for the bike that would have been my road bike.

    I don't think I'm going to get a road bike. I don't want more speed out of my current bike. It's set up perfectly for what I use it for. The only thing I can't do is a few rides, and there are plenty of other rides I can do. I just thought it would be fun to do those faster rides with a slightly different crowd. But I'm busy enough with fun stuff, I don't really need it.
    2009 Trek 7.2FX WSD, brooks Champion Flyer S, commuter bike

 

 

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