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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
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    West Tennessee & Ashe Cty NC
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    Advise sought on new bike to purchase

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    I am an experienced rider (57 yr, 150#), getting back into consistent weekly 20mi rides with friends on paved walking/biking trails- been riding now for a year. I may take bike on vacations to ride in state parks but probably not much more than hard dirt paths or pine straw paths in parks for off road. Will do some bike trips with same girl friends. We are all in 55-65 age range, in good shape.

    I am seeking recommendations to narrow the field of choices. All my friends bought Trek FX 7.2-7.5 versions from LBS. They like them, but i am used to riding a vintage '85 Raleigh Marathon 12 speed road bike (has >1000mi on org equip x tires. It has been fine for me, but a little tall frame so i have a hard time standing with the crossbar (no women's versions in those days). I am concerned with my aging agility it may be a safety concern down the road in a year or two. While I like the FX series, and fitness bikes in general - I hesitate to spend close to $1k when outfitted with kickstand,fenders, rear rack, and 2 water bottle racks for the fear I may outgrown the bike if we keep riding like we are.

    Any opinions/experience are welcome: fitness hybrid vs road with straight bar, not drop; disc vs linear pull breaks, gear components to avoid, and saddles . We have an upcoming 35 mile charity ride later in the fall and I'd like to have the new bike broken in before I go if possible.

    I am test riding from LBS on Giant, Specialized, Trek, and maybe Fuji(crosstown w's). Hope to find a good used one, but not limiting my selection. If I happen to find a good used, what discount from MSRP should I expect 1 year, 2 year, >3 years old?

    thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,465
    What is your budget?

    Offhand, I'd say some type of cyclocross or adventure bike. You can put whatever bar/brake combination you want, but drop bars are more standard.

    Personally, I'd look at Salsa Vaya first. They make several at very different price points. If you are up for it, you could get a frame set and have it built with something like Shimano 105, an inexpensive wheel set, and maybe TRP disc brakes, either mechanical or hydraulic (Again, what I would do).

    Other choices: Surly Long Haul Trucker. Surly Cross Check. Surly Straggler. Surly Troll.

    The above are all steel-frame bikes. The Cross Check costs the least. If you want inexpensive aluminum, maybe a Giant cyclocross like the Invite for around $1050.00. A really nice cx is a Cannondale CAADX (I have one). If you are very petite, it might not fit. How tall are you?

    You can look up the Bicycle Bluebook value on nearly any bike. I find it easiest to put the make and model into Google along with the word Bluebook since Google works better than most site-specific search engines. You want to find the exact bike listed, not something that is merely close.

    A lot of possibilities out there. I'd lean towards disc brakes If you get a cyclocross, that's what most come with, now. Even a couple of years ago many more were cantilever. I like linear pulls, but they are getting a lot less common in general. It's better, IMO, to get the more current technology in case you decide to sell, makes the value higher and it's easier to find a buyer. I know it sounds unlikely, now. But it happens for a lot of reasons.

    If you can find the bike you want used, in the correct size in very good or better condition, then by all means, get it!

    Edit (again!).
    Here is the bluebook listing for my Cannondale CAADX Cyclocross

    http://www.bicyclebluebook.com/searc...spx?id=3045336.

    You may notice that it came with cantilever brakes, that was the last year before all but the entry-level versions came with disc brakes. I upgraded the canti's to TRP brand, which are much higher quality than the stock brakes. I have TRP disc mechanicals on my Surly Krampus mountain bike. I had it built from a frameset last January, so I got to choose all the parts that went on it rather than making do with stock or having to upgrade later. I'll probably stick to that in the future as I got better quality for less money. That can be daunting if you don't know what you want, though.
    Last edited by Muirenn; 09-11-2015 at 07:20 PM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    West Tennessee & Ashe Cty NC
    Posts
    21
    Quote Originally Posted by AngelontheRoad View Post
    I am an experienced rider (57 yr, 150#), getting back into consistent weekly 20mi rides with friends on paved walking/biking trails- been riding now for a year. I may take bike on vacations to ride in state parks but probably not much more than hard dirt paths or pine straw paths in parks for off road. Will do some bike trips with same girl friends. We are all in 55-65 age range, in good shape.

    I am seeking recommendations to narrow the field of choices. All my friends bought Trek FX 7.2-7.5 versions from LBS. They like them, but i am used to riding a vintage '85 Raleigh Marathon 12 speed road bike (has >1000mi on org equip x tires. It has been fine for me, but a little tall frame so i have a hard time standing with the crossbar (no women's versions in those days). I am concerned with my aging agility it may be a safety concern down the road in a year or two. While I like the FX series, and fitness bikes in general - I hesitate to spend close to $1k when outfitted with kickstand,fenders, rear rack, and 2 water bottle racks for the fear I may outgrown the bike if we keep riding like we are.

    Any opinions/experience are welcome: fitness hybrid vs road with straight bar, not drop; disc vs linear pull breaks, gear components to avoid, and saddles . We have an upcoming 35 mile charity ride later in the fall and I'd like to have the new bike broken in before I go if possible.

    I am test riding from LBS on Giant, Specialized, Trek, and maybe Fuji(crosstown w's). Hope to find a good used one, but not limiting my selection. If I happen to find a good used, what discount from MSRP should I expect 1 year, 2 year, >3 years old?

    thank you
    Budget is $600-900 reluctantly - hopefully can up the quality through a used.

  4. #4
    Jolt is offline Dodging the potholes...
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Southern Maine
    Posts
    1,677
    Some good suggestions above…Muirenn beat me to it as far as recommending Surly. Just be aware if you see yourself wanting to go on faster group rides that they are heavier bikes and you may find yourself having a harder time keeping up with those on the light road bikes that are usually brought on those kinds of rides (that said, this also depends on the "engine" so to speak and I know mine is NOT made for speed, so YMMV). Some other possibilities might be: Bianchi Volpe, Jamis Aurora/Bosanova/Quest/Ventura (the last two are more pure road bikes, so if you wanted to do a multi-day trip you would either need to pack light or use a trailer), Masi CX (if you're taller…toe overlap is horrible on the smaller sizes).
    Last edited by Jolt; 09-12-2015 at 03:03 AM.
    2011 Surly LHT
    1995 Trek 830

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    2,045
    I was in a somewhat similar situation when I started cycling again a few years ago, and bought a hybrid off craigslist. As it turned out, it didn't fit me and was heavy, and I realized very quickly I really did want a road bike to be able to go further and faster. I sold the hybrid and got an aluminum road bike, and eventually replaced it with my current bike.

    Give some serious thought to your "future self" and what you envision your riding habits to be a few months or a year. Lots of women in their 50's and 60's have no trouble whatsoever with a road bike frame. I also have a Surly which I bought for touring- it doesn't get enough use but I hope to ride it more. So far I've ridden it on one camping trip, some grocery runs and a few times when my road bike was in the shop or I just wanted a change. It's heavier and rides better with the panniers loaded up....
    2016 Specialized Ruby Comp disc - Ruby Expert ti 155
    2010 Surly Long Haul Trucker - Jett 143

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    6,465
    Quote Originally Posted by azfiddle View Post
    I was in a somewhat similar situation when I started cycling again a few years ago, and bought a hybrid off craigslist. As it turned out, it didn't fit me and was heavy, and I realized very quickly I really did want a road bike to be able to go further and faster. I sold the hybrid and got an aluminum road bike, and eventually replaced it with my current bike.

    Give some serious thought to your "future self" and what you envision your riding habits to be a few months or a year. Lots of women in their 50's and 60's have no trouble whatsoever with a road bike frame. I also have a Surly which I bought for touring- it doesn't get enough use but I hope to ride it more. So far I've ridden it on one camping trip, some grocery runs and a few times when my road bike was in the shop or I just wanted a change. It's heavier and rides better with the panniers loaded up....
    Agreed. I only stuck to cx and light adventure bikes for recommendations because it sounded like that is what you are looking for.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Posts
    14
    I have limited experience, but am a 51 going on 52 year old woman who got benched from running due to knee issues. I decided this summer, after my knee healed after surgery, to do some biking. I'd put some money away and wanted to buy a bike or bikes that would last. My husband has a hybrid bike, but mine is a comfort bike--a heavy Schwinn. Sturdy, but not easy or enjoyable to ride for fitness.

    I bought a Lexa SL in July and I really love it. Its fast and enjoyable and comfortable, and I love so much that's its very light--but I also have some areas that I'd like to ride which are rocky or gravel roads and, with the weather turning here, I wanted something that I could ride at least three seasons. Last week, I purchased a Trek Lexa SL and it is also a great bike. I paid a little more to have hydraulic brakes. I find this bike to be a lot of fun, a bit easier to shift than the Lexa for whatever reason (experience, I'm sure), and I feel much safer in wet weather or going off the side of the road, etc.

    I did try Specialized and Cannondales as well and did a bit of research. I was assured all three brands, as well as Surly (no dealer close by) were fine, and was told to buy the ones that felt the best to me. Riding, sitting and talking to people on forums like these helped a lot. Good luck, hope you find something you love.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Pac. NW
    Posts
    354
    Boy, tough question, one many of us have asked at various times. I thought I wanted to ride packed trails, gravel and scoot around the campground. I purchase a comfort bike, like the paved rails to trails so up graded to a Trek 7.5 (great bike but a bit too big), with the FX I discovered the road and again upgraded! I love my carbon rode bike!

    Last month I added a hard tail mountain bike to the mix so I could ride a packed gravel trail on a vacation trip. The other day I actually rode it on a real mountain bike trail too. I look forward to scooting around the campground with it also.

    I guess what I'm saying, this can be an evolving venture. When I started riding I could never have imagined I would one day ride long distances on busy roads. We used to load up the bikes and take them to the paved trails, now we ride to the trail. We've completed two STPs.

    It's so hard to know where this journey will take you. Follow your heart and don't be too practical, all the upgrades can be expensive over time! Neither of my first two bikes turned out to be the "do everything" bikes I hoped the would be. And since DH and I ride together, all purchases have been Times Two!

    As far as your advanced age, no worries! Your a young pup compared to many of the ladies here! Plus you already ride a road bike.

    Sounds like you might like a "go fast", drop handle bar road bike for organized rides. I will say, we did ride 60 mile rides a few times on FXs, but the drop bars really are more comfortable.

    Good luck and have fun!

    From the dark side of 59!
    2011 Specialized Ruby Comp
    2015 Giant Liv Tempt 3

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,465
    Remember in all of this that you can put slicker, more narrow tires on the bike if you expect to stay on the roads, that equates to less rolling resistance and so a faster ride. Offroad tires, like cyclocross treads, tend to have too much resistance for road. For example, my CAADX came with Schwalb Sammy Slicks, which are not slick at all, I bought some Schwalb Marathons for commuting, less resistance, faster on the road. I could buy something faster, but that is what my regular road bike is for. And on that bike I prefer Continnental 4000s's. Fast, but corner well. I think my cx uses 35 mm tires, and the road 23 mm. I know I can put thicker tires on the road, not sure how thick, but definitely 25 mm. The cx 35 tires absorb a lot of road vibration and provide a wider base, so should be more stable. I've no idea how narrow I can go on that bike, I suspect it's up to me. In general, smoother tread is easier in turns on asphalt. At least for me. Knobby tires on pavement actually make fast turns harder.

    So far, I like Continnental for road, Schwalb for Cyclocross, and Maxxis (Ardents) for mountainbiking.
    Last edited by Muirenn; 09-14-2015 at 10:45 AM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    West Tennessee & Ashe Cty NC
    Posts
    21
    Thank you all for your comments. They have been invaluable. I am pursuing currently a 2015 Specialized Vita Elite Carbon Disc for a sweet price NEW. If that does not fit/like for some very odd reason, I have reserved a Specialized Vita Elite as my back up. It was a bit of toss up between Trek 7.4, 7.5, or Specialized at the end. I prefer the presets for fender, rack, and better gearing on the Specialized than Trek. I have not written the checks yet, so opine if you will while the carbon is in route to be assembled for fit test. Thank you

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,465
    Quote Originally Posted by AngelontheRoad View Post
    Thank you all for your comments. They have been invaluable. I am pursuing currently a 2015 Specialized Vita Elite Carbon Disc for a sweet price NEW. If that does not fit/like for some very odd reason, I have reserved a Specialized Vita Elite as my back up. It was a bit of toss up between Trek 7.4, 7.5, or Specialized at the end. I prefer the presets for fender, rack, and better gearing on the Specialized than Trek. I have not written the checks yet, so opine if you will while the carbon is in route to be assembled for fit test. Thank you
    You can't put a fender and rack on a carbon frameset unless there are integrated rack and fender bosses specially made to protect the frame. (I've never seen a bike like that, but it's a possibility). Putting those things on a carbon frameset with P-clamps or other mounting hardward will destroy the frame. Some bike shops will do it if you ask without telling you because they are anxious to sell. Don't do it.

    Edit: there are other options if you want to put gear on your bike while riding a carbon frameset. I use Revelate Bags on my CAADX (Aluminum) for commuting because racks change the bike's handling. They are pricey, but worth it. I have the Viscacha, the Tangle, and the Gas Tank. (Gas Tank is more for mountain biking as it's so large, I have a smaller, less expensive brand top tube bag on the CAADX for commuting). I can't even tell they are on the bike, and they hold a lot. The Viscacha requires a lot of exposed seatpost for tire clearance. If that is not available, then the Pika might be better. Other brands do cost less, but cheaper gear doesn't always hold up, and I've had zero problems. These bags attach directly to the frameset, but don't cause stress on the carbon. If I were to put the Tangle or Gas Tank on my Carbon frameset, I'd use Lizard Skins removable frameset protection adhesive to prevent micro-scratches.

    http://www.revelatedesigns.com/

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...RTH5PFG5JD4SKA

    Honestly, if I planned to do it regularly, I'd stay away from carbon. And there is no safe way I know of to use fenders. OTOH, you don't really need a rack for a 35 mile ride, what do you plan to bring with you? A lot of us tend to get minimal over the years. I generally bring a tool kit in a very small saddle pack on my road bike to change tires and other small repairs, and food and small wallet with money and id in my back pockets. Don't really need anything else for under 65 miles. Bottle cages and bottles, of course. For extra food, and small top tube bag up next to the stem is very nice.

    One thing I would get is a Road ID. I try to always have it when I ride. The wrist version is the easiest for people to notice if you get hurt.
    Last edited by Muirenn; 09-17-2015 at 06:06 AM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    West Tennessee & Ashe Cty NC
    Posts
    21
    Thank you for comments on carbon. I thought I asked that question when I was first checking out the bikes, and I know the literature says something to effect of "compatible with Specialized Plug & Play fender set". I presume this means you can, but your caution is heeded. In closeup pictures there appears to be a screw in the cross piece between back fork rails which I presume is where it would go. I will call again to be sure as I definitely need fenders and rear rack mounts. I really appreciate the Road ID wrist band you recommend. We always ride as a group, never leaving one single rider alone; but in an out of town ride, it is more important to know the tricks of the trade. Do you have a wrist band you recommend versus others. I'll get one for everyone in our group as a "treat" for our first group trip on the bikes.

    Are there the ABCs for carbon bike care and maintenance. I essentially have had no maintenance of my existing Raleigh other than tires, tubes, periodic tune-up and check out, replace handlebar tape. Maybe there is a considering carbon 101 reading I should do first before buying to be certain I want this bike. It was an excellent ride and I love the lightweight frame- which is why I considered it when I heard the 25% off list price plus a little more after negotiating.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,465
    Quote Originally Posted by AngelontheRoad View Post
    Thank you for comments on carbon. I thought I asked that question when I was first checking out the bikes, and I know the literature says something to effect of "compatible with Specialized Plug & Play fender set". I presume this means you can, but your caution is heeded. In closeup pictures there appears to be a screw in the cross piece between back fork rails which I presume is where it would go. I will call again to be sure as I definitely need fenders and rear rack mounts. I really appreciate the Road ID wrist band you recommend. We always ride as a group, never leaving one single rider alone; but in an out of town ride, it is more important to know the tricks of the trade. Do you have a wrist band you recommend versus others. I'll get one for everyone in our group as a "treat" for our first group trip on the bikes.

    Are there the ABCs for carbon bike care and maintenance. I essentially have had no maintenance of my existing Raleigh other than tires, tubes, periodic tune-up and check out, replace handlebar tape. Maybe there is a considering carbon 101 reading I should do first before buying to be certain I want this bike. It was an excellent ride and I love the lightweight frame- which is why I considered it when I heard the 25% off list price plus a little more after negotiating.
    It sounds like the bike has factory integrated mounts for the fenders, which means it's fine. Just make sure it has the same for the rack. They sell mounting hardware to attach racks, fenders, etc.; the hardware clamps directly to the bike for bikes that don't have mounting eyelets and such. I was saying to avoid that situation. Clamping things to carbon is not a good idea. Most carbon bikes, traditionally, don't have integrated mounting points. It make more sense that a Vita would as its intended purpose is not the same.

    Doesn't really matter which ID, as long as it's a model that can be worn on the wrist, which is where personnel are trained to look first. It makes a big difference to rescue personnel and acquaintances if this information is readily available. Especially with people who have allergies or specific medical concerns. And family can be reached much faster this way.

    You do have to be more careful with carbon, I could say a lot, but it might be best to google 'carbon bike maintenance,' or carbon bike care. Many articles on it. Also looke up how to wash the frameset and drivetrain so they don't inadvertently sustain damage. Here is one:

    http://carlhart.com/how-to/how-to-ca...arts-pg220.htm
    Last edited by Muirenn; 09-18-2015 at 03:25 AM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,845
    There are fenders that can be used with carbon frames. I have a version of the Race Blades for mine. I put them on before a ride if I expect rain and take them off afterwards.

    http://www.rei.com/product/718392/sk...lade-xl-fender

    I do have problems getting the front fender to fit on my WSD frame, so I'm actually looking for a different brand now. But there are options.

    As for racks, as far as I know they are not an option for carbon frames. I make do with a large seat wedge, a top-tube bag and a handlebar bag that attaches to the handlebars with velcro strips.

    As for caring for a carbon frame, I just clean it with some pink bike cleaner that I bought ages ago at the LBS. The main thing is to avoid any impact to the frame - be careful when you lean it against something, carry it, put it in or out of a car, etc.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Saskatoon, Sask.
    Posts
    345
    The Kona Jake is pretty good value for money in the cyclocross category. It would probably do everything you need for that kind of riding. The only possible drawback is that the top tubes on Kona tend to be a bit on the long side.
    http://www.konaworld.com/jake.cfm
    Queen of the sea beasts

 

 

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