Author Topic: What kind of bike?  (Read 5651 times)

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Offline bryanmwood

What kind of bike?
« on: October 01, 2012, 11:59:18 pm »
So I'm looking to buy a better bike. I stopped in the bike store and almost bought a 2012 Salsa Casseroll. Can any experts let me know whether this bike is one of the better bikes I can get for a price range of $1000 or below (it was on sale). I am open to buying either a new or used bike. I just need the best bike I can for the price range. Something that can carry a larger load (planning to do Transamerica next summer) and something that will be the most comfortable on long rides. Please, if anyone has any recommendations please let me know!! THANKS

Offline Charlie44

Re: What kind of bike?
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2012, 12:32:51 am »
I have limited experience, but i research bikes a lot.  The Casseroll is a great bike, for under $1000, it's a steal, but it's more of a light tourer.  Salsa makes the Vaya for loaded touring.  Almost all the commonly seen touring bikes like Surly LHT and Trek 520 are going to be about $1200-1400.  You could try looking for sales on those bikes or possibly used.  REI sells Novara bikes around $1000 that I have heard are good, also if you can find a Fuji Tourist or Jamis Aurora, those bikes I believe are closer to the $1000 mark.  Hope this helps, good luck. 

Offline staehpj1

Re: What kind of bike?
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2012, 07:18:38 am »
Something that can carry a larger load (planning to do Transamerica next summer) and something that will be the most comfortable on long rides.

The Casseroll is a nice bike.  It is not as much of a truck as some dedicated touring bikes, so if you plan to pack heavy it may not be the best choice.

That said... the fact that you are doing the TA does not dictate a larger load.  My recommendation is to plan your gear first then when you know what and how much you will be carrying pick a bike and bags suited to that load.  My personal recommendation is to pack as light as you can reasonably manage.  I'd recommend shooting for 20-25 pounds of bags and gear not including food and water and drawing a hard line at 30.  That should require only sensible packing with no need for exotic ultra light gear.

I did my first tour (TA) with 50 pounds or so and mailed stuff home repeatedly.  On hind sight I would have carried a lot less.

Offline nlsteve

Re: What kind of bike?
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2012, 07:05:44 pm »
FWIW, the fall sale at REI is going on right now and you can get an item such as the Novara Randonee for under $1000 with the members' sale coupon. I have this bike and it's a good dedicated touring design.  The sale goes through 10/14 and it is worth the one-time membership fee to take advantage of 20% off one item.

The Randonee is comparable to the Surly Long Haul Trucker, Trek 520, and so forth, so if you find a comparable bargain among these other models in the same original price range, check them out.  Watch for closeouts and such.  They generally have the gearing and features you will want.   They're all good bikes. 

I don't know what REI's policy is on swapping out saddles, but if you're not pleased with the stock saddle wherever you buy, consider asking them to credit it against a replacement saddle.  I went with a Brooks and am happy I did, but I might have saved a few bucks if I did it at the time of purchase.

Steve

Offline adventurepdx

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Re: What kind of bike?
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2012, 07:43:11 pm »
FWIW, the fall sale at REI is going on right now and you can get an item such as the Novara Randonee for under $1000 with the members' sale coupon.

FWIW, the 20% off is not towards bikes:
http://www.rei.com/coupon
Scroll down to Full Coupon Details and Exclusions

Offline nlsteve

Re: What kind of bike?
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2012, 10:31:52 pm »
FWIW, the fall sale at REI is going on right now and you can get an item such as the Novara Randonee for under $1000 with the members' sale coupon.

FWIW, the 20% off is not towards bikes:
http://www.rei.com/coupon
Scroll down to Full Coupon Details and Exclusions

Sorry, I stand corrected.  I did get the discount during the Spring REI event, but this is a different sale.
Steve

Offline adventurepdx

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  • Posts: 258
  • Riding bikes in and around Portland, Oregon
Re: What kind of bike?
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2012, 10:41:24 pm »
Sorry, I stand corrected.  I did get the discount during the Spring REI event, but this is a different sale.

Yeah. Sometimes bikes are included, sometimes they are not. I think they also have a special Novara bike sale at some point too. And I remember when I signed up for a membership, they give you a 15% off coupon for an REI/Novara branded item, forget if it worked for Novara bikes.

Offline rcrampton

Re: What kind of bike?
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2012, 11:23:43 am »
+1 on the REI Novaras. I've got the Randonee (700c) and the Safari (26 but is now 29) and like both. They've changed a fair bit since I got mine. Which you'd like better is personal preference. The Randonee has slightly better components. For a road tour that's the one I'd buy today but I'd take either across the US with confidence.

I spent another $1000 on racks, fenders, panniers, etc. after I bought my first touring bike, hopefully you can get some re-use there.

Offline Rick.in.AZ

Re: What kind of bike?
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2012, 08:26:43 pm »
I Too have a Randonee.  Mine is between 15 + 20 years old.  I used it on the pacific coast route 15 years ago, and save for wanting a bit lower gears on a couple hills, it did well. I has also served commute duty for it's whole life (8 miles ea way). I plan to use it for my trans Am next year. Only changes being the small ring (from 26 to 24 teeth AFTER the pacific coast), the shifters (STI's bit the dust a year ago after 15 years) now down tube, 2 rear rims - pot holes are NOT my freind  :(  , and the stem -- to get the right fit, which is critical!!

The paint is faded, it looks well used (it is), but I see no reason it wont make it cross country.

If you are capable of bike maintenance (and if not you should learn before the transam), Bikes Direct has a bike that looks interesting for $800. Of course you will not be able to ride it first, but if you know what you want adequqtely it is an option. If I had to replace my randonee, I'd be considering it.

Offline dkoloko

Re: What kind of bike?
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2012, 12:18:10 pm »
"If you are capable of bike maintenance (and if not you should learn before the transam), Bikes Direct has a bike that looks interesting for $800. Of course you will not be able to ride it first, but if you know what you want adequqtely it is an option."

Bike maintenance is good to know with any bike you own, and on tour may be necessary with any bike.  Bikes Direct has been mentioned many times; see archives. Cautions are name brands may not be what you think; merely purchased names of bankrupt companies; if dissatisfied you may receive less than stellar customer service.

Offline DaveB

Re: What kind of bike?
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2012, 07:03:11 pm »
Bikes Direct has been mentioned many times; see archives. Cautions are name brands may not be what you think; merely purchased names of bankrupt companies; if dissatisfied you may receive less than stellar customer service.
Yes indeed BD has been mentioned many times with the complaints and problems far overshadowing the satisfied customers.   If you buy from them, you better be a pretty accomplished bike mechanic as it is likely you will need those skills.

Offline Rick.in.AZ

Re: What kind of bike?
« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2012, 11:03:18 pm »
" the complaints and problems far overshadowing the satisfied customers"

Fair enough.  I haven't been watching this forum enough to comment on that. I have however purchased a bike from them and been satisfied. And as I said - the OP would need to be capable of bike maintenance.

As to "name brands may not be what you think; merely purchased names of bankrupt companies" - Very true.  Same as schwinn, Masi, Gurciotti, and numerous other brands sold in local bike stores.

Offline Solo-Tour-J

Re: What kind of bike?
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2012, 02:16:59 pm »
Something that can carry a larger load (planning to do Transamerica next summer) and something that will be the most comfortable on long rides.


I did my first tour (TA) with 50 pounds or so and mailed stuff home repeatedly.  On hind sight I would have carried a lot less.


LMAO!!!
We always mail stuff home as we're always sifting through the load resizing the needs of the gear as well as the junk I buy as momentos...

Wish I never mailed stuiff home but that is what P.O. flat rate boxes are for right :)

Offline newfydog

Re: What kind of bike?
« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2012, 01:40:17 am »
i don't think you can do better than bikesdirect.  My wife and I have five Motobecanes from them (mtb hardtail, full suspension and cyclocross bikes).  I have bought five more for friends.  Nine perfect bikes, one, a prototype I broke and they replaced it with a new bike, problems corrected.

The cyclocross bikes are great touring bikes.

Every bike came set up well, better than average out of box tuning. 

If you know nothing about bike maintenence, and your local shop refuses to acknowledge online sales are a fact of life avoid them.  If you want a good bike at half retail, check them out.

Offline staehpj1

Re: What kind of bike?
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2012, 07:43:43 am »
i don't think you can do better than bikesdirect.  My wife and I have five Motobecanes from them (mtb hardtail, full suspension and cyclocross bikes).  I have bought five more for friends.  Nine perfect bikes, one, a prototype I broke and they replaced it with a new bike, problems corrected.

The cyclocross bikes are great touring bikes.

Every bike came set up well, better than average out of box tuning. 

If you know nothing about bike maintenence, and your local shop refuses to acknowledge online sales are a fact of life avoid them.  If you want a good bike at half retail, check them out.
I would second all of that.  I own two bikes from them and my family and close friends account for three more.  We have been very happy with them.  My bikes never go to the shop for work, but the family and friends bikes have and they were quite welcome at the local shops.  Shops typically make most of their money on service, accessories, and parts not bikes so there is no reason for them to turn away business.