Author Topic: New here and seeking advice  (Read 5409 times)

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Offline Irish

New here and seeking advice
« on: January 01, 2005, 08:02:45 am »
Hello everyone,

I'm new here and am looking for advice on bicycle touring, specifically the "fully-supported" kind.

I currently live in Bend, Oregon and one of my goals is to do the Cycle Oregon tour.  However I have a lot of work to do first.  One, I need a bike, and based on what I saw on a recent visit to a local bike shop, that is a pretty expensive proposition.  Two, I need to train and get in shape.  

On the bike front, I have been advised that, with "supported" touring, I would do well to get a bike based on the road-racing style--lightweight, maneuverable.  They're also expensive.  The carbon-fiber Trek that the salesman showed me was $2800.  Am I really going to have to spend this kind of money for a bike?  Originally I was thinking of maybe $1000 for a bike. What do you think?

On the training and general knowledge front, I need to do some searching for some good books on cycling--touring in particular.  Any recommendations here?

Thanks!



Offline DaveB

New here and seeking advice
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2005, 03:54:11 pm »
Hi and Happy New Year!

Apparently you didn't tell the salesman your bike budget, intended use and level of experience since he pretty much started you near the top of the line.   Carbon fiber framed Treks are good bikes but serious overkill for someone just starting out and looking for their first good bike.

For supported touring (i.e. no luggage on the bike) a sports-tourer is the best choice for utility and lightness and be sure it has low enough gears for the terrain you will be riding.  I believe a triple crank should be strongly considered for your level of fitness and the riding area you will be in.

A pure racing bike will work but is really the tool of the very accomplished and strong rider, not someone just starting out.

Go back to the bike shop(s) and look at some of the Aluminum framed Trek, Cannondale, Specialize, Fuji, etc.  They will be in your price range and be available with suitable gearing and good quality components.  A budget of $1000-$1500 should get you a really good and suitable ride.  

Also, be SURE you get the proper size and use a shop that's willing to take the time to adjust and/or change the stem, seat position, etc. to fit you properly.        




Offline Irish

New here and seeking advice
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2005, 08:04:33 pm »
Actually I did ask the salesman what I could find in the $1000-$1500 range for a bike I would ride on supported tours, but his reply was along the lines of "you get what you pay for", and he then proceeded to educate me on the virtues of an all carbon-fiber bike, and then showed me the $2800 Trek.  I also told him what my current fitness level was, and he suggested "spin classes" at one of the local gyms during the winter.  

Now that I look back on it, I think the guy was just trying to move that $2800 Trek. :)  Also, I noticed that the bike shop I visited charges $150-$200 for fitting/adjusting the bike to you specifically.  Is this normal?  I've never bought a "higher-end" bike before, so I wouldn't know.

You mentioned Cannondale and Specialized bikes.  Do you have any specific models in mind that I could do a search for on the internet?  I know the determining factors here will be price and fit/comfort, but some specific model names can get me pointed in the right direction.

One last thing:  THANK YOU for responding.  I'm new to this particular activity and for a while I'll probably be asking questions that may sound kinda dumb to the more experienced folks here.  Please bear with me.  Again, thank you for taking the time to offer advice.

Sincerely,

Irish





Offline Peaks

New here and seeking advice
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2005, 08:41:16 pm »
First, almost any bike will work, expecially for supported touring.  

Second, the basic gear that you need for bike touring is good biking shorts, a seat that agrees with your anatomy, and a good granny gear.  So, any bike with a triple crank should do the job.  

For what it's worth, I used a Trek 1200.  It's a $700 aluminum frame road bike with triple crank on the front, and 7 cogs on back, probably 6 to 8 years old.

And we were self supported, using trailers

This message was edited by Peaks on 1-1-05 @ 4:42 PM

Offline DaveB

New here and seeking advice
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2005, 10:31:07 pm »
Glad to help.

I think you read the salesman right.  He wanted to move the expensive bike, irrespective of what you really need.  Talk to someone else or to a different shop.  "You get what you pay for" is valid only if it meets your requirements.

As to specific models, I've got the '05 Trek and Specialized catalogs in front of me and the following models look like they would be suitable and meet your price point:

Trek sports-tourers:  Models 1500 and 1200.  The 1500 has  better components but the Al frames are identical.  Both come with triple cranks.  BTW, Trek has a lifetime warranty on their frames for the original purchaser.

Trek's pure tourer is the 520.  It has an excellent reputation as a fully-loaded tourer but is a bit too single-purpose for what you describe as your intended use.

Specialized sports-tourers: Allez Sport. Allez and Roubaix  These  have similar Al frame but the Sport and Roubaix have better components.

I'm not familiar with the details of Cannondale's line but they have competitive models in the same cost and component range.

 

   


Offline Irish

New here and seeking advice
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2005, 11:21:46 pm »
DaveB:  Thanks for the info.  As it happens, I was looking online at the 1200 and 1500 (I believe they're in Trek's Alpha Aluminum Performance Road line).  I really like the look of the 1500, and for an msrp of $1099 or so, that fits within my budget pretty well.  I'll go back to the bike shop next week and see if they have the bike in stock in my size (56 or 58).  If I find that the bike fits my needs, then I MAY well be able to buy it, train, and go on a multi-day (supported) tour in August/September of this year!  We'll just have to see...

Peaks:  What brand of trailers did you use?  I'm curious, as I might want to EVENTUALLY do some self-contained touring, and I've heard some good things about using trailers.

Happy Riding!

Irish
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Offline pmspirito

New here and seeking advice
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2005, 01:23:12 am »
My wife Judy and I ride recumbent bikes.  I have a 2 wheel Easy Racer and she has a 3 wheel Catrike.  Imagine cruising down the road in a lounge chair and at the end of 60 miles you get off of the bike and feel no aches, pains, soreness or any discomfort.  I am 57 years old and have been riding since i was a kid. The last bike i sold before buying the'bent was a Cannondale road bike with 4000 miles on it.  I recomend going to www.bentrideronline.com, it is THE premier web site for all recumbent information. One last thought, Adventure Cycling is THE place to be for touring.

best wishes from the back of the pack,  Peter & Judy Spirito
best wishes from the back of the pack,  Peter & Judy Spirito

Offline Peaks

New here and seeking advice
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2005, 10:12:38 pm »
I used the BOB trailer, and my daughter used the Burley Nomad trailer


Offline dano

New here and seeking advice
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2005, 03:24:02 am »
150 bucks just to fit you for a bike?!You need a new shop.When I bought my last ride they did it for free.last year I did 1000 MI. on a raliegh c-40 and a used burly nomad.


Offline LDiskin

New here and seeking advice
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2005, 04:09:52 pm »

For somebody that is new to road cycling, or hasn't done it in a while, comfort is the absolute number one most important factor to consider. It is also important to have the triple front chainring for climbing hills unless you are an experienced cyclist and relatively highly trained. Fortunately, there is a new(ish) frame design that allows for more comfort while also being sufficiently light weight and performance oriented. These types of bikes are right up your alley and what I recommend.

Two examples that run between $900-1100 are the Specialized Sequoia and the Trek Alpha 1200C. Check out their web sites and note that the design allows for the seat and handlebars to be approximately level with each other naturally. This creates a significantly more comfortable riding position than a typical racing bike without sacraficing much performance for the average rider.

If you get seriously into it a couple of years down the road, and want to get on something a little more racey, you'll always have the option of doing so. But if you purchase a racing bike right off the bat, you will likely end up modifying it to be more like the bikes I describe above anyway.

Happy shopping,
Larry Diskin - Adventure Cycling Association

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Larry Diskin
Adventure Cycling Association
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Larry Diskin
Adventure Cycling Association

Offline Fleetwood

New here and seeking advice
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2005, 11:49:12 pm »
I'll 2nd the Specialized Seqouia, my wife and I both have them and we are very pleased. These bikes are perfect for supported touring.


Offline rootchopper

New here and seeking advice
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2005, 02:14:35 am »
I second Larry's endorsement of bike fit.  Nothing will wreck a tour (or even a day ride) like bike that doesn't fit you.  Ride as many different types of bikes as you can.  The new Sequoia line looks very interesting.  I happen to have one of the old Sequoia that were designed for loaded touring.  I have ridden it (mostly commuting) for over ten years.

I realize it is a different mind set, but I also whole heartedly endorse recumbents.  I have had a Tour Easy for a little over two years and 11,000 miles now.  

Whatever you buy, keep in mind that you will need some add ons for the bike.  Water bottle cages, a bag to carry a small reapir kit, the snall repair kit (spare tube, parch kit, tire levers at a minimum), a frame pump, a floor pump for home etc.  This stuff can tack on $100 easily, but it's pretty much indispensible.

Good luck.