Author Topic: Windsor Tourist  (Read 19726 times)

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Offline cfessler

Windsor Tourist
« on: October 12, 2006, 03:06:04 pm »
I am going on a cross-country tour via the Northern Tier Route next summer and have been doing research about different types of touring bikes.  I came across the Windsor Tourist at http://www.bikesdirect.com.  It seems like a pretty decent bike according to its specifications.  Has anyone ever used a Windsor Tourist? Would you recommend it for a cross-country ride? Thanks

Chuck


Offline DaveB

Windsor Tourist
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2006, 12:30:32 am »
Based on the web site specs, this is a sports bike and would not be a suitable tourer.

The frame geometry isn't given but the chainstays and fork clearance seem to be too tight to fit larger touring tires.  

There doesn't seem to be any way to mount racks or paniers and the wheels are too fragile for loaded use.  The gearing is for a road bike (low is 30x23 or 35 gear-inches) which is way too high for a loaded tourer.

The only really attractive feature is the low price.  There are better, more properly equipped touring bike available for not much more money.  




Offline biker_james

Windsor Tourist
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2006, 08:53:06 am »
I think you're looking at the wrong listing. The Tourist shows an 11-32 cassette, with 30-42-52 crankset. A little high for touring, but I toured for a few years with that setup on my Cannondale. It has a rear rack, and fork mounts for a front one. 2mm tires are certainly adequate for touring, and there may be room for bigger ones yet.
It seems like a good price, but have no personal experience with the. Maybe check out roadbikereview.com, and see if there are any reviews there. I certainly wouldn't rule it out yet.


Offline RussellSeaton

Windsor Tourist
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2006, 12:07:40 pm »
http://www.bikesdirect.com./products/windsor/tourist.htm

Above is the direct link to the Windsor Tourist bike.  $600 and shipping is free does not sound too bad.  Looking at the parts it seems setup for loaded touring.  Quality of assembly and wheelbuilding may or may not be suspect.  Same can probably be said about any factory bike from any manufacturer.

To get lower gearing its very easy to replace the 30 tooth inner chainring with a 24 tooth and install a chain watcher device to keep the STI from throwing the chain onto the bottom bracket shell.  The bike may also accept a 11-34 cassette instead of the stock 11-32 to get a little lower gearing.  Cassettes can be found cheap from mail order places.

If you are truely going to tour loaded, then it could be the right bike.  But if you are only thinking about touring some years in the future, then get a lighter, nicer, racier bike and ride it now.  Heavy loaded touring bikes are not as enjoyable for riding unloaded as racy bikes.


Offline TGYoung

Windsor Tourist
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2006, 10:35:26 pm »
Go to Google Groups and then into the rec.bicycles.tech group at

http://groups.google.com/group/rec.bicycles.tech?lnk=lr

Do a search on "Windsor Tourist" and you'll find a few threads.  And you'll probably find "Reportedly, the Windsor Tourist Road Bike is exactly the same as the Fuji Tour. It costs $700. There was someone selling these on eBay for $550, probably another sales channel for http://bikesdirect.com."

I really have no idea, but you can get the Fuji specs and compare then to the Windsor Tourist specs and see what you think.

If you agree that they're pretty much the same bike then ask what folks think of the Fuji Tour and its suitability for a cross country ride.  Buying a Fuji from a dealer should mean you'll get a little more hand-holding and help for things that might not be quite right, where as you're more likely to be on your own going the  mail-order "never heard of the company" route.  It's a trade-off, like most things in life


Offline DaveB

Windsor Tourist
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2006, 10:54:02 pm »
I think you're looking at the wrong listing.

I guess I was but I was looking at the web page the OP linked to and it said nothing about "Tourist".

Buying a Fuji from a dealer should mean you'll get a little more hand-holding and help for things that might not be quite right, where as you're more likely to be on your own going the  mail-order "never heard of the company" route.  It's a trade-off, like most things in life.

I certainly agree.  If there are any problems at all, buying from a reputable dealer will pretty much assure they are corrected properly and your warranty will be honored.  The unknown mail-order dealer is a real gamble for after-sale service if you need it.  

The cost penalty for buying from a dealer isn't that much and you could look at it as an insurance policy.  
 


Offline Mentor58

Windsor Tourist
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2006, 11:02:31 am »
I've gotten a bike from BikesDirect.com was very pleased with the experence.  I have been told that they are not selling rebadged Fujis, but a lot of their frames are made in the same plants that Fuji uses and are very very close in design and in many cases better equipped for the money.  I will say that the specs between the Windsor and the Fuji touring bike look to be identical to the 05 Fuji.  Figure the weight to come in around 27 pounds or so, not light, but that's not really as much of an issue with a full touring bike IMO

My experence with them was that I got just what I had ordered, well packed, shipped quickly.  It needed the brakes and handlebar mounted, but that was it in terms of assembly.  I DID to a complete tech inspection of the bike, found the hubs were a bit too tight and while not dry, added a bit more grease.  Deraillers needed a bit of fine tuning, but the wheels were true and well tensioned.  Basically I did what any good bike shop would do, make sure that everything was ready to rock before I rolled.  
 
Like some of the other posters, I would look at swapping out a MTB crank to get the lower gears, and depending on how it fits for you, maybe going to a more upright stem.  Looks like it comes with a 0 degree stem, even a 7 or 8* stem would help get the bars up.  Thats a matter of fit and feel, and a generic stem from QPB won't run you more than 10 buck.  

I'd say jump on it.  My only concern MIGHT be the rack, simply because it's free.  

Hope this helps,

Steve W.


Offline natethegreat

Windsor Tourist
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2006, 02:18:59 am »
Why not get a Jamis Aurora?

It is about the same price as the Windsor and John Schubert gave it a good review in this mag. One thing I note missing with the  Windsor is the rims. The rims are key to any touring bike. They do not tell you what brand.

Some reputable mfgr's rim with at least 36 spokes, double wall, Velocity dyad, Alex adventurer, Sun Rhyno lite, Mavic A917 or the like is best for durability.        

E. Cohen Member since 1980


Offline RussellSeaton

Windsor Tourist
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2006, 10:54:52 am »
"Why not get a Jamis Aurora?
It is about the same price as the Windsor"

I would argue with this statement.  An online search turned up the Jamis Aurora for $825 in California and $850 in Vermont.  Plus $50 shipping lets say.  Or 6% tax if bought locally for the same price.  Compared to the $600 delivered price of the Windsor, you're talking about a $275-300 difference.  About 50% more for the Jamis.  Not a huge amount for someone looking at $2000-4000 bikes.  But for someone looking at a $600 bike, adding another $300 for a seemingly identical bike may be a deal breaker.  If money was not important, then the person would probably just buy the Trek 520 or Cannondale T800 or T1000.  Bikes with long, reliable histories.  Or splurge for the FAR more fancy Co-Motion, Rivendell, IF, Waterford, etc.

I agree wheels are important.  It would be easy enough to email the Windsor sellers and ask them for the brand of the rims and hubs.  It may be they did not list the names of the rims and hubs because its not an item most people buying low priced bikes are concerned with.  Every bike they see comes with factory built package wheels so the idea of a separate rim, hub, and spokes is completely alien to them.  They would not even know how to begin comprehending such an oddly constructed wheel.  Best for selling purposes to not even advertise the fact the wheels are assembled from separate parts.


Offline dahut

Re: Windsor Tourist
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2010, 12:28:43 am »
On top of everything else, its enlightening to learn that the Jamis and Windsor bikes are made in the same Asian factories. Really, they are just assembled from subcontracted parts, frames and components... all made by the same people.
So, you gotta ask: Is having a Jamis sticker on the downtube worth the extra money?

You decide.

Offline whittierider

Re: Windsor Tourist
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2010, 02:00:50 am »
On top of everything else, its enlightening to learn that the Jamis and Windsor bikes are made in the same Asian factories.  Really, they are just assembled from subcontracted parts, frames and components... all made by the same people. 
So, you gotta ask: Is having a Jamis sticker on the downtube worth the extra money?

You decide.

Your assumption is that they make a bunch of standard products, all with the same materials and quality controls, and then a bike company comes along and says, "We want 10,000 of that model there," so they slap their name on it and a bike goes out the door that's identical to one going out with another name and a higher price on it.  That's not what's happening!

Each of the three major frame manufacturers in Taiwan is able to make whatever the customer company asks for.  They may have a high-end carbon frame being made on one line, and next to it, under the same roof, they're making garbage.  Why?

As a prominent man in the industry who has traveled to and visited all these factories said, just because the manufacturer has shown that they can make a good bike doesn't mean every bike they make is good.  A bike company may come along and ask for a frame and negociate a price too low to make it right, and the manufacturer obliges and gives them the garbage they asked for with the idea that the people who buy this off brand won't know the difference-- at least not until it's too late.

But further, the distributor that sells Windsor has had a ton of other problems besides the frames themselves, ranging from easily chipped paint to things assembled improperly to false advertising and the worst customer service in the industry.  I would never send a friend to them.  I know there are some people who are happy with the product; but this company has had a disproportionate number of very angry customers.

Offline DaveB

Re: Windsor Tourist
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2010, 08:33:50 am »
But further, the distributor that sells Windsor has had a ton of other problems besides the frames themselves, ranging from easily chipped paint to things assembled improperly to false advertising and the worst customer service in the industry.  I would never send a friend to them.  I know there are some people who are happy with the product; but this company has had a disproportionate number of very angry customers.

As long as you are going to post in both threads on this subject, I might as well too. :)

+1.  I've seen very mixed reports about Bikesdirect products.  Some customers are quite pleased and others terribly disappointed.  Partly it depends on how good a bike mechanic the customer is.  

Good mechanics expect to go over the bike in detail correcting the assembly flaws and shortcuts and aren't surprised by what they find and have to fix so they are satisfied with their purchase.  

Inexpert owners can run into a lot of problems they have to pay someone else to correct and will be very disappointed.

BTW, I wonder what the OP wound up buying. It's been 4 years so he should have done something by now.  It would be nice to have feedback on his experience.
  
 
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Offline dahut

Re: Windsor Tourist
« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2010, 10:19:06 am »
As long as you are going to post in both threads on this subject, I might as well too. :)

I've seen very mixed reports about Bikesdirect products.  Some customers are quite pleased and others terribly disappointed.  Partly it depends on how good a bike mechanic the customer is.  

Good mechanics expect to go over the bike in detail correcting the assembly flaws and shortcuts and aren't surprised by what they find and have to fix so they are satisfied with their purchase.  

Inexpert owners can run into a lot of problems they have to pay someone else to correct and will be very disappointed.

BTW, I wonder what the OP wound up buying. It's been 4 years so he should have done something by now.  It would be nice to have feedback on his experience.
  

Well said. As you suggest, the onus is on the owner.

Recently mentioned in the other post is reputation. That is what mostly sets apart equipment within the price point.
"Bike snobs" aside, if you wish to get rolling and cost is not your primary concern, than the "name brand" side of the industry has you covered. You can trust the leading brands and cycle happy, secure in your choices. Thumbs up.  ;)

Too, if, you are not a mechanic and don't know a socket-head cap screw from an Allen screw,*
then there are very good reasons to stick to big names and the LBS for all your needs. Thumbs up, again :)

This really is a Golden Age for cycling and we are very lucky to have so many CHOICES available. Indeed, we all can become better informed consumers because of it.
So, to your point, if you DO choose to stray from the name brands and the security of the LBS, then the onus is on you to know what you are doing. That must also be made clear.


I wonder, too, what was the outcome of the OP's efforts. Maybe resurrecting this old thread might bring him or her to the surface and we can find out.


* These are one and the same.