Author Topic: Recommendation for a great shop to buy touring bikes  (Read 15248 times)

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Offline yumadons

Re: Recommendation for a great shop to buy touring bikes
« Reply #15 on: July 08, 2010, 02:20:47 am »
Thanks all. My problem with drops is having to lean way forward to grab the brakes. Plus I'm used to shifting a mtn bike with hands up on the bars. I was planning to do the TransAm on my old mtn bike til I rode my husband's mtn bike with bar ends and went 2-3 mph faster. So I got to thinking how much faster proper touring bikes would be. Let's not even think of all the extra time I spent in the saddle on Northern Tier and North Star  ;-0   Apparently, the (heads up) mtn bike was the reason I was always the one who could find license plates from every state by the side of the road and have extras to hand out . . .   

I've never even ridden drops until last week I tried a couple laps around a parking lot just to see if I could ride a Trek 520 with drops (they didn't have a 520 so I rode another Trek set up the same way). Scary hurled forward like that on flat, woe is me down a mtn pass. LTB says just buy the Trek 520 with the drops since it comes that way, ride it like that a little, then change it if I still want to. I really want a quality touring bike with the low gears I'm used to having on my mtn bike and the 520 seems the closest thing? I hate the idea of "low level" Valencia when I'm perfectly willing to pay for high level. You'd think if ACA magazine recommended Trek 7.3FX for touring, it would be good but the cheaper price worries me. Should it?

I really do appreciate the advice, I don't have much opportunity to ride different setups in Yuma.

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Recommendation for a great shop to buy touring bikes
« Reply #16 on: July 08, 2010, 12:00:33 pm »
Thanks all. My problem with drops is having to lean way forward to grab the brakes. Plus I'm used to shifting a mtn bike with hands up on the bars. I was planning to do the TransAm on my old mtn bike til I rode my husband's mtn bike with bar ends and went 2-3 mph faster. So I got to thinking how much faster proper touring bikes would be. Let's not even think of all the extra time I spent in the saddle on Northern Tier and North Star  ;-0   Apparently, the (heads up) mtn bike was the reason I was always the one who could find license plates from every state by the side of the road and have extras to hand out . . .   

I've never even ridden drops until last week I tried a couple laps around a parking lot just to see if I could ride a Trek 520 with drops (they didn't have a 520 so I rode another Trek set up the same way). Scary hurled forward like that on flat, woe is me down a mtn pass. LTB says just buy the Trek 520 with the drops since it comes that way, ride it like that a little, then change it if I still want to. I really want a quality touring bike with the low gears I'm used to having on my mtn bike and the 520 seems the closest thing? I hate the idea of "low level" Valencia when I'm perfectly willing to pay for high level. You'd think if ACA magazine recommended Trek 7.3FX for touring, it would be good but the cheaper price worries me. Should it?

I really do appreciate the advice, I don't have much opportunity to ride different setups in Yuma.

Did you ever consider that you might have been on a road bike that does not fit you right?

The 520 is a touring bike.  No other Trek road bike rides and fits like a 520.  As opposed to other road bikes, you sit more upright on a touring bike.  Touring bikes are supposed to be comfortable.  A 520 should work for what you want to do.  More important issues are will you like bar end shifters or will you want to swap them out for the easier to use but less reliable (from my perspective) STI shifters.

There are raging debates about what kind of handle bar to ride with.  I like the rams horn shaped drops because you have lots of hand positions.  Not everyone agrees with me.  And yes you can rework almost any bike to accept almost any bar, although you may have to also invest in new shifters.

There has to be some other reason why you are faster on your husband's mtn bike than your mtn bike besides bar ends.

If you really want to ride your mtn bike just put road tires on it.  It sounds like like touring so you should be able to rig some kind of rack to carry your stuff. 

Maybe you should travel further to another dealer to try a 520 in your size, and if it works out have your local dealer order one for you.

Danno

Offline yumadons

Re: Recommendation for a great shop to buy touring bikes
« Reply #17 on: July 08, 2010, 05:35:31 pm »
<< The 520 is a touring bike.  No other Trek road bike rides and fits like a 520.  As opposed to other road bikes, you sit more upright on a touring bike. >>

Glad to hear this. Hopefully I'll get a chance to ride a 520 this summer. May spend more time at the bike store in Columbus than at my OSU alumni stuff  ;-)

<<There has to be some other reason why you are faster on your husband's mtn bike than your mtn bike besides bar ends.>>

You're right. His frame is longer and the seat is higher than the handlebars, so I can lean forward some with the bar ends. I just put the bar ends on my mtn bike and I'm so upright on it that they don't really help. Definitely want a new bike!

Offline CastAStone

Re: Recommendation for a great shop to buy touring bikes
« Reply #18 on: July 08, 2010, 05:46:40 pm »
You'd think if ACA magazine recommended Trek 7.3FX for touring, it would be good but the cheaper price worries me. Should it?

It shouldn't. The 7.3 is a sweet spot for the FX line - the 7.2 is too cheap component wise, and the 7.5 has a carbon fork, which means you can't put a front rack on it. Its cheaper than the 520 because its flat barred, doesn't come with a rack or fenders, and has a 1 step lower rear derailler. If you have an extra $75 to spend on it, you should have the shop upgrade the rear derailler to an LX or ideally an XT. They might even give you credit for the stock Deore derailer.

Now if you don't care about the ability to mount a front rack, the 7.5 is a great choice as well, and will do great without needing to upgrade anything.

Offline rvklassen

Re: Recommendation for a great shop to buy touring bikes
« Reply #19 on: July 09, 2010, 09:28:23 am »
Just to summarize your fit issues:

On the road bike you tried the bars were set too low, and probably too far forward, leading to a feeling of being way down.
On your own Mt bike you found the bars are too high, and perhaps not far enough forward.

This gives you a clear sense of where you want the bars.  The remaining question is which part of the bars?

If you wind up with drop bars, you should assume that you will spend most of your time in one of two positions: with your hands on the hoods, and with your hands on the tops - either on the flat or on the curved part.   For touring, you're unlikely to spend a whole lot of time with your hands in the remaining two positions, except for a change.  These positions are all the way forward in the drops, where you can still reach the brakes, and near the ends of the bars.  The main reason you would want to use these positions are for better aerodynamics when fighting a headwind, and descending, and, as I said, for a change.

To set it up for touring,  the hoods should not feel all that far away.  This means a shorter stem (or an adjustable one pulled back further) than you would see on an Mt bike that fits.  Or better still, a shorter top tube on the frame.  Don't be afraid to go a size "too small" on the frame and use a long seat post and combination of steerer and stem to bring the saddle and bars up high enough.  The shorter top tube is what you'll find in the women's specific designs.   But Trek doesn't make the 520 or an equivalent in WSD. 

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Recommendation for a great shop to buy touring bikes
« Reply #20 on: July 09, 2010, 12:00:07 pm »
So it sounds like we all agree that you have fit issues.  It is really important that you find a bike shop that does a good job of fitting bikes to the purchaser.  The bike shop you have been dealing with does not sound like fit is one of the things they do well.

You have not talked about your dimensions, but I can let you know what to expect.  With smaller road bike frames, ~50CM, the assumption is that it will be ridden by either an adolescent or an adult female.  I think this would be a standover height of 28".  Almost all guys know their pant inseam, and almost all girls don't know their pant inseam.  Determine your standover height.  If you have longer legs than that, and have a short torso (most women do), getting a bike to fit you will be a lot more complicated.

Terry bikes is still in business.  They cater to female cyclists.  I think I heard that Georgina Terry has stepped down and there is a new management in place.  In her days, Terry's were odd looking things with a 700c back wheel and a smaller (24") front wheel.  Terry's current line has a more conventional design.  They are not cheap, $3100, but it may be worth your time to look into.

The Surly Long Haul Trucker bikes are a worthwhile alternative to the Trek 520.  Surly outfits the 50CM and 52CM LHTs with 26" wheels.  In theory this would allow for a more female friendly bike.

Danno

Offline rvklassen

Re: Recommendation for a great shop to buy touring bikes
« Reply #21 on: July 09, 2010, 04:10:33 pm »
Terry bikes is still in business.  They cater to female cyclists.  I think I heard that Georgina Terry has stepped down and there is a new management in place. 
So far as I can tell she's still there.  But they did move the company to Vermont.
In her days, Terry's were odd looking things with a 700c back wheel and a smaller (24") front wheel.  Terry's current line has a more conventional design.  They are not cheap, $3100, but it may be worth your time to look into.
That would be the Valkyrie tour.  There is a demo in XL for "only" $2700.  http://www.terrybicycles.com/pages/terry-sale-bicycles.html

Offline dombrosk

Re: Recommendation for a great shop to buy touring bikes
« Reply #22 on: July 14, 2010, 11:07:54 am »
"Thanks for the suggestions. I'm in Yuma, AZ and would prefer to buy from my LBS...
Any other suggestions for a touring bike without drops?"

My local bike shop built a touring setup for me based on a Surley Cross-Check frame, avoiding drop handlebars... with bar ends to provide multiple riding positions.  We went with the Cross Check to get adequate stand-over height in for my size and height.  Because the Cross Check is Surley's basic steel frame, even built up with nice components and racks the complete bike was well under $2000.

Surley is QBP.com -- a national bike shop supplier, your shop should be able to get the frame easily.

Folks who like drop bars prefer them, just like folks who prefer recumbents like those.  Some of us really do like riding upright with bar ends to get even more upright.  You might want to experiment with different stems when you get whatever bike you choose, I found that slight changes in the height and angle of my stem made a big difference in my level of fun. 

I've toured and commuted thousands of miles on my Cross Check, including just getting home from 3 weeks of riding across Germany and the Netherlands with it, and still really enjoy the bike.

Good luck with the purchase and happy biking!

Offline yumadons

Re: Recommendation for a great shop to buy touring bikes
« Reply #23 on: July 18, 2010, 12:18:39 am »
Thanks. I can hopefully hit a Trek store this summer with a 520 in my size to try (does a 54" frame sound right for 5'9" with 32" inseam and 135#?). Tinker with handlebars as needed. If that doesn't work, you've given me some ideas. The husband just got on a real bike for the first time in 7 weeks since double knee replacements, he has some interest in a recumbent because he likes the recumbent exercise bike he's been using. Will be keeping eyes peeled for one of those!

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Recommendation for a great shop to buy touring bikes
« Reply #24 on: July 19, 2010, 12:09:00 pm »
It is in the ballpark.
Danno