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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok so I want to get myself and wife some road bikes. My LBS has some older steel bianchi's with full campy mirage? 8spd components they tell me they are pure crap and if I buy them I will hate road biking. They told me if I buy used that I should get at least 9 spd or 10 spd and that more so with roadbikes you want to keep up with the technology.

This all sounds very lame to me and kinda surprising considering these bikes have been sitting there for ages, youd think they want to sell em. And I highly doubt that older campy parts are that bad...I dont wanna race I just want the diminished rolling resistance from the tires and cruise.

The other issue is I need to know what size I need. I am currently riding a medium bontrager Im 5"9 30" inseam. Im not familiar with the sizing in cm that road bikes use.

What I really want is a bontrager road-lite or bonty cross bike. I think Kona makes a cool cross bike now that I think about it......anyway what are your collective thoughts about these issues?
 

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Mantis, Paramount, Campy
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Some LBS' are Strange

There sould be nothing wrong with those components. Mirage is basically like SORA/RX100 level components on Shimano's scale....1 level below 105.
And there is nothing wrong with 8spd parts either. The only reason I don't ride 8 on the road anymore is that my newer to me frame (1996) came with a new 10 spd group.

As far as sizing goes I say probably around a 55cm frame. My dad has your same measurements and rode both 54cm and 56cm road frames. You will deffinately have to take some test rides and experiment wtih stem and crank lenght to be sure though.

I would not buy a 'cross frame if you're only going to be riding on the road with it. Geometry is different and they don't handle as well (depending on how/where you ride) as a road frame.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Shayne said:
There sould be nothing wrong with those components. Mirage is basically like SORA/RX100 level components on Shimano's scale....1 level below 105.
And there is nothing wrong with 8spd parts either. The only reason I don't ride 8 on the road anymore is that my newer to me frame (1996) came with a new 10 spd group.

As far as sizing goes I say probably around a 55cm frame. My dad has your same measurements and rode both 54cm and 56cm road frames. You will deffinately have to take some test rides and experiment wtih stem and crank lenght to be sure though.

I would not buy a 'cross frame if you're only going to be riding on the road with it. Geometry is different and they don't handle as well (depending on how/where you ride) as a road frame.
would you mind explaining the differance between the geometry of cross bikes versus road bikes.... I was thinking of getting this vintage moots cross rig I saw....I know folks who have only a cross bike they use as their skinny bike. To me it would be like killing 2 birds with 1 stone..........
 

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Mantis, Paramount, Campy
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A 'Cross Bike Is A MTB Substitute

...for roadies, not a road subsitiude for MTBers. A 'cross bike will have geometry closer to a mtb than a road bike such as slacker angles, higher BB, and shorter top tube.

I suppose it's personal preferance and I kinda jumped the gun in saying that you shouldn't get one.

But in my experience cyclocross bikes are for lack of a better word "sluggish" on the road.

And again personal preference, if its a Ti Moots I would stay away from it for road use. I'm sure that would be an awesome trail bike but Ti on the road is also somewhat sluggish.
 

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I don't know the campy line that well, so I can't comment on that specific set of components. However...

If this is your first road bike and you plan on doing many miles, I'd highly recommend going with modern integrated shifters (Shimano SIS or Campy Ergo). Modern however is relative, as "click" shifting has been around since the early 90's. For higher end bikes, there was no significant change in Dura Ace from 1997 until it went to 10-speeds last year. So a slightly older bike, is just about as good as a new one. There have been improvements in road bike in the last few years, but it's not a big deal IMO (and mostly to do with being lighter). Look for a slightly older bike with 105 or Ultegra (previously called 600) SIS shifters and you'll be happy - Shimano Tiagra (previously RSX) performs okay, but is less compatable if you ever try to swap components between bikes. (Again I don't know the Campy line, as I prefer Shimano SIS to Ergo.)

For sizing I normally look at top tube length. I like road bikes with slighty shorter top tubes than my MTB has. I ride a large (23" TT) Bontrager and prefer a 58cm (22.8") TT road bike; the Bonty has a 130cm stem, and my road bike a 120mm. Of course none of those measurements account for frame and stem angles, but it gives you an idea. Also, IMO fit is also more important on a road bike. If you buy new, make sure that you buy from a shop that will fit you to the bike (i.e. spend time with you on a trainer, swap stems, etc.) if you buy from them. If this is not included, look for another shop.

Going used is fine, but you really need to know what to look for. If you're completely new to road riding, a good shop and new bike kind of makes sense. But if you're on a budget, you get a lot more bike for the buck going used - but if you buy the wrong size bike it may cost you more.

Like with MTBs sizing varries a lot by brand too, so be careful. About half of the frames are measured center-to-center, the other half are center-to-top (of the top tube), and then Trek measures center-to-top of the seat tube. So be careful when you're comparing frames as a 56cm bikes does not always fit like another 56cm bike.
 

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Williwoods said:
would you mind explaining the differance between the geometry of cross bikes versus road bikes....
Generally speaking 'cross bikes have higher bottom brackets, slightly slacker head tube angles, and possibly a different fork rake. Some 'cross bikes make good road bikes, and others will not handle as well. The biggest difference however is gearing. A 'cross bike usually has a smaller large ring (although that can be changed) so you will spin-out much quicker unless you swap out the rings (but with the bigger ring, the bike is less useful off-road).

Personally if I could only have one road(ish) bike it would be a nice 'cross bike. A nice CX will ride as well or better than an average road bike. But again, it really depends on the bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Shayne said:
...for roadies, not a road subsitiude for MTBers. A 'cross bike will have geometry closer to a mtb than a road bike such as slacker angles, higher BB, and shorter top tube.

I suppose it's personal preferance and I kinda jumped the gun in saying that you shouldn't get one.

But in my experience cyclocross bikes are for lack of a better word "sluggish" on the road.

And again personal preference, if its a Ti Moots I would stay away from it for road use. I'm sure that would be an awesome trail bike but Ti on the road is also somewhat sluggish.
its a steel moots from '89
 

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Williwoods said:
Ok so I want to get myself and wife some road bikes. My LBS has some older steel bianchi's with full campy mirage? 8spd components they tell me they are pure crap and if I buy them I will hate road biking. They told me if I buy used that I should get at least 9 spd or 10 spd and that more so with roadbikes you want to keep up with the technology.

This all sounds very lame to me and kinda surprising considering these bikes have been sitting there for ages, youd think they want to sell em. And I highly doubt that older campy parts are that bad...I dont wanna race I just want the diminished rolling resistance from the tires and cruise.

The other issue is I need to know what size I need. I am currently riding a medium bontrager Im 5"9 30" inseam. Im not familiar with the sizing in cm that road bikes use.

What I really want is a bontrager road-lite or bonty cross bike. I think Kona makes a cool cross bike now that I think about it......anyway what are your collective thoughts about these issues?
The older steel Bianchis are nice bikes. And SOME of the Mirage components are fine. The shifters/derailers/cranks are not as smooth as the higher end stuff and will shift a little bit clunkier. the brakes are fine. But the hubs and BB are horrible. Rough from the get go, and they only get worse. If you're cool with that, and you can afford to build new wheels in a few months (I'm serious), go for it.

As for "you need to keep up with technology on roadbikes", that's just bullsh&t. It IS a little tough to find Campy 8-speed spares, but if you go with Shimano, 8- or even 7-speed stuff is still really easy to come by.

As for CX bikes, they really run the gamut. Back in the pre-clipless pedal days, they ran higher BB's to keep from dragging toeclips all the time, but that hasn't really been the case for a while. They typically run a little shorter in the TT than a same-sized roadbike, but you can just buy a frame that's one cm bigger to compensate.

Personally, I'd steer you towards a lemond poprad. Great bike for the money.

Cheers,

-Andrew "happily riding old road and cross bikes as well as old MTB's" Thorne
 

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Nothing Wrong With 8-Speed Campy

In fact, from what I hear, Campy still makes all kinds of 8-speed parts available if you ever needed replacements... can't say the same for Shimano.

just a little input.

/C
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I think I want a compact frame design if possible unless I find a cool vintage bike. I will keep my eyes open for a bontrager but have not seen one on ebay for ages either cx or road. So I am looking at this Kona Jake which looks like a good deal for $750 new. If I find a 2004 I could get an even better deal, I really like the straight blade p2 fork and the sloping top-tube just wish it was steel instead of aluminum. What say ye?

Will

ps thanks for all the input guys keep it commin' great info so far.......
 

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Williwoods said:
If I find a 2004 I could get an even better deal, I really like the straight blade p2 fork and the sloping top-tube just wish it was steel instead of aluminum. What say ye?
Never ridden a Jake, but I see them at CX races pretty often, so I'm sure they're decent. The Poprad is another good choice.

For road bikes there's no point in a sloping top tube unless you have really odd body proportions. It allows for fewer frame sizes to be built, whcih does save the manufacturer money - if that savings is passed to you great.

I have a Bonty CX and used to have a Road Lite. I like the CX a lot - a bit of a straight line bomber - but the Road Lite never worked for me. I put maybe 1500 miles on mine before selling it.
 

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laffeaux said:
Never ridden a Jake, but I see them at CX races pretty often, so I'm sure they're decent. The Poprad is another good choice.

For road bikes there's no point in a sloping top tube unless you have really odd body proportions. It allows for fewer frame sizes to be built, whcih does save the manufacturer money - if that savings is passed to you great.

I have a Bonty CX and used to have a Road Lite. I like the CX a lot - a bit of a straight line bomber - but the Road Lite never worked for me. I put maybe 1500 miles on mine before selling it.
One nice benefit of a sloping tt on the road bike is a smoother ride. The longer post is able to flex and soaks up the vibes. Its also maybe just slightly lighter and supposedly does make for a better sprinting bike due to the stiffer/smaller triangles.
 

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I really like the Jakes. I work at a Kona dealer, so I may be a little biased, but I would definately own one myself. With the fatter tires, the alum. frame isn't all that harsh, at least not like the old C-dale I used to have. Ultimately, I prefer the ride of steel, so that is why I have not gotten a Jake (which would be dirt cheap thanks to the dealer employee incentive program Kona has). Right now, I am riding what I believe to be an old Cinelli road frame. The guy that gave it to me wasn't sure what it was, other than being Italian. The lug work and seat stays looks just like a Cinelli, so I am guessing thats what it is. This guy also gave me a full Nuovo Record drivetrain from 1983 and a nice wheelset with a Record rear hub.I have it set up with Mustache bars, Koobi saddle, and clipless pedals and love it. Whats cool is it has plenty of clearance for fat tires, so I could have a cx bike if I wanted.
 

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bikerboy said:
I really like the Jakes. I work at a Kona dealer, so I may be a little biased, but I would definately own one myself. With the fatter tires, the alum. frame isn't all that harsh, at least not like the old C-dale I used to have. Ultimately, I prefer the ride of steel, so that is why I have not gotten a Jake (which would be dirt cheap thanks to the dealer employee incentive program Kona has). Right now, I am riding what I believe to be an old Cinelli road frame. The guy that gave it to me wasn't sure what it was, other than being Italian. The lug work and seat stays looks just like a Cinelli, so I am guessing thats what it is. This guy also gave me a full Nuovo Record drivetrain from 1983 and a nice wheelset with a Record rear hub.I have it set up with Mustache bars, Koobi saddle, and clipless pedals and love it. Whats cool is it has plenty of clearance for fat tires, so I could have a cx bike if I wanted.
Cinellis are worth a bit of cash. If that's what it is you've done well.

The best use of an old road bike is a fixed gear conversion. They're a lot of fun!!!
 

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Fixies are fun

laffeaux said:
Cinellis are worth a bit of cash. If that's what it is you've done well.

The best use of an old road bike is a fixed gear conversion. They're a lot of fun!!!
I just built up a low budget fixie from an old Samurai road frame. Its ugly and has a lot of character. I plan on taking it on my road trip from here in Texas up to Illinois and Minnesota.
 

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Shayne wrote:
"But in my experience cyclocross bikes are for lack of a better word "sluggish" on the road."
Well my Voodoo scandium (2.5 lb frame) is anything but sluggish, now the motor might be a bit sluggish sometimes. Really I think a lot of misconceptions exist about cross bikes. There is a huge amount of variety in the style of bikes called "cyclo-cross". High bottom brackets served a purpose before clipless when you would ride a few pedal strokes on the bottom of the pedals, with the clip and strap down. I think they have gotten away from that a bit. Some are glorified sport tourers with fender & rack eylets, and some are pure racing machines often with rather quick geometry. Lots of stuff in between.
 
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