Questions about purchasing bicycles and parts
OK ladies and lads,
Suppose I have an as yet hypothetical budget of $2000 for a new bike soon... What's good for that money? I'm considering a bike from one of the following families:
1) Tourer. Frontrunner is currently the Vivente World Randonner, but I'm open to suggestions. Would rather keep clear of the Long Haul Trucker's friction shift.
2) MBT, for a bit of everything up the bush. Mostly on downhill runs, and the odd bit of dirt jumping and mucking about. I don't know enough about mountain bikes to really make an informed choice here yet. I'm happy to go second hand here, but my choice may be limited to what's at the LBS. I'd be more leaning toward dual suspension, but that may not be ideal at this price. My mates are suggesting a second hand DH machine.
If buying new, a Giant STP is up for consideration, if a hardtail is up to what I want. I'm not too taken with the Apollo Gauntlet, it seems a bit under spec'd.
3) Roadie. I'd be reckoning 105/Tiagra is about where I want to be at this price point. Simply due to brand preference, I'd be looking at an Apollo Pave, or for a bit less cash, a Peleton. What do I get from other makes for the cash?
Some further things:
â€¢ I like steel, but I'd be happy with alloy or CF.
â€¢ I have a preference for Australian brands, especially Apollo.
â€¢ This will probably be happening in Mid/late November.
â€¢ The LBS mostly stocks Giant, Specialized, Avanti and Cannondale, but can get most things(I believe I saw a Hillbrick in there last time!).
â€¢ I want a complete bike, not a pile of bits.
If you like steel, you might want to consider the Soma Speedster.
Tange Prestige tubing with chromed lugs.
$1200AUD frame and fork
You should be able to get the whole bike with Tiagra gruppo and Shimano 500 wheels for under $2K.
Or if you are good at haggling, you might get the bike store to upgrade that to 105 gruppo and 550 wheels for under $2K.
Live to ride another day.
Why take unnecessary risks? No matter how small they are...
Currently I have a friction shifting 12 speed Apollo III roadie. I'm after another machine to complement it.
If I get the roadie it becomes the workhorse, gets a rack and panniers.
If I get the tourer, it becomes the pure go-fast machine, possibly with a new groupset(Tiagra, most likely) next year.
If I get the MTB it stays as a jack of all trades, serving as a commuter and weekend go-fast bike.
The Speedster is nice(Tange tubing- you beauty!), but I'm not really looking to build up a frame yet. That's the next bike.
I think you'll have most fun with a new road bike. You have enough to spend to get a really nice 105 or Ultegra equipped aluminium/carbon road bike that will probably come in several kgs under what you have.
A nice MTB opens up a lot of new options though, and you get a lot for your money.
I wouldn't get a tourer if you already have an old steel roadie. If you're going touring then get a tourer.
Here's my opinion:
If you want a fun bike to go fast on roads with get a new road bike. Alloy/CF and a good group set.
If you want to start getting into mountain biking, get a really nice light XC MTB like a Giant XTC or a high end Trek hardtail. You're a bit below the nice price for good XC dual suspension so you'll get much better gear on a hardtail.
If and only if you want to go touring, get a touring bike. A touring bike won't go faster and won't open up any terrain, it'll do what your current bike does.
Im not sure if you can move this timeline but I'd try really hard to move it forward a little to get the end of year deals on '07 models. Good savings to be had around this time, my dad got his $3k bike for $2k. Thats touching some great equipment up at $3k without having to pony up the extra thousand.
Bnej; The thought with the touring bike was to use it as an alternative to a car or public transport to my job next year, easily be able to deal with the stuff I have to carry, be a bit more comfortable than the Apollo III (which, I suspect is a bit on the small side for me), and be more of a practical machine.
Senator; Nope, I'm afraid this is pretty much fixed... I would have loved to get one of the old Apollo/Raceline Gravity freeride bikes, $1500 with really good kit... and that's now been replaced with the rather lackluster Gauntlet.
Do you want to have fun or do you want to do work? You don't need a nice bike for a commute, you could get another $100 old roadie and fit racks if the size is a concern.
Are the bar end shifters on the LHT friction shifters?
I can't agree with Bnej's attitude to tourers. He seems to be protraying them as stollid, heavy lumps that just carry stuff, and that's not the case at all. My Trek520, the infamous Black Beast, does everything, and that has included some interval sessions on the velodrome, playing boy racer with the lad, long day trips, and just carrying stuff and that is hardly surprising because that's what I bought her for.
As a day to day workhorse, it'll carry anything you want ... provided you have the right carrier, with the advantage that for the rare heavy load, you've got the bike that'll not only take it but will still handle. Having lumped a load of paperwork plus a computer on her one day, I was rather surprised to see how quickly the weight built up ... and how well she handled it.
As a bike to go places for speed or recreation - well, it's not a sports bike but I'm not a sporty rider, however she does keep up some pretty good speeds and goes wherever I need her too. Slow she is not - this is the bike that put me in the 80km/hr club. This bike regularly tops 60 km/hr and cruises flat roads (of any surface) at over 30km/hr (yes, I used to regularly cruise at over 30 on a gravel track ... until they sealed it ... and made it worse). Would I race her? No, but then I wouldn't take a race bike on some of the roads I take the Black Beast on (have watched roadie types turn away from one of my regular runs), nor would I ask a race bike to pull or carry the loads this bike does.
Road surfaces? If there's a track, I'll take this bike on it. She has ridden dirt roads and doesn't mind them one bit. Similarly with single lane dirt tracks. Mud is fine. Sure, I don't have nobblies so traction is an issue in mud and she's no mountain bike, but on the washed out gravel walking paths I get around here, she's stable and comfortable. Similarly, if the track is sealed (or hard), she's comfortable and stable, obviously more so than my son's OCR2 (he's the one making the observation, not me with me rose tinted glasses).
Set up right, a touring bike is a Jack of All Trades, but a very competent Jack of All Trades. It's your classic workhorse and if that's what you want, the tourer is the bike to build from.
You don't have to buy a heavy weight tourer (such as the Long Haul Trucker), there are lighter versions of the same concept and the old roadies can be modified to do the same job - your restriction is the ultimate maximum load you can carry, the benefit is lighter weight.
So, where Bnej says 'if you want to go touring, buy a tourer', my answer is 'if you want one bike to do everything, buy a tourer'.
so why's mine for sale? Because the frame's too small and I need the money to build up the new frame
I had a good bike ... so I fixed it
They are heavy. They are for carrying stuff. That's what they are.
A tourer isn't fast enough to keep up with racing bikes. It doesn't have the geometry or set up for genuine MTB off road work. What's it good at? Carrying stuff around.
If you want one bike that's passable at everything then get a tourer. Or you could get an MTB and try using that for everything too. What you actually get is a number of less than awesome experiences that would be better with a bike that's really made to do the job.
Get a bike for what you primarily want to do. If you want to go riding with roadies get a racer, cause if you get a tourer you're going to have a hard time keeping up. If you want to go on MTB rides and explore some single track, get an MTB because a tourer is going to leave you walking while everyone else is riding.
If you're talking a heavy weight tourer such as the Long Haul Trucker, you've got a point. However, that's like lumping all mtbs together and saying they are heavy and slow because downhill racers are heavy and slow. There is a lot of variety within the 'tourer' category just as there is within every other class of cycle.
I had a good bike ... so I fixed it
I'm talking "heavy" compared to a racer. I don't think many tourers would come in under 10kg, whereas a regular road bike around the $2000 price point would probably be under 9kg.
Of course, what's light for an MTB is heavy for a road bike too.
There's no actual answer to the question, so we will all disagree.
Ideal situation will be to have 1 of each
... what, just one?!
But you lot go crook at me when I try to achieve that
Well, my Dad does anyway
I had a good bike ... so I fixed it
You know we are just picking on ya
The unfortunate thing is that I'm not sure if I'll be able to take this sum beyond the LBS, so any second hand machines are put into doubt...
To be honsest, it's more a question of which first... Next year, with added finaces I should be able to start putting away a bit so I can have a foot in all camps (although storage space may become a bit tight around here!).
At this pricepoint, what do I get the best deal on from those catagories?
Tourers mostly seem to be floating all slightly/above below the $2k mark, aside from things like the Fuji Touring, at about $1400 then some probably quite astronomical figure for a built up Velosmith machine...
In the MTBs, I seem to be at the mid-latitudes of dirt jump bikes with the Giant STP 1s, Avanti Derelikt Type 2s and the like...
In Roadies, I seem to be just before the point where carbon seat-stays are starting to appear, with alloy frames and Tiagra/105 groupsets.
I'm actually starting to lean pretty heavily toward the MTBs. Something so I have at least a toe-hold to advance my skills on the dirt.
Stryker, if you're looking at doing any distances, steer clear of the STP range, they are big BMXs, great for the track or an urban session, but heavy and the ergonomics aren't the greatest for extended use.
Not saying they aren't ultra cute or you wouldn't have a ball on one, but consider your dirt riding options carefully before buying something so focused.
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
London Boy 29/12/2011
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