Questions about purchasing bicycles and parts
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I am currently deciding on which of these two bikes i will purchase. i currently have a road bike but i dont ride very often and i find it too uncomfortable so i have decided to get a flat bar road bike which i will fit a riser bar so i am in a more upright position. i am hoping that i will ride more if i am more comfortable on the bike.
Does anyone have any opinions on these bikes? should i spend the extra and get the Allegro or just get the entry level Fiamme?
I think the first thing to consider is your current bike and why you want to move on. That's not to say there isn't anything wrong with going to a flat bar bike, but if your current bike is 'fixable', you could save yourself some cash. The 'fit' of a bike is very important and simple things like moving the seat or bars can make a big difference ... and, of course, it could just be that your current bike isn't right for you (let's not overlook the obvious eh?).
Firstly, what is your current bike and what is it about it that makes it uncomfortable?
To give you some idea of how things can be changed, read my story on the Sow's Ear. That's extreme and doesn't change the fact that I started with a cheap bike that was too small for me, but that bike now serves as the tow vehicle for my daughter's tag-along bike and was hated and unusesd before that. Some of the changes may be applicable to you (like seat position, the stem extension and the longer seat post).
Another thread to peruse is this one on seat height. The relevant post is the second one where I describe how to set up your seat and what to look for in handle bar position.
There are plenty of other threads talking about this stuff here - those were just two that occured to me as I typed.
I urge you to look closely at your current bike's setup before buying a new bike. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, setting her up properly may solve your problems (saving the expense of a new bike). But even if it doesn't, it will give you a better idea of what you like and dislike than you have now and so is worth the effort. It'll also give you a bit more experience with which to judge the shop you're dealing with - some shops are good and some are sharks, often it's hard to tell the difference until after you've been burnt.
Now, to the bikes you're looking at. I can't offer definitive opinions because I don't know those bikes. Generally though, when buying from the same manufacturer, you get what you pay for when you go up from one model to the next. Buy the best you can afford. The differences in components can be in efficiency, weight, durability, and aren't always obvious. However, look at lots of other brands too, just to make sure you're on the right path. It's confusing but that confusion fades the more you do it.
Have fun and keep asking questions
Thanks Richard, much appreciated.
I currently have a raceline road bike. i bought it second hand, but it is in very good condition. I am very happy with the smooth riding it provides, but i dont ride very often as i find it too uncomfortable. My fiancee who is a very keen rider has tried to make ajustments to make it more comfortable but i think the things that make it uncomfortable are things that can not be changed. I find that with the narrow handle bars i dont have much control. i never ride low as it is just not comfortable. i also find reaching the brakes very difficult. I am very petite and when a gush of wind hits me it nearly knocks me over so i would prefer a more stable bike.
i considered puting a flat bar on my current bike but because of the type of stem i have it was going to be costly.
I have decided to go with the flat bar road bike with riser handle bars. I dont mind spending the money as i didnt pay much for my road bike anyway and my fiancee will use some of the parts from it on one of his road bikes. I think the wider handle bars and slightly wider tyres will make for a more comfortable ride for me. It is still quite light so i will still have the smooth ride.
Thanks for your advice, i appreciate your time to reply.
Now time to dust off the helmet......
I'd get some bar extensions too, to give you another hand position for hill climbing & longer rides...
Fiamme doesn't look bad, but it doesn't look exceptionally special either, what's the price for it?
(looking at http://www.apollobikes.com/apolloproduc ... loproducts )
Frame geometry does look pretty relaxed, which I guess is what you want.
Can you get a test ride and see if you like it?
I gather you're a lady then. Check out the saddles - most saddles suit blokes but if you're wide in the hips, they may not suit you.
I think you'll find that there are quite a few on this forum who identify with your reasons for wanting a flat bar bike. The big drawback is the lack of different hand positions, but that's really only an issue if you're riding for half an hour or more and there are ways around that anyway.
As I said earlier, buy the best you can afford (without being silly) and seeing you've got a keen rider to ride shotgun on your shopping, make full use of him - two bulldust detectors are better than one
Best of luck
yeah i had a test ride of the Fiamme and it was very good. i ended up going with the Allegro though as i can afford it and the impression i get is to buy the best you can afford. got it for $570 which i was happy with. i hope that was a good price??
yeah i am really after a relaxed frame. when i rode the Fiamme, it felt like i was riding my old mountain bike but a million times lighter. very stable and comfortable. more comfortable than my road bike.
but i guess the big test will be once i take if for a long ride.
Probably a good buy, I can't see anything wrong with it and Apollo is a pretty reputable brand.
Just be wary of discomfort/numbness/tingling in the hands and wrists if you ride long distances on the flat bars, having your hands locked in one position for a long time is not good for them. I'd add a set of bar ends at least.
With a flat bar bike, should you start riding longer distances, you can also do what I did and fit Trekking bars - these are only about $60 with grips (for BBB Multibar), work with your flat bar components, and are pretty easy to fit yourself:
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