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  1. #1
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    What to Buy? Schwinn Katana vs Tommaso Tiempo

    Hey everybody,

    I'm new to the road biking scene and was looking to buy an entry level road bike. The schwinn goes for around 330 on amazon.com and the tommaso Tiempo for 350 on Giantnerd.com

    Schwinn Katana: http://www.amazon.com/Schwinn-Katana...pr_product_top

    Tommaso Tiempo: http://www.giantnerd.com/tommaso-tie...3139372d392d33

    Im a huge rookie, but so far from what I've gathered the main differences are that the tommasso is about 3-4 pounds heavier and has a steel frame versus the aluminum frame on the schwinn. Also, the brake calipers, levers, and gearing all seem do be considerably better on the tomasso compared to the schwinn but the calipers levers and transmission can easily be upgraded on the schwinn in the future. The schwinn has a lighter frame which will give me speed but the steel on the tomasso will reduce vibration (I will ride the bike around 7 miles a day) The schwinn has 14 speed- tommasso 24 speed. the schwinn wins in looks in my opinion and im thinking of getting it just based on the fact that i can upgrade the brake and transmission system thats already been complained about. So far havent read any negative reviews on the tomasso but thats because there have only been 3 reviews for it. Based on the reviews for the schwinn people have had a few problems with flat tires and brakes. Looks like they outsourced this schwinn to china and packed it up with cheap components for beginners??

    Anyway, the schwinn has better looks and a lighter frame but crappier brakes and crappier transmission. My route has a decent amount of uphill biking involved so that will factor in to my decision. Is it illogical to think that the 24 speed on the tommasso will make up for its heavier frame compared to the schwinn in terms on riding the bike uphill?

    Any input would be great!

    Thanks
    -phil

  2. #2
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    Welcome to RBR, phil.

    Before talking bike brands and differences in componentry, we need to address that all important issue of fit, so in some way, shape or form, you'll need to pin down your sizing requirements as best you can.

    IMO/E, whenever possible, the best course for most noobs to take is to visit an LBS, discuss your intended uses, goals and cycling background and let them recommend some brands/ models based on that info. Because your price range probably precludes that option, you could either pay for a standard fitting (about $50) or carefully take some measurements and, using that info, try to narrow your sizing requirements.

    Taking a quick look at both bikes, I think (for you) the Tommaso has an edge on the Schwinn in sizing options alone. If you're going the online retailer route, you might also want to look at some of Bikes Direct offerings.

    HTH...
    Last edited by PJ352; 10-02-2010 at 05:36 PM. Reason: correction/ clarification...

  3. #3
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    I got measured already
    I will need the 58 cm- standing at 6"1

    Im leaning toward the tomasso though- dont want to have to go through the hassel of replacing the crappy brakes and seat and outdated transmission on the schwinn.

    Oh, and thanks for the welcome- glad to be a part of the community.
    Last edited by philbert00; 10-02-2010 at 05:43 PM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by philbert00
    I got measured already
    I will need the 58 cm- standing at 6"1

    Im leaning toward the tomasso though- dont want to have to go through the hassel of replacing the crappy brakes and seat and outdated transmission on the schwinn.
    Excellent. Then with that out of the way, the Tommaso is clearly the better bike. Yes, it's heavier (but it's steel ) but the extra gearing will help in hilly terrain more than a little less weight would. It also has an 8 spd drivetrain which is usually easier to upgrade in the future. Shifting is via STI's which also betters the Schwinns bar mounted shifters.

  5. #5
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    I think PJ's right If it were me I'd choose the Tomasso. I agree the Schwinn is better looking, but IMO it's not the better bike. I've owned steel, aluminum & carbon fiber frames & my aluminum bikes were by far - by real, real far the worst riding of the bunch. I have a steel bike & a cf bike & I can't tell the difference between them in terms of ride smoothness. I'd opt for the Tommy.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  6. #6
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    I like the Schwinn. Was going to buy that until I got a good deal on my used bike

  7. #7
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    Looking at both bikes really closely and here's what I noticed.

    The Schwinn
    Has a kickstand, Bummer.
    The welding looks pretty messy.
    Has paddle shifters mounted on the handlebar tops, never seen that on any road bike.
    Appears to have Schrader valves. Ouch.
    At first glance looks like a 99 dollar special.

    The Tommaso
    Has brifters, or brakes integrated with shifters just like any road bike should.
    Nice looking clean welds.
    Better geometry.
    Nicer anatomic shape on the seat.
    Nice angle on the seat tube.
    Triple chainring which will allow you to climb up hills very easily.
    At first glance, looks like a 600 dollar road bike.

    My vote is for the Tommaso.
    With people like Peter P. around, I am done posting on this website. Mean people have driven me off after 9 plus years. Good luck newbies beware.

  8. #8
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    Everybody!

    I really appreciate your suggestions and opinions- keep em coming!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by philbert00
    Everybody!

    I really appreciate your suggestions and opinions- keep em coming!
    Between these two bikes, this really isn't a close contest. There aren't many here that'll vote for the Schwinn and if they did, I'd ask why.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by PJ352
    Between these two bikes, this really isn't a close contest. There aren't many here that'll vote for the Schwinn and if they did, I'd ask why.
    Yah definitely. I guess I was very drawn in by the aesthetics of the schwinn (love the black paired spokes) and overall design

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by philbert00
    Yah definitely. I guess I was very drawn in by the aesthetics of the schwinn (love the black paired spokes) and overall design
    You aren't alone. Given the choice, most of us buy (and ride) what we do based partly on aesthetics. That's ok to a point, but in this case I think you'll short change yourself.

    Also, if the Tommaso isn't to your liking, there are other makes/ models available in this price range that compete favorably with the Tommaso. You might like the looks of one of them better.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by PJ352
    You aren't alone. Given the choice, most of us buy (and ride) what we do based partly on aesthetics. That's ok to a point, but in this case I think you'll short change yourself.

    Also, if the Tommaso isn't to your liking, there are other makes/ models available in this price range that compete favorably with the Tommaso. You might like the looks of one of them better.
    Im always open to suggestions- if there are other bikes that anyone feels competes with these two in the under 400 category lets hear it.

  13. #13
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    Check Vilano road bikes or the Motobecane Mirage Pro. Looks like in the same price ball park. I believe there was one new-to-roadbike-RBR member who bought the Vilano one. Also check Craiglist for those retro/classic brand name bikes, you might get something even cheaper than the bikes we suggested here.

    Good luck and good hunting

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_AwesomeSauce_Show
    Check Vilano road bikes or the Motobecane Mirage Pro. Looks like in the same price ball park. I believe there was one new-to-roadbike-RBR member who bought the Vilano one. Also check Craiglist for those retro/classic brand name bikes, you might get something even cheaper than the bikes we suggested here.

    Good luck and good hunting
    Good point. Depending on your locale, CL can be a viable option. Also, see if your LBS's carry used bikes. This option (hopefully) gets you some sizing assistance and usually some sort of a 30 day policy in the event of problems. Buying used from a private seller has some pitfalls (like no warranty in the event of problems), but when comparing it to buying online it also offers the advantage that you can see and ride bikes before deciding. If you opt for the CL (or similar) route, I'd suggest bringing someone along that's familiar with bikes.

  15. #15
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    Well...

    I was about to order the Tomasso Tiempo but for one reason or another the website was down and couldnt order it online. On the meantime, I decided to go to the LBS just for fun and to check out the bikes. The owner convinced me not to go through the hassel of ordering online. I was finally talked out of it, and then started to negotiate with him on a bike. Told him my budget was 450 and needed something entry-level. To make a long story short he gave me a great deal on a 2011 Scott Speedster S50- for $599...Although i was orginally bent on spending 450 bucks im completely ok with this as the owner allowed me to put 400 down and pay the bike off by in 2 months. Unbelievable!

    All i can say is people should think twice before buying online!

    Pictures attached:








  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by philbert00
    All i can say is people should think twice before buying online!
    I couldn't agree more. As long as the budget allows, the LBS is almost always the best way to go.

    Congrats on the new bike, really nice!!

  17. #17
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    Congrats. I love my new S30. But do yourself a favor and make sure you ride with a proper pair of bike shorts. That saddle was brutal on my new-to-road-bikes butt until I made that purchase.

  18. #18
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    You made a very wise choice. You will be much happier and for a longer period of time with this bike than with the other two. Congrats!

  19. #19
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    That's a really nice bike there. Enjoy.

    David

  20. #20
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    Similar story... I went in with a $500 budget, but after a few visits with my LBS, I came out with an $800 bike that is going to last me far longer than my original selection. For a not whole lot more money I got a bike that I can grow into.

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