Litespeed classic, siena, or a Lemond spine bike, maybe Bianchi
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  1. #1
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    Litespeed classic, siena, or a Lemond spine bike, maybe Bianchi

    Looking for a bike that I can spend long hours in the saddle with comfort. There are no hills to speak of where I live, I ride an interstate overpass and call that a hill. I am 6 foot and weigh in at 220 pounds, all riding will be recreational / fitness. I am not sold on Shimano 10 speed yet because I haven't seen a cassette that starts with a 13 and believe me, I don't need a 12 here. Bike weight is not critical, but yes, I would like a light steel or titanium frame bike.

    I have been able to test ride a Siena and found it very pleasant on rough roads. The Siena is a 2004 model with full Campy Centaur and Proton wheels for about $2800. I could feel some flex when I tried to get the cadance above my ability to pedal circles, but it might have been from the long length of exposed carbon seatpost? The size was right and this bike actually sold me that Campy does shift crisper (no campy / shimano wars).

    I don't have access to a Classic to ride, but viewing geometry charts, I feel that it will fit just fine. The Classic would also be a 2004 model but with 9 speed Ultegra and Shimano 540 wheelset. The wheelset doesn't concern me too much, I have some Kysirums with a Shimano hub I could put on and give the 540's to my much lighter wife. This bike would be about $2300.

    The Lemond would be a Zurich at $2500 or Buenos Aires at $1900. Both would be 2005 models. The Zurich is 10 speed Ultegra, the Buenos Aires is 10 speed Veloce. I have ridden the correct Lemond frame size in a platinum / carbon frame model, so I know the fit would be okay. The ride of the test bike was similar to the Siena on rough roads. Both of the bikes I can afford are steel headtube, downtube, bottom bracket and chain stays with carbon top tube, seat tube, and seat stays.

    I can throw a Bianchi into the mix as well. I know my Bianchi frame size frame their aluminum bikes, but can only order a Bianchi without a test ride. A 2005 Virata with 10 speed Ultegra is about $2300 and comes with steel frame married to a carbon fiber rear triangle.

  2. #2
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    If you can find a Jamis Eclipse to ride you might like it. Steel and carbon with a nice sculptured look to it. Also has Campy.

  3. #3
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    The Classic is not as stiff as the Siena due to the smaller down tube. At 220, you are too big for that frame in my opinion unless you just want a back road cruizer.

    Not sure about the other choices. The Lemond spine bikes look very interesting to me. Do they come with a lifetime warranty? This is something that may be important to a big rider that plans to keep the bike for a long time.

    Good luck.

    Ed

  4. #4
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    AT 220 pounds I'd say custom steel is the way to go--my guess is the LS frames will be too flexy and I wouldn't trust the durability on those Lemonds with the carbon. For $2800 you could get a Curtlo with Dura Ace or Chorus and I think it would be superior to any of the bikes you mentioned.

    http://www.curtlo.com

  5. #5
    rjw
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    Quote Originally Posted by Henry Chinaski
    AT 220 pounds I'd say custom steel is the way to go--my guess is the LS frames will be too flexy and I wouldn't trust the durability on those Lemonds with the carbon.
    I'm near 280 pounds and haven't noticed any undue flex with my Lemond Buenos Aires.

    I can't vouch for the durability though as I've only had it a couple of months so far, but there is a lifetime warranty on the frame should the worst happen.

  6. #6
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    Love my Classic

    I'm ~215lb and love my Classic, no noticeable flex at all. It's got full DA-9 and rides like a dream. I am coming off of a Klein Quantum Pro, also with full DA-9, and the roads all feel like they're all brand new now that I'm riding the Classic!

  7. #7
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    All nice bikes but

    if you're serious about dropping that kind of $$$$, go test ride the bikes that interest you.

    I'm not talking about a parking lot jaunt.
    Good shops will size you properly and let you take all the time you need, hopefully with quality input to any question or concerns you have.

    That said, I absolutely love LeMond's spine concept, although I think he's an idiot.

  8. #8
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    Go for the Lemond

    I recently swtiched from an MTB to a road bike as like you, I ride long miles on fairly bad country roads. First bought a Classic and never got used to it, just didn't like the ride. So sold it and put one leg over the '04 Lemond Zurich (spine design) and fell in love. 2,000 miles later and still in love, smooth over chip seal roads, plenty fast. I ride 4-5 hours at a time and just love this thing. Don't worry about the warranty as the frame is guaranteed for life and from what I've heard Trek is very good about their warranties. BTW, there are plenty of '04s still on dealer floors which I have seen discounted to $1600. Just my $0.02 but I say go for the Lemond if it fits you.

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