MTB stolen. Road Bike Now? Choosey newbie seeking advice.
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  1. #1

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    Question MTB stolen. Road Bike Now? Choosey newbie seeking advice.

    After my trusty (Tru-Temper chromoly) Trek 930 mountain bike of 12 years was ripped off, I visited the LBS to see what I might find to replace it. I used to live in mountainous rural regions, but now I live in New Orleans, so I'm considering buying (or custom building) a flat bar (?) road bike or hybrid bike for city commutes and 1-2 hr. rides. I want a high quality bike that is a joy to ride in that it:
    1) feels like an extension of my body rather than a tool;
    2) is very fast, responsive, efficient, accelerates well;
    3) is remarkably smooth and comfortable on crappy roads;
    4) has reliable, smooth, and quiet componentry;
    5) has rims/tires that can handle abuse without going untrue/flat;
    6) doesn't develop problems when getting rained on;
    7) is reasonably light;
    8) costs less than $2000


    At the LBS I started at the low end and tried out the base model Specialized Sirrus, and I liked the familiar flat bar and upright geometry. And it seemed pretty zippy. However, with the aluminum frame, Armadillo tires, and zero suspension/carbon, it was a very harsh ride on uneven pavement. I don't know if the Specialized Elite with its zertz carbon fork and seat post are much better, because there was not one available to try. Has anyone here compared these? Is the Elite much smoother?

    I then tried out the base model Specialized Roubaix with carbon seatstays, fork and seatpost. Smooooooooooooooth in comparison with the alu Sirrus. But I got the feeling that it wasn't very efficient. I don't know what the air pressure in the tires was, though, and I'm not at all experienced. Experienced riders, have you tried the base or Elite Roubaix models? Impressions on speed and efficiency?

    For '05 Specialized is supposed to come out with a Specialized Sirrus Pro with carbon seat stays/fork/seatpost Avid Juicy disc brakes. It looks like it will be sort of like a heavier Roubaix with a longer wheelbase and flat bars. However, I don't think I want to wait for Specialized to release these to complete my test riding. I'd like to get a bike soon. I toyed with the idea of putting flat bars on a Roubaix base or elite model. But I suspect that there are better frame options.

    I've always ridden bikes that were stiff, lively (steel), and fast sprinters. The quickness and feel of a bike is important to me, and I'm having a hard time finding something I'm excited about.

    Given what I'm looking for, does anyone have any recommendations (especially from the standard trek/cannondale/specialized/giant lines that I'll likely be able to try first hand at the LBS)?.


    Many thanks,
    -Hans.

  2. #2

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    rivendell atlantis... it's more expensive than whta you are looking at but maybe what you really want; www.rivbikes.com
    www.flaviocolker.com.br
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  3. #3
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    have you ridden a cyclocross bike? they are fun, you can ride them off-road, they are comfortable, have durable wheelsets, built up w/ lightweight tubing it could be pretty light, and coming from a MTB it might be something to look into

  4. #4
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    Maybe you could look at some cyclocross bikes

    The frames have wider spacing so that you could mount larger volume tires. Tire volume and air pressure have more to do with ride quality than many people like to admit.

    From your post, it sounds like you are more comfortable with the more upright position on a mountainbike, but are currently doing most of your riding on the road. It also seems that you are more inclined to go with a steel bike as that is what your MTNbike (which I am sure you loved) was made of. Unfortunately, in todays market, Steel bikes are hard to come by.

    You mentioned Specialized, so I assume that you have a dealer close by. You might want to ask them if they have the Allez Cromo. This is a steel bike that can be purchased as a frame only. If you went with the full bike, It would just be a matter of swapping out the bars and brifters and you would have a very fast and efficient ride.

    As far as the Cyclocross bikes go, I can't think of any current models that are steel. This doesn't mean that they are not made, It just means that I can't think of them.
    It's no fun unless it hurts!

  5. #5

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    I would try out Bianchi. They make a variety of steel frame bikes in your price range. I recently moved to a road bike after many years of riding a MTB, and bought a Bianchi Eros after riding many many many different models.

    I did try out the Specialized Elite. The carbon fork and seat post did make a difference in terms of smoothness, I think. However, the fit of the bike for me was not as good as the Bianchi.

    The most important thing, though, is to keep trying out as many different bikes as you can. Fit and feel is much more important on a road bike than a MTB.

  6. #6

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    If you have a kona dealer nearby, I'd give a serious look to a few of their models.

    -kona dr. dew: 700c wheels, flat bar, disc brakes, aluminum frame (no corrosion).
    http://www.konaworld.com/kw_index.cfm

    -kona sutra: road bike with relaxed geometry (ala mtb), disc brakes, dedacciai steel frame, clearance for bigger tires.
    http://www.konaworld.com/kw_index.cfm

    -kona jake / jake the snake: cyclocross bikes, aluminum frames, semi-relaxed geometry, wide tire clearance.
    http://www.konaworld.com/kw_index.cfm
    http://www.konaworld.com/kw_index.cfm

    any of the other bikes mentioned in this thread by others would be a great choice, and i agree with everyone about a cyclocross bike fitting the bill. good luck, and post back with your final decision.

    the_dude

  7. #7
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    Hans,
    I am in NO too, unless you're still planning to MTBing, then I'd get a road bike. The only good MTB riding anywhere near NO is in Clearsprings in MS or Hooper/Comite in Bator Rouge. And there is absolutely no way you'd want to ride a cross bike there - table tops, a few of jumps ledges, newtons, and lots of roots make it slightly too hairy for a cross bike unless you plan on walking all the obstacles.

    You have the MRT on the levee which is ideal for a proper road bike, a smoother riding bike (eg with carbon stays) is nice but not necessary for the MRT which is as good (smooth) as any roads will ever get.
    On the other hand if you plan on riding NO roads, get a something with strong rims and larger volume tyres, and not a stiff ride (i'd avoid a full AL frame). If you can safely secure you bike on your commute, then maybe a 2nd set of wheels is a good idea on an expensive bike is a good idea. The majority of the cushoning you experience comes from the tyres then the saddle.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by freezin_is_the_reason
    You mentioned Specialized, so I assume that you have a dealer close by. You might want to ask them if they have the Allez Cromo. This is a steel bike that can be purchased as a frame only. If you went with the full bike, It would just be a matter of swapping out the bars and brifters and you would have a very fast and efficient ride.
    Thanks for your input. Is this kind of changeover easy for a bike shop to do, or is it asking for trouble with shifter/derailleur potpourri problems? I ask because Specialized doesn't suggest converting a road bike over to flat bars.

    Thanks,
    -Hans.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by HansG
    Thanks for your input. Is this kind of changeover easy for a bike shop to do, or is it asking for trouble with shifter/derailleur potpourri problems? I ask because Specialized doesn't suggest converting a road bike over to flat bars.

    Thanks,
    -Hans.
    specialized has a point.. flat bar bikes have a much longer top tube and a lower head tube.
    i guess you'll be cramped on a road bike w/ a 120 stem and flat bars.
    if you like flat bars.. you should get a mtb and have slicks installed. btw... drop bars are good.. do you really hate them?
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  10. #10
    AJS
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    MTB stolen. Road Bike Now?
    This obviously was an Act of God. A not-so-subtle attempt by the Almighty to steer you in the direction of the 'road life'. Come in from the wilderness, my man!

    From what I gather, I'd agree with some of the other suggestions that a cyclocross rig would be in order. You have several good and reasonably-priced choices from the various mfg's Bianchi, Fuji, K2, Kona, Redline, Salsa, etc. - all of whom make very decent CX frames - as well as the usual picks from the Big 3 or 4 C'Dale, Giant, Specialized, Trek.

    The key is to first find the geometry and size that fits you for the particular type of frame you want, trying to perhaps ignore as much as possible brand loyalty/popularity, and THEN worry about the frame material, parts group, etc. The nicest steel frame in the world will have you wishing you bought something else if it doesn't fit YOUR body and riding style.

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