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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
I am new to purchasing new road bikes. I have been looking at bikes on Bikedirect website and would like your recommendations on selecting one of these cool bikes. I am about 5'6" and 165 lbs. I would like to use the bike to ride during the weekend or even to work some days. I am riding a Specialized Rockhopper to work daily now.

Thanks,
Bob
 

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I think you should find a good, local bike shop that can show you several different commuter models. Raleigh makes several good ones, as does Surly. Bianchi has some great ones as well. Neither of the bikes you mention would be an optimal commuter. They are too race oriented.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your input! I have been visiting all the local bike stores around here, but never really take them out for a test ride. I like most of the major brand bikes. But they are more pricier than the online bikes with same comoponents. I am thinking of getting a good bike that will last me a while without worring about upgrading. I know I am not in shape to ride a good road bik yet, but I am working on it getting in shape. Riding my Rockhopper until then, even though it makes my hands numbed every ride. I am looking forward to ride 30-40 miles on the weekends with the new bike on a nearby trails. I am also considering the Le Champoin AL bike, but thought the Ti will be more durable.


Thanks
 

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The main reason to buy a bike at the LBS is so that you test ride to make sure that it will be comfortable for you on long rides. You also have the advantage of buying your bike assembled, adjusted and ready to go. The BD bike will have some assembly and if you aren't comfortable putting it together yourself you may want to have your LBS do it for you. If you know what you need fit wise and are comfortable working on bikes, then BD seems to be an excellent option.

My Le Champion Ti is scheduled to arrive on Tuesday.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Cool haagar - I like the look of the RT700, but I am leaning toward to Ti for durability, and I know a guy riding his Litespeed bike to work passing by me every morning. He has been biking to work for along time now. I am very mechanically inclined and should have no problem putting the bike together. If I am going witht the Ti bike, I am thinking about ordering a 51CM, with my 29 ish inseam without shoes, and that won't be available to ship until June, 13th.

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Single Speed - 100% reliable!

If you really want a carbon fiber commuter bike or a Titanium commuter bike with Ultegra/Ultegra SL - You are asking for two things

1.) You will get scoffed at when people see a bike with a $1000-1600 Set of parts used for commuting.

2.) Your bike will become a target, riding that bike around town, where ever you live will just draw too much attention to yourself, you will spend more time worrying about your $2k rig than what you are doing.

Here are the counter arguments to your concerns.


I am thinking of getting a good bike that will last me a while without worring about upgrading.
Upgrade a town bike, There is nothing to upgrade. The streets never change. The only reason why you would be getting a light weight groupo is if you race, have raced or have a group ride that does a fast race weekly ("Chico, CA - Fast Fifty")

When you sacrifice weight you sacrifice durability!

I am leaning toward to Ti for durability
While valid - Get steel! - It lasts forever can be bent back and its great for long rides.

I know a guy riding his Litespeed bike to work passing by me every morning
I mean no disrespect, but it sounds like you want a flashy ride to show off. I could be wrong :p .

These are the bikes I think you should look at for what you are going for.
Ultegra is a good groupo, but its not durable enough for what you want to do.

Bikes:
Moto Fantom CX - Universal, Light and has enough gearing to do anything!

Mercier Corvus - Great Steel bike with good components.
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/mercier/mercier_corvus.htm

Best Geared commuter - Windsor Tourist.
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/windsor/tourist.htm



Personal Recommendation: GET A SINGLE SPEED!!!
One gear and brakes!! - You could get a junker and add about $50 of new gear to make it great!

But please do not turn a Titanium/ Carbon bike into one of these.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFHv781qoEE
 

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Do your research and don't rush into a purchase - that goes for BD or a LBS. The LeChamp Ti are nice bikes from what I can tell. I'm really interested in hearing the first review on these.

Several in these forums have been researching these for a while now. One thing to keep in mind is you'll really need to zero in on the size of these. I wrote to BD with questions about sizing and got a generic reply sending me back to their geometry chart.

I also wrote to BD asking for specific info about the warranty on the Ti frames - again the most generic of replies, basically restating what the web already says.

I'm kinda wanting one of these too, but have not been able to get much in the way of help from them. With input from others in this forum we were able to figure out the odd looking geometry (sloping top tube - sized as a compact)

I own a hardtail Moto FlyTeam already and like you, use it on the road as a training bike. The bike is great, but again... be prepared to do your own research. I think there is mucho "bang for your bucks" to be had from BD. If however, you goof it you may be in for a bumpy ride getting the error corrected as I have not found BD to be very responsive.

Let us know if you order a LeChamp Ti.
Regards!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Very good advise MotoSpirit! I just got back from the local bike shop and was looking at a Trek Portland which was on sale for $1700 and a Surly Long Haul Trucker for $1000, and some other bikes for commuting around $800 dollars. I liked the Portland with disk brakes, but that is getting close to $2000 for Shimano 105 grouppo. So, I am still leaning toward the Moto Le Champ Ti. I will keep you posted on my decision. BTW, if I ride the bike to work, it will be safe on company campus, there are alot of people riding expensive bikes to work everyday.
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Dude you are going to love the Tektro Lever, bought myself a pair of those last week and they are arriving soon. I am planning on turning my Dad's old 1976 Peugot into a single speed and these levers feel exactly like the Campy record shifters.. even has the quick release spring system on the levers.

My comments about the bike being a target was since I dont own a car, I bike everywhere: Work, school, store, even for extra cash. So having a durable bike (I wish I could afford a Surley!) that looks like its not worth stealing is a must.

Glad you got the Surley dude, Should be a sweet ride!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I do have a Nishiki road hybrid that is having some shifting problems. It is a steel bike and keep thinking if the Surly can be that much better. They both are using the same Chro-Moly steel. More thinking...

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I am just can't make up my mind. That's all. I have no affiliation with BikesDirect. I just wondering what is better for me. I actually rode my Nishiki to work today and found out that I have to work harder than the Rockhopper. For some reansons, it just did not want to move up hill.
 

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I would also advise looking at the Mercier Corvus. It uses 520 Reynolds steel and a Reynolds Carbon fork. It is much lighter than my old 4130 steel Trek and the Tiagra/105 STI group is way ahead of the Surly bar end for $150 less. Nine more speeds doesn't hurt either. My Corvus literally flies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
I cancelled my ordered for Surly Cross Check, after having read that the bike is sized larger than normal. The 52cm is might be too large for me, I think the 50cm would work better. I bought a few old road bikes from craigslists, and they seem to be a tad taller for my size. There are some positive reviews on Surly Cross Check and Jensen is selling the size that would fit me. I am requesting a price match from them. Meantime - more researching ....

chas, I like your recommandation for the Corvus. I head 530 Reynolds steel are great for old steel bikes. But, I have not heard much about the 520 steel. I might be pulling the tricker on this one, size 52cm is not available though, only 49cm and 54cm. 49cm is too small?, 54cm is too big?
 

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My 58cm is just slightly smaller than some other 58cm bikes I have looked at. I needed a longer stem to get the reach I wanted as their next size, 61, was too large. It also has a lower stand over hight than I would have expected. Take a close look at the geometry and good luck. I looked at the Surley page on specs and you are right. They are significantly larger across the board. It looks as though they are sizing based on compact geometry or more likely touring geometry rather than conventional. Isn't sizing fun??

I found this comment for you "631 is the air-hardening version of Reynolds time-tested 531 tubeset, and heat-treated it becomes 853, which is top of the line steel for Reynolds. 520 is a heavier alloy...good quality, just without the air-hardening or strength/weight ratio of 631. End result is a heavier frame." Mike from BD says they are made at the Ideal, Fuji factory and they have had no reports of any problems. Trek has a $1200 bike made of 520 steel for touring called, of course, the Trek 520. Trek owners rave about that bike.

http://archive.mtbr.com/00/0EEE544E.php

If you want to spend more and wait until October, the Serpens is Reynolds 853 and looks like a superb steel bike. I ordered one a few weeks ago and after the order had "shipped" they found that their inventory was almost gone. Very disappointing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
According to the geometry, I need the 52 cm size for Corvus, but is not available. I like the set up for this bike. I got a price match from Jensen on the Surly Cross Check, and have unitl June 22nd before it expired. Also, I'm reading on the Windsor Tourists, and worry that may be too heavy.
 
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