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· Embrace your inner Fred
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Caveat: I know how sensitive any BD customers post are to this forum as I just read Tennis5 thread et al. Im not employed or have any financial or personal interest in BD other than the purchase of my first road bike from them. I expect no less than the usual mistrust etc that revolves around anything BD related.:)

Here goes. Just got to ride it the past few days. Now I have no frame of reference as regards roadbikes other than an old unknown mfg, beatup 10 speeder wayyy back in the day and of course many MTB's. So frame my review with the above info. I also dont have the proper kit for serious riding so this was done with jeans on with the right leg rolled up. What a noob I am:blush2:

Comfort: Despite the jeans seams calling down evil on my tender noob azz the ride was pretty smooth with only the worst streets really causing the jiggles. I had to replace the horrible, for my behind, stock seats with Selle Stratos Glider which were much much better even with the jeans. Cant imagine the hurt the stock seats teamed with my jeans would have done to me. I did a few 30 mile stints to work and I love the overall feel minus the seam-age from the jeans.

The frame is a tad small as its a 62" and I needed a 64" according to one LBS. Thats the risk of buying online sight unseen. Hey I assumed the risk by buying online and Im fine with that. Ill just adjust the seat and head to fit more comfortably till I get the proper size frame next year.

Fit and Finish: I love the looks and components on this bike except for the seat, pedals and brakes. I replaced both with a Selle Stratos Glider seat and Look Keo pedals based on some reccomendations I read on this forum. The whole shifter/derailuer system is very smooth and seem bullit proof.

I dont really like the Cane Creek brakes and almost swapped them for the Zero G brakes until I saw the $666 price. Way too much though they look beautiful. Will be upgrading brakes soon.

No scratches or dents or defects on it when it arrived dispite UPS best efforts to beat the box to ish.

Overall I love the bike and really dont see why its a pariah. Ive gotten positive comments from two avid bikers in my building but many s******s from others because of the Moto name lol. If I had to do it again I would have done what I recently learned after purchase on this forum. Go to a local bike shop and get fitted and go from there. The buying experience was good but my inexperience and desire got the best of me and now I have a great bike thats a bit too small. My fault and not BD's but I can work with it to make it fit me better. Next time Ill try an LBS to fit me etc then either buy it from them or online which ever is cheaper. Money talks and Im armed with much better info and understanding for my next purchase. Well thats it so far. I may add to it as Ill be on it this whole upcomming weekend so i should have a better guage on it. :cool:
 

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Thanks for the Report

Well, yeah, jeans are lousy for cycling. At least on a bike like that. You need a real kit.
As for the size, usually BD doesn't have 64 cm frames; 62cm is the largest they have listed for this bike on their geometry chart. How big ARE you, anyway? Raise the seat, maybe get a little longer stem, ... It may not be too small at all. But go to a bike fitter -- it doesn't have to be at a bike shop. PAY for the service. Armed with the measurements you need, you should be able to pick out a bike by yourself next time.
BTW, what size crank did it come with?
 

· Embrace your inner Fred
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Im 6'6" and 255lbs for now. :) Any help on what to do to raise the stem would be appreciated. Do I have to replace the whole head? Im not used to these kinds of handlebar stems. Geez Im such a noob. Teh seat I have adjusted already but I end up leaning all my weight on the handle bars thats probably a good reason why my hands hurt so much. Thanks for your imput:cool:
 

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You are off the charts!

Seriously, as if you didn't know. I'm only 6'2" and I have "issues" with sizes of lots of things (car seats, hats, ...). I'm afraid you need expert help.
Try a pro bike fitter, one who isn't just trying to sell you a bike.
Or in this case, as much as I like Bikes Direct, a local bike shop with access to a much wider range might be a better place to turn.
For sizing that big, I'm afraid you're going to pay.
But what do I know?
 

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I am 6' 4.5" and very happily riding a 62cm Century Elite - this is the AL model from 2007 not the newer carbon version. I have my bike absolutely dialed in perfectly now, though it took about a year to get it that way, and it is a great fit for me. However, if I was going to buy again I would probably go slightly smaller, and certainly not bigger.

There is a lot more to bike geometry and fit than just seat tube sizing. For example, my bike is about 3cm longer in the top tube than yours and 4cm longer in wheel base, and probably different in seat/head tube angles and head tube size. Mine is more of a relaxed, traditional setup where as the Immortal Spirit is much more race oriented. I still have a lot of drop from saddle to handlebars (maybe 8-10cm) and whether that will work for you depends on your flexibility.

But I think your 62cm frame may well work out OK with tweaking. If you go bigger you are going to dramatically limit your choice and increase the cost. A professional bike fit is the way to go, though there's plenty that you can do yourself too. It has taken me a lot of miles on my bike to figure out what works and what doesn't work, and if I had gone for a professional fit it would have saved me the effort. But I'm not sure I would have got the full benefit from a professional fit as a complete newbie on a road bike because I wouldn't have a clue as to what my personal preferences were and I'd be completely at the mercy of the fitter.

First thing is to get you saddle height and saddle fore/aft positioning right. There's plenty of advice on the web and on this forum on how to do this. For saddle height, search for the "Lemond sizing method" and for fore/aft search for knee over pedal (KOP). Take these as starting points. You will end up with a lot of seat-post showing but it should be in an acceptable range (but check for the limit mark on the seat-post).

The next thing is reach to the handlebars and drop to the handlebars. You can get a wide variation in stem length (90mm to 130mm is the typical range) and stem angle (-20 to +20 degrees), but it may take a while to figure out the best way to go. If your stem is currently angled downwards relative to the head tube (eg. practically horizontal relative to the ground) you can flip it to get quite a bit of rise. If there are any spacers make sure they are between the stem and the headset (ie. below the stem). You can also tweak the angle of rotation of the handlebars and the position of the shifters. Often the shifters are mounted too far around the curve and can be brought back up quite a lot to give a more comfortable upright position when you ride on the hoods.

If reach continues to be a problem you will need a shorter stem. You can slide the saddle forward though many frown upon it if you don't keep to KOP. But if it works for you, I say go for it. If drop continues to be a problem you will need a higher rise stem to raise the handlebars.

Hope this helps, or at least gives you some ideas.
 

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Looking at the BD web-site, I would guess that you have a 130mm stem at 17 or 18 degrees. The pictures of the Immortal Spirit have the stem almost completely horizontal, and that is going to give you huge amounts of drop relative to your saddle. If you flip it the handlebars will rise up about 75mm (almost 3 inches!) and come another 25mm closer to you. That is a big change and may well fix your problem. If that still isn't enough rise, then you've probably bought the wrong kind of bike. If it is too much rise, Ritchey do the same stem in a less aggressive 7 degree version. You might even be able to exchange it through BD.
 

· Embrace your inner Fred
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
ukbloke thats alot of info for me to crunch. Thanks for your help. Ill try out your suggestions today. I think I may need the spacers but Ill try playing with the handle bar angle like yoiu mentioned. BTW I have long extremities compared to my torso/chest. Gorrilla arms with Giraffe legs:D I dont think there is a seat/handlebar distance I cant reach lol. RBR comes through again. Thanks again.
 

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You definitely need the spacers - my point is that if all the spacers are under the stem then that will raise it up. To get rid of the spacers altogether (to make it permanently lower for a cleaner look) you would need to cut the steerer tube, but you don't want to do that.

As for reach, both your shorter torso length and your longer arm length come into play. You may be able to tolerate more drop if the reach is less and you are not completely stretched out. Being stretched out and low will be uncomfortable over long distances until you develop enough flexibility.

Also the Cane Creek brake calipers are a weak point in the spec of this bike. However, they are very close in design and looks to the Shimano part. For example, the Cane Creek 3-series brakes look like a very close clone of the Shimano Ultegra brakes. You will get much better braking performance just by switching pads, and I would do that before considering buying new calipers. The stock brake pads are absolutely terrible, and I would replace those first with some Kool Stop refills. I like the all-black Kool stops, most people get the black/salmon combo, while some like the all-weather salmon pads. I get them at Western Bicycle Works on-line.

If you do decide on new brake calipers though, the Shimano Ultegra ones work fine and are substantially cheaper than Dura Ace, though I can see why you might want an all Dura Ace bike.
 

· Embrace your inner Fred
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ukbloke again thanks. I will parrot your suggestions to my LBS and go from there. Dont want to cut the steerer tube. Also will be upgrading to better calipers soon and will try out the pads you recommend. Yeah I kinda want to keep the whole bike Dura-Ace components.

On a side note the word filter on this site is hilarious. In my first post above it blanked out the middle of the word I used lmao. I didnt curse. I wrote s.n.i.g.g.e.r.s:D It blanked out whats between the two s's lmao. This is the most prolific filter Ive ever seen on any site.:cool:
 

· Cat 6 rider
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Snakebitten said:
Ukbloke again thanks. I will parrot your suggestions to my LBS and go from there. Dont want to cut the steerer tube. Also will be upgrading to better calipers soon and will try out the pads you recommend. Yeah I kinda want to keep the whole bike Dura-Ace components.

On a side note the word filter on this site is hilarious. In my first post above it blanked out the middle of the word I used lmao. I didnt curse. I wrote s.n.i.g.g.e.r.s:D It blanked out whats between the two s's lmao. This is the most prolific filter Ive ever seen on any site.:cool:
Koolstop brake pads are the way to go. Don't knock your brakes until you try them.

Loose the jeans in warmer weather. They'll hold moisture and, if your rear gets and stays wet, you'll end up with saddle sores- not pleasant. If you're not comfortable wearing cycling shorts or tights then get some polyester exercise pants and make sure you wear a pant clip if there's any possibility of getting them caught in the chain. And if you wear underwear, make sure it's poly also.

The word filter here is ridiculous. I've run into annoying problems with innocent words. I'm not a proponent of offensive speech, but people can be real jerks with 'clean' speech. And making the word, not the thought behind it, offensive, negates the beauty of language in which words can have more than one meaning, and allows all the negative ideas to flourish behind flowery language.
 

· Embrace your inner Fred
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Just wanted to give an update since there isnts alot of info/feedback on the Immortal Spirit here as yet.

So far Ive put about 120 miles on the frame and components. About half of that on the newly adjusted seat post and stem. So far the bike has been a blast. No problems so far after the last tuneup I got last Sunday. Pretty smooth bike. I havent changed out the brake pads yet like ukbloke and californiaL33 have advised. They are coming:D Ive heard the dreadded scraping from the stock front pads on a fast downhill the other day. I thought the brakes were going to explode lol. Very unnerving especially on a fast downhill with other cyclist coming up on you faaaast.

As Ukbloke pointed out the stock Cane Creaks are the weakest components on this IM setup. The cycle shop also parroted those sentiments. Other than the brakes[pads it seems], the seat and pedals the setup comes with, the package seems to be pretty solid. Im a relative noob so my opinion should be colored with that little piece of knowledge, but Ive heard much more knowledgable riders tell me the same after looking over the bike. Dura-Ace componentry at this price makes this bike a steal. So far Im absolutely satisfied with this purchase.

Im a clydesdale btw so Im hard on bikes. So far the bike hasnt batted an eye under my weight. Even the WCS wheels have held up to my abuse and the abuse of NYC streets so far. Though I had Bike Station adjust my seat and stem so that the bike feels perfect[to this noob] I wonder if a 64" frame vs the 62" I got, would feel even better? Ill worry about that next year.

To sum it all up I love it. :cool:
 

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Let's see a picture then (of the bike)!

By the way, the frame size is measured in cm not inches, so you really mean 62cm. Unless the drop from saddle to handlebars isn't comfortable for you over longer rides, I doubt that you'll ever want the bigger frame.

I would keep a close eye on the rear WCS wheel to see if it goes out of true. In my experience the build quality on these wheels is hit and miss (while the component quality is fine), and if you've got a bad one then getting a rebuild at a quality bike shop is a very good idea.

The other weaker part of the spec is the tires. I wasn't a fan of the Kenda tires that came on my bike. I found the general ride to be pretty poor and the handling on fast corners while descending to be sketchy at best. You might want to try a nice pair of Continental, Michelin or other brand-name tires. I'm not going to suggest specific tires because it depends on what you want in terms of cost, lifetime, performance, weight and puncture resistance (and unfortunately you can't have all of these in one tire!).
 

· Embrace your inner Fred
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
ukbloke said:
Let's see a picture then (of the bike)!

By the way, the frame size is measured in cm not inches, so you really mean 62cm. Unless the drop from saddle to handlebars isn't comfortable for you over longer rides, I doubt that you'll ever want the bigger frame.

I would keep a close eye on the rear WCS wheel to see if it goes out of true. In my experience the build quality on these wheels is hit and miss (while the component quality is fine), and if you've got a bad one then getting a rebuild at a quality bike shop is a very good idea.

The other weaker part of the spec is the tires. I wasn't a fan of the Kenda tires that came on my bike. I found the general ride to be pretty poor and the handling on fast corners while descending to be sketchy at best. You might want to try a nice pair of Continental, Michelin or other brand-name tires. I'm not going to suggest specific tires because it depends on what you want in terms of cost, lifetime, performance, weight and puncture resistance (and unfortunately you can't have all of these in one tire!).
thanks for the info man. Yeah I mean 62 cm. I keep getting that wrong. With the adjustment I got from the LBS it feels sweet. Thanks for the heads up on the rear WCS's. Ill keep an eye on it. I got it trued as well last Sunday just incase and so far LBS said everything is cool. Ill have them check it out this weekend and mention what you said. May end up upgrading/downgrading[?] to Velocity DV wheels that was reccommended to us clydesdales lol.

Also I forgot to mention I also upgraded to some Maxxis that the LBS reccommended this weekend. I really cant tell you if it was better then the Kendas as they were underinflated. Thats how it appeared to my eye when I sat on the bike. These new Maxxis are great so far and was told it was a tougher tire than the Kendas.

Ill post a pic in a few mins:D
 

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Nice bike! It looks like your LBS did a great job setting it up for you.

My bike had the 2006 Ritchey Protocol WCS wheelset with just 16 spokes front and 20 spokes rear. The rear build was not good and the wheel went out of true and several nipples failed by shearing across the head. In the end I rebuilt it myself (with brass nipples) and got all the tensions even, and the wheel has been solid since. I think Ritchey figured out that they were pushing the limit and increased the spoke count by 4 in the following year. Although I'm tall I am also very light so I'm not stressing the wheels like a clydesdale.
 

· Embrace your inner Fred
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks man. I love the bike. Yes the LBS took care of me very well. Whats your thoughts on the Maxxis tires? Any good?

I didnt realise there was a difference with the year of the WCS. I had read reviews on them but if I recall they were 2006 review. They didnt have the best things to say about them and warn 200lb plus riders away from them. Can 4 spokes add that much more strength to the wheels? Everyone keeps telling me I need 32-36spoke Velocity DV rim because Im going to destroy my WCS's. Whats your take on it?
 

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No idea on the Maxxis Re-fuse tires. This is roadbikereview.com after all and the reviews look generally positive. They look like a similar compromise to the Continental Ultra Gatorskins that I run. I treat tire reviews with some skepticism because you need to average over a lot of miles to get a reasonable idea of their durability and puncture resistance. For example, I recently tried high-end Continental 4000S tires but had a major tire-related "incident" in the first few hundred miles, and I will never ride them again. But thousands of people put thousands of miles on these every year without problem, so how can I say that my opinion is definitive?

As for the WCS wheels, I say ride them and see what happens. I think that 4 spokes is actually a pretty big difference, though I'm about a hundred pounds lighter than you which is a much bigger difference! They're good wheels and very unlikely to fail catastrophically - more likely to go out of true and break the occasional spoke.

What else are you going to do with them anyway? I suppose if you were going to sell them on ebay almost new, and then put the proceeds into a more appropriate set then fair enough. Admittedly, I also have a 32 spoke Dura Ace hub and OpenPro rim set of wheels for training and put most of my miles on those, but I do really like my Ritcheys now that I've rebuilt them.
 

· Embrace your inner Fred
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
ukbloke said:
No idea on the Maxxis Re-fuse tires. This is roadbikereview.com after all and the reviews look generally positive. They look like a similar compromise to the Continental Ultra Gatorskins that I run. I treat tire reviews with some skepticism because you need to average over a lot of miles to get a reasonable idea of their durability and puncture resistance. For example, I recently tried high-end Continental 4000S tires but had a major tire-related "incident" in the first few hundred miles, and I will never ride them again. But thousands of people put thousands of miles on these every year without problem, so how can I say that my opinion is definitive?

As for the WCS wheels, I say ride them and see what happens. I think that 4 spokes is actually a pretty big difference, though I'm about a hundred pounds lighter than you which is a much bigger difference! They're good wheels and very unlikely to fail catastrophically - more likely to go out of true and break the occasional spoke.

What else are you going to do with them anyway? I suppose if you were going to sell them on ebay almost new, and then put the proceeds into a more appropriate set then fair enough. Admittedly, I also have a 32 spoke Dura Ace hub and OpenPro rim set of wheels for training and put most of my miles on those, but I do really like my Ritcheys now that I've rebuilt them.
As usual thanks for your insight. So far so good. Ive put a good bit of milage on these wheels and tires and so far no problems. Ive hit the occasional nasty bump as well and so far no dents, out of trueness, or broken spokes. I think you might be right in your assessment abut the 4 spokes being a big difference. As for selling them no way. Im keeping them:D Ill most likely pick up a set of Velocity DV since they are so cheap and are very strong. Ill probably switch to the DV for everyday riding and put the WCS on for the Park and training routines. Thanks man.:cool:
 

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I could be wrong, but the stem you have already looks just like my 17 degree, so you are most likely at your upper limit for rise, especially with all the spacers you have installed. You might want to measure and see if you are actually too high as a lot of people feel that too much hight is a safety issue.
 
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