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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After lots of lurking and reading, then joining and reading, I just ordered the LC Ti in 56 cm. Pardon me for the long post, but this is my story. :D

I will let you know how it goes.

This is my return to biking. I trained a lot and rode a few races back in the mid 80's and built up a Gios Compact frame with full DA back in 1987. The bike has been hanging on the wall for 15 years now. I was more into moutain bikes for a while, but lost interest in that after moving to Flat Florida, so I have not ridden much in the last 5 years.

I started looking around at the LBS's and came across some high speed flat bar bikes like the Specialized Sirrus and Trek FX. I am kind of spoiled by high end components, and the top line prices of these bikes are High!!

I decided to do another build-up. I exhausted myself on the internet until I stumbled across BD (I think it was referenced in a review I read on RBR) I immediately realized it would be very hard to build a bike for these prices.

I looked at the cafe noir. It is a great bike for 699 and I am a fan of steel. It would be 1100-1200 (or more) in most shops.
The I looked at some of the other bikes with the thought of putting a flat bar on them. For a 1200-1330 shop price, I could get a full Ultegra (sprinttour) with carbon stays and fork or an 853 serpens (drool!!) (steel is still king, but I wouldn't want to insult the Gios by bringing another steel lady into the house)

I saw the deals on the Immortals and Kestrels. These are gorgeous bikes. You younguns may not understand, but the first two carbon frames I remember were Kestrel and Look. Look had some issues, but the Kestrel looked like a Star Fighter compared to what was out there (Steel was king, aluminum was reeally big tubes and not so hot).

I love that frame style. And I almost bought one.

Then I started thinking about my uses.
A. Commuting (only 11 miles and 9 of it is along the beach)
B. Bike trail rides
C. High speed fitness.

I decided that it would be the Serpens or the Ti bike. I went with Ti because I hope it will weather the salt air and semi-rugged use I plan on using it for.
Loved the SL and DA, but realistically I do like the carbon crank and I definitely wanted a compact crank for trail use.

So, my Le Champ Ti will turn into some version of a high end flat bar speedster. :)

At the price it blows away the other manufactures high end versions.

Mike from BD, if you read this, maybe you will consider offering some higher end Flatbar bikes. I know they are selling like hotcakes around here.

Now I anxiously await the Big Brown Truck.....
 

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So, my Le Champ Ti will turn into some version of a high end flat bar speedster.
Good luck with your new bike! Out of curiosity, what kind of shifters are you going to use for your flat bar conversion?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I will try to fit the Ultegra set-up on there first. If I don't like it I might put stubby bar ends on it and DA bar-end shifters set up just inside the brake levers.
It's moot at this point as I have not heard from them. I placed the order at 8 am EST today, they got the money, but I have not heard anything. When do they send you shipping info?
 

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I don't really see how the Ultegra shifters would work on a flat bar, but worth a try. You could go seriously old school with down-tube shifters! Ultimately I suppose mountain bikes will catch up with 10 speed giving a better solution.

I remember the ordering process as being a bit sketchy by modern internet standards. It was a while ago, but I think I got one email within 24 hours saying that had received my order. Then I heard nothing at all for about 48 hours, emailed them about the order, and someone replied and said that it had already been shipped. It then arrived a couple of working days after that - about a week in total from when I ordered.
 

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Wow, it turns out that you can get 10 speed RapidFire-style shifters for flat bars - for example: search for "Shimano SL-R770 10 SP Flat Bar Shifter". Of course you will need separate brake levers too, but they're pretty affordable. I'd think that would be the best solution. If you resell your unused Ultegra shifters on ebay, you can probably make the change at pretty close to no cost.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks! I will look for those. Cane Creek makes a nice set of black SCR-5 levers for pretty cheap. The ones to match the shifters may be better, as they are short throw.

I believe you have to swap sides to make the Ultegras work on a flat bar, or I could mount them on short bar ends.

Those shifters are 150 and the front derailleur is 38-45. I just have to find the seat tube diameter on the SL ti.
 

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Congrats on the purchase. Changing it to flat bar, huh? I was baffled because from my sources, 10 speed hasn't been put on MTBs yet because the system isn't as durable for the abuse dished out during mountain biking. In fact, my buddy at Bicycling magazine was saying a while back that many companies are considering going back to 8 speed because that was the sweet spot in durability. Oddly enough, I've also heard that from a few builders about 8 speed as well. 10 speed rears have a very thin chain and a large percentage of durability has been lost with the smaller chain. Have you looked into other straight bar road bikes? Are any of them using 10 speed or still using 9? I'm only mentioning this because shifters are the most expensive part of a group. You might want to check a little more. That bike is a sweet looking ride. Knowing the modern Motobecane, it will be a great ride as well.


Update: I just found these online: http://www.excelsports.com/new.asp?...Bar+Shifters&vendorCode=SHIM&major=1&minor=20


I guess they do make STI 10 speed shifters for straight bars. I stand corrected!!!!!
 

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Another option that you could do is get a set of DA 10 speed barcons and mount them to Paul Component Engineering Thumbies...making them a set of top mounts...like an old school mountain bike

 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, I had to release the trigger on the Ti. BD was backed up shipping wise and could not get the bike to me until Monday. Unfortunately there is no way I could sign or pick the bike up next week or until the third week of August. Mike stopped the shipment and will refund my money. We conversed through PM and I will say that Mike is a stand-up guy and JMHO, no one should have any concerns about Mike standing behind his company/product.

I am super bummed, really looking forward to the bike.
Plus I wanted the box so I could send my 87 Gios Compact frame out to Cycleart for a fresh paint and polish and new decals (they did not clearcoat, or it was very thin, so the decals took a beating)

Anyway two thumbs up for Mike.
 

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Sorry to hear of the problems. I know how it feels to be all set up to get a new set of wheels and then to have them disappear. I had a similar experience when I went to get a Serpens and then they found they were out of stock. Mine already had a UPS delivery date!

Send it to me, I will break it in for you and ride it over when you are ready;).
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Want to hear how ironic life is?

I was playing volleyball Thursday nite and shattered my right pinky (broken in at least three places right at the knuckle on the hand.. My doctor wouldn't even splint it,) so now I will be in town because I have an appointment with a hand surgeon on Tuesday.

So Mike, where's the bike???? :D

I have a go live on Monday for some new software, which now I will have to do from the main office. (funny, when I asked to do it from here , they said no, now when I have to do it from here, they are fine with it.)

I was dying on Friday trying to type (of course it is on my right hand). My pinky is fatter then my ring finger right now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Peanya said:
If you don't ride your old bike, you should have just put modern components on it. Then you'd get the best of both!

Yes,

I have been looking into that. I have a full DA set-up on the Gios Compact. (circa 1987).

7 speed SIS. :D

I built the bike myself in 87. It cost 1850 for all the pieces. I almost went with Record to keep it traditional Italian, but if I remember correctly, some of the campy stuff wasn't sealed and it was heavier then DA back then.
I don't enjoy the downtube shifters anymore.It's easy to get spoiled by all the new stuff right at your fingertips..
 
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