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Old 03-18-2007, 04:09 AM   #3061
Plan B
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The Rivendell family of bikes are beautiful. I have a Waterford and it was made back when Waterford was doing a lot of work for Grant Peterson. I was a "Bridgestone guy'" and stil have my old BoB card!

My Waterford is a lugged 853 with couplings..I had it painted like an Austin Healyy 3000 Mark 111. Blue with white panels. When I get home I'm going to build it up as a fixie/single (I'll use a Phil flip/flop hub I scounged up at a buddies yard sale) It's a nice bike but it was kinda heavy.

I just finished building my Nomad. Beer and Kebabs goes a long way at the local shop.


Before I take it out tomorrow I took some beauty shots:













I can hardly wait to get it dirty, It's supposed to be nice out tomorrow but it was windy as hell here today and while I was taking the photos there was wicked hail storm.
Hey Gummee, what do you figure the moto twin of this thing is? I kinda thought a 640. We'll see, my ride tomorrow is a bit of everything including roads, dirt roads and single track.

(also, Knary I know what you mean about the Potland scene. It's quite the bike town. I have some Vanilla cross bike pics, I'm gonna go hunt them down.)
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Old 03-18-2007, 04:21 AM   #3062
RobZim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lorazepam

Looks like a decent bike. Thanks for the info!
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Old 03-18-2007, 04:36 AM   #3063
Plan B
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Found a sorta Vanilla pic. Doesn't really show the bike, but here's Vanilla racer Molly Cameron of Portland racing at St Niklass in Holland.

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Old 03-18-2007, 05:12 AM   #3064
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Found another Vanilla. Check out the stainless droupouts.

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Old 03-18-2007, 08:16 AM   #3065
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plan B
Found another Vanilla. Check out the stainless droupouts.



I WILL have a Vanilla before I die.


It would either be a fixie retro style or a cross/touring rig, but they're such works of art i'd feel bad getting it dirty.
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Old 03-18-2007, 12:07 PM   #3066
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Erin has officially entered the vortex of the obsessed. Which bike and why is what she wakes up and goes to bed thinking about. I should have seen this coming. She played on more than 40 violins before choosing her current fiddle. In the past few days, she's test ridden eight bikes, some multiple times. She's ridden more miles on these bikes than any bike in the past decade.

The short version:
The Specialized Dolce Comp (yes, Pierce, Specialized ) fits Erin perfectly right out of the box. Perfect fit. But it's a couple/few hundred dollars more than its competitors, that much more than our budget. And, as I've tried to councel her, the difference between it and the few other bikes that are close, is literally 1 cm or so. In other words, the difference of a seat fit and different stem.

The math gets a little tortured at this point. Is the $1150 Lemond, a price within our budget, worth a look if swapping out the stem, too wide handlebar, and replacing the seat really that much less than the $1400 Specialized? It gets us within $150. That's easy math. The tortured part is that the Lemond is a nice looking little machine, the specialized kinda fugly, BUT we haven't even found a Tourmalet for her to test ride.

She's done a great job of figuring out which geometries will and won't work for her. We've all seen too many people go buy whatever bike is remotely the right size for them - usually getting something that won't work for the long haul (pun intended).

p.s. If you're wondering why we're looking at $1k+ bikes, the reason is simple. The new 105 and better shifters fit a smaller hand much much better than the wider lumpier older style (top of the hoods comes to a rounded point). With the old ones, she's wincing in pain within five minutes.
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Old 03-18-2007, 12:53 PM   #3067
achiral
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knary
Erin has officially entered the vortex of the obsessed. Which bike and why is what she wakes up and goes to bed thinking about. I should have seen this coming. She played on more than 40 violins before choosing her current fiddle. In the past few days, she's test ridden eight bikes, some multiple times. She's ridden more miles on these bikes than any bike in the past decade.

The short version:
The Specialized Dolce Comp (yes, Pierce, Specialized ) fits Erin perfectly right out of the box. Perfect fit. But it's a couple/few hundred dollars more than its competitors, that much more than our budget. And, as I've tried to councel her, the difference between it and the few other bikes that are close, is literally 1 cm or so. In other words, the difference of a seat fit and different stem.

The math gets a little tortured at this point. Is the $1150 Lemond, a price within our budget, worth a look if swapping out the stem, too wide handlebar, and replacing the seat really that much less than the $1400 Specialized? It gets us within $150. That's easy math. The tortured part is that the Lemond is a nice looking little machine, the specialized kinda fugly, BUT we haven't even found a Tourmalet for her to test ride.

She's done a great job of figuring out which geometries will and won't work for her. We've all seen too many people go buy whatever bike is remotely the right size for them - usually getting something that won't work for the long haul (pun intended).
When doing the test rides, the bike shop should be more than happy to change out seats and stems (along with making other simple adjustments). When purchasing, you can often change out the stem for free and swap seats without paying retail mark-up. If a shop is unwilling to do the first, I wouldn't buy from them. With the second, it would be good customer service, but not all shops are willing.

Bars are a different story, unfortunately. Too much labor to rewrap, and tape residue is usually left on the bars.

Since she is moderately new to riding, a bike and configuration that fits well now may not fit or feel so good in a year. Flexibility and strength change quite a bit with consistent cycling. Saying that, in a year's time, she should be able to change the fit enough with a different stem, seatpost, and seat to make the same frame work. As such, you don't want anything to be in an extreme position for the bike (i.e. an 8cm stem).

I think you mentioned her test-riding a Cannondale? I know they make very small frames - how did that work out?


In general, when buying a bike, get something that makes you go 'wow' both in terms of looks and ride quality. If it's ugly, it most likely won't get ridden as often (but beauty is in the eye of the beholder, to be sure).


If bike selection is very minimal, and nothing quite works out, a custom frame or frame-only purchase might be the way to go. With some time, a few sales, and e-bay, you could put together a pretty nice bike (although probably 9-speed) for about the price of the Specialized.
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Old 03-18-2007, 01:05 PM   #3068
knary
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Quote:
Originally Posted by achiral
When doing the test rides, the bike shop should be more than happy to change out seats and stems (along with making other simple adjustments). When purchasing, you can often change out the stem for free and swap seats without paying retail mark-up. If a shop is unwilling to do the first, I wouldn't buy from them. With the second, it would be good customer service, but not all shops are willing.

Bars are a different story, unfortunately. Too much labor to rewrap, and tape residue is usually left on the bars.

Since she is moderately new to riding, a bike and configuration that fits well now may not fit or feel so good in a year. Flexibility and strength change quite a bit with consistent cycling. Saying that, in a year's time, she should be able to change the fit enough with a different stem, seatpost, and seat to make the same frame work. As such, you don't want anything to be in an extreme position for the bike (i.e. an 8cm stem).

I think you mentioned her test-riding a Cannondale? I know they make very small frames - how did that work out?


In general, when buying a bike, get something that makes you go 'wow' both in terms of looks and ride quality. If it's ugly, it most likely won't get ridden as often (but beauty is in the eye of the beholder, to be sure).


If bike selection is very minimal, and nothing quite works out, a custom frame or frame-only purchase might be the way to go. With some time, a few sales, and e-bay, you could put together a pretty nice bike (although probably 9-speed) for about the price of the Specialized.


We're finding that the bigger shops won't swap out stems for free. The bikes come specced by the manufacturers and swapping out budget parts leaves the shop with a pile of parts they can't easily sell. I don't disagree with you, I'm just relating what we've found as we shop for a low to mid range bike.

The Cannondale rode pretty well, was a wee bit longer, but came with the old 9-speed 105 group - the uncomfortable one. If it had the newer 105 on it (available on the next step up in price), she would get it.

She's leaning towards the Lemond. We're currently hunting for any of their other models with similar/identical geometry. If she likes how it rides at all and it fits her, we'll order a Tourmalet.
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Old 03-18-2007, 01:44 PM   #3069
knary
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Quote:
Originally Posted by achiral
As such, you don't want anything to be in an extreme position for the bike (i.e. an 8cm stem).
That's actually a very typical stem length on the bikes she's looking at.
At 5'1/2", she's down to a size 49w Lemond (w=woman). And a 48 Specialized (also woman specific).
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Old 03-18-2007, 06:37 PM   #3070
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She found it. It's a beauty for a mass market bike. It almost looks like it's got lugs. A 2006 Lemond Versailles. I don't know that I've seen a nicer looking mass made bike under $5k.



We're picking it up tomorrow. It fits her very well. The components are solid. The frame is head and shoulders better than anything else she's seriously looked at. She *loves* the way it handled a bumpy down hill on a test ride. They fiddled with bar tape and got the hoods to be the way she needs. She's bouncing off the walls happy. As others have said, you should, if you can, buy a bike that presses your buttons. This one sings to her.

$1200 vs. $1700 MSRP. I've found it for a hint less at other places, but not at a local shop.


When we were leaving, we got to watch a couple head out on their Calfee Tandem! Jeebus, that's a lot of carbon.
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Old 03-18-2007, 06:40 PM   #3071
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knary


She found it. It's a beauty for a mass market bike. It almost looks like it's got lugs. A 2006 Lemond Versailles. I don't know that I've seen a nicer looking mass made bike under $5k.



...$1200 vs. $1700 MSRP.

phew, you think at that price, they'd include all the spokes, and the pedals?








p.s. congrats, looks like a real beaut.
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Old 03-18-2007, 06:41 PM   #3072
RobZim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knary


She found it. It's a beauty for a mass market bike. It almost looks like it's got lugs. A 2006 Lemond Versailles. I don't know that I've seen a nicer looking mass made bike under $5k.



We're picking it up tomorrow. It fits her very well. The components are solid. The frame is head and shoulders better than anything else she's seriously looked at. She *loves* the way it handled a bumpy down hill on a test ride. They fiddled with bar tape and got the hoods to be the way she needs. She's bouncing off the walls happy. As others have said, you should, if you can, buy a bike that presses your buttons. This one sings to her.

$1200 vs. $1700 MSRP. I've found it for a hint less at other places, but not at a local shop.


When we were leaving, we got to watch a couple head out on their Calfee Tandem! Jeebus, that's a lot of carbon.

Very cool... Nice bike. I'm sufficiently jealous
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Old 03-18-2007, 06:59 PM   #3073
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Today was the 3rd race in the tmbra spring series, located at bar-h ranch in north Texas. The weather was perfect and the atmosphere was um...festive? (St. Patrick's day)

I took 6th in 19-29 sport class.


The tree was closer than it appears and just after a FAST downhill right-hander...hence the "oh shit" face


The fun part about racing sport class is hanging out to watch the expert racers afterward....and "cheering them on"









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Old 03-18-2007, 07:30 PM   #3074
RobZim
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The Bar-H is a cool place. A long ways away from Houston, but very cool. I raced there about 7 years ago. Congrats on your finish... you got to be damn fast to place that well. Don't mess around and go Expert, that third lap has to be a killer.
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Old 03-18-2007, 07:38 PM   #3075
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I can handle the extra lap but not at the pace those guys are keeping. I have a few buddies who should finish in the top 5 overall this year and plan to bump up if they do. I'll stay in sport for another year and mop up if that's the case. I'd love to have a chance at top 5 overall. I should be in the top 10 overall this year if things continue to go my way.

I forgot about the little mishap. One guy got lazy on the back side of horse shoe and paid the price.




It was just a leg injury (nothing too severe) but I'm not sure about the details yet.
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