Friday, July 29, 2005

My New Bike

I was going to wait until next biking season to buy a new bike. I have a VERY nice Raleigh M-40, and even though I don't mountain bike, it serves my needs. It is light and fast (for a mountain bike) and has a mid to high level component group.

All that being said, my friend just bought a new road bike, because his friend just bought one, and they both want to come with on my 100 mile bike trip. I doubt, even though I am quite fast on my mountain bike, I could keep up with them. So I broke down, and I ordered a bike.

Now, I am no fool. At least, I hope not. So I did my homework. My buddy bought a name, and paid too much for it, in my opinion. His is a specialized allez triple, and it runs around 700usd. But it has the same components as the Trek 1000, which runs around 550usd. I figured, for an aluminum bike, with shimano sora der STI shifting, I should be able to pay less than 400usd, it I went with an off name, or overseas bike. Or I could get something a year or two old on eBay.

But homework told me that shimano sora was the bottom of the line in top of the line bikes, if that makes sense. Also, aluminum bikes, while a pound or two lighter, ride "noisier" meaning more inclusion from the road on your joints and muscles. Since I am not racing, it was suggested I go steel instead, and get a better ride. I COULD go titanium, but I don't have 2000usd to spend. Sora der, though, would have to work.

I bid on a few older bikes, including a very nice LeMond (first american tour winner) and a trek 1220. Both got outbid at the last second, because other ebayers apparently know more about bidding than I do. So I used "buy it now" and bought a brand new, 2006 pre release Dawes Lightning DLX. 330usd. Compared it to the specialized my friend bought and found out it is the EXACT SAME BIKE. Same frame, same components, same wheels and tires, same weight, same fork. Different color and decals.

I feel pretty good about that. It isn;t that my friend is a stupid consumer, or I am a smart one, it is just we had a different agenda. He wanted a branded bike, and I can't blame him. We have both been screwed by off brand in the past, and he felt he had the money to drop on a name. I wanted components, and sacrificed a bit of style to do it.

I cannot wait to get it, either Tuesday or Wednesday. The same friend didn't believe I got my M-40 up to 35 mph (even though my bike computer records high speeds, and I saved it) so he won't believe how fast this one will go, either. The guy at the LBS told me with the way I ride bike, I should be able to hit 40+mph.

I will be buying a helmet.

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