New bike: what is key, what’s silly?

raleighnut

Guru
Location
On 3 Wheels
One last thing... about the cathedral de Santiago. This incredible structure was built between 1075-1211. Yow! Double yow! That is even more mind blowing. How in the world did they ever build such a sophisticated, tall, intricate structure 1000 years ago??!
More to the point what religion was it built to serve, Christianity didn't arrive until a couple of centuries after it was finished. :wacko:
 

John_S

Über Member
Hi Chruckschreiner,

Funnily enough myself & friends recently had a discussion about the construction of such grand structures such a long time ago and it certainly is incredible to think through the processes. Although the time scales to construct would unrecognisable to us today but it is nonetheless incredibly impressive!

Back to your thoughts about a bike you mention that you want low gearing. On this subject unless you choose a touring bike it is very hard to find a bike with a very large gear range with for example a triple chainset. Perhaps you could consider asking the bike shop if they could fit a triple chainset groupset but your frame would have to be compatible.

If the bikes that you end up interested to not have low enough gearing for what you want then there are perhaps another couple of options (and potentially more) to consider.

For starters for us mere mortals outside the professional peloton it is very unlikely that we get any benefit from the same group sets and chainring / cassette combinations enjoyed by the professional riders.

Depending on what changring(s) and cassette combination your new bike comes with perhaps you could speak to a bike shop about the possibility of swapping out the groupset that it comes with and changing it for a Shimano GRX groupset on which the double chainring is available as either a 48/31 or a 46/30

https://road.cc/content/tech-news/260095-shimano-grx-graveladventure-groupset-launched-all-key-details-you-need-know

https://www.bikeradar.com/news/shimano-grx/

Alternatively as a cheaper option to the changing of an entire groupset you could consider just a sub-compact chainset:-

https://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/product-news/super-compact-chainsets-next-big-thing-308008

https://road.cc/content/feature/191171-which-chainset-right-you

https://www.bikeradar.com/road/super-compact-chainsets-the-next-big-thing-for-road-cyclists/

https://www.cyclingabout.com/low-climbing-gears-road-bike-crankset/

Perhaps you could consider a chainring from Praxis Works such as the Alba or Zayante

https://praxiscycles.com/road-crank-story/

And also pay attention to the cassette on the back and whether your rear derailleur is set up to accept larger cogs of say 32 or 34 teeth or potentially higher as I have seen some people do.

Good luck with your hunt and I hope that you have fun testing some bikes.

John
 
OP
C

Chuckschreiner

Regular
Location
Los Angeles
Hi Chruckschreiner,

Funnily enough myself & friends recently had a discussion about the construction of such grand structures such a long time ago and it certainly is incredible to think through the processes. Although the time scales to construct would unrecognisable to us today but it is nonetheless incredibly impressive!

Back to your thoughts about a bike you mention that you want low gearing. On this subject unless you choose a touring bike it is very hard to find a bike with a very large gear range with for example a triple chainset. Perhaps you could consider asking the bike shop if they could fit a triple chainset groupset but your frame would have to be compatible.

If the bikes that you end up interested to not have low enough gearing for what you want then there are perhaps another couple of options (and potentially more) to consider.

For starters for us mere mortals outside the professional peloton it is very unlikely that we get any benefit from the same group sets and chainring / cassette combinations enjoyed by the professional riders.

Depending on what changring(s) and cassette combination your new bike comes with perhaps you could speak to a bike shop about the possibility of swapping out the groupset that it comes with and changing it for a Shimano GRX groupset on which the double chainring is available as either a 48/31 or a 46/30

https://road.cc/content/tech-news/260095-shimano-grx-graveladventure-groupset-launched-all-key-details-you-need-know

https://www.bikeradar.com/news/shimano-grx/

Alternatively as a cheaper option to the changing of an entire groupset you could consider just a sub-compact chainset:-

https://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/product-news/super-compact-chainsets-next-big-thing-308008

https://road.cc/content/feature/191171-which-chainset-right-you

https://www.bikeradar.com/road/super-compact-chainsets-the-next-big-thing-for-road-cyclists/

https://www.cyclingabout.com/low-climbing-gears-road-bike-crankset/

Perhaps you could consider a chainring from Praxis Works such as the Alba or Zayante

https://praxiscycles.com/road-crank-story/

And also pay attention to the cassette on the back and whether your rear derailleur is set up to accept larger cogs of say 32 or 34 teeth or potentially higher as I have seen some people do.

Good luck with your hunt and I hope that you have fun testing some bikes.

John
Yes, construction time over 100-200 years! What also is worth understanding is how they hoisted huge blocks of detailed artistry several hundred feet into the air!

The one thing I can say unequivocally is: there is a learning curve in all of this. All the various technologies and terminology- like how cassettes are described. I actually created a little cheat sheet to refer back to a few days ago.

My one concern is that shops stock pretty conventional inventory. When you start customizing the price jumps and it’s easy to get into $4-5k range (or so it seems).

We are now in Barcelona for a few days. I miss the long days of walking in the woods. Barcelona is fun, exciting, beautiful but I like the quiet of the woods and pasture.
 

John_S

Über Member
Hi Chuckchreiner,

I totally appreciate that you don't want to see the price spiral out of control.

However if perhaps you discount the option which include more work on the part of a local bike shop of swapping out a bikes entire groupset and changing from the original stock option that a bike comes with and changing over to a Shimano GRX groupset with easier gearing you could look at the option of just changing the crank/chainrings.

If for example you looked at the All City Cycles Zig Zag in the 105 build option it has an MSRP of $2,699 and it comes with Shimano 105 crankset with chainrings that are 52/36. Now unless we're part of the professional peloton or racing at a decent club level is debatable whether or not any of us really need a 52 chainring at the front combined with an 11 sprocket at the back.

If you then bought a Praxis Works Zayante with the 48/32 chainrings I think that is approximately $200 and got the bike shop to swap them over and do any associated work (I guess that the chain length might change but I'm not sure of what other work would be necessary and you'd have to ask the bike shop). Whilst you wouldn't end up with a bike that has the wide gear range of a touring triple chainset with some very low gears you'd end up with easier gearing than the bike would have in its original stock state.

https://praxiscycles.com/product/zayante/

I'd hope that any bike shop if they are worth using would be happy to provide you with a service such as this especially if you're buying a brand new bike from them. If a bike shop wasn't prepared to make some changes for a customer then I'd be tempted to use a different one. I'd hope that just making this change wouldn't result in a huge extra cost to you and at the end of the day if you have no interest in using the original Shimano 105 52/36 crankset then the bike shop is getting this into their stock of parts which they should factor in although I'd assume they wouldn't credit you with the full retail price of the crankset.

Good luck testing bikes when you get the opportunity!

John
 
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Grant Fondo

Riding backwards into the future
Location
Cheshire
Ok, the pilgrimage is over. We are in Santiago de Compostela and indeed the cathedral is stunning. How they built such a structure in the 15th century boggles the mind. However, my most favorite chapel was a tiny one we stumbled onto this morning. Sat only maybe 15 people, from 14th century (I think). Incredible vibe ... quiet and reverent. And we (wife and I) loved walking thru the woods. Beautiful.

Hmm. A lot of ideas to digest. First of all, I really do appreciate the input. It just helps me clarify what matters to me and I have learned so much from following all the prompts and suggestions.

Interestingly, as we walked into Santiago there were two nice bike stores (alas one was closed) and I looked at road bikes with a more critical eye. I think it’s the stem as well as the seat to bar height on drop downs that really are at issue. But my experience from a flat bar bike and a drop down is I like the uprightness of the flat bar but also like how my hands fit into hoods. I had added the end bars on my flat bar bike and they helped but they aren’t integrated with the levers.

The other thing I thought is Europeans really know their bikes. I was like a kid in a toy store looking at them. Love bikes.

As to carbon, I just am thinking either steel or aluminum, done right, offers more bang for the buck. Maybe a carbon fork. But the key will be finding that bike (that fits) with, say, Shimano 105 level components. I have had shifters not work under stress where I shared the road with cars and that’s not ok.

I don’t think I trust myself to order a bike from
an on-line dealer. Somehow I ended up on canyon bikes web site and their deals look great ... but ... I just think I need a set of knowing eyes to validate fit - it’s not just butt and wrists but legs and stuff I don’t understand. Maybe I’m being too cautious...

But then again I did look for All-City bikes and there is a dealer in Los Angeles.

Also room for wider tires!

Last point. I definitely want low gearing. When I finish the beach route my experience is I am pretty tired and then have to ride pretty steep uphill grade right thru downtown of the beach city I live in with traffic. I need to be able to find a low gear that support the cadence and speed for me to retain control. And high enough to keep up with my friend and the group he invited me to ride with.

I guess I am about ready to start test riding bikes. Can only go so far on theory.

Again, thanks to all of you. I really appreciate the time and thoughtfulness to help a (relative) newbie think this through.
Glad you liked the cathedral. The earliest parts are 11th century with lots of later editions up to 17th century, but for me the early Romanesque bits are the best. Anyhow, its a nice place to end your ride (or walk).
 
OP
C

Chuckschreiner

Regular
Location
Los Angeles
Glad you liked the cathedral. The earliest parts are 11th century with lots of later editions up to 17th century, but for me the early Romanesque bits are the best. Anyhow, its a nice place to end your ride (or walk).
We walked - but saw a lot of people riding. The ride at times looked pretty hard - especially a group of middle aged couples in tandem bikes looked like they were struggling. Also I saw a few on road bikes and wondered how they handled the rougher paths. We liked it enough to think we might come back and do a different route... maybe thru Portugal.

PS: they are doing a lot of renovation on the cathedral right now so we only saw parts of it. Still - beautiful!
 

Grant Fondo

Riding backwards into the future
Location
Cheshire
We walked - but saw a lot of people riding. The ride at times looked pretty hard - especially a group of middle aged couples in tandem bikes looked like they were struggling. Also I saw a few on road bikes and wondered how they handled the rougher paths. We liked it enough to think we might come back and do a different route... maybe thru Portugal.

PS: they are doing a lot of renovation on the cathedral right now so we only saw parts of it. Still - beautiful!
Chuck, the ride is well worth it if you get the chance. Another architectural gem is Oviedo cathedral which was on the way to Sant de Compostella (you may have guessed by now I love old buildings!)
image.jpeg

I am seriously thinking of revisiting this ride next spring, it was awesome. A forgotten corner of Europe that's for sure. Are you back in 'boring' old LA yet :laugh:
 
OP
C

Chuckschreiner

Regular
Location
Los Angeles
Chuck, the ride is well worth it if you get the chance. Another architectural gem is Oviedo cathedral which was on the way to Sant de Compostella (you may have guessed by now I love old buildings!)
View attachment 486438
I am seriously thinking of revisiting this ride next spring, it was awesome. A forgotten corner of Europe that's for sure. Are you back in 'boring' old LA yet :laugh:
Ha! It’s not so ‘forgotten’ The numbers of pilgrims streaming into Santiago De Compostela was huge, like a steady flow of ants getting the sugar. And Barcelona is jam-packed with tourists. The whole French route has had numerous hostels, bars & restaurants spring up in small hamlets that are always busy.

So you bike the route? Which way do you go?

And LA is boring compared... oldest building built in 1953 (well, ok, a little exaggeration but the only thing from the 12th century is the dirt). But return tomorrow. One more day in Barcelona. Barcelona is fun but I prefer the forests.
 

Grant Fondo

Riding backwards into the future
Location
Cheshire
Ha! It’s not so ‘forgotten’ The numbers of pilgrims streaming into Santiago De Compostela was huge, like a steady flow of ants getting the sugar. And Barcelona is jam-packed with tourists. The whole French route has had numerous hostels, bars & restaurants spring up in small hamlets that are always busy.

So you bike the route? Which way do you go?

And LA is boring compared... oldest building built in 1953 (well, ok, a little exaggeration but the only thing from the 12th century is the dirt). But return tomorrow. One more day in Barcelona. Barcelona is fun but I prefer the forests.
Ferry from Plymouth to Santander, ride to St de Comp via picos de europa, Oviedo etc then train back to Santander, lovely ride, maybe just pips Rocky Mountain nat park i did years ago (sorry!)
 

John_S

Über Member
Hi again,

Just another option for you to consider is a bike from Breezer Bikes who have quite a varied range. Some of their bikes even come as standard with cranksets that include smaller sub-compact chainrings.

https://www.breezerbikes.com

I'll hold my hands up to knowing nothing about the geography of LA but when I looked at their website they seemed to have at least half a dozen or so shops that say they do sell Breezer bikes but you might want to find out a bit more about them before you travel to see if for example they hold any bikes in stock if you're interested in trying any specific ones.
 
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