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Another update on my winter bike search



 
 
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  #11  
Old December 29th 04, 09:07 PM
Preston Crawford
external usenet poster
 
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On 2004-12-29, Dan Daniel wrote:
I saw you mention elsewhere something about getting a triple put on
and thought to myself, 'gee, he's going to have a Volpe with fenders
and a dynamo....'


That's funny. I didn't even know the Volpe existed. I wish I would have
looked before I leapt, and seen that they had another bike, exactly the
same (in terms of frame geometry). I mean, that was what I was looking
for, essentially was an upright road bike that took fenders. Something
Trek just doesn't make for under $1200. That's why I had to find another
LBS.

Any local bike lists? Do what you can to get the word out about this
shop. Go to the Portland craig's list and put a message on the bike
section!


I will. Believe me. I wish *I* would have known about this shop before I
got so despondent mid-winter about my prospects of finding a good
all-weather bike.

Preston
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  #12  
Old December 29th 04, 09:11 PM
Preston Crawford
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On 2004-12-29, maxo wrote:
On Wed, 29 Dec 2004 10:35:35 -0600, Preston Crawford wrote:

Hold on to that bike shop like grim death. (And buy 'em a case of beer when
all sorted out.)


Definitely. Quite amazing in times like these to get that kind of service.

Preston


Sound like great guys. Often guys in bike shops will go out of their way
to make things more than right when it's a bike that they find
interesting, or it's a potential learning experience. It's a slow time of
year, investing their time in your problem, is both fun compared to other
mundane shop tasks, and potentially good for business--I'll certainly shop
there the next time I'm in Portland. :P


Do. They are great guys, and really seemed to enjoy the process as well.
It wasn't just work, which is nice to see. I personally (as a computer
programmer sick of my field) would love to get trained to wrench and do
that for a living for a while. I think it looks like fun. I just suck at
it right now. I'm not very mechanical in that regard. Doesn't mean I don't
respect it/think it looks like fun.

As far as being good for business goes, he doesn't know me from the guy on
the street. So the fact that he's going to this extent, shoes that he does
care about everyone who walks in the door, which is cool. And from what my
wife tells me, this isn't desparation or anything. Apparently this shop is
*the* shop people from up and down the west coast come to for their
Triathlon needs, as it's also a huge Triathlon and Tri-bike shop.

When I was looking for a Shimano DX cog for my single a while back, they
begged me to bring in my bike so we could share notes. I spent five bucks
and an hour gabbing with the wrenches. It works both ways.


I asked if they wanted help last night with lame stuff like the bottle
cages, but they were moving so quickly they said "no problem" and sped
along.

Preston
  #13  
Old December 29th 04, 10:01 PM
spoking
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Heyo, Mike and Preston! Mike is absolutely right in his thinking --
yup, stem height is a critical part of this fit. But remember that
Preston said he had a 30 inch inseam! Short legs!!! 55cm sounds about
right, for c-c, or 58 for c-t. I notice he reaffirms this in a followup
post below, with mention of his long torso. Preston, maybe you should
be a swimmer instead! Swimming coaches love long torsos.

Mark


Mike Jacoubowsky wrote:
So he basically said we need to scrap this. This bike isn't going

to work.
He pulled a 55cm Bianchi Volpe (same frame, but with the braze-on,

as the
Castro Valley). He did more measurements of the bike, me, etc. and

he said
that (A) the Trek 1000 wasn't exactly 57 for starters and (B) the

reason I
needed the funky quill setup was probably because I had the wrong

size on
my current bike to begin with. So basically without me so much as

asking
he took everything I wanted off the Castro Valley that I'd had put

on
(computer, suicide levers, wider handlebars, etc.) and put them on

the
Volpe.


Preston: My only concern is with your height (6'1") and the frame

size
(55cm). I assume that Bianchi measures center-to-center, so a 55

would be
close to a 57-58cm if measured as Trek does, but even then that's a

pretty
small size for someone your height, with the main issue being getting

the
handlebars high enough. I don't sell Bianchi though, so it could be

that the
model in question has a much-higher-than-normal front end, allowing

the bars
to be high enough for comfort.

Just curious, how much drop is there presently from the saddle to the


handlebar? Easiest way to measure this is the difference between the

ground
and the top of the saddle vs the ground to the top of the handlebars.

Too
much drop is the sort of thing that might not show up immediately,

but could
be an issue down the road, especially on longer rides.

Having said all that, it seems that the guy is going to a lot of

trouble
trying to make things right for you, so it's likely that things are

going in
the right direction (and, after all, he's there, I'm not, so it could

be one
of those things where it's obvious looking at you on a bike, even

though the
numbers don't add up).

--Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles
www.ChainReactionBicycles.com


"Preston Crawford" wrote in message
...
Cross-posting this time, at the behest of others in a previous

thread. I'm
not sure which is worse, so please be understanding if you're in

the
"never cross-post" camp, as I generally am. With that said, here's

the
update. Sorry for the length. It's just too good a story not to

tell,
considering how helpful this shop has been. It's that whole idea

about not
telling enough about the good things people do for you. So here

goes...

So this new LBS I've been dealing with, that has just stunned me

with
their ability to work with me and be very generous with their help

(i.e.
swapping out parts, doing labor for free, without asking, things

I'm
definitely not used to) has two shops in Portland. They used to be

called
Gateway Bicycles. Now they're called Speedzone. So I called up the

owner
at the main store in Portland and he said that it sounded like

either (A)
I wasn't fit right yet and (B) I probably DID need a triple in the

front
and that he wished someone had mentioned the Volpe as he personally
thought anyone going long distances might struggle with the Castro
Valley's 9 gears. So he asked me to come in and this is what

happened.

I took the Castro Valley and first he put me up on the trainer,

made some
mental notes and then proceeded to have his mechanics begin adding

the
triple. Meanwhile he put me up on the trainer with my current bike

to look
at the difference and where I was currently. For point of reference

I'm
6'1" with a 30-inch pants inseam (not sure what my cycling inseam

is) and
my current bike is a 58cm Trek 1000.

So anyway, he seemed concerned about the saddle on the Castro

Valley and
so we proceeded to look for a saddle that was better fitting (i.e.

more
narrow as that's how I like to ride). Found a good Specialized,

then part
way through getting the triple on the mechanics realized there was

only a
single braze-on for the Castro Valley. So they'd have to do some

trickery
to run the cabling for the front derailleur. This is where things

once
again get into "I'm not used to getting treated this well" land.

So he basically said we need to scrap this. This bike isn't going

to work.
He pulled a 55cm Bianchi Volpe (same frame, but with the braze-on,

as the
Castro Valley). He did more measurements of the bike, me, etc. and

he said
that (A) the Trek 1000 wasn't exactly 57 for starters and (B) the

reason I
needed the funky quill setup was probably because I had the wrong

size on
my current bike to begin with. So basically without me so much as

asking
he took everything I wanted off the Castro Valley that I'd had put

on
(computer, suicide levers, wider handlebars, etc.) and put them on

the
Volpe.

And keep in mind, this is all happening for free. I've never

experienced
this before. Usually shops I go to charge for most things that are

done
and I'm more than willing to pay for it, but he just had them do

the work,
without question. They got the Volpe setup, put the new saddle,

fenders
on, so basically the Volpe became the same bike as the Castro

Valley,
minus the dynamo and the light. He also, without prompting, asking,

etc.
switched out the bigger tires on the Volpe for the smaller slicks

that
come with the Castro Valley.

So, after it was all said and done, they spent about 3 hours

helping fit
me, work on trying to get the right bike put together and when it

turned
out the Castro Valley I'd purchased wasn't going to work with a

triple,
rather than throw it back to me, he (without hesitation) got me

into a
different bike and then given the chance took the time to try to

get the
fit better. His opinion being that I was leaning too far on my

current
bike and that a 55cm would be a better fit. Especially because I

wouldn't
need to do anything funky to get the right height + extension on

the
handlebars.

It was quite the whirlwind and when it was done he basically said

"let me
know how that works out, good or bad, in the next couple days". I

think
them all profusely and headed home.

Quite the odd experience to be treated so well and with such

detail. I
ride the bike today for the first time, but given how much effort

he put
into trying to put together the right bike for me I'm optimistic

this is
going to go well. I'll update after I get a chance to ride it a few

times.
Clearly, though, he put a lot of effort into figuring out the size,

where
I was at with my current bike, etc. He had a Volpe 58 on hand and

was
basically willing to stake the fact I may have to return this for

the 58,
on his reading that the 55 would be a better fit anyway.

Anyway, very nice people. Very generous for a bike shop to go to

those
lengths to help you, almost without you having to ask or say

anything.

Preston


  #14  
Old December 29th 04, 10:04 PM
Preston Crawford
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On 2004-12-29, spoking wrote:
Heyo, Mike and Preston! Mike is absolutely right in his thinking --
yup, stem height is a critical part of this fit. But remember that


Of course it is. And that's why I think this could work. My current bike,
remembering the picture (I wish I had a better one), has a stem that's
like straight up and one inch out. So it took some real work to get that
58 to be the right stem height, without being too long. Whereas the owner
of this shop believes that's a problem and the 55 is better precisely
becuase I can get the same stem height and the correct length, without
having a stem that goes straight up.

Preston said he had a 30 inch inseam! Short legs!!! 55cm sounds about
right, for c-c, or 58 for c-t. I notice he reaffirms this in a followup
post below, with mention of his long torso. Preston, maybe you should
be a swimmer instead! Swimming coaches love long torsos.


I wish I was a swimmer. I'd love to do a Triathlon, like my wife does. But
first I have to learn how to swim.

Preston
  #15  
Old December 29th 04, 10:56 PM
Mike Jacoubowsky/Chain Reaction Bicycles
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Heyo, Mike and Preston! Mike is absolutely right in his thinking --
yup, stem height is a critical part of this fit. But remember that
Preston said he had a 30 inch inseam! Short legs!!! 55cm sounds about
right, for c-c, or 58 for c-t. I notice he reaffirms this in a followup
post below, with mention of his long torso. Preston, maybe you should
be a swimmer instead! Swimming coaches love long torsos.

Mark


But the curious part is that, sure, he's only got a 30" inseam, but still
he's 6'1", and his height has to be somewhere... so my normal thinking would
be that he has a really long torso (which he says is the case), but a really
long torso usually requires a longer top tube, but that's where everything
kinda falls apart because he evidently has problems with a longer top tube,
so above all what this points out to is the importance of actually looking
at somebody on the bike because formulas and common sense don't always work.
They often do, but not always.

Fitting can be quite the interesting subject. Twice recently I've had
customers whom we've fit to their new bikes a certain way, but as they
started riding well-meaning people told them that they weren't set up quite
right and they should try this-or-that. Fine, we oblige them, making the
changes they request (we change stems out at no charge on bikes we sell,
even long after they've been sold, providing we don't have to re-cable), but
things don't seem quite right and they start questioning the process of
being fit and eventually pay significant bucks to somebody who basically
does fitting for a living. And, in each of the two recent cases, the bikes
came back with positions almost identical to how they were originally sent
out the door. This sort of thing used to frustrate me, but not so much
anymore; different people need different things (processes, procedures,
amount of money spent) to feel good about something, and there's no way I
can be all things to all people.

Having said that, it still bothers me sometimes that people who fit
"professionally" don't often recognize the consequences of some of the
changes they make. In the latest case, the guy had moved her cleats all the
way to the front of the slot, insisting that she had something funny about
her instep that required this. And, ever since making that move, this woman
has had severe knee issues and couldn't even ride her bike for two weeks.
Fore/aft cleat positioning is, in my experience, the #1 cause of knee
problems, and a very large number of cyclists will be helped greatly by
doing nothing more than moving the cleats back (towards the rear of the
shoe).

--Mike Jacoubowsky
Chain Reaction Bicycles
www.ChainReaction.com
IMBA, BikesBelong, NBDA member

"spoking" wrote in message
oups.com...
Heyo, Mike and Preston! Mike is absolutely right in his thinking --
yup, stem height is a critical part of this fit. But remember that
Preston said he had a 30 inch inseam! Short legs!!! 55cm sounds about
right, for c-c, or 58 for c-t. I notice he reaffirms this in a followup
post below, with mention of his long torso. Preston, maybe you should
be a swimmer instead! Swimming coaches love long torsos.

Mark


Mike Jacoubowsky wrote:
So he basically said we need to scrap this. This bike isn't going

to work.
He pulled a 55cm Bianchi Volpe (same frame, but with the braze-on,

as the
Castro Valley). He did more measurements of the bike, me, etc. and

he said
that (A) the Trek 1000 wasn't exactly 57 for starters and (B) the

reason I
needed the funky quill setup was probably because I had the wrong

size on
my current bike to begin with. So basically without me so much as

asking
he took everything I wanted off the Castro Valley that I'd had put

on
(computer, suicide levers, wider handlebars, etc.) and put them on

the
Volpe.


Preston: My only concern is with your height (6'1") and the frame

size
(55cm). I assume that Bianchi measures center-to-center, so a 55

would be
close to a 57-58cm if measured as Trek does, but even then that's a

pretty
small size for someone your height, with the main issue being getting

the
handlebars high enough. I don't sell Bianchi though, so it could be

that the
model in question has a much-higher-than-normal front end, allowing

the bars
to be high enough for comfort.

Just curious, how much drop is there presently from the saddle to the


handlebar? Easiest way to measure this is the difference between the

ground
and the top of the saddle vs the ground to the top of the handlebars.

Too
much drop is the sort of thing that might not show up immediately,

but could
be an issue down the road, especially on longer rides.

Having said all that, it seems that the guy is going to a lot of

trouble
trying to make things right for you, so it's likely that things are

going in
the right direction (and, after all, he's there, I'm not, so it could

be one
of those things where it's obvious looking at you on a bike, even

though the
numbers don't add up).

--Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles
www.ChainReactionBicycles.com


"Preston Crawford" wrote in message
...
Cross-posting this time, at the behest of others in a previous

thread. I'm
not sure which is worse, so please be understanding if you're in

the
"never cross-post" camp, as I generally am. With that said, here's

the
update. Sorry for the length. It's just too good a story not to

tell,
considering how helpful this shop has been. It's that whole idea

about not
telling enough about the good things people do for you. So here

goes...

So this new LBS I've been dealing with, that has just stunned me

with
their ability to work with me and be very generous with their help

(i.e.
swapping out parts, doing labor for free, without asking, things

I'm
definitely not used to) has two shops in Portland. They used to be

called
Gateway Bicycles. Now they're called Speedzone. So I called up the

owner
at the main store in Portland and he said that it sounded like

either (A)
I wasn't fit right yet and (B) I probably DID need a triple in the

front
and that he wished someone had mentioned the Volpe as he personally
thought anyone going long distances might struggle with the Castro
Valley's 9 gears. So he asked me to come in and this is what

happened.

I took the Castro Valley and first he put me up on the trainer,

made some
mental notes and then proceeded to have his mechanics begin adding

the
triple. Meanwhile he put me up on the trainer with my current bike

to look
at the difference and where I was currently. For point of reference

I'm
6'1" with a 30-inch pants inseam (not sure what my cycling inseam

is) and
my current bike is a 58cm Trek 1000.

So anyway, he seemed concerned about the saddle on the Castro

Valley and
so we proceeded to look for a saddle that was better fitting (i.e.

more
narrow as that's how I like to ride). Found a good Specialized,

then part
way through getting the triple on the mechanics realized there was

only a
single braze-on for the Castro Valley. So they'd have to do some

trickery
to run the cabling for the front derailleur. This is where things

once
again get into "I'm not used to getting treated this well" land.

So he basically said we need to scrap this. This bike isn't going

to work.
He pulled a 55cm Bianchi Volpe (same frame, but with the braze-on,

as the
Castro Valley). He did more measurements of the bike, me, etc. and

he said
that (A) the Trek 1000 wasn't exactly 57 for starters and (B) the

reason I
needed the funky quill setup was probably because I had the wrong

size on
my current bike to begin with. So basically without me so much as

asking
he took everything I wanted off the Castro Valley that I'd had put

on
(computer, suicide levers, wider handlebars, etc.) and put them on

the
Volpe.

And keep in mind, this is all happening for free. I've never

experienced
this before. Usually shops I go to charge for most things that are

done
and I'm more than willing to pay for it, but he just had them do

the work,
without question. They got the Volpe setup, put the new saddle,

fenders
on, so basically the Volpe became the same bike as the Castro

Valley,
minus the dynamo and the light. He also, without prompting, asking,

etc.
switched out the bigger tires on the Volpe for the smaller slicks

that
come with the Castro Valley.

So, after it was all said and done, they spent about 3 hours

helping fit
me, work on trying to get the right bike put together and when it

turned
out the Castro Valley I'd purchased wasn't going to work with a

triple,
rather than throw it back to me, he (without hesitation) got me

into a
different bike and then given the chance took the time to try to

get the
fit better. His opinion being that I was leaning too far on my

current
bike and that a 55cm would be a better fit. Especially because I

wouldn't
need to do anything funky to get the right height + extension on

the
handlebars.

It was quite the whirlwind and when it was done he basically said

"let me
know how that works out, good or bad, in the next couple days". I

think
them all profusely and headed home.

Quite the odd experience to be treated so well and with such

detail. I
ride the bike today for the first time, but given how much effort

he put
into trying to put together the right bike for me I'm optimistic

this is
going to go well. I'll update after I get a chance to ride it a few

times.
Clearly, though, he put a lot of effort into figuring out the size,

where
I was at with my current bike, etc. He had a Volpe 58 on hand and

was
basically willing to stake the fact I may have to return this for

the 58,
on his reading that the 55 would be a better fit anyway.

Anyway, very nice people. Very generous for a bike shop to go to

those
lengths to help you, almost without you having to ask or say

anything.

Preston




  #16  
Old December 29th 04, 11:40 PM
Pat
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


:
: Here's the page for the Volpe, giving the measurements.
:
: http://www.bianchiusa.com/570.html
:
: Going over where I'm at on my current bike, and where the 55 is at, I'm
: comfortable in my head with it. We'll see how I do over the next couple
: days.
:
: Preston

I ride a 55 cm Bianchi Veloce, and my inseam is 32", so I can see where
yours would fit you since your legs are shorter. Do you have enough
stand-over distance?

Pat in TX


  #17  
Old December 29th 04, 11:43 PM
Mike Kruger
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Preston Crawford wrote:

So this new LBS I've been dealing with, that has just

stunned me with
their ability to work with me .... They
used to be called Gateway Bicycles. Now they're called

Speedzone.
(Portland, Oregon)

You've found your bike shop, that's for sure.
A guy who's that concerned that you be a satisfied customer
deserves a few free plugs.


  #18  
Old December 30th 04, 12:03 AM
Preston Crawford
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On 2004-12-29, Pat wrote:

:
: Here's the page for the Volpe, giving the measurements.
:
: http://www.bianchiusa.com/570.html
:
: Going over where I'm at on my current bike, and where the 55 is at, I'm
: comfortable in my head with it. We'll see how I do over the next couple
: days.
:
: Preston

I ride a 55 cm Bianchi Veloce, and my inseam is 32", so I can see where
yours would fit you since your legs are shorter. Do you have enough
stand-over distance?

Pat in TX


I had 0 stand-over distance on the 58. On the 55 I have a little
clearance.

Preston
  #19  
Old December 30th 04, 12:04 AM
Preston Crawford
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On 2004-12-29, Pat wrote:

:
: Here's the page for the Volpe, giving the measurements.
:
: http://www.bianchiusa.com/570.html
:
: Going over where I'm at on my current bike, and where the 55 is at, I'm
: comfortable in my head with it. We'll see how I do over the next couple
: days.
:
: Preston

I ride a 55 cm Bianchi Veloce, and my inseam is 32", so I can see where
yours would fit you since your legs are shorter. Do you have enough
stand-over distance?


By the way, you mean 32" clothing inseam, right? Because that's what I've
been saying all along. I don't remember what my bike inseam is. I only
know what my clothing inseam is.

Preston
  #20  
Old December 30th 04, 12:09 AM
Rich Clark
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Pat" wrote in message
...

I ride a 55 cm Bianchi Veloce, and my inseam is 32", so I can see where
yours would fit you since your legs are shorter. Do you have enough
stand-over distance?


Preston only mentioned his *trouser* inseam. Given that fashion sense could
yield a 3-4"* difference in trouser inseam on the same person, it's not a
very useful indicator of anything cycling-related.

I would have thought that one these many professional fittings Preston's had
would have generated some numbers he could refer to going forward.

RichC

*or more, if the pants my son used to wear when he was in high school are
any indication. Their inseam measurement bore no discernable relationship to
the actual measurement of any part of his body.


 




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