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Another update on my winter bike search



 
 
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  #1  
Old December 29th 04, 03:57 PM
Preston Crawford
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Another update on my winter bike search

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
Ads
  #2  
Old December 29th 04, 04:27 PM
Bill Sornson
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Preston Crawford wrote:
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.


FWIW, IMO posting to multiple /appropriate/ groups isn't really
"cross-posting" -- which, to me, is either adding groups TO an existing
thread, or blathering off-topic crap to a variety of newsgroups. (Think
Mike [email protected]@n and/or [email protected]@l [email protected]) Since you regularly participate in both
groups, that's an additional mitigating factor.

(Just noticed I hit "Reply Group", but only .misc appeared in To: field.
Weird. Will add .tech "manually".)


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.


{story snipped}

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

We should all be so fortunate!
--
BS (no, really)


  #3  
Old December 29th 04, 04:35 PM
Preston Crawford
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On 2004-12-29, Bill Sornson wrote:
Preston Crawford wrote:
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.


FWIW, IMO posting to multiple /appropriate/ groups isn't really
"cross-posting" -- which, to me, is either adding groups TO an existing
thread, or blathering off-topic crap to a variety of newsgroups. (Think
Mike [email protected]@n and/or [email protected]@l [email protected]) Since you regularly participate in both
groups, that's an additional mitigating factor.


Some would disagree. I see where both sides are coming from, but I've seen
enough flaming WRT cross-posting that I've generally avoided it until
today.

(Just noticed I hit "Reply Group", but only .misc appeared in To: field.
Weird. Will add .tech "manually".)


Oh, thanks. I must have forgotten to add that (I use Linux, so my news
reader didn't add that for me and I forgot to add it myself).

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.


{story snipped}

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
  #4  
Old December 29th 04, 04:48 PM
maxo
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

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

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.

  #5  
Old December 29th 04, 05:03 PM
Mike Schwab
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Preston Crawford wrote:

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

Do you love the off road snowbiking? Best wheels are
http://www.allweathersports.com/winter/snowcats.html

They dominate this race
http://www.alaskaultrasport.com/
maybe you could enter next year.
  #6  
Old December 29th 04, 05:27 PM
Dan Daniel
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On Wed, 29 Dec 2004 11:03:18 -0600, Mike Schwab
wrote:

Preston Crawford wrote:


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


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....'

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!
  #7  
Old December 29th 04, 06:29 PM
Mike Jacoubowsky
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

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



  #8  
Old December 29th 04, 06:40 PM
Preston Crawford
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On 2004-12-29, 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.


Like I said, though, I'm 6'1" with a long torso. If that makes a
difference.

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.


Actually there is no drop on either bike. They both are even straight
across. My original fit on the Trek put me at needing a handlebar height
at the same level as my seat. So they found the best bike, in their
opinion, that can manage that kind of geometry. We'll see tomorrow how it
works.

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).


Are you sure about that? Remembering again that I have a size 30 inseam
(as measured for clothes). I have pretty short legs compared to my upper
body. From what I've read, that's about right for a 55, remember that it
lays out another couple CM with the stem. Whereas on my current bike, as
illustrated in the picture I posted...

http://www.prestoncrawford.com/album/images/fitting.jpg

....my quill stem goes straight up and out 0 inches, basically. So I have a
58, but no reach beyond that. So shouldn't a 55 with a couple inches of
reach be close? And this is assuming the 58 is optimum fit. The owner
seemed to think not.

Preston
  #9  
Old December 29th 04, 06:52 PM
Pat
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


:
: 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.

My Bianchi brochure has this:

The sizing for road frames is based on the measurement from the center of
the bottom bracket to the imaginary top of the seat tube if the top tube
were level. A 57 cm frame has an actual seat tube length of about 54 cm.

HTH

Pat in TX


  #10  
Old December 29th 04, 09:04 PM
Preston Crawford
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On 2004-12-29, Pat wrote:

:
: 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.

My Bianchi brochure has this:

The sizing for road frames is based on the measurement from the center of
the bottom bracket to the imaginary top of the seat tube if the top tube
were level. A 57 cm frame has an actual seat tube length of about 54 cm.

HTH

Pat in TX


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
 




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