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Choice of Bikes

We will be new to Ragbrai this year.  My oldest son (age 22), my wife, and two brothers from Oregon will be riding as a group (if we make it through the lottery).

My oldest son’s bike was stolen last fall, and I finally found a replacement for it – a Bianchi Imola 2005 bike,  My bike is a 2006 Lemond Tourlamet.  I have to make a choice as to which bicycle to give my son and for me to keep.  I’m planning on being fitted next week by our local shop – but my question is this, except for size, can anyone provide an opinion as to the better bicycle?

The Lemond is Aluminum with carbon forks, seatpost, and all 105 components excepting the Ultegra front der.  The Binachi is Reynolds 631 frame with all 105 components – came with a flight deck computer installed, nice pedals, and is slighlty larger (Lemond is a 51, Bianichi is a 53+). 

Just curious about your thoughts.  Hope to meet as many people as possible and have a great time this summer!

30 Replies

SSC1, March 10, 2011 at 9:50 am

So here is the final decision……

At our local bicycle shop here in Bloomington (we prefer Bloomington Cycle and Fitness over Vitesse…….more personable, better service, and Scott knows what he’s doing), I took both bikes in for measuring, measuring me, putting me up on the trainer with the bikes, and fitting me to the correct bike.

Most of you suggested that I would prefer the Binachi because it is slightly larger, and you were correct.  He determined that my Lemond is one size too small – that we could fit me on it and get it close but that the Bianchi is really ideal.  And it has a nice steel frame, and it is in super nice shape.  I swapped out seat posts and saddle and my pedals from the Lemond, but otherwise…..good to go.  I’m especially happy because the Bianchi came with a nice Flight Deck computer installed on it – and it is a really nice computer!

Thanks again for the advice.  See you down the road.
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#26203

papawheelie, March 16, 2011 at 9:56 am

Sounds like you made a good decision. I got in late on the thread. I would’ve said keep the steel bike for yourself. Aluminum is light but stiff and often have a harsh ride, which for us ‘mature’ riders may wear us out. I love steel. Much smoother.

Ride on!

#26204

Thoreau, May 7, 2011 at 6:59 pm

I’m posting this under an existing heading because I don’t want to make a big deal of this question–but I’m trying to figure out if my bike is too heavy and would love some advice.  I’m riding a reliable Jamis Coda Sport from 2009 and it clocks in at 26 pounds (without lock, water bottle and so on).  I love my bike and feel it would be fine in Iowa.  But as I prep for Ragbrai and begin to put a lot of miles on the bike, I’m wondering if I should upgrade to a lighter road bike at this point.  I get a lot of use out of my bike, commute to work, pull the kids around on a trailer, but I wonder if it is time to go to something lighter.  Is 26 pounds considered heavy?  Thanks in advance.

#26205

Michrider !!!, May 7, 2011 at 7:34 pm

Thoreau said: I’m posting this under an existing heading because I don’t want to make a big deal of this question–but I’m trying to figure out if my bike is too heavy and would love some advice.  I’m riding a reliable Jamis Coda Sport from 2009 and it clocks in at 26 pounds (without lock, water bottle and so on).  I love my bike and feel it would be fine in Iowa.  But as I prep for Ragbrai and begin to put a lot of miles on the bike, I’m wondering if I should upgrade to a lighter road bike at this point.  I get a lot of use out of my bike, commute to work, pull the kids around on a trailer, but I wonder if it is time to go to something lighter.  Is 26 pounds considered heavy?  Thanks in advance.

If you love your bike, don’t worry about the weight.  If it’s in good shape and you feel good on it, it’ll get you across Iowa! See you on the curbs of Iowa!!!!

#26206

Bartaped, May 7, 2011 at 7:37 pm

You should be fine. Just do the miles training on it. My Kona Touring bike weighs in at 29 pounds without the panniers, when i tour the bike is at about 70 to 80 pounds.

#26207

Sandaltan ., May 7, 2011 at 9:28 pm

Someday I will weigh my bike, bag, and kit when it is loaded for RAGBRAI.   Until then I would estimate the critter at 65 pounds.  A rocket down hill for sure…

RIDE RIGHT

#26208

Thoreau, May 8, 2011 at 12:43 am

This is good advice.  Thanks for your help. 

#26209

Michrider !!!, May 8, 2011 at 6:17 am

Thoreau said: This is good advice.  Thanks for your help. 

We’re here for you!   Tomorrow, I’m going to weigh my steel Bianchi and I bet it weighs more than your 26 pounder!

#26210

bill60, May 23, 2011 at 11:01 am

Wow…You guys are “Supermen”. My Cervelo is at 14lbs and I just purchased another Cervelo that is 13 lbs. Guess I need all the help that this old 66-yr old bod can take. HOOAAA!!

#26211

Thoreau, May 25, 2011 at 6:25 pm

Hmm, looking at an on-sale Specialized Secteur Elite.  Things are beginning to fall off of my Jamis Coda Sport and it might be just my city commute bike for SF streets.

#26212

SSC1, June 10, 2011 at 6:43 am

And……..since I started the thread……

We just picked up a 2002 Lemond Buenos Aires, 55, for my youngest son who has been wanting to train with us but can’t keep up with his mountain bike (go figure……..geez, he’s 20 for Pete’s sake!).  We will have it recabled (if necessary) and check out the headset and bottom bracket at the local shop when it arrives.  Looked good at eBay – and for $400 for Ultegra and 853 Steel, you really can’t go wrong if it is in reasonable shape.
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#26213

trknight, June 10, 2011 at 8:20 am

Regarding bike weight, it depends what your goals are as a rider.  As a general rule of thumb, lighter = faster.  If you have a 26 lb bike and compared it to a 16 lb bike, with most other factors being equal, the lighter bike should be faster.  If you use the 1% less weight = 1% faster rule and you and the 26 lb bike, together, weigh 200 lbs and you and the 16 lb bike weigh 190 lbs, you have a reduction of 10 lbs or 5% overall weight, thus, hopefully, allowing you to cycle ~5% faster with the same effort/energy applied.  With the heavier bike, if you average 15 mph on a route, you might average 16.5 mph with the lighter bike.  On a century ride, that could allow you to finish 36 minutes earlier!  Then, if you are a bit overweight, think about what another 5 – 10% weight reduction could get you!!

For Ragbrai, I leave my 14 lb bike at home and take one that weighs 18 lbs.  My goal with Ragbrai is to take in the “experience” of the event and all it has to offer, not how fast I can do the ride.

#26214

RJBTrek, June 10, 2011 at 8:08 pm

LOL – SSC1  – Your son is 20 years old!!!!  Tell him to stop the twits/FB/text and pedal. Good for you!!!

#26215

Thoreau, June 10, 2011 at 8:55 pm

I did go with a new, lighter road bike finally, a Specialized Secteur Elite.  It’s a good basic road bike, but much easier to get up and down the hills in the Bay Area.  And it has been great to move from the flat handlebar to a dropped one because I now have a lot more places to put my hands as I ride.  I’ve ridden a couple of 50 milers this week and it makes some difference–not a huge amount, but it does put less wear and tear on my body.  Also it is easier to carry up the stairs and into the house.  Thanks for all your input.

#26216

SSC1, June 11, 2011 at 8:59 am

We got lucky with the Lemond Buenos Aires…….it’s in very good shape – drive train, headset, bottom bracket – all excellent.  Dings and wear – oh well.  Still a pretty bike.  Wish it was mine – I always preferred Lemond – even over my current Bianchi……….<input id=”gwProxy” type=”hidden”><!–Session data–><input onclick=”jsCall();” id=”jsProxy” type=”hidden”>

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