Does anyone ride a decent high end road bike?

Hi
This is my Ragbrai ride and wanted to know if anyone brings some high end road bikes to ride.
I just don’t want to bring mine and it really sticks out, but if there are others
that ride some nice bikes it will just blend in.
Also, does Ragbrai have any secure sites where you can put your bike if you go into town
or to one of those concerts at night.
any feed back will be appreciated.
thanks
Larry

26 Replies

bugs11, February 17, 2020 at 10:20 am

What ever bike you decide to ride, just make sure it’s in good working order. I’ve seen more than one person pushing their bicycle along the side of the road with the derailleur dragging on the ground.

I’ve taken a vintage bike on RAGBRAI and I’ve taken a brand new $1800 bike on RAGBRAI. They both got me across the state in fine shape, but I can confidently say that the Shimano 105 groupset is much, much nicer than friction stem shifters and a SunTour V GT Luxe drailleur.

And for what it’s worth, I was never concerned with either bike getting stolen.

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KenH, February 17, 2020 at 6:58 pm

One year when I was a RAGBRAI Ambassador for a day I stopped to see if a young woman who was pushing her bike on level ground needed some help. She did but I did not have the means to fix her stripped pedal. She was cheerfully resigned to walking to the next town anyway. A few miles later I stopped to help a young man doing the same. He had neglected to have his dodgy rear derailleur fixed before the ride and now it was beyond hope.

They both could testify to the wisdom of having your bike in good repair for the ride. On the other hand, they could have bumped into each other in line at the repair tent and who knows…???

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Ken Reed, February 18, 2020 at 8:30 am

I bring my 2018 Trek Emonda SL5 on RAGBRAI. I bought it for $2K a couple years ago. I’m not sure if you’d consider it to be a high-end bike. I like it on RAGBRAI because it’s lightweight, fast, and climbs hills like a dream.

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francoisvanzyl, February 18, 2020 at 9:35 am

I bring my 17 year old Litespeed Tuscany. It has been modified for the long haul — wider tires, stem shorter and a bit angled, Brooks leather saddle with enormous saddle bag. Typical older guy relaxed century bike — as you advance in age (I am 60+) and are not chasing speed anymore, a good Ti frame is invaluable.

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James Airey, February 20, 2020 at 3:16 pm

Personally I have seen some very high end bikes as well as recumbents, both 2 wheel and trikes on the ride. I use an AZUB recumbent trike and last year I saw a full carbon frame recumbent trike as well as an AZUB TiFly fully suspended trike and having one know they are in the high range, cost wise. Most folks on the ride are completely honest, but do bring a lock and cable and secure your ride as all it takes is one dishonest jerk to ruin what is really a fun time. Enjoy the miles and experence.

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Mike Mueller, February 21, 2020 at 1:24 pm

I’m with you Larry on the ‘high end’ although mine is a high end gravel bike.
The fact for some (like me) is that it’s also the only bike.
I have a high end mountain bike as well but it’s far less suitable for this.

That said, I plan on bringing a small cable and lock like others have said just as a quick deterrent. Nothing that would slow down a bike thief here in the SF Bay Area but I’m not worried.

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Bluestreelguy ., February 22, 2020 at 8:22 pm

this will be my 7th RAGBRAI i have seen hundreds of thousands dollars of bikes piled in at the craft beer tents and leaning around the camp grounds. no one wants your bike they already have one under them and would look funny towing a second one along. the atmosphere is very trusting out there. we all bring our stuff and the last thing I want is to have to haul any ill-gotten goods along with me. I may be naive or an idiot but i have found that a zipper some trust and a Prayer seem to do the job.
relax and enjoy the ride.

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garywilk, February 23, 2020 at 4:51 pm

During the ride is not an issue with theft until after 6 PM uptown. We also have high end bikes. If you go uptown at night, we just lock a few of our together. I use a gun lock that has about an 1/8″ cable a few feet long and a very small key lock. Just send it through the back wheels and the frames. When done, Coil it up and it easily fits either into any pocket or bicycle bag. It just keep the bike from going on one of those joy rides that make that night and the next morning not fun searching for it.

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mootsman, February 24, 2020 at 2:12 pm

I had a heavier cable lock in my luggage to park it outside my PBV rented tent. The heavy dew caused the lock to seize and it would not unlock on the 1st day of RAGBRAI 2017. Luckily a dedicated PBV staffer helped out and got a bolt cutters to free my ride. It was the only year I tried locking my bike at night. Actually the 1 and only night I tried it. So the lock itself could ruin your RAGBRAI. No one has touched my high end ride over 7 RAGBRAIs. I do bring a compact stand to stand it up next to my tent so no one trips over it at night.

This reply was modified 9 months, 1 week ago by mootsman.

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montestaples, February 28, 2020 at 1:36 pm

I have been on 14 RAGBRAIs and never been concerned about locking my bike. It is mid-range in cost, about $2000. However a few times I was starting to think it was stolen but turned out I was looking in the wrong place. The worst was at a mid-day stop, parked in a large hay-field. When I parked there were only a few bikes. When I went to leave there were, what seemed like, a few thousand. I had neglected to triangulate when I parked (look 2 directions at 90 degrees and spot a far off landmark). It took me almost an hour to find my bike. This is probably a more common experience than having a bike stolen.

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Ken Reed, February 28, 2020 at 2:24 pm

During the day, I’ve never found the need to lock up my bike. There’s strength in numbers. However, I’ve always found a way to lock up my bike at night. I had heard that back in 2015, a bunch of bikes were stolen in Fort Dodge.

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