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  1. #1
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    OT: Steel Road Bike for the lady...

    So... I know this is SS world, but I also know it is the steel lovers as well.

    I want to get my girlfriend a road bike that is used but in great shape. Now, she knows absolutely nothing about bikes. When I asked her what kind, mountain or road or whatever she told me about a friends bike that was "real fast". I narrowed it down to a road bike.

    I would love to find a bike like the Bianchi Pista, but with gears. Same simplistic geometry and lines.

    Would anyone know where and for what I should look?

    I should state that I want to spend less than $500.00. Paint is not a problem, as I would probably repowdercoat it sky blue or aqua.

    Let me know. Thanks in advance.

    I should also mention she is about 5'5" so a size ~small.

  2. #2
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    ... and if we just ...

    the bianchi milano is a very good looking bike... but maybe that's not what your looking for... msrp is around $600 this is probably a lillte more comfortable than a drop bar road bike. this one has a more upright (read: comfortable) position.
    http://www.bianchiusa.com/milano.html

    If your looking for a actual roadbike, jensonusa.com has some good deals on new entry level bikes for around $500 or so. I think that they have these in small sizes as well...
    these bikes come in both 50, 52, and 54 cm, so one of those sizes should fit her..
    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/product.aspx?i=BI707C05 $479
    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/product.aspx?i=BI707C04 $599

    It seems like these are on closeout, so order fast...

    Either wway, your girlfriend should have fun.. and love you more... LOL!

  3. #3
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    Idea! Surly Pacer

    The Surly Pacer frameset would be perfect. It's steel, it's powdercoated light blue, and it's relatively cheap. The frame/fork sells for around $400.
    Did you want to spend $500 for a frame or complete bike? If you wanted to spend 5 on a complete bike, good luck! Hope this helps?





    Quote Originally Posted by
    So... I know this is SS world, but I also know it is the steel lovers as well.

    I want to get my girlfriend a road bike that is used but in great shape. Now, she knows absolutely nothing about bikes. When I asked her what kind, mountain or road or whatever she told me about a friends bike that was "real fast". I narrowed it down to a road bike.

    I would love to find a bike like the Bianchi Pista, but with gears. Same simplistic geometry and lines.

    Would anyone know where and for what I should look?

    I should state that I want to spend less than $500.00. Paint is not a problem, as I would probably repowdercoat it sky blue or aqua.

    Let me know. Thanks in advance.

    I should also mention she is about 5'5" so a size ~small.

  4. #4
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    I would like to get a USED bike.
    So, hopefully I could afford to get something decent.

    I know there are deals to be had. I was curious as to what frameset would be ideal to look for. Something classic but not vintage. Something like the early 90's to present day.

  5. #5
    FUD
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    get her a Cross Check, then SS it. Shell be fast, sort of, and she'll be able to hang with you on the dirt if you put some fattie tires on it. can't go wrong. unless you do her best friend. then you can go wrong. be smart Jedi...

  6. #6
    beer *****es n' bikes
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    Check the classifieds at roadbikereview.com... some good deals pop up in there every now and again.
    bike dude, velocity employee (this is my personal account)

  7. #7
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    Would an early 90's....

    aluminum Trek 1000 road bike be an option ? My wife is trying to sell hers. She is about 5'-4" and the bike is equiped with Shimano 105 (mostly), Wolber rims, Conti road tires, blah blah, oh yeah, even has biopace rings!!!. Anyways, could send you pics. It is mint. Ridden very little. Will send photos if you like. Please send correspondence to emtardif@yahoo.com.

    Good luck with your prospects.

    Mike
    Tuff Schist

  8. #8
    DSR
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    For used, obviously check ebay and rbr.

    As for used steel frames, some to consider are Lemond (they mostly made steel bikes til recently - Zurich, Buenos Aires, Nevada City are some), Jamis (Ventura I think, the Eclipse tends to be more $$$), Schwinn (Peloton is Reynolds 853, don't know about the Paramount), Fuji and KHS both make steel including some 853 frames, older Trek maybe. The Surly Pacer would obviously fit the bill. Then you can go a little more boutique and look for some deals - Gunnar, Waterford, Serotta, Land Shark, etc.

    This may be your bike though - small Voodoo cross bike with 853 tubing and orange. Pretty cool. No relation to seller.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...category=58093

    S

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by DSR
    For used, obviously check ebay and rbr.

    As for used steel frames, some to consider are Lemond (they mostly made steel bikes til recently - Zurich, Buenos Aires, Nevada City are some), Jamis (Ventura I think, the Eclipse tends to be more $$$), Schwinn (Peloton is Reynolds 853, don't know about the Paramount), Fuji and KHS both make steel including some 853 frames, older Trek maybe. The Surly Pacer would obviously fit the bill. Then you can go a little more boutique and look for some deals - Gunnar, Waterford, Serotta, Land Shark, etc.

    This may be your bike though - small Voodoo cross bike with 853 tubing and orange. Pretty cool. No relation to seller.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...category=58093

    S

    Yeah... A VooDoo would be ideal! I also have a lead on a really nice Steelman, but the frame/fork/stem is already about how much I wanted to spend! HA!

    It's a battle to work within a financial limit and still get a really good bike. Especially when something super cool comes along and forces me to think about spending more cash.
    Grr...

  10. #10
    Paintbucket
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    Y'know, you could buy her the perfect bike in your eyes, but if it doesn't fit her it'll be a waste of money. Get her to a shop and on some bikes. Find out what she likes before you get too far ahead of yourself.
    Zippy for president

  11. #11
    KgB
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    Does she want a bike

    Does she really want one or do you want her to have a bike.

    If you're lucky you ride the same size,if so get the bike you want.

    Not knowing excactly what she wants makes buying a used bike a risky plan.

    check out a few shops and let her ride several different ones.

    Good luck.
    I've been inside too long.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by
    So... I know this is SS world, but I also know it is the steel lovers as well.

    I want to get my girlfriend a road bike that is used but in great shape. Now, she knows absolutely nothing about bikes. When I asked her what kind, mountain or road or whatever she told me about a friends bike that was "real fast". I narrowed it down to a road bike.

    know. Thanks in advance.

    I should also mention she is about 5'5" so a size ~small.

    Look for any good late 80's / Early 90's Japanese steel roadbike in a 54 or 55 cm size. Some ideas:

    Centurion Ironman Expert (Tange #1 tubing, Shimano 600 Ultegra components)
    Bridgestone RB-1 (Ishiwata tubing, IIRC, Suntour / Shimano mix
    Specialized Allez (600 Ultegra) or Sirrus (105) (Allez and Sirrus had the same frame, made by Miyata. Tubing drawn in-house by Miyata, triple and quad-butted seamless CrMo)

    Basically, any lugged steel, 7 speed road bike with Shimano 105, 600,. Suntour Sprint , Superbe Pro, or any Campy parts. Very clean bikes should not cost more than $250 - $300. I paid $250 for an all Columbus SL frame, from a small builder in Spain (Otero), with a mix of Campy and Suntour parts. Bridgestones can be a bit pricier, because of the Grant Petersen / Rivendell / iBoB connection. Fantastic bikes, though. 1980's bikes from classic Italian builders will be more like 500 - 1000 bucks, For value / dollar, nobody has ever topped the 1980's Japanese road bike.

    Avoid 7 speed Dura-Ace and Suntour cassette hubs, as cassettes are difficult to find. Freewheels abound, although good ones aren't cheap. Shimano still makes 7 speed hyperglide cassettes, any LBS can order either. Friction shifting is best for the novice road rider.

    --Shannon
    Last edited by tube_ee; 02-01-2004 at 12:48 AM.

  13. #13
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    My 66-yr-old mother has mentioned selling her '03 Bianchi Milano.

    She is 5'4"...

    the bike is 16.5"(42cm) center BB to top of seatpost...
    the color is right, celeste (aqua)
    7005 Aluminum frame w/chromoly fork
    has Shimano 7-speed internally geared hub w/ roller brake
    v-brake on the front

    She wants to get another Milano, but with step-thru frame.
    Last edited by c0jones; 02-07-2004 at 06:35 AM.

  14. #14
    jcw
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    54 or 55cm for a 5'5" woman???

    Quote Originally Posted by tube_ee
    Look for any good late 80's / Early 90's Japanese steel roadbike in a 54 or 55 cm size.
    Unless your talking about a womans specific bike, that sounds a bit on the big side to me. My 5'4" girlfriend is on a 47cm mens LeMond. Remember it's cockpit fit that is critical, standover is pretty much meaningless. And women typically have shorter torso's and arm's than men of the same height - meaning (generally speaking of course) a 5'5" woman should be on a bike that's smaller than that of a 5'5" man. I'm a bit of an extreme case (real short legs for my height), but I'm 5'11.5" and I ride a 55cm road bike. Personally I'd be looking in the 49 to 52cm range, depending on body proportions and bike geometry.
    "The question before the human race is, whether the God of nature shall govern the world by his own laws, or whether priests and kings shall rule by fictitious miracles."
    John Adams to Thomas Jefferson, 1815

  15. #15
    DAS
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    Also recommend Lemond

    I bought my wife a Lemon Buenos Aires and she LOVES it. Great build, very comfortable, fast, fits great. Got it used (from Tamjam) for $1,000. They are very common so you may be able to find one pretty fast. Great tubeset, Rolf wheels aren't too bad, classic geometery.

    Also, remember to build it up (or have it built up) girl style:
    -high, short stem
    -narrow bars
    -triple chain ring
    -girl friendly seat
    -heavier or thicker tires for better handling and less flats.

    I don't mean to sound sexist, but to my wife, all those things are really important.

    also, I would avoid a SS bike for women unless they are sure they want one. I just mean it would be a really bad idea to give someone a fixie if they want a spinny geared road bike.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcw
    Unless your talking about a womans specific bike, that sounds a bit on the big side to me. My 5'4" girlfriend is on a 47cm mens LeMond. Remember it's cockpit fit that is critical, standover is pretty much meaningless. And women typically have shorter torso's and arm's than men of the same height - meaning (generally speaking of course) a 5'5" woman should be on a bike that's smaller than that of a 5'5" man. I'm a bit of an extreme case (real short legs for my height), but I'm 5'11.5" and I ride a 55cm road bike. Personally I'd be looking in the 49 to 52cm range, depending on body proportions and bike geometry.
    I find that recreational road riders are often more comfortable on a larger bike. Larger frame = longer head tube = higher bars = happy rider. Also, remember that bike fit has changed significantly in the last decade, with miles o' seatpost and very low bars now being the norm. Many current road bikes are made vertically short and horizontally long, so that super-flexible, 145 lb, 22 year old weight weenies can claim that their frame is .0000263% than their buddies. I have customers at my shop that are my height (5'11") and ride 52 and 54 cm bikes. They are blown away when I tell them that I'm on a 58, and my commuting / touring bike is a 60.

    10 - 15 years ago, bars 3 inches below saddle height was a racing position, and if your seatpost was noticably longer than your headtube (on a steel bike), your frame was too small. To see how bike design has changed, just try to get a 1970's Campy seatpost to work on a modern road frame. While an "older" style of fitting is not appropriate for racing, where weight, aerodynamics, and other "performance" considerations reign supreme, I believe that most roadies would be more comfortable, and therefore ride more and longer, using the fitting techniques of the 70's and 80's. About a fistful or a fistful-and-a-half of seatpost, handlebars level with to 2" below the saddle.

    --Shannon

  17. #17
    surlysoul
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    I think you should make sure you size her I have found that some recreational riders do like a bigger frame for the reasons mentioned but 54 sounds way to big to me but obviously I have never seen her. If you are getting an older used bike it will be a one inch threaded and you can put a longer quill stem in the bike sorta like a rivendell set up. I am going to be selling a bianchi campione d'italia soon with campy parts but it is a 49 and has downtube shifters. this may not fit my wife is 5'2" It was entry level I think the retail was about $900 I don't know for sure but it is definanetly older. It has vertical dropouts.

  18. #18
    don't try this at home
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    i'ld have to agree

    "proper fit" seems to change over time.

    and with 'compact' frames it's even harder to tell what is the 'correct' size.

    my wife is 5'5", she's riding my old lemond 54cm, it 'feels'' a bit too big. she tried a 49cm which a LBS thought would be a good size for her and she thought it was way too small. we slowly worked our way up and found that the 53cm lemond was the best feeling.

    also brand makes a difference in fit. she didn't like how any of the bianchi's fit either. but there was too much to overlap given the 'right' size. but that could be from a number of reasons.

    so now she's riding my old lemond as i try and find a 53cm steel lemond to replace the 'larger' one.

    in short - get her out and test ride some models and find what works for her and then you could see about finding something similar used or on clearance/closeout.

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