The New Obsession

Every time I see my 15 year old Trek 7000 mountain bike in the garage, I get the urge to go for a ride, but the frame is rusted, the tire treads bare, and the gears are stripped. If I were to try riding it, the gel saddle would be more like riding a set of bleachers off-road and the rubber on the handlebars would melt and permanently disfigure to my hands. I really should scrap it, but I was brought up riding a bike everywhere and I need to have a bike. Even if I can't ride it.

Of course, now I actually do want to ride. And that requires a new bike.

Initially I though I would get a hybrid to primarily commute to work and on occasion tool around town. But the more I think about it, I'd prefer to get a road bike and do some touring. Take some trips between 20 and 100 miles around the area. Eventually, I'd even like to do an all day across the state trip.

I've never had a road bike though and I'm apprehensive about the drop bars. I tried riding my dad's 10 speed back when I was a tween and remember being terrified about trying to shift or brake. That was back when the shifters were down on the frame and I needed to take my hands off the handlebars to shift. I also had to ride up hill both ways against 30 mph winds with dogs chasing me.

Cannondale R500

So, I've been obsessing about getting a bike for the past week, checking online about hardware and routes. At the moment, I'm most interested in the Cannondale R500. It fits at the top of my budget and it's got all the specs that I'm looking for. More importantly though, it looks hella cool. A sweet looking bike is essential to diverting onlookers from my boney ass in tights.

If you've got a bicycle suggestion for me or want to share some advise, speak up. I'm probably going to act within the next week and I'd like to be as informed as possible before I walk into the bike shop.

Update: It snowed on the weekend I was going to test bikes, so I'll have to wait another week. I haven't talked myself out of doing it yet, so I must really want to do this. Thanks for all the advice so far.


When i was buying mine the most important things for me were the derailers and the rims. The shimano 105 set on this is very nice, that is about the best combination of performance vs. cost, i think it is worth the $$$ for those. you can probably find one on ebay for about 60% fo retail i got my motobecane for half of what the retail was on ebay.

Have you considered a recumbant? I've seen more and more of them around, and they are getting better and better. (It will also spare onlookers from the sight of your boney ass in tights).

I have no direct experience with them yet, but will be looking at them shortly.

Thanks for the mental picture I don't think I can eat lunch.

Don't forget the tassles. :-) A

When one purchases a new bike here, in the same week they either 1) spray paint the whole thing black and then put some duct tape on it 2) wrap the entire thing in electrical tape 3) change their seat and wheels to something significantly cheaper 4) keep the bike in their apartment.

Theft here is so rampant that all new bikes are forced to look old with one or all of the above techniques. Your bike wouldn't last an hour locked in front of a police station, in broad daylight with a person watching it like a hawk.

Though my friend assures me that you might make it one day.

A book you should check out is Urban Bikers' Tricks & Tips, an excellent guide to buying, keeping, and riding a bike. I picked up a copy at Borders.
(no html in comments?)

the Cannondale looks like a great combination and should be good for many miles... you will really appreciate the range of gears possible with the 30/42/52 chain ring and 9-speed rear - that's what my Bianchi has - all the speed and climbing power needed for a sweet ride.

the most important thing is to get the bike properly fitted to you - the shop you order from should have the equipment to do that.

Uncle Hank



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