bike shopping

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anon123
Participant
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I’ve been dreaming of a second bike and debating about what to get for a long time, and I finally decided that a Salsa Casseroll was pretty close to perfect for what I wanted, as far as complete bikes go.

Just my luck, I found out today that Salsa discontinued the Casseroll in my size. QBP has zero. I guess short people don’t buy enough comfy steel road bikes. Booooo.

My question: Has anyone seen a short-person Casseroll (pretty sure I need a 53cm in their sizing) in the wild at any shops around here? I am prepared to just try to build something similar from some other steel frame, but I figure I might as well try to make sure there isn’t a stray Casseroll out there first.


dani
Participant
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i just got a casseroll recently! i love it to bits. i got mine at Thick, it’s a 53cm. i’m 5’3″ with exceptionally stubby legs. i reckon you’ve already tried Thick bikes?


stefb
Participant
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Go to thick and talk to them. Chris found me one of the last 3 fujis in the country in my size.


anon123
Participant
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I think I need the 53 too: I’m 5’3″ (and a half!), also with leg stubbiness. Haha. I’ll try to make it to Thick before they close today. I hadn’t actually made it there yet. It sounds like Chris is the guy who can track one down, if anyone can.


anon123
Participant
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Yep, the 53cm Casserolls are allllllll gone until sometime in 2013.

BUT the guys at Thick were super helpful and suggested that I try out the All-City Space Horse when they get more small ones in a couple of weeks. It is beautiful except that it has a stupid double, and it may end up costing a bunch of money if I have to switch the shifters to put a triple on it, but in pretty much every other way it is awesome… so now I will just be waiting impatiently until they actually have one I can try.


reddan
Keymaster
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@pearmask: Rather than switching to a triple, what about just swapping out the rear mech and cassette? Go with a long-cage derailler and an 11-34, and a double will work just fine and dandy.


dani
Participant
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if i had been introduced to a bike called Space Horse when i was shopping around, i probably wouldn’t have noticed any of the technical shifter/gear aspects and just said ‘yes i need the space pony now here’s my card’


Mick
Participant
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@ reddan an 11-34, and a double will work just fine

Maybe. I had an 11-?-?-?-?-?-26-34 which had frustratingly bad coverage in the lowest gears. That jump from 26 teeth to 34 was just about the jump on a 3 speed.

That left me always wanting a gear in the middle.


salty
Participant
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I saw at least one place online that claims to have a 53 in stock. ordinarily I’d say “support your LBS” but if it’s what you really want and can’t get it locally, I’d probably buy it online.

I had a pretty good experience swapping my crosscheck for a triple, the shop bought the old parts back so it didn’t cost much. Although if you go for the All-City it’s already 34/30 so doing what Dan said is identical to putting on a road triple (typically 30T) as far as low gear goes.


anon123
Participant
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@reddan: Yeah, maybe that wouldn’t be too bad. My current bike has a 28/38/48, and I don’t really need that 28 all the time, but there are a few hills that I encounter here that I sort of can’t imagine doing without it. I just really, really like spinning and really do not like the stand-and-mash approach. But I just counted and realized the new cassette I got a while back is actually an 11-30 (not an 11-32 like I thought it was), so maybe I could actually handle a double with an 11-34.


anon123
Participant
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@parvipica EXACTLY. It’s also extremely orange, which somehow seems appropriate for a space pony.


salty
Participant
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Mick, the solution to that is pretty simple – don’t buy a cassette with such a huge jump. Mine is 11-13-15-17-20-23-26-30-34t which isn’t too bad. It took a few days to adjust to the bigger gaps (compared to the 12-25 I used to ride), but I think I like the 11-34 better now.


anon123
Participant
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@mick, that’s a good point. Maybe that just means that if I go that route I need to be picky about which 11-34 I get. Hopefully there’s something without that weird 26-34 jump. Seems like that would be enormous.

ETA: yeah, I’ll look for one like salty has with the 30-34 jump

@salty, I guess I hadn’t even really thought about looking online. Now that I’ve seen the space pony, though, it’s as good and maybe better in a lot of ways. The gearing is really the only thing that isn’t awesome about it. It has some nice things that the Casseroll doesn’t, like low-rider mounts and pretty lugs and braze-ons and some kind of fancy coating that means it never ever rusts. As long as I like it when I actually get to ride one, I guess I’d rather have that bike and buy it from a good shop than try to buy the Casseroll online.


Chris Mayhew
Participant
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@mick, I believe you had a mega range cassette from Shimano. Those did have a huge jump at the end for sure. Check out something like a WiFli set up from SRAM (eg Apex)

http://www.sram.com/sram/road/products/sram-pg-1050-cassette

@pearmask in line with the above, your 28×30 is almost the same as a 34×32.


anon123
Participant
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Thanks, Chris. I was fiddling with Sheldon Brown’s gear ratio calculator to try to figure that out earlier.

…I think I might call Thick tomorrow to be like “I WANT THAT TINY SPACE PONY AND WHEN IT GETS HERE IT IS MINE”


anon123
Participant
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And yes, thanks to parvipica, if I own this bike, it will forever be referred to as my “space pony.”


salty
Participant
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34×32 is more or less “missing” one gear compared to 28×30; the low gear is 13.8% higher. the stock 34×30 is 21.4% higher.

shimano has some 34 and 36 cassettes but you’d have to look at compatibility. 34×36 is basically identical to 28×30 (1.2% higher).

I agree wholeheartedly with your thoughts about spinning vs. standing up. I rode 30×25 for the past 3 years but now that I have 26×34 I don’t want to go back. I only had to give up 4% on the top end (which is basically useless) and bigger gaps between gears of course but it’s totally worth it for me.


anon123
Participant
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Yeah, I’ll have to talk to Thick about what would actually work. I have no idea how compatibility works with this kind of stuff. Regardless, I think I could deal as long as I can get at least a 32, preferably a 34. There probably aren’t that many hills that I couldn’t do now (admittedly with it being a little less pleasant, but whatever) with the combo of the 28 in front and the second- or third-biggest ring in the back on my current bike (second is 26, third is… 21 or something).

Edit: Just found this: http://road.cc/content/news/31511-shimano-launch-tiagra-10-speed-new-cyclo-cross-components-and-ultegra-colour-2012

…which seems relevant since it discusses compatibility stuff with these Tiagra 4600 components… I do know it indicates that even the short-cage derailleur will work with up to a 34 and the long-cage will work with up to a 38, meaning there must be some cassette out there that will be compatible and that will meet my needs. That article also makes the Tiagra triple setup sound really nice and makes me sad that this bike doesn’t have it, but oh well.


salty
Participant
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Hm, another nail in the coffin for 9spd :-(

BTW, those 34/38 numbers are the capacity, not the max cog size. i.e. the long cage can handle up to 38T total difference – 50-30=20 in the front plus 30-12=18 in the back = 38. I’ve heard you can exceed that limit as long as you avoid extreme cross-chaining but typically MTB stuff has more range as well as larger cogs – my LHT has 22+23=45T using a deore LX MTB rear derailleur.


anon123
Participant
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Ohhhhhhh. I figured I was missing something there. That makes more sense now. Hmmm. But I can probably get some rear derailleur that will work with a 34 or whatever in the back that will also work with the Tiagra shifters and stuff, yeah? (Clearly I am clueless about this sort of thing)


salty
Participant
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I’m pretty clueless myself, and of course the manufacturers don’t exactly make it easy to understand. I know I have the exact same shifters on my two bikes, with a road RD on one and MTB on the other. I think you can generally mix and match like that, but there are certainly exceptions.


stefb
Participant
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Alll City makes really sweet bikes! I am excited for you.


Ken Kaminski
Participant
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Friction shifting.


rice rocket
Participant
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Jamis has some steel road frames too. I think Biketek carries them, and they’ve always been friendly the few times I’ve walked in there.


Erica
Participant
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I have been in love with that light, lime green all-city frame that’s been hanging above the counter at thick for a few years now. I have a recurring dream where I buy it…but then there’s no fork to match it :(


epkiley
Participant
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That Space Pony even has little white socks.


dmtroyer
Participant
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wow, thanks for the heads up on the space pony and all-city bikes in general. frankly, I think the gearing is wacky for what it is trying to be (commuter/touring/cross bike?). Who the heck ever really needs 50T in those situations? So you hit 52mph on that downhill instead of 46, great.


Chris Mayhew
Participant
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You can’t pedal to 46 or 50. The 50 is designed for road cyclists doing road races. I’ve just about spun out at 50×12 at the Bud Harris Oval. That’s about the only time though.


edmonds59
Participant
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I am definitely going to need to gear up my beater/commuter bike, I’m spinning out the 44-13 high on Carson st in the morning. But I don’t know what kind of chainrings are available for a 15 yr old mtn bike crankset.


anon123
Participant
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Thanks, guys!

@rice rocket: Thanks. I considered Jamis frames, and the Aurora and Bosanova are nice (and have more appropriate gearing), but I think I’m in love with this frame now, regardless of whether the components are all quite what I need… oops.

@dmtroyer: I think it’s kinda weird too, but I think I see what niche they are trying to fill. There are plenty of bikes set up for fully-loaded touring with triples and heavy-ish frames that might not handle great unloaded, but this is trying to be a “faster” bike that can still carry a load and be comfortable. I guess it makes sense in that “light touring / randonneuring / commuting” range: there are bikes like the Casseroll in the same group that do have triples, but I guess not everyone needs or wants that. I imagine someone who lived somewhere less hilly and really wanted to sort of do some road riding but also be able to throw panniers on and carry stuff around might appreciate this gearing.


Chris Mayhew
Participant
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@edmonds might be worth looking into a cassette. Chainrings can be problematic whereas an 11 or 12t cassette might be easy to come by.


rice rocket
Participant
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If it’s 15 years old, it probably has a freewheel and not a cassette, and 13T is the smallest you can go.

Edit: Looks like there are some 12T and 11T, but they’re somewhat rare.


anon123
Participant
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@epkiley it totally does. that pretty much makes my day.

I’m gonna try to pay extra attention to my gearing this week and try to figure out what the highest and lowest combinations I really need are. On the high end, I guess I do spin out on hills sometimes, but I don’t really NEED a higher gear, since most of those times my paranoia would probably keep me from wanting to go much faster anyway. I wouldn’t mind having the 50 instead of my 48, I guess, but I would gladly give it up to get a smaller small ring.


salty
Participant
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assuming “spin out” means 120rpm that’s 41.7mph on a 48/11 vs. 43.4mph on a 50/11. not much need for pedaling at those speeds if you’re not racing.

edmonds’ 44/13 is 32.3 mph by comparison, definitely a little short (especially since that’s only 24.3mph @90rpm).


anon123
Participant
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Yeah, when I say I’m “spinning out,” it’s probably not that definition of spinning out, haha. More just that I’m running out of gears that let me pedal at the speed I feel comfortable pedaling at, which probably tends to be a range a lot lower than 120rpm. And whether or not it’s technically correct, I tend to prefer lower cadences when I’m headed downhill really fast, since I feel more in control that way. Either way, I highly doubt that I’ve ever reached 40mph on my bike.

There’s also a small chance that I’m just extra-clueless and that my cassette is actually 12-30. The original one on the bike was 11-32, and when it was replaced, I thought it was the same range but then realized yesterday the big ring was a 30, and there’s a small chance that the small ring is not actually what I’ve been assuming it is either. I’m going to check that after work today.


edmonds59
Participant
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salty that calc sounds exactly right. For discussions sake, if I were to catch the draft of a bus or truck on Carson (theoretically, of course) I theoretically start to run out of go at right about that speed. Theoretically.

Kids, don’t try at home.


salty
Participant
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well, it comes straight from sheldon’s calculator so i can’t take credit ;) i play with that thing way too much.

When I worked out edmonds’ way I’d hit the mid-40s regularly on Steuben near Primanti’s. I’m not really sure if pedaling beyond say 35 (assuming you’re not drafting) does anything useful. Also not really sure how smart it is to go that fast on a bike in traffic.


anon123
Participant
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Yeah, my thoughts exactly about going that fast in traffic. I feel like I remember seeing 35mph show up briefly on MapMyRide on a descent down Forbes through Frick or somewhere, but once I learned last year what it felt like to wipe out at the bottom of a hill even at some speed less than 35mph, I never thought it was quite as fun to push my speed on downhills in traffic… (Caught a green light at the bottom of the hill on Forbes through Frick, got across Braddock, suddenly and inexplicably found myself in a pile on the road tangled up with my handlebars, got very lucky that the driver behind me was giving me plenty of space and stopped, will probably forever have a couple of fancy-looking scars on my knee as a reminder to slow the #$*@ down)


edmonds59
Participant
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My love of going fast far exceeds my fear of crashing. And I’ve crashed a lot.


anon123
Participant
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That injury hadn’t even healed yet when I had my “real” wreck, so I guess the combinations of both incidents in the maybe 7 months I had had my bike were enough to give me some hill-related paranoia for a while, haha. I’m guessing I’ll get over that and enjoy speed again eventually.

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