Thursday, February 18, 2010
A New Bike for BIGBY
My old bike wasn't worth fixing (I couldn't find someone to weld it and it required lower gears, a new derailleur, etc.). I looked at Craig's List and other sites on line for a used touring bike, but the selection was very limited and none fit my needs. So, I called all the county's bike shops, to see what they recommended and what they had in stock. I checked bike dealer web sites, as well as bike forums and other internet sites that reviewed bikes. I decided to get a bike made for touring (more rugged and more comfortable for longer rides with baggage). I wanted to stay under $1,000, if possible. I liked Surly, Rocky Mountain, Navara(REI), and Raleigh touring bikes because they were readily available, comparatively affordable, and heavily reviewed (mostly positive). I tried out several bikes at the local Cambria Bicycle Outfitters (CBO) and the ones I liked were all over $1,000. I ruled out cyclocross bikes as not really set up for serious touring - not the right geometry, ruggedness, or fittings. Then CBO showed me a new (but last year's model) Rocky Mountain Sherpa 30, a very good touring bike with all the fittings for racks, and geared low (32 tooth large rear gear) - it was ready for a long mountain touring ride. They would sell the bike for under $1,000 although the MSRP was $1,800 and their reduced price had been $1,600! I found no new Sherpa 30s on line for under $1,600. It felt great and I prefered buying from a local bike shop, so I couldn't say "No". After swapping my old crotch-comfortable seat for the new one, and putting on my old clip-in pedals, I was ready with my new Sherpa 30 touring bike! (I bought some leg warmers, a lighter tool kit with seat post bag, and a small light pump). The dealer checked my tools so I could take out ones I didn't need and add those I did. I used the rear rack from my old bike and mounted my waterproof Ortlieb rear panniers and handlebar bag that I had ordered from thetouringstore.com (great prices and advice). I was very happy with the fit, the performance and the price of my new bike!