Getting started in Taiwan: hybrid or full-on trail bike?

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Re: Getting started in Taiwan: hybrid or full-on trail bike?

Postby trubadour » 24 Mar 2012, 11:37

I think that's a great price. I vote for the Kings Cross.
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Re: Getting started in Taiwan: hybrid or full-on trail bike?

Postby PaddyB » 24 Mar 2012, 22:06

trubadour wrote:I think that's a great price. I vote for the Kings Cross.


I keep flip-flopping between the two.

The Whyte is lighter and seems sportier. It also looks a bit more off-road worthy than the Masi if I switch out the tires. But the Masi has better spec pretty much across the board. If I'm not satisfied with the Sora kit on the Cross I would probably upgrade to SRAM Apex next year, which would probably cost about the same as the bike itself! In the meantime, I might consider putting a wider-range cassette and Deore rear derailleur on it for touring/mountain purposes.

But DAMN does that geometry ever stump me. I don't think I could buy that bike without an extended test ride of some sort. Do I go with the 53 or follow their sizing chart and get the 55 with a 59cm :eek: top tube and less than 2cm of stand-over? The one review I read of the bike complained about this too. They said the test bike they got was their size but it felt "stretched and a little cumbersome to ride".

http://www.whytebikes.com/wp-whyte/?p=3116

As for the Masi. It looks better for the family biking and weekend touring that I will probably spend most of my time doing. The triple would be nice for long rides and the longer chainstays mean I could probably use it for camping if I pack light enough. Being steel, I'd imagine it rides smoother and is more stable too. But being a commuting/touring bike it looks like a bit of a tank. I would guess its at least 1.5 kg heavier than the Whyte. I don't know how well it would work if I wanted to do group rides (which I'm not sure I'd be into or not) and that kind of stuff. I guess I could always buy a more racing oriented bike later if I got into that kind of stuff. The Masi would remain a great 'kick-around' bike.

Anyway, the laoban at the shop that carries these two models doesn't seem too keen on keeping the bike on his floor if I don't want it and the distributors arent really playing ball either. They are OK with switching sizes but... Not sure what to do!
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Re: Getting started in Taiwan: hybrid or full-on trail bike?

Postby trubadour » 25 Mar 2012, 19:46

well u know best. go with your gut. but give a little ride in the shop first (outside if possible)? Are they both on display? Just grab one and ride it around!

I love my bike. I had a budget in mind and luckily, I suppose, I know what I like geometry-wise, and I knew what style I wanted. I just happened to see one on offer (u can get great discounts on bikes that have just sat around in the shop for more than a year) 70% of the original price, loaded with spec I wasn't even dreaming of. I dropped a fair wack on it but then, as I've said above I've had many bikes and ridden many hours. And studied technique, etc for ages. I'm pretty fit and I just didn't want to fuss around with compromised functionality (i.e. hybrid). I went all out race. Still love riding that thing!

Then I recently bought a bike for commuting. Only for commuting. I rode it around town, to work, etc. Had panniers etc. Second hand. Perfect.

=]

if there is a lesson to be learnt then I suppose is to take what you know and see what is out there. look for some deals. bikes are 10 a penny, if you know what I mean. :ponder:
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Re: Getting started in Taiwan: hybrid or full-on trail bike?

Postby trubadour » 26 Mar 2012, 20:23

did you read this guy's blog? - he had a CX bike and rode it a lot (until it cracked a head-tube). http://taiwanincycles.blogspot.com/2011/03/new-bike-plan-b-la-steel-la-disc-la.html
here he reviews the bike he received under guarantee.
I think he is borderline hypocritical with his verbal adherence to the CX style bike. You will notice that he has since moved to a more traditional road bike as he never got to use it off road and realised he needed a bike designed for where he did ride. and he did ride a lot.
if you look in-depth you will see two of his friends recently bought bikes. one bought a CX the other a road bike. guess which does more riding.... - however, he does make the point that the CX is probably your best bet if you want to add panniers, etc.
check it out.
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Re: Getting started in Taiwan: hybrid or full-on trail bike?

Postby PaddyB » 26 Mar 2012, 20:37

Yeah I read that article before. Despite my fantasies about tearing up access roads with a CX bike, I am leaning toward the Masi because it's better suited to the majority of the riding I will do. I'm more likely to take my son out for an all day cruise on a steel bike with a triple than on a CX bike. I think I'm going to put bar-end shifters on it and keep the friction shifting up front for simplicity. I might even give the downtube shifters a try but that doesnt seem as easy to shift if I have a top heavy child seat in back.

If I get into it as a hobby I can buy a more racing oriented bike in a couple of years.

Anyway, I'm just waiting on the child seat and trying to get the dealer and distributor to play ball with me about letting me order the 56 (which is a little on the big side but should be OK) to try it out. They want me to agree to buy either the 53 or 56 which is kinda horseshit IMHO.
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Re: Getting started in Taiwan: hybrid or full-on trail bike?

Postby trubadour » 26 Mar 2012, 21:50

I think you are getting unnecessarily used and abused by the dealers here because you are lacking in a certain objectivity :whistle: :2cents: don't take this the wrong way! But I google the Masi and I see a steel framed road bike. So, I think you should just get a metal framed road orientated bike. Don't get a bike that is too big or too small. Don't let the dealers pressure you into getting something they want to sell you (not something you want to buy). That, come to think of it, was my experience of the much lauded (on the previously cited blog) Famous Bicycles. I basically wanted a good value road bike with the geometry, etc appropriate for the mountains - I had a budget. They wanted to sell me a bike appropriate for the flats. They wanted to make me pay more for the groupo I wanted, too. So they were pretty much happy to sell me a bike I didn't want at an inflated price (they added extra stuff to get me up to budget) and dress it up like they were doing me a favour. I said, "I'll think about it," and I honestly thought I was sincere... until I got 2 minutes down the road and the pressure lifted off. I'm pretty obsessive about these kind of purchases, too; which is why, when I got 5 minutes to myself I knew I had made the right choice - at least not to buy a bike I knew wasn't right! So, I honestly don't like that shop. I think the blogger reccomends it mainly because he thinks he is being politically astute by supporting a LBS (aka not a Giant franchise, which he dislikes as a sort of political statement) and if he's honest, I expect he wants the rep.

I say fly under the radar and with an open mind. You know steel and alloy are basically the same at your price range and for your purposes. I say you want bang for buck rather than names and concepts. Get a steel framed road bike as good as you can get. If you can find a good second hand one, get that - the quality is more important than all the rest of it.

really you only want a road orientated bike, strong and practical enough for man and child and hills.

I saw a guy riding around on a mountain bike with his child seat attached. I think that is the say to go. In fact, mountain bikes are probably what you really need here. I have a friend who used to ride centuries on his mountain bike (all day), no problem.

You want visibility, control and comfort, durability and as good as components as you can - all included in the ticket price.
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Re: Getting started in Taiwan: hybrid or full-on trail bike?

Postby PaddyB » 27 Mar 2012, 12:58

trubadour wrote:I think you are getting unnecessarily used and abused by the dealers here because you are lacking in a certain objectivity :whistle: :2cents: don't take this the wrong way! But I google the Masi and I see a steel framed road bike. So, I think you should just get a metal framed road orientated bike. Don't get a bike that is too big or too small. Don't let the dealers pressure you into getting something they want to sell you (not something you want to buy). That, come to think of it, was my experience of the much lauded (on the previously cited blog) Famous Bicycles. I basically wanted a good value road bike with the geometry, etc appropriate for the mountains - I had a budget. They wanted to sell me a bike appropriate for the flats. They wanted to make me pay more for the groupo I wanted, too. So they were pretty much happy to sell me a bike I didn't want at an inflated price (they added extra stuff to get me up to budget) and dress it up like they were doing me a favour. I said, "I'll think about it," and I honestly thought I was sincere... until I got 2 minutes down the road and the pressure lifted off. I'm pretty obsessive about these kind of purchases, too; which is why, when I got 5 minutes to myself I knew I had made the right choice - at least not to buy a bike I knew wasn't right! So, I honestly don't like that shop. I think the blogger reccomends it mainly because he thinks he is being politically astute by supporting a LBS (aka not a Giant franchise, which he dislikes as a sort of political statement) and if he's honest, I expect he wants the rep.

I say fly under the radar and with an open mind. You know steel and alloy are basically the same at your price range and for your purposes. I say you want bang for buck rather than names and concepts. Get a steel framed road bike as good as you can get. If you can find a good second hand one, get that - the quality is more important than all the rest of it.

really you only want a road orientated bike, strong and practical enough for man and child and hills.

I saw a guy riding around on a mountain bike with his child seat attached. I think that is the say to go. In fact, mountain bikes are probably what you really need here. I have a friend who used to ride centuries on his mountain bike (all day), no problem.

You want visibility, control and comfort, durability and as good as components as you can - all included in the ticket price.


No, I wont take it the wrong way, I agree with you. But if I'm lacking in objectivity it's only because I haven't been able to find a bike that fits my needs in three months of looking. The Masi Randonneur does happen to meet all of my criteria and, since its a 2011 model, has better spec than many bikes that are almost twice the price. If it fits, I'll probably go for it.

And it's hard to say if it fits. I don't think I've gotten a decent fit at any of the 3 or 4 shops I've been 'fitted' at. Many guys my size and shape ride 56cm road bikes in the US. Again, I'll have to sit on one to say.

I'm really not as sprung on it as you seem to imply and I certainly wont buy it before I try it. If it comes to that I'll keep shopping.

Speaking of which, I do agree with you that I just need a good road bike of any sort. Problem is, most don't have rack eyelets. The only ones I've come across so far are (I wont even throw in my pref for steel, just drop bars which I think are a necessity for long rides)the Whyte Kings Cross, Giant TCX-3, Surly LHT and Cross Check, Louis Garneau LGS-CT and Masi Randonneur.

The only one I've seen "in the flesh" at the many shops I've been to is the Long Haul Trucker. Not interested as it seems pretty overpriced in Taiwan.

If you have any suggestions as to some shops where I might actually be able to sit on a bike that might work for me, do let me know! I might try that place in Taichung that Plasmatron used to manage, seems pretty big. Anyway, I'd rather buy a new bike because I'm not sure if I'd catch any subtle damage that might give me trouble later.

Oh and re: Famous Bikes, they at least offered to order me a bike and agreed to keep it on the floor if I don't want it. They've been pretty helpful in finding child seats as well.
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Re: Getting started in Taiwan: hybrid or full-on trail bike?

Postby PaddyB » 27 Mar 2012, 13:11

Oh and I learned something interesting lately. When we were looking at bikes at the Giant shop in Bali, the sales guy showed my fiancee a clause in the warranty that voids it if you mount a rack on the bike.

How can that be? Why would they make bikes with rack eyelets then? I wonder if any other companies have similar policies?
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Re: Getting started in Taiwan: hybrid or full-on trail bike?

Postby Feiren » 27 Mar 2012, 13:19

Dude, just go get a bike. It's not that complicated. Stop shopping. Start riding!

This post was recommended by Abacus (27 Mar 2012, 15:29)
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Re: Getting started in Taiwan: hybrid or full-on trail bike?

Postby PaddyB » 27 Mar 2012, 13:49

Feiren wrote:Dude, just go get a bike. It's not that complicated. Stop shopping. Start riding!


I'm trying! Is a steel road bike with rack eyelets in my size really too much to ask? :pray:
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