Thursday, May 26, 2011

New Bike Day...again...maybe

So i had finally got the money together about 2 months ago to buy myself a new Road bike. I have been riding and racing on my entry level Aluminum Marin Porto Fino for just over 3 years now. Now do not get me wrong. For $675 it has been an awesome bike. The only upgrade i ever really did on it was replace the rear wheel with a hand built rear wheel that cost me about $150 because my 230LBS kept breaking the little spokes. It had Shimano Sora on it which work surprisingly well for being so budget minded. I put 3200 miles on it so far with no major problems. I am still going to use it for going back and forth to work and dirty/rainy rides.

I had a budget of about $2200 and started looking. My biggest hitter is wanting a Carbon Fiber frame. Well for this kind of money i found a Kestrel on Bikes Direct with full Ultergra components on it with in my budget! Normally a Carbon frame with Ultegra and good wheels would be about 3000-3500.

I was super worried about not buying a bike from my local bike shop. I felt ashamed not to support them but there is no way i would get that spec for the money i had. So i nervously ordered it knowing i had a full 30days to return it.

Here is how it came:

Looked good so far. I took it out the box and gave it a quick once over. All looked good. Here it is out the box:

I took it to my local bike shop to put it together. That cost me $40 and they did not make me feel bad for not buying one of theirs.
Here is what it looked like made:

It was VERY light and rode extremely fast.
I put about 40 miles on it and i had some trouble changing gears on the rear derailleurs. I just thought it was the cables setting in. It got worse though. On a ride the chain snapped! What the heck. It was an Ultegra Chain and i took it in. They said they had never seen the Ultegra chain snap before! I got new links and go it going. I used a really good mechanic and he could NOT get the rear derailleur in adjustment no matter what he did. He said he would have to pull the handlebar tape off and re run the cable costing me more money. This gave me a very bad feeling about this bike. So i packed it back up and shipped it back for a full refund. They were very good about giving me 100% refund.

So i selected a Specialized bike at my local bike shop that i am meant to pick up today. It is much much less of a bike than this one but i feel more confident about having the local bike shop help me if there is a problem. It is still a Carbon Frame and i am OK with the gear set but the wheels on it are heavy.

We will see how it goes and i will let you know.

--Update...went for the fiiting on my new bike and the 54cm frame was just too small for me. The LBS is going to have to order a 56CM for me. Means i will have to wait another week. Very frustrating but i would rather have it correct. Group ride tonight is going to be on my Marin again.


  1. Sounds like your lbs is pretty cool. I'd be scared to put together my own bike too. Good idea waiting for a good fitting bike.

  2. very odd about that bike but great that they gave you a refund!