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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Goldilocks and The Three Bikes

My Orange La Cruz

This weekend I didn't go out on any long rides. Instead, I joined my good friend Michael C. at Peimic in his search for a new bike. Yes, the thrill of vicariously bike shopping through others is hard to resist, and with Michael C. it is even more special. Michael is one of the reasons I decided to start this blog. I wanted to put some of my experiences and info up for others to use if it might be helpful.

Michael C. is the Goldilocks of bike shopping and has really been searching for his ideal bike for a number of years with marginal success. He can't seem to find the one that is just right. He knows the taste and the smell of his perfect bike, but he just never seems to know what it might look like. We have had some really heavy discussions about what his ideal bike might be and it has taken Michael a bit of time to discover for himself what kind of rider he is and the kind of rider he wants to be.

This is a very personal issue and one person's idea of perfection is another's idea of hell. We all have our own tastes and preferences.

Michael (and his wife) decided the time had come to buy a serious bike that would sooth Michael's restless heart. He really wanted a true road bike with SRAM Rival for somewhere in the NT60,000 to NT80,000 range. He also preferred a steel frame as he is a strong rider who can really turn some watts and he likes the feel of steel.

Michael's search for the ideal bike has been a trail of heartache that has left a wide swath of brokenhearted bike shop owners and second hand bikes for sale. Ok, maybe not that bad, but nothing quite fits.

This past Friday Michael came up using my Taichung Bike Shop Directory as a guide, and purchased a bike he hopes will carry him for many more years and keep the lust at bay.

I loaned out my Orange Lincoln Continental of a Salsa La Cruz and Michael was soon on his way to interviewing different shop owners about what they could do for him. Among his list of favorites Michael chose T-Moaic, Famous and 185 Warehouse.

In the end, he found a bike that spoke to him.

Michael fell head over heels with the Speed One RT30 from Famous Cycles.

If you have not heard of the Speed One RT30, it is a road bike with classic road bike geometry in Reynolds 853 steel covered in a clear coat to seal the metal from oxidizing. As an added feature, the classically styled RT30 comes with the BB30 standard for the bottom bracket; a feature Michael found especially attractive. The bike also came with the SRAM Rival groupset.

Speed One is a relatively new name on the market as the company (YOAN) had formerly been doing just OEM work for other brands and decided to enter the lucrative retail market with their own brand. This has been a recent trend as Taiwanese companies with decades of experience have been trying to establish themselves as stand-alone brands. I have also noticed that many Taiwanese companies are looking to produce high end steel frames over carbon fiber, a material that is really more concentrated in China.

You can read Michael's initial review and experience at his website: HERE

I hope to link to his future ride reports as we see how this purchase turns out. Regardless, I was happy to spend the weekend helping a really great guy find a really great bike.