- I am stuck inside with a bad cold, and besides
- It's raining
So here's another post for bike nerds who may or may not care about my opinions, but who like reading about bikes anyway. And with no segue...
The interwebs have brainwashed me. Or I've brainwashed myself because of my reading of the interwebs.
It is easy, I believe, to form opinions based on the experience of others. We all do it. "On the You Need A More Expensive Bike Forum, five out of six posts state unequivocally that you need to lube your dynamo hub with real Italian extra virgin olive oil...so anyone who settles for any other kind is deluded!"
So of course I need a steel bike. And it has to be all steel. No carbon fiber parts at all. And no skinny tires. Because the guys on the You Need A More Expensive Bike Forum told me so.
This idea was stood on its head the other day when the owner of my favorite LBS talked me into test riding a Felt V85; an aluminum frame bike with a carbon fiber fork and seat post. And 28mm tires, which I've always thought would make the ride uncomfortable. I surprised myself by liking it a great deal. It ranked with the Salsa Vaya Deore for ride comfort, but it was lighter and in terms of ease of shifting, I liked the drivetrain (Shimano 105) more than than the SRAM/Shimano drivetrain on the Vaya.
Of course, this post wouldn't be complete without a picture of the bike under discussion.
|This picture belongs to Felt Bicycles and I only hope that their lawyers don't come after me for using it.|
Was there a downside to this bike? Well, one big one...it's no longer in production. I wrote to Felt Bicycles to ask if the spec was changing for the 2017 V85, and was told that the V series was being replaced by the VR series. Of, if you prefer the marketing terms, the "Adventure" bikes were being replaced by the "Endurance" bikes.
My next step, then, was to find the equivalently specified bike in the VR series. That would be the Felt VR30, shown below:
|Ditto on the ownership of the picture, ditto on the lawyers.|
While I reserve judgement on how the bike rides (largely because I haven't ridden it yet), I have quibbles with the carbon steerer post and the decreased spoke count. This is because I'm slightly overweight, older, and persnickety. And while I don't have solid opinions based on experience, the interwebs have told me that these things could be problems.
Felt also makes a cross bike that almost fills the bill for me: the F65X. Which of course you need a picture of:
|Owner, lawyers, you know the drill by now|
So...do I have to have a steel frame bike? Before I rode the Felt, I would have said yes. But now I see how an aluminum frame bike can ride as well as a steel bike, the waters are a little bit muddier on this issue.