New Bike Day!

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After riding the same road bike for over 20 years, it was finally time for a new bike. Long story short, I've put about 200 miles on my new Fezzari Empire since I got it 2 weeks ago. It's well-fitted, comfortable, efficient, fast, wide gear ratios, great brakes, smooth & quiet.

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My old bike is a Trek 2200 I bought in '00. It's been a great bike and still runs like new with only normal maintenance. Why a new bike? (A) gearing, (B) comfort, (C) performance.

A. I wanted something with a lower bottom gear for my "over 50" legs, yet the same top gear. The Trek's lowest gear is 39-28, constrained by the front crank BCD and the rear derailleur. The new bike's low is 34-34. That's a 40% lower gear and it makes a HUGE difference.

B. The Trek's Al frame is stiff & efficient, but non-compliant and rigid. You almost need a mouthpiece for long rides. I installed a suspension seat post which helps, but I wanted a bike with the same efficiency yet with more compliance & comfort.

C. Who doesn't want higher performance? Carbon wheels, bladed spokes, internal cables for better aero. Disc brakes for better braking, and I consider them essential with carbon rims.

Why Fezzari? About 7 years ago I bought one of their top mountain bikes and I've put it through thousands of tough miles. It's been a fantastic bike with lifetime warranty and great factory support, so I trusted the company. For this bike they went off-menu and built exactly what I wanted: Ultegra mechanical with Vision Metron 40 wheels. About 14 weeks from order to delivery. Total cost about $4400 all-in with shipping & tax, a great value.

The bike wasn't perfect on arrival. In the rear hub, they omitted the critical spacer shim between the hub bearing & the freewheel driver. I discovered this on inspection, connected with Fezzari & Vision, and 3 days later I got the part and was ready to ride. They make fantastic bikes with some of the best warranty & support in the business. However, as the customer direct model cuts out the LBS middleman, make sure you can do your own quality & safety checks before riding.
 
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$4400, You did well buddy! Enjoy it in good health. Did you consider E gearing?

My last road(gravel) build was a Kish Ti frame. I went Ultegra, same as my Trek Domane disk. Retrospect I should gone Di2.
 

MRC01

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I didn't want electronic shifting, prefer mechanical. Soon this will be un-obtanium, the current R7000/8000/9000 series may be the last one that has it. That's OK as long as this bike lasts 20 years like my current one.
 
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I'd say the frame will for sure! With regular maintenance, Ultegra will as well. Did you get Ultegra 8100 or 8000? My Domane is 2016 and has Ultegra and the Kish is 2018 and I went Ultegra 8000 on that one. Did you build yours or order complete? Brakeset? Looks Shimano as well but not sure. Wheels look killer; are you running tubeless?
 

MRC01

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Looking up my Shimano reference, the groupset is R8020: Ultegra mechanical & hydraulic disc brakes. Shimano uses mineral oil where SRAM uses DOT4. Bike comes complete. The Ultegra on our tandem is from '00 and still works like new after thousands of miles. Same with the 105 on my old road bike. The new stuff should last forever as long as the cranks don't crack due to the new design.

It arrived tubeless by mistake (I didn't ask for that). Tubeless is great for MTB so you can run low pressures for better traction without getting pinch flats. For road bikes I don't believe tubeless offers any real benefit. It's not lighter, it doesn't roll faster, and the protection from flats is limited (if you get a big puncture or tear the sealant can't fix that). Tubeless is also more of a maintenance hassle as you have to remove the tire every 6 months or so and remove dried-up sealant and re-do them to keep the sealant fresh. Bike came with Maxxis high road 700x28, which is wider than I like on a road bike but it's what we use on the tandem, which needed new tires. So I installed them on the tandem and put a new set of Conti GP5000 700x25 on this bike. Clinchers with latex inner tubes: smooth and fast, clean and low maintenance.

Vision offers several different rim depths. These are 40mm, a decent balance of weight vs. aero. They also have depths at 30, 45, 55 and 60 and 81. Some of the TdF riders used these wheels.
 
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I have to say that bike looks very nice and endurance driven wants you to get out on it for a little 50mile warm up ride. 34-34 cassette something I’d be very interested in with also aging legs i imagine the large front ring is a 50 and be in that almost all day but the most challenging grade. I think you built a heck of a ride at a great price just curious what saddle you riding on.
 

MRC01

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Yep, the big front chainring is a 50. Shimano gives you a choice of 34-50 or 36-52. At first I thought I'd prefer 36-52 but after experiencing the 1:1 ratio there's no going back! Top gear is 50-11. My prior bike was 52-11 which is 4% taller. In practice doesn't seem to make much difference. I suppose having slightly shorter cranks (172.5 vs. 175) helps at high cadence.

With my prior bike, I was on the small front chainring below about 18 mph. On this bike, it's big chainring from around 15 mph and up, which is most of the time, so the only time I'm in the small ring is for climbs.

The older I get the more sensitive I have become to the saddle. Saddle shape is everything and it took me a while to get one that I can ride on all day long without discomfort. It's an Origin8 Axion. The bike came with a decent saddle that I used for the first 50 miles or so and found it was too wide for me, so I swapped the Axion back on. With this bike (unlike my old one), I don't need a suspension seat post.
 

MrQuackers

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Still rocking my 1993 <$50 auction bike Skykomish Marble Point. Need repair? Off to citybkes for used parts.


They and eBay kept my $169 1999 Fuji Thrill on the road for ~40k miles until somebody"borrowed" it while I was shopping at Fred Meyer.

It had the original front wheel BTW.

Different strokes, props for stimulating the economy though, I salute you 🇱🇷
 
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MRC01

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Still rocking my 1993 <$50 auction bike Skykomish Marble Point.
...
They and eBay kept my $169 1999 Fuji Thrill on the road for ~40k miles until somebody"borrowed" it while I was shopping at Fred Meyer.
...
I still have an 80s era Trek 330, highly modified into a nice riding city bike for commuting:
Converted it to single-speed style: no shifters or derailleurs
Rear hub is an internally geared 2-speed with kick-back shifting
Rims are Mavic E-2 from my 80s racing bike
Original sidepull brakes, with new levers and moustache handlebars
Replaced pedals, saddle, etc.
 

MRC01

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It's a carbon fiber frame, don't know what RP is. Vision carbon wheels, Ultegra mechanical, hydraulic disc brakes. Weighs 18.5 # with pedals ready to ride.
 

MrQuackers

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Well yet again, 3 years later someone stole my bike while I was shopping at Fred Meyer. Society has really deteriorated in this century.
 

MRC01

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That sucks, and sadly, something most of us have experienced at least once.
My first stolen bike was in the late 70s, another bike stolen in the 80s. None since. This century's been better for me...
 

MrQuackers

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That sucks, and sadly, something most of us have experienced at least once.
My first stolen bike was in the late 70s, another bike stolen in the 80s. None since. This century's been better for me...
Thank you. I am now rocking a ~1989 KHS Montana Sport I purchased new as a gift. The recipient maybe used it one time and then kept it in the garage for 3 decades.

Suntour accushift rear derailleur
Sugino Bestec crank, looks like knockoff Shimano Biopace
Cantilever brakes seem fairly effective
 
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MRC01

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What a blast from the past, reminds me of my days working in a bike shop back in the 80s. I still enjoy restoring old bikes to like-new condition, save it from the landfill and ride a piece of history.
 
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