I bought a bike like this over the summer from my favorite source – Craigslist – and it was my closest Craigslist run yet – in Smithsburg, MD.
Borrowed this pic from http://velospace.org/node/45165
Mine looks a little different from the above – It has white Fizik perforated bar tape on it, two white bottle cages, Vittoria Zaffiro 700 x 25c tires with white tread, and a white Sell SMP Trk women’s saddle.
I have to say that I wasn’t at first planning to buy it. I looked at it multiple times on C-List, and wasn’t sure about it. First, the size was given as a 56. I NEVER ride a 56; I always ride a 53 or 54. Historically, they’ve always been too large for me in a lot of ways. Next, although I love the color, I wasn’t sure about the aluminum part. I’ve not always had good experiences with aluminum sometimes it’s really chattery on the road with lots of vibe. Finally, really – how many bikes does one person need, anyway?
So I thought about it for a while, looked it over, and eventually contacted the seller. The gentleman met me at the AC & T in Smithsburg and I got to see it. Except for a few scuffs in the paint from storage, the mostly 105 group on it was in really good shape and the Deore bits to help the shifting were in equally good shape. The brakes, shifters, crankset and wheel hubs are all 105 while the front and rear derailleurs are Deore. Everything else on the bike was stock – right down to the tires on the stock Matrix wheels. I had to pump up the tires, which were losing chunks out of the side walls due to age, to ride it, but I was really surprised when I did.
Like I said – the biggest surprise was the sizing. I was perfectly prepared for the top tube to be far too long and for the stand over height to be, er, “friendly,” if you will. Neither situation occurred. The top tube was fine – just about spot on for where I like to ride, not too stretched out, not too short, just right. Didn’t even feel like I had to change out quill stems or anything. The stand over was also fine. When I’m standing over the bike in my bike shoes, I have plenty of room in the important areas and the tube doesn’t hit me anywhere that is uncomfortable.
Another huge surprise was the ride quality.With the main tubes made out of Easton 7000 series ProGram double-butted aluminum, the stays made out of Trek tapered aluminum alloy, and the fork made out of Trek bonded aluminum with stainless steel fork ends, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I think this is quite possibly the most “aluminum” bike I’ve ever ridden. Most other aluminum bikes I’ve ridden have had steel forks and/or steel stays. This one has aluminum everything, and I was seriously surprised at the ride quality. This bike rides like many of the good steel bikes I have ridden. It is smooth, smooths out the road, goes over pot holes and uneven pavement like it isn’t there. There is little to no road chatter, even on the roughest of chip/seal roads. It also transfers power quickly and evenly with little flex even when you bear down on it going uphill. The steering is quick and nimble without being so fast that it’s scary. I don’t have to push hard to go through corners and it holds a line beautifully. The original gear ratios with the nice triple up front make hills relatively easy and the gears shift quickly and accurately.
I have really learned to love riding this bike, and it didn’t take me long to realize what a gem it really was. I have taken it up and down the mountains around my home and it never fails to do its job well and make me smile.