I've really enjoyed my Specialized Sequoia I recently purchased from Pat. Great tube set, great geometry and the drive train and brakes are tight. I was very surprised with how great this was, being as I was buying it second hand. One always thinks things must be worn out, brakes not graby, drive train not shifty. Not the case with this ride. Everything works and feels like I think it probably did coming off the showroom floor. I bought several brand new bikes, and this one feels just as good as any of those. The only thing I've wanted to change was the stem. I think this frame is a little on the small size for me, but somehow it seems to be working out. Even if a bike looks small (based on seat post and stem extension) if it feels right, it's right. Right?
I had an old Nitto Technomic stem kickin in the parts bin for a while. Problem was it was for a 25.4 handlebar, and the other 4 decent drop bars in my parts bin were 26. Until I remembered a bike my neighbour brought over for me out of the county dump/transfer station. I also remembered that it was actually a nice vintage Nitto bar. Could it possibly be a 25.4? That would be too sweet. Too sweet it was! I was actually thinking of buying the Nitto Noodle bar which while holding in my hands were very comfy, sure they would be on the bike also. But, this one seems alright. Undamaged and in great shape.
Slap on the lovely cork tape (I've always loved the look of khaki bar tape) that Cornell gave me with the bike, and I think I'm in business. I rode it around last night for a wee little bit and this feel ridiculously comfortable. Down on the drops would be comfy for and extended period of time, riding the hoods is nice and relaxed and up on top of the bars feels a bit cruiser like, perfect for simply taking in the scenery. I might end up sliding the stem down a little, but I thought I should start out as high as possible when installing the new brake lines.
My thinking is changing a lot as I ride more. I've adopted the Rivendell philosophy of bicycle fit and I'm quite enjoying it. I'm not a racer, I don't even do club rides. Most of my riding is done on a long commute, and every now and then I'll head out for a rec ride mostly to take pictures and enjoy being outside. My bikes are starting to reflect that. I sold my Allez. Bought this steel bike, and love commuting on my recumbent. Still have a thing for fixies. That bike is very comfy too. I think that more people would cycle if there were more bikes like my sequoia available from bike shops. I really don't get a kick out of my LBS anymore and generally only make a stop there when I need a part or accessories. To find bikes more like this, it's either search classifieds to find a decent version, or roll out the doe on the Internet. Steel is real, and feels great. Just as a bike should.