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New Road Bicycle - need info


C5 Golfer
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At the beginning of the summer I picked up a Giant OCR 2. It's been a great bike, probally about 900 miles on it at this point and no problems yet. I don't like the stem on it, but that can be replaced for a couple of bucks. Retail on it was $800. Giant makes an EXCELLENT bike. Of course, in your price range you could go with a Cervelo Soloist Team and probally do Chorus or Ultegra (maybe Dura Ace/Record from the right place) all around. It depends on what you want the bike to do and how you want it to behave.

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I have the perfect answer for the perfect fitting bike.

Serotta. http://www.serotta.com/ Check the web site for a shop near you with a fit bike.

Shops that carry them can fit you for a custom Serotta frame. Then you can build it with whatever components you'd like to put on it. My wife has one (Alum frame, carbon fork) outfitted with Campy Chorus and Rolf Vector wheels. I think it was around $3600 that way. You can save a bundle by going with different wheels. Those Rolf wheels set us back a lot.

Another option is good old Italian steel. I love the way that steel rides, but many of them are too flexy. I solved that with a Colnago Master Light frame. Built up the same way as my wife's bike. I absolutely love it! It's a great ride.

Joel

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Thinking about a new road bike - anyone have any advice on what is good and bad and ugly out there. Don't mind spending a few $$ .. maybe up to $3000. Any info on what to purchase or not to purchase would be helpful.

I picked up one of these a few months ago, got about 1500 miles on it. Lotta bang for the buck. The components alone are worth more then the full cost:

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/lechamp07_sl_preorders.htm

It's made in the same Taiwan factory as fuji's and is just a re-badged Fuji Roubaix SL for about a grand less. Check the specs and geometry, virtually the same right down to the tires, though the Moto has a noticeable wheel upgrade:

http://www.fujibikes.com/2006/bikes.asp?id=125

Mine went together in about an hour and the wheels didn't need any truing, though you can take the box to a bike store and have them do everything(bearings, spokes, headset, etc..) for about 65.00. If you do a search on the Moto, reviews are positive, though you will get mixed reviews on the customer service of bikesdirect. they do have a 30 day return policy.

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Al, for that kind of cash you can get a nice road bike with at least Ultegra and some sweet wheels. Talk to the guys at Pedal Dynamics in seattle on Phinney Ridge, they are a great bunch of low pressure dudes (and I ride for them to boot). They carry Jamis, Moots (cha-ching!!!!) and a few others. The web site is a little shallow on information but you can go there too pedaldynamics.com. Dean and Matt rock. You might want to wait to ride the Snohomish Valley untill the telephone poles are visible again. See you and the RT on the hill, Art

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C5, that question is kind of vague, what you need to do is figure out what kind of riding you would like to be doing. Are you doing this to shed some pounds? to get the legs into snowboarding shape? to go out and hammer the local crits? take a pleasure ride on the weekends? to do that metric or full century ride? do you want to stick to just paved roads or would you like to head down that fireroad that looks interesting?

A road bike is great for the paved road, hence the name, but there are a few alternatives that you could also look into.

A cyclocross bike is essentially a road bike but with cantilever brakes and knobby tires, the beauty of a CX bike is you can throw some slick road tires on it and pound out some mileage or you can use some knobbies and go exploring some fireroads.

Another alternative is a city bike, essentially a road bike but with flat handlebars vs. the drop bars that you see on road bikes. These city bikes aren't quite as fast as a road bike due to the aerodynamics of being more upright but a bit more comfortable..

Once you establish what you are looking for, the choice now becomes frame material, Steel, Titanium, Scandium, Aluminum or Carbon. Lots of choices to choose from. Research it to find the one that might be correct for you. Do some test rides to see which one feels good for you. Me personally, I choose steel for my mtn, road and cyclocross bikes. I love the way that steel rides, I can't really explain it you just have to try it to feel the difference.

Next comes the gruppo that you want, if you buy a from a LBS, (local bike shop) there won't be much choice on the gruppo. The gruppo includes the shifters, derailleurs, brakes, cranks and other things. For the kind of money that you are spending you can pretty much afford to go with Campagnolo Chorus, maybe Record, for Shimano, Ultegra or Dura Ace would be your choices.

If you need some more help, send me an email.

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C5, that question is kind of vague, what you need to do is figure out what kind of riding you would like to be doing.
I'd wonder if he doesn't have a very good idea of what he wants, why he would want or need to spend that kind of coin on a bike? Other than the usual getting sucked into the tech-y wonderfulness of things that we all seem to be prone to - gearheads, every damn one of us.
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C5, that question is kind of vague, what you need to do is figure out what kind of riding you would like to be doing. ........................................ money that you are spending you can pretty much afford to go with Campagnolo Chorus, maybe Record, for Shimano, Ultegra or Dura Ace would be your choices.

If you need some more help, send me an email.

Thanks Volvo guy- and yes it was vague question but was meant to be vague for the exact reason I see in the other replies and specially your excellent thoughts and comments. I wanted to get other thoughts to get me possibly out of a rut or mainstream thinking and see what other choices are favored. Good idea on the CX bike. Not out to lose weight. I would want to do a century in some comfort. I have been mainly thinking of this new purchase because a couple of friends have told me my current bike is nice but the ride on these newer ones are so smooth and plus I could use a bit more gearing. I’d like not to change my current bike to do this but would prefer to add to my toy inventory. (Old guy with grown kids, house paid for, and cars paid for syndrome) Also, not into building my own bike would rather let the experts do this. Would like to have a bike fitted to me due to 6’3” frame and long arms @ 215lbs. For a 60yr old in pretty damn good shape compared to most in my age range and would like to ride to get into better shape and basically enjoy a 50 mile ride on average roads ( my current bike seems to transmit a bit more road vibration than the newer designs so even on a 30 mile ride I feel it in my arms).

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Carbon seat stays and a compact drive train should do the trick. Or Ti for that buttery smoothness also. Great rides in the North end Al. A regular group leave from Log Boom or Bothell Landing on a regular basis. You can find a CX bike with disc brakes (Lemond,Redline) if you want to do stuff like the I90 trail and have a little more flexibility with terrain. Give me a call and we can talk more if you want, Art

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I would also reccomend a carbon fork and/or a carbon bar stem to take care of the vibes in your arms. Try to stay away from carbon bars though, unless you are willing to unwrap them evey time your bike falls over, then wrap them up again afterwards.

It sounds like your biggest concern in the comfort realm is vibration. Carbon in a few key areas would dampen the vibes alot, as would Ti. IMHO, A saddle with either carbon or ti rails would take care of the butt vibes, and as I said before a carbon fork and/or stem would do it for your hands.

Due to your age (I know that you're in good shape and all, but due dillegence is worth alot) I would also reccomend a triple chainring. You don't have to use the bottom ring, but it's nice to have it there if you need it. I'm only 19 and I have a triple, I rarely use it, but if I run into a really steep climb, Im glad I have it (cathedral ledge road to all the NH folks :eek: ). I'm not saying that you're weak because of your age, because my father (54yo) rides with me and whoops on me sometimes, but at his age he needs to be sure that he doesn't hurt himself. Again, IM NOT picking on your age or anything, just trying to keep you on the slopes :biggthump .

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Neil, I looked in his profile to see what his interests were and didn't see cycling under his interests. I also remember some other posts about cycling and didn't remember seeing his name come up to much. Now, Derf, I always see Derf's name come up in regards to cycling. :)

You're right (and I also have a cycling related signature).:biggthump I bike more than I board. I will have this year as much snowboards as I have bikes (getting a used Alp 171 as an AM board). I do a lot a commuting by bike (3000+ km each year) and I usually stop the day before they forecast a big snowfall. Unfortunately, I don't have a road bike yet, but I plan to in the next year or two, hesitating between road, touring and cyclocross. If I had the money, like I said, I would get a Marinoni (custom, the equivalent of Coiler), or Guru (very high end) because both have a very good reputation in road bikes and both are locally handmade. I can get deals at my LBS as an ex-employee on DeVinci, Giant and Argon18, so I'll check out in those brands.

C5, there are several good brands of road bikes (lots have been mentionned here), so I can't really suggest one, but check your local bike shop(s) to see what they have. Decide on what you want between steel, aluminium, carbon and titanium. I personnaly like steel, but have heard a lot of good about titanium. Aluminium is very common, has evolved a lot since the early days, but still is not as good as steel and titanium. Aluminium does not last as long and absorbs less shock than both materials previously mentionned. Carbon is quite popular, but can be a problem for heavy riders and doesn't last as long as steel or titanium. Titanium is very expensive: for the same price, you will get lower grade component, but the frame will last you a lifetime and more.

As for component, one thing that I could say according to my riding experience, is that it is better to get a really good frame with medium to high end component than to get a medium to good frame with high to very high end components. A good frame will make more difference when riding and last longer. The difference between components is not always worth the extra money. I have ridden all range of component, from the lowest to the second highest, and I can say that between low end and medium to high end, the difference is huge, but between medium-high end and very high end, the difference is minimal. I don't think you would feel a significant difference between 105 and Ultegra and Dura-Ace. The keyword here is significant. You would be better off getting a bike with a really good (steel or Ti) frame and 105 components than getting a bike with a medium to good (Aluminium) frame and Ultegra or Dura-Ace components. When components wear out or break (or if you don't like them), you can get the same or a better one, but if you don't like your frame or want a frame upgrade, it is much more costly and quite a hassle if you are not a bike mechanic with all the tools to the point that it could be easier just getting a new bike (and spending more money).

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They are mostly the same design just different material with regards to Shimano. The primary difference between dura ace, Ultegra and 105 is the materials used not the design and function of the part. Particularly true of the drive train, you will notice no difference between Dura ace rings and casettes and 105 while riding other than weight, and the 105 may last a bit longer. Good to remember as these are the only parts you'll be replacing on a regular basis. On the other hand if you can afford it nice parts are well ... nice. I love riding my light wheels even though the get beat up and are more expensive to fix.

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Take a look at the Cannondale Synapse series. The geometry is slightly relaxed compared to a full on road race bike. Its less twitchy and doesn't require as much attention in the handling department. Overall comfort is better than something like Cannondale's R series. My wife has one in aluminum and loves the thing. A friend has one in full carbon and is also very pleased with it. You should be able to fit one of those in price range easily. My wife's was 1500 with full 10 spd 105, triple cranks, aluminum frame with carbon fork. I think the full carbon framed version went for about 2300 with 105/Ultegra and better wheels.

I'll second the recommendation for a compact crank if you are in a hilly area. I have one on my Felt tri bike and don't know how I did without it before. I can't ride more than a few miles from home without a good climb and the compact paired with a 12-26 cassette has been a lifesaver. I do lose a little top end speed but its not enough to bother me.

Whatever bike you choose make sure it fits properly. Actually before picking a bike, I'd suggest going and getting a fit done by a good bike fitter. Then let them recommend a some frames that will suit you dimensions well.

________

tiny tits Cam

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Wow.. Good info from all and a good thread too! BTW Snow if falling heavy here and Crystal Mtn is opening Wednesday so it it tough to keep my mind thinking 2 wheeler right now but I have quite a bit of Bike info to digest and research now. My GF is more of a biker than I and we are planning several trips to bike shops to shop for me and possibly her. I really appreciate all the info and I feel I am better armed to shop now. It also sounds like my $3000 is a bit light so I plan on asking for a raise at work and increase the stakes on my golf outings with my friends.

Sounds like I should concentrate on a high level custom fitted frame and fork to start, then shop around for components - but still have a bike shop experts assemble it all for me. I haven't even begun to think about the wheels and tires which is I am sure another can of worms that needs to be opened.

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One other question -- in a road bike how many speeds to y'all all prefer. 10, 12, 15 ,18 or ??

C5, :lol: :lol: :lol:

How long have you been out of road bikes? Campy and Shimano have upped the gears to usually a 10 ring cluster in the back paired with a 2 chainring setup up front would give you a total of 20 speeds. Combine that same rear cassette with a triple chainring setup uf pfornt and now you are looking at 30 speeds. This is more than my mtn bike has!!

Your choice on gearing is decided as to where you live and what you will be riding. If you have some mountains around your area, sounds like you do, you might opt for a triple ring setup. If you feel that you will be staying in the valleys then a double ring setup will usually be fine.

The hot set up lately seems to be the compact crankset up front, usually a 34/50 tooth combo along with a 12-26 or 12-27 cluster in the back will get you low enough gearing to get you over most hills. I personally run a 39/52 setup in the front along with a 12-26 in the back and I ride from an elevation of 1300 feet to 8400 feet regularly with that combo

Realize that some of the gear combinations will be the same depending on what ring you are running up front and your back cassette. Then there are two combos of gearing that you should avoid. Try not to run on the big ring up front and the large cog in the back, little up front and little in the back should also be avoided. Both of these combos cause the chain to wear prematurely.

I would say that with a 20 speed drivetrain you will have 2 or 3 copy cat gears along with the big/big, little/little combos your 20 speed drivetrain will be a 15 or 16 speed.

A 30 speed drivetrain will result in approx 25 gears to choose from.

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One other question -- in a road bike how many speeds to y'all all prefer. 10, 12, 15 ,18 or ?

It seems not much discussion centered on gearing. thoughts anyone?

In the front, it's either 2 or 3 and in the back from 8 to 10. In the front, for a road bike, 2 is the norm but some will like 3 for the hills or for touring. In the back, you don't see much 8 anymore in the medium to high end, it is mostly 9 or 10. They squeeze in all the gears by having a narrower chain because the width of the cassette stays the same.

As for the ratios, it's like sidecute, each has its preferences.

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