Alloy versus Carbon for newbie road rider?

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Re: Alloy versus Carbon for newbie road rider?

Postby open roader » Sat Mar 17, 2012 7:49 pm

The Walrus wrote:I'm seriously considering just getting some slicks, clip-less pedals and shoes for the 29er and rethinking it all!

Bloody bikes!


No rush, give it time. I agree, too many choices, options, levels etc. Take your time, go away and digest it all slowly. The sun will return and test bikes will materialise........

I use a regular 26" slick shod XC hardtail MTB as a rain day road trainer - this bike is the most fun I've ever had on fast sealed road decents, however, the yin soon balances the yang when it comes to going back up the hills and along the flats - not as fun as a dedicated roadie in those respects.............. BTW I also use two pairs of wheels on this MTB (one fitted with slicks, one fitted with knobs) - became rapidly disenchanted with tyre re-fitting on the stock rims....

Back on topic :- If you look after your running gear, Shim. 105 will be a better performed / reliable long term proposition than Shim. Tiagra. If you indend to largely ignore gearing/euipment maintenance (I know at least one rider who deliberately does this) then spend le$$.
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by BNA » Sat Mar 17, 2012 9:44 pm

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Re: Alloy versus Carbon for newbie road rider?

Postby The Walrus » Sat Mar 17, 2012 9:44 pm

Good points Open Roader...

Probably just rushing a decision but its tricky knowing what combination is best...and I'm not even sure I like road biking yet!

Wish I could try it for a month and then make a decision!
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Re: Alloy versus Carbon for newbie road rider?

Postby The Walrus » Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:55 pm

Tried the Orbea Onix today on a trainer and I must say I liked it...

At this stage its between the Alloy Synapse, the Orbea and the Spesh Roubaix!
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Re: Alloy versus Carbon for newbie road rider?

Postby Xplora » Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:50 am

Not sure how the trainer is going to give you a good enough idea of the bike when fit is easily changed and you can't test the feeling in your bum - really that's what you are looking for in the different materials and models. I think the major killer is that the change from flat to drops is pretty substantial, and it takes time to develop the flexibility in the back to scratch your ears with your knees, which is a prerequisite for that top aero fit :lol:

Things like stiffness in the frame are really hard to get around and you won't know you need it until you've put 50km in. I seem to be finding that the first 50km really doesn't seem to test your bike out - it's the rest that shows up the problems. I had the weekend off, and my posture even after sitting in a bad seat in front of a computer yesterday on the bike was fantastic. 42kms for the day...
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Re: Alloy versus Carbon for newbie road rider?

Postby The Walrus » Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:31 am

Unfortunately the rain has prevented me from taking some bikes out at this stage, but I wont buy anything until I've actually taken it out on the tarmac, even if its for a short run...50k's would be good to test it but obviously thats not likely...so like everyone else, I have to make a $2000+ decision based on a short time in the saddle, thats what I'm struggling with!

I have a checklist in my head of things to look for when I'm on the bike but I agree the trainer is just a poor alternative. It does help me to exclude some bikes just simply becasue it felt all wrong!
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Re: Alloy versus Carbon for newbie road rider?

Postby Thunderthighs » Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:11 pm

Synapse! Bit bias though... ;)
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Re: Alloy versus Carbon for newbie road rider?

Postby The Walrus » Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:32 am

Not getting very far...rain is stopping test rides and I've added more bikes to my 'growing' list...

Trek Madone 3.1...$1750 (on special from April)
Merida Evo 904...$1900

This is proving to be harder than buying a car!
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Alloy versus Carbon for newbie road rider?

Postby The Walrus » Sat Mar 24, 2012 6:54 pm

Tested the Felt F5 again in the correct size, much better than before but didn't thrill me.

Did the exact same on the Specalized Roubaix and was smooooth...is it possible that a person can suit a brand whatever kind of bike?

Now got my eye on the Roubaix Elite! Upgraditus before I've even bought the bike!
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Re: Alloy versus Carbon for newbie road rider?

Postby The Walrus » Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:55 am

OK well I have narrowed it down to two options...Not sure if anyone is reading this anymore but being able to write out my thoughts is helping the decision making!

The Cannondale Synapse alloy was a serious contender but rightly or wrongly I've decided to go Carbon...

http://www.specialized.com/au/gb/bc/SBC ... cname=Road - $2300

http://www.specialized.com/au/gb/bc/SBC ... cname=Road - $3000

I'm also buying $450 worth of accesories, (new helmet, shoes, pedals etc) they will be included in the more expensive bike and will cost me $250 with the cheaper bike! So its $3000 all in or $2550...I'm also getting a Garmin 800 as I'll get it at a reduced price on either bike...

So...Tiagra or SRAM Rival (I think they can do it in 105 as well) and different wheels but basically the same frame with some other minor differences.

Which one should I get?
Last edited by The Walrus on Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Alloy versus Carbon for newbie road rider?

Postby redcorpsjames » Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:20 am

I think you can do better than tiara, 105 or rival for 3k. Have you had a look at malvern star oppy range, fondriest range, azzuri range, treks and meridas?
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Re: Alloy versus Carbon for newbie road rider?

Postby redcorpsjames » Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:57 am

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Re: Alloy versus Carbon for newbie road rider?

Postby The Walrus » Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:09 am

redcorpsjames wrote:I think you can do better than tiara, 105 or rival for 3k. Have you had a look at malvern star oppy range, fondriest range, azzuri range, treks and meridas?


I've looked at some of the options in your list but there is no Malver Star dealer local to me. Fondriest is another I havent seen but I think you have to draw the line somewhere otherwise you can end up looking forever. From my research it seems that brands like Specialized and Cannondale offer slightly lower spec but charge slightly more! Is that because the frames are better than Merida, Giant, Felt, Fuji and Trek etc or is it just that they have to charge more to pay for the ongoing marketing and such like?

I'm not sure and frankly its a very confusing process with little or no unbiased or impartial information out there, lots and lots of sales talk and even more opinions but its not easy to speak to someone that has no axe to grind, brand to sell or models to push...even at shops that sell multiple brands they seem to push one brand, is that becasue they get a better return/incentive or does the supplier have too much stock...or is it becasue they truly believe that bike is the right bike for me? I have no idea...but I have my suspicions.

I agree that a better Group Set would be good (which is why I might get the cheaper Tiagra option and upgrade the group set after 12 months) but I know the guys at the LBS and they look after me and its hard to put a value on that. This will be my 3rd bike from them and above all other local bike shops they have gone out of their way everytime to get me fitted and measured to try and find the best bike and the best fit for me...Yes they've thrown in some accesories to sweeten the deal but above all else it felt like the best bike to ride!
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Re: Alloy versus Carbon for newbie road rider?

Postby Rex » Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:18 am

I know at this stage you probably don't need another bike to consider, but have you though about the 2011 Scott CR1 range if you can find one?
The CR1 Comp is full Carbon, 105 and cost me $1500 6 months ago. Might be hard to find, and don't let a lbs tell you the 2012 range is just as good as the groupsets have all been downgraded for the same model.
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Re: Alloy versus Carbon for newbie road rider?

Postby The Walrus » Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:06 am

Thanks Rex

I have a Scott dealer locally and they pushed me towards their Avanti range but I was keen to try the CR1...sounds like you got a magic deal as the 2012 CR1 TEAM is about $2700 with 105!

The Orbea Onix was another bike I liked with 105 at $2000...starting to think that maybe $3000 for 105 is a bit pricey!
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Re: Alloy versus Carbon for newbie road rider?

Postby bosvit » Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:45 am

Hey walrus

How's the stress levels?

Just my opinion, but unless it comes with nice wheels $3000 for 105 is too much. ) got my Cannondale supersix with ultegra for $3200. Came with aksium race wheels, which I replaced with some decent american classic 420's.

Personally I am a big fan of sticking with your favourite lbs, it just makes life sooooooo much easier when something goes wrong. Thankfully my lbs is a good bloke coz the next bike shop is about 300km away lol.

So if you are going to buy new you are heading in the right direction and you will answer your own questions yourself.

Secod hand is a great option for you because then you can finalise your decision making process completely before you spend much cash. You will get a good second hand alloy for sub $1000.

If you can borrow some wheels lbs are more willing to let you do longer rides. Also it let's you make a better comparison with less variables if you are using the same wheels on all of them.

Good luck
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Re: Alloy versus Carbon for newbie road rider?

Postby The Walrus » Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:35 am

Hi Bosvit

Appreciate your comments as always...stress levels, well, 1st world problems and all that...I just want to make the right choice.

I knew that $3000 for a 105/Rival is a little high as I can get a Fuji 105 or Orbea Onix with 105 for $2000, or even a Trek 3.1 for $1750...and the local Avanti/Scott dealer has just offered me the Scott CR1 with 105 for $2500 so thats some middle ground, but it just gets so confusing that its easy to just to say to hell with it I cant be assed chasing a small saving here and there and stick with your tried and trusted LBS...

The $3000 includes $450 worth of accesories so does that make it a $2550 bike? Maybe not if I got all those accesories online!

Second hand is an option but the fear of buying a lemon is a worry....$1000 is about right and you can get some good buys on paper but thats still a decent amount of cash and half way to a Fuji, Orbea etc with full warranty and peace of mind...
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Re: Alloy versus Carbon for newbie road rider?

Postby bosvit » Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:00 pm

Fai enough about second hand v new.
I should have added just keep the second hand bike till you make a decision on if you are going to ride road enough. Then buy new and sell the second hand bike. You should be able to keep the loss below $200 and you may well sell it for the price you got it for. Just a thought.

Get used to your bike then find a shop/group ride. This will quickly let you know if you like it or not.
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Re: Alloy versus Carbon for newbie road rider?

Postby The Walrus » Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:10 pm

Thanks Bosvit

Good points but I'm the kind of person that's a bit all or nothing so I want to go new and get the best I can from the start...

I tested the Orbea Onix again tonight and was able to go on the road this time as we had dry weather...this bike felt as good (dare I say if not better) as the Roubaix but interestingly they were very convinced that I needed a 54cm instead of the 57cm, as apposed to the 56cm that most others have put me on...for $2000 its a very nice option!

My Specialized dealer said they would do the Roubaix Elite with Sram Rival (or 105) for $3300 with the Garmin Edge 800 included! In total that's a retail value of $950 RRP worth of extras included in the deal...makes it feel like I'm paying $2300 for the bike!
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Alloy versus Carbon for newbie road rider?

Postby ozdavo » Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:45 pm

To make you feel better, the Roubaix frame set is $1900 alone!
http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/SBC ... spid=39261
Sounds like you have your heart set on it & can afford it, so go for it!




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Alloy versus Carbon for newbie road rider?

Postby The Walrus » Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:57 pm

Thanks Ozdavo, interesting...

I'm keen on the Roubaix mainly because it feels nice to ride and I know the LBS quite well, but I don't have the blinkers on...I go for he best deal/bike that rides well...

I must say the Orbea today was a veeery nice ride and it's up with the Roubaix. So it comes down to a $500 saving...is an established relationship with an LBS worth it?
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Re: Alloy versus Carbon for newbie road rider?

Postby open roader » Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:09 pm

Coming from a strong MTB background I'm not surprised the Roubaix pleases you.

A strong relationship with your LBS is important but the best ride to suit you is priority number one.

You have been patient and tested / considered many options. I'd still wait a little longer until one option gels with you.
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Re: Alloy versus Carbon for newbie road rider?

Postby g-boaf » Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:17 am

Roubaix is a lovely bike, I nearly got one myself. Got a Trek Madone instead and love it. :)
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Re: Alloy versus Carbon for newbie road rider?

Postby BrisVegas » Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:40 am

The Walrus wrote:Thanks Ozdavo, interesting...

I'm keen on the Roubaix mainly because it feels nice to ride and I know the LBS quite well, but I don't have the blinkers on...I go for he best deal/bike that rides well...

I must say the Orbea today was a veeery nice ride and it's up with the Roubaix. So it comes down to a $500 saving...is an established relationship with an LBS worth it?


It's not really a $500 savings. They're different bikes and you've said multiple times you like the feel of the Roubaix. I vote buy the thing from the LBS and get out there and enjoy it!
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Re: Alloy versus Carbon for newbie road rider?

Postby Mulger bill » Thu Mar 29, 2012 7:50 pm

Geez bloke, I can hear the Roubaix calling you from here :P
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Re: Alloy versus Carbon for newbie road rider?

Postby bosvit » Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:05 pm

Ha Ha don't worry Walrus has already made his decision, he just has to convince himself that he has tried all options..........

Go on Wally tell me I'm wrong... LOL
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