Which bike? Advice welcome!

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Which bike? Advice welcome!

Postby FloydMunson » Wed Jun 04, 2014 10:16 pm

G'day everyone. Yes, I'm throwing up the old chestnut post again. As a novice first time poster I'm looking for any opinions to help steer me towards the right bike. I'm 193cm, 86kg and looking to get a good road bike for fun/fitness riding, something versatile for flat, climbs, descents. No racing, just solo rides. I'm a 1 time purchaser, not the sort to really start low & upgrade so I'm prepared to spend up to $4k to get a good one first time. So far I've short-listed the Giant Defy Advanced SL 0 vs the Cannondale supersix Evo Ultegra Di2. (Partly due to good sale prices, representing good value, I'll be honest - judge me if you must). What do you think? Best out of these 2? Any others I should consider? Thanks in advance to respondents.
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by BNA » Thu Jun 05, 2014 11:43 am

BNA
 

Re: Which bike? Advice welcome!

Postby Dirty32 » Thu Jun 05, 2014 11:43 am

G'day Floyd,

Im with you / similar to you... Best buy something quality first time than buy something cheaper and upgrade it shortly after. Someone once told me that "the poor man always pays twice" and for me, that seems to ring true if I try and go the cheaper option to start with. I end up upgrading anyway and spending more than I would have just paying for something better to start with.

Someone will correct me if I am wrong, but I think the 2 bikes you've listed are pitched at different markets / have different geometries. The Defy is more of a sportive or endurance type bike (more comfortable, longer wheelbase and slacker or more relaxed geometry) than the Supersix Evo (a slightly more extreme or race based geometry).

Do a bit of research into the style of bike you are wanting (something more comfortable or something a bit racier) and go from there. Better yet, once you've got a preference in mind, go and test ride a bunch of bikes of both ilks to see if what is written on paper in reviews etc correlates for you out on the road. Better yet again, do some research on a pre bike purchase fit and that should give you some measurements of which you'd be able to narrow down what should suit / be comfortable for you for when you head out shopping.

In competition with the Defy, you've got the Trek Domane, Specialised Roubaix, Scott Solace, Cannondale have the Synapse (I think its in a more endurance Geo). In the Race Geo against the Supersix Evo, the Giant TCR is the more appropriate comparison. Or the Trek Domane, Spec Tarmac, Scott Foil etc.

If you wanna go for something a bit more exclusive, you've got offerings from Bianchi, Focus, Cervelo, Colnago, Look, Time, BH, Wilier and plenty more. All of the major players offer a bike in both the Endurance Geo and the Race Geo.

Failing something new, if you know what you are wanting (ballpark), take a look at the classifieds on here or on Gumtree. You'll find some good bikes in good condition for much less than you'd pay new. With your budget, you are likely to get something pretty high end and something that a lot of people would lust over.

I personally ride a Giant TCR and I like it... It isnt exclusive, but it seems to do most things well and is a good value or bang for buck bike. Good frame, good components and it is probably comparable to some of the higher end stuff for a cheaper ticket price (and thus a few dollars for any upgrades). Having said that, I would be happy to ride any of the good stuff from most of the good manufacturers.

Happy shopping and let us know what you end up with!
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Re: Which bike? Advice welcome!

Postby Ross » Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:05 pm

Felt and Avanti are also another two brands that are good value
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Re: Which bike? Advice welcome!

Postby Dirty32 » Thu Jun 05, 2014 4:15 pm

True - Avanti, Felt and Merida are other good value propositions... Tend to be pretty good deals for the money.
Having said that, you arent terribly limited by your budget so have a good look around!
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Re: Which bike? Advice welcome!

Postby Z350 » Thu Jun 05, 2014 4:21 pm

Specialized tarmac I picked up last years model and saved $1500.
I would be more inclined to get a $2500-$3000 bike and spend the rest on a wheel upgrade and a good bike fit.
There is no point in having a 4k bike that doesn't fit you properly.

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Re: Which bike? Advice welcome!

Postby FloydMunson » Thu Jun 05, 2014 6:35 pm

Thanks Dirty32, Ross and Z350 for your responses/advice. Every bit helps. It makes me think it's even more of a jungle out there! But the extra info is better, to make more informed decisions with better research. I'll definitely look into everything you've told me. I am looking more at the endurance/comfort rather than racing. There is much to consider! And thanks Dirty32 for taking so much time to reply in such detail. It's all much appreciated, each of you. Thanks. The search will continue tonight. (I'm not sure I'll be 100% convinced, even after buying, with such a strong market of options out there. But at least I'll have a good short list I reckon, & I'll run with the theory that the end choice will be a good one).
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Re: Which bike? Advice welcome!

Postby Farmer Elvis » Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:09 pm

Giant defy is a good bike. I'm sure the canondale is also a good bike. A friend has the same model giant, I have a tcr giant. His is a great bike, giant have a good solid name for looking after their customers.
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Re: Which bike? Advice welcome!

Postby FloydMunson » Thu Jun 05, 2014 10:19 pm

Thanks Farmer Elvis. Yeah, I keep coming back to the Giant Defy. Everything I read about it seems top shelf. So many great options to look at. Which is a good thing, but a little frustrating too!
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Re: Which bike? Advice welcome!

Postby Dirty32 » Fri Jun 06, 2014 2:38 pm

FloydMunson wrote:Thanks Dirty32, Ross and Z350 for your responses/advice. Every bit helps. It makes me think it's even more of a jungle out there! But the extra info is better, to make more informed decisions with better research. I'll definitely look into everything you've told me. I am looking more at the endurance/comfort rather than racing. There is much to consider! And thanks Dirty32 for taking so much time to reply in such detail. It's all much appreciated, each of you. Thanks. The search will continue tonight. (I'm not sure I'll be 100% convinced, even after buying, with such a strong market of options out there. But at least I'll have a good short list I reckon, & I'll run with the theory that the end choice will be a good one).


No problems at all, happy to help!
You are right, it is a bit of a jungle out there. It is a lot of info to take in.

For the moment, you are just looking into some basic frame geo's. Wait 'til you start looking into the different levels of componentry from the different manufacturers, how different wheels and tyres might feel, what handlebar shape you might prefer, your saddle etc. Disk brakes are starting to come into it. You've got Electric or Mechanical shifting options now. You've got it all to come... If you take to cycling and you think it's a convoluted and complicated process now, you just wait!

As mentioned earlier, if your looking into the Endurance Geo's, the Giant Defy, Specialized Roubaix, Trek Domane, Cannondale Synapse, Scott Solace and Bianchi Infinito CV are probably the main mid to lower high end level bikes to look into. If you start reading some reviews on them, I am sure you'll find a couple of comparison articles that will give you an idea for how these compare to the higher level again stuff.

Maybe start here and see where it takes you:

http://rideons.wordpress.com/2014/03/19/endurance-road-bikes/
http://road.cc/content/buyers-guide/117268-buyers-guide-sportive-and-endurance-road-bikes

The one thing I would say is not to rely purely on the information that you glean from any reviews... Make sure you do a bit of test riding to make sure that you get a feel for yourself. Eg - in my situation, based on previous road riding experience (admittedly on a pretty harsh ally framed and somewhat uncomfortable bike), I would have bet that I would have preferred riding the more comfy Defy over the TCR, based on the reviews I was reading. When I got to test riding the 2, I actually found that I prefered the TCR. Although the Defy was still a nice and very comfortable bike, I found it a little wallowy and slow to steer / react (for me...!). The handling wasnt quite as sharp as I would have wanted it. Although the position on the TCR is a little more aggressive, I much prefer the overall feel of the bike and feel more confident / comfortable in how it behaves... I guess all I am saying is that you should make sure that any bike or review you read on it suits you and feels the way you want it to out on the road.

Oh, and just to make it a little more complicated again, you can make a racier or more aggressive bike 'feel' more comfortable by using wider wheels and tyres (at less pressure), changing the seat to something more padded or correctly shaped for your backside and changing the length of the steam or height of your bars on the headset. Even changing the bar tape to something with some gel padding can make the bike feel different.

As mentioned earlier though, the good thing is your not terribly limited by your budget, so you should have plenty of options available and you'll definitely come out with something nice at the end of it! Go through the test riding process as you would for anything else you are wanting to buy and enjoy the experience! Make sure you report back with your opinions and thoughts as you go through.
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Re: Which bike? Advice welcome!

Postby Training Wheel » Fri Jun 06, 2014 8:22 pm

Hi there,
I recently went through the same decision process. I had a similar set of requirements...although I was a tad more budget conscious.

I was after a fast commuter and a bike to do some longer weekend rides etc.

After riding a few different makes and models I kept coming back to the Roubaix. Good deals on the 2013 model too!

I have had it for about a month and have shaved 30% of my commute time...albeit my previous ride was a hard tail MTB with slicks.

I am loving riding it and am looking forward to some longer rides including the Round the Bay ride which I have just signed up for.

As the previous guys said it is a more relaxed feel than the Tarmac and other racier models but the difference is not that great....still feels pretty sharp and real fast.

The carbon frame eats up the hills and the 105 components are solid and great to use.

Remember to save some cash for lights, shoes,pumps , tools etc!

Good luck with it....for that kind of cash you will get a sweet ride...just make sure it fits....being a tall guy there could be a couple of the bigger frames from 2013 around....usually the M and L sell first

Cheers
M
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Re: Which bike? Advice welcome!

Postby FloydMunson » Fri Jun 06, 2014 8:32 pm

You're absolutely right Dirty 32 with what I'm discovering. I've spent much of my spare time over the last few days pouring over all of this, & I'm quickly discovering what you mentioned about the variety of componentry etc. The whole process can become a real mix n match exercise. As I think through it all, part of me wants to be quite happy in my relative ignorance, doing an amount of research I'm happy with, making my decision, then remaining in that bubble being oblivious to what could be next down the track to improve the ride that little bit more, then that little bit more again. I can see how riding a great bike can become so infectious to people that they think, 'I've made this much investment, it's not quite feeling perfect, I'll upgrade this or that component & see how that goes'. But I'm not experienced enough to notice the difference between 105 or ultegra for example. At least not yet.
Having said that, I'm not going to say 'this is what I've bought & I'm never going to bother with changing anything'. But I'm certainly keen to get something I'm really happy with first up, as we all are I suppose.
The encouraging part from what you've mentioned, is that every single bike you listed here has made my short list too! Every one of them! I've researched a bit on all of them.
& I agree re reviews. I've looked at a few chat rooms too & it's apparent that people will always have their opinions, stand by them strongly, disregard others' opinions etc. So even a review by someone from a reputable mag or online site will not have universal agreement or support. But I must admit, a review like those from the mags or online mags will influence me in making an initial judgement.
So I suppose now I'm getting close to getting around to look at that short list & have some test rides.
I'm already looking forward to having this whole process over with! But I suppose it'll be fun too looking at a variety of great bikes.
I'm warming more to the Specialized Roubaix SL4 Comp Compact (not so much the colour but that won't be a deal breaker), still keen on the Giant Defy Advanced SL, but nothing on your list (& mine) has been eliminated yet.
& I'll check out those links you sent now. Thanks for that.
So the search continues....
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Re: Which bike? Advice welcome!

Postby FloydMunson » Sun Jun 08, 2014 4:53 pm

Thanks, M. I also am pretty keen on the Roubaix. It's definitely high on my short list. It seems to be widely highly rated, which has to say a fair bit. Still haven't got to riding anything yet. That's the next move. & my budget does have to include the 'extras' so I'll have to keep that in mind when it comes to the total cost. I reckon the 2013s seem like pretty good deals so that'll probably be where I start. & a Roubaix will be getting a very close up look!
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