Source of objective road bike advice?

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Re: Source of objective road bike advice?

Postby AndrewBurns » Thu Jan 19, 2012 1:37 pm

simonn wrote:
AndrewBurns wrote:My bike has done around 500km now and I've not had any trouble with it


That is not much of a test of robustness. Not meaning to Richard swing, I'll have done almost 500km this week by Sunday (albeit on two different bikes and if all goes to plan). Not common for me, but I did this weekly distance 3 or 4 times last year.


Yeah I know it's not gone that far but I can't exactly talk about the durability over 10000km if I've only gone 500 :P

For what it's worth some people have reported back on roadbike review that have gone a few thousand miles on their chinese carbon bikes without issue, but as I said I can't confirm that in my case without having the bike for longer.
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by BNA » Thu Jan 19, 2012 1:40 pm

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Re: Source of objective road bike advice?

Postby sogood » Thu Jan 19, 2012 1:40 pm

AndrewBurns wrote:Yeah I know it's not gone that far but I can't exactly talk about the durability over 10000km if I've only gone 500 :P

With good 500km under the belt, I think it's at least evidence it's not a K-Mart special. :wink:
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Re: Source of objective road bike advice?

Postby AndrewBurns » Thu Jan 19, 2012 1:42 pm

My Aldi bike has gone around 700km but I have completely stripped it back and overhauled it once so far :P
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Re: Source of objective road bike advice?

Postby __PG__ » Fri Jan 27, 2012 8:46 pm

Well I've been doing the bike rounds and various bike stores in Melbourne. My opening line is usually something along the lines of 'what's the best road bike you can get me for under three grand?'

Some observations
a) There seems to have been an explosion in bottom bracket types, designations and development over the last few years. Some seem to be fairly worthwhile (e.g. BB30), some are partially cosmetic (perhaps BB90?). I can't remember what BB86 is. Some bikes shops say I won't notice the difference. Others say that the press fit bearings (e.g. in a Giant Defy or TCR frame) will creak and create more problems than they are worth. Other shops say wider bottom brackets are the greatest thing since sliced bread.

I wonder at what point are bottom bracket developments purely marketing buzz as opposed to genuine performance improvements?

b) I still get the feeling that its often very difficult to get a bike store to sell you the right bike for you, rather than buy the bike they want to sell you. I've had some interesting contrasts when discussing the Giant Defy 2 Advanced, or TCR 2 advanced. A shop which is doing a great deal on the TCR 2 will say to me that its the right bike for me and the Defy is just marketing BS in order to try to create a demand for a product that isn't really needed. Yet another shop which stocks Giant will say that the TCR is only for racers and criterium riders, and for a recreational rider the Defy 2 is all you need.

c) Most shops which stock Giant will point you towards that brand first, before considering any other brands in the shop (e.g. Wilier, Cervelo). Indeed sometimes you have to point out the other bikes in the shop in order for the shop assistant to actually discuss it. Is this because Giant are superior product? Or because the margins on Giant are better for the stores?

d) Opinions on SRAM depend greatly on whether the shop stock any bikes with it. If they do, then its a good groupset. If they don't, then its complete garbage and you should stick to Shimano. During my travels I spoke to a mechanic at Bicycle Recycle who said its a good compromise and in many ways offers the best of both worlds (e.g. reliability and price of Shimano but the repairability of Campag). He's the second mechanically-minded bicycle person to suggest this.

It also seems that many of the bikes in this price point are made of Toray T700 carbon fibre. So if the frames themselves are made of identical material, I guess it all comes down to
1) Geometry
2) What components and wheel sets you can get bundled with the bike
3) What sort of cranksets and bottom brackets the bike comes with (assuming that you buy into the bottom bracket business in the first place)

In any case, the research continues.
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Re: Source of objective road bike advice?

Postby trailgumby » Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:17 pm

I disagree with the statement about lesser levels of QA done on Giant compared to other more up-market brands like Wilier.

Giant is the Toyota of the bike world. Wilier or more likely Colnago would be the Ferrari. Toyota might not get the juices flowing quite like a Ferrari, but it will just keep going, the customer service culture and distributor backup is outstanding and the techs don;t look down their noses at you like you're an ignoramus, even when you are.

Have never owned a Giant by the way, just observed the experience of others. I haved owned a Toyota, though, and would again very happily if they had a RWD or AWD road sedan.
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Re: Source of objective road bike advice?

Postby Ken Ho » Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:49 pm

$3K buys you a lot of choice.
I spent $2200 and got a Bianchi carbon frame with Campagnolo Veloce, as a run-out model. The original retail was more like 4K. Being an average size helps a lot.
Veloce is one of the gems you seek, IMHO. Smooth shifting, great ergonomics, excellent brakes and a tidy price with the Campag cache. The is no Campag equivalent to Tiagra.
While all the frames may come from the same factories, that does not mean they are all the same spec, so beware of that logic.
I don't think there is a lot of "objective" data on which frame to buy.
If you want a Toyota, buy a Giant. If you want a Chevy, buy a Trek. If you want a Ducati, buy a Bianchi.
Alfa ? Try a Cervelo. Pj are look and Wilier seem to be like Mercedes. Sme truly luscious stuff, but also lots of low end models to tempt the masses who want the logo, but can't pony up for the high end stuff.
Personally, I buy on subjective criteria as much as objective. I need to like my stuff. So I have Bianchi and Ducati, with lots of un-necessary carbon fibre bits on both. I swapped the Veloce up to Record when I wanted to try a compact crankset.
Unless you go completely mental, bike stuff is cheap enough to do that without breaking the bank.
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Re: Source of objective road bike advice?

Postby briztoon » Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:57 am

__PG__ wrote:It also seems that many of the bikes in this price point are made of Toray T700 carbon fibre. So if the frames themselves are made of identical material, I guess it all comes down to
1) Geometry

2) What components and wheel sets you can get bundled with the bike
3) What sort of cranksets and bottom brackets the bike comes with (assuming that you buy into the bottom bracket business in the first place).


Er, yeah. That's why I wrote;
briztoon wrote:I can't help you with which frames are better than others, but I would suspect at that price point most of the name brands frames would be of similar quality. Basically you find most brands "entry level" carbon frames at this price point. It would come down to which bike YOU feel rides better than the others.


I agree with trailgumby about Giant. Nothing wrong with their bikes, they just don't have the Italian name and heritage that many aspire to own. One bonus with Giant (and Merida) is that they own their own factories and manufacture their own (and a few other brands) bikes. This is one reason why they can sell their bikes cheaper than others, they skip one level of add on costs.

There are a few deals going still in Melbourne looking on Bike Exchange. One question that would be near the top of my list to ask is, what is the warranty like for each bike. If they don't offer a life time warranty on the frame I would walk away.

Interested to know if you have tried any of the Scott bikes and what you think of them. Looking on Bike Exchange (Scott) there are still a couple of 2011 models available at a very good price, and a 2012 Scot Foil 40 for less than $3k.
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Re: Source of objective road bike advice?

Postby Dizz » Sat Jan 28, 2012 7:36 am

__PG__ wrote:... I understand at that price range, all the frames are mass-produced by robots in Taiwanese factories. Many come out of the same factory and are just re-badged.



I purchased a Cell Victor about a month ago; unfortunately I am currently injured so I cannot give you a definitive evaluation as I have only put about 300k on it.

At my weight (55kg ± 3kg) the stock wheels are fine (Spokes 20r/16f) & I train at a lower psi (PSI 100r/80f). Therefore I don’t envisage any unnecessary buckling issues, however if I was heavier or preferred to train at higher pressures I would probably upgrade the wheels at time of purchase.

I cannot tell you anything about the stock tyres as I removed them during assembly & replaced with All Condition Armadillo Elite Tyres; I hate flats.

Also theses frames are a “Compact Frame” so you should get a size based on the appropriate “Virtual Top Tube Length”, although I wish they would print the geometry specification online, they were quite helpful when I called them and provided accurate advice. By the way this is my first Compact Frame and I really like how stiff the rear end feels but not everyone likes Compact Frames, so bear that in mind.

Also bear in mind that this also has a Compact Crank (170mm 50/34). I came from (175mm 54/42) so I am still trying to adjust, once I’m back in the saddle proper for a few months I will make a decision. I won’t go as far as saying that I hate Compact Cranks but the combination of a shorter crank & smaller chain rings is unsettling, so consider this at time of purchase.

In summary, even if it turns out that I have to replace the Crank, I still have no regrets. It usually takes me about 12 weeks to get a bike “Just Right” and as I don’t suffer from upgraditis I will ride it until maintenance becomes impractical; my last roadie was retired after 30 years if I get 10 years out of carbon, I will be satisfied.

Good luck with your research, Dizz :)
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Re: Source of objective road bike advice?

Postby Ross » Sat Jan 28, 2012 7:54 am

OK my 2c worth. Or rather my mechanic's 2c worth. He has been building, servicing and repairing bikes for about 35 years as well as riding and racing both MTB and road bikes. So he knows his way around bikes pretty well.

He rates Specialized frames very highly, amongst his collection of several hundred bikes (n+1! :shock: ) he rides a Specialized Roubaix and recently took great pleasure in building up a couple of Tarmacs for myself and a friend.

He doesn't like the press-fit cup style (BB30 etc) type of BB because he says they creak. He prefers the threaded type BB.

He also recommends Shimano components, Ultegra if you are on a budget or Dura Ace if you can afford it. He always specifies Dura Ace 7801 chain, reckons they are better than the later 7901 version. He is also not a fan of removable quick links and flatly refuses to fit them! Side note - the early Shimano 7901 chain came with a factory quick link which was discontinued not long after release, so there must be something to this.

He is also a big fan of Thomson seatposts and stems.

And also Dura Ace C24 wheels. He doesn't like Mavic wheels, in particular the hubs.

He works from his very well equipped shed at home, used to own a bike shop but decided he didn't want the hassle of a retail environment so just builds and repairs bikes these days. He doesn't stock and bike parts except for cable, ferrules, barrell adjusters grease and lube so he is not just saying this stuff because he makes the most markup on it, it is simply because in his experience these parts are quality. He is not a weight weenie either even though he is a very successful A grade Vets racer.

I can give you contact details for my mechanic if you would like to discuss any of this further with him. I have no connection with him except having several bikes and countless services and repairs done by him. I don't get my work done any cheaper by talking him up to others and he doesn't need any extra work, he is already flat out even though his only advertising is word of mouth from satified customers. I'm sure he would be happy to give out advice.
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Re: Source of objective road bike advice?

Postby dynamictiger » Sat Jan 28, 2012 9:19 am

__PG__ wrote:So I'm beginning the process of buying a new road bike for the first time in over a decade. My budget is under 3K and I'm looking at a full carbon frame with Ultegra (or SRAM equivalent). My current bike is a custom steel frame from Cecil Walker with (very old) Ultegra STi.

However I'm finding that there is a real dearth of objective information.

For example, my background is in Mechanical Engineering and I've worked for a few years in the automotive industry. When you have inside experience of how cars are made, you know that French cars are cheap, fun and full of 'character' which means they are completely unreliable. Most faults in modern cars are related to electronics. You learn which 'prestige' cars are just rebadged Volkswagens. And only idiots (or 'enthusiasts') buy Alfa Romeos.

I don't care about branding. I don't care about fashion, or which bike has flashy looking stickers. I want intrinsic quality.

I understand at that price range, all the frames are mass-produced by robots in Taiwanese factories. Many come out of the same factory and are just re-badged.

In amongst all the marketing hype and million-dollar advertising campaigns, where are the hidden gems of the high performance road bike world?

Thanks in advance :)


I have not been riding very long, so cannot comment directly on bicycle construction. However I have engineered fiberglass pressure vessels, even though I am not an engineer. I think this is the issue you are running into.

With fibers there are choices of materials and each material has a specific set of parameters obviously these are weight, strength etc. These can be used to work out the lay up of the glass resulting in a solid product. A frame is similar in the design and construction. It would be impossible to tell externally the difference between chopped strand mat and blow strands if they were both finished in the same fashion...without cutting the frame open. Even weight of the finished product could be misleading.

No manufacturer is going to divulge their lay up to anyone lest alone the public. Therefore other than feel of the frame it would be near impossible to qualify a frame as being better constructed than another.

Sure there would be some bike frames that have a habit of failing more often than others. However again this may be subjective. A specific manufacturer may recommend their frames for heavier riders (e.g. me) and therefore have more frame failures than a manufacturer targeting an alternative market, yet the strength of the two frames may in fact be identical.

To further complex matters a certain amount of flex is usually built into the design of glass fiber products. This can mean a reduction of material where you would reasonably and rationally expect to see an increase in material.

Therefore I think that whilst individual components can be compared in a straight comparison, the frame cannot without total destruction and even in the event I totally destroyed the frame to obtain measurements and so on without knowing the specific materials and the materials data I still would not be really better off.

HTH
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Re: Source of objective road bike advice?

Postby rkelsen » Sat Jan 28, 2012 9:36 am

__PG__ wrote:There seems to have been an explosion in bottom bracket types, designations and development over the last few years.

BB30 seems to be based on the false premise that companies will use it because it is a free and open standard. After 12 years on the market, their website acknowledges only 4 companies that use it. Shimano and Campagnolo aren't listed there. I'm sure that this is partly because everyone wants to try and corner the market with their own "better" standard, which has led to the ridiculous situation we have now: BB30, BB86, BB90, BB92, Press-Fit 30, Shimano Press-Fit, etc., etc.

As a non-engineer, press-fit bottom brackets seem like a really bad idea to me. It'd be interesting to know what a mechanical engineer thinks of them.

Regarding conflicting advice from shops, I think it is safe to assume that everyone is out to sell you the items with the highest margins. Take everything they say with a grain of salt. Educate yourself about what you think you might want, then go for some test rides and see what works best.

You can overhaul Sram shifters, like you can with Campag units, but the Sram ones use the somewhat counter-intuitive double-tap system for shifting. Some love it, some hate it. You really have to try it to see if you "get" it.
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Re: Source of objective road bike advice?

Postby DarrylH » Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:17 pm

While it is impossible to look at a frame and gauge the build quality, It is fairly easy to look at a frame and see well the visible bits are engineered. I would be a bit miffed if I bought an expensive bike and then had to take measures to stop the cables scratching the paint. Well engineered cable runs should be part of the design.
Also, about 99% of us will put a computer on our bikes so makes like Trek and Giant (and others I'm not aware of) gain points by building sensor mounts into the frame. My new Trek failed on the cables (to be expected on my budget) but the Ant+ speed sensor is great. Works perfectly with a 1cm+ gap rather than the normal 1mm.
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Re: Source of objective road bike advice?

Postby __PG__ » Sat Jan 28, 2012 8:52 pm

I just stumbled upon this link when researching BB30. It appears to be a source of objective road bike test data

http://www.rouesartisanales.com/?lang=en
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Re: Source of objective road bike advice?

Postby notwal » Sat Jan 28, 2012 10:08 pm

AndrewBurns wrote:
simonn wrote:
AndrewBurns wrote:My bike has done around 500km now and I've not had any trouble with it


That is not much of a test of robustness. Not meaning to Richard swing, I'll have done almost 500km this week by Sunday (albeit on two different bikes and if all goes to plan). Not common for me, but I did this weekly distance 3 or 4 times last year.


Yeah I know it's not gone that far but I can't exactly talk about the durability over 10000km if I've only gone 500 :P

For what it's worth some people have reported back on roadbike review that have gone a few thousand miles on their chinese carbon bikes without issue, but as I said I can't confirm that in my case without having the bike for longer.

My FM028 has gone 13,700 km and has performed flawlessly so far. I wouldn't hesitate to buy another one if I needed it.
The Campy has been good too as expected. The Fulcrum wheels haven't let me down either.

The relevant Road Bike Review forum thread can be found here (beware! 80% dross and it goes forever) :
http://forums.roadbikereview.com/showth ... p?t=225409
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Source of objective road bike advice?

Postby zohxoco » Sun Jan 29, 2012 11:02 am

3k budget and you're sweating BB30 vs BB86? You're sure about Ultegra and must have carbon fibre frame but admit you don't know where the value for money is?

To put it as nicely as I can, you're over thinking it. On that budget, think groupset and fit.

You are hard pressed to get better value than Giant. I would liken it to the Nissan of bikes rather than Toyota. Going by your own posted reliability data (first half of 2006) Nissan is the best, and yet you didn't mention it in your initial write up. Instead you say you are looking for the Subaru of cycling, which while solid, isn't the best on that graph. To explain why I liken Giant to Nissan rather than Toyota is because Toyota is revered (in my opinion too much) for quality while Nissan has a more benign reputation. In cycling Giant is respected but hardly revered.

So I dispute that you are looking at this objectively. Your own subjective judgements based on experience has already lead you down a particular path.

Here's the objective advice: compare mainstream bikes in your price range. find the best equipped and most importantly, get a proper fit. Make sure the frame size is right. Dont be tempted to get that Giant M frame if it's on sale but you really should be riding an ML. Finally, ride. Each day you hand wring is a day you're not riding.

So much for the objective. Now for the subjective.
1. Shimano 105 is now much improved and is considered to be as good as Ultegra was a few years ago. Why pay extra?
2. Shimano groupsets are heavier than equivalent SRAM or Campy sets, and in the case of mechanical Dura Ace, embarrisingly so. In my (subjective) opinion, mechanical Ultegra and mechanical DA are in no man's land from a market perspective. Ultegra isn't much better than 105, while DA is heavier than comperable groupsets and doesn't offer much benefit. With Di2 versions of both DA and Ultegra the mechanical versions are starting to look obselete or crowded out. Just my opinion. The thinking cyclist would get 105 or equivalent SRAM, while the image conscious, weight weenies and nostalgic will go for Campy, and the bike geeks go for di2, or maybe Campy (goes to 11, looks sexy, and also electronic versions coming). As for pros, they ride what they're paid to ride.

Now for frames. You claim to be looking for value but will only consider fibre. Then the problem comes which frame is a Alfa Romeo and which is a, well, Nissan. Back to Giant, they own one of the big factories churning out most of the world's CF frames. So they know a thing or two and can legitimately be considered experts and thus won't churn out rubbish.

Disclaimer: my first road bike was a 2007 Alliance (half alu, half CF) TCR Giant with Ultegra and it is really almost as good as my new European made (from the strand) CF with di2 DA that is completely over the top and cost me several times what the giant cost. But the Giant was slightly too big and I bought it on sale. The "fit" comprised me asking "is this the right size"... "yeah mate". As for my new bike, just looking at it makes me want to ride, and di2 is fun!

Summary: Objective is all you need is a $2000, 105 equipped Alu frame unless you are pro or have specific sporting or ergonomic needs. But fit is the most important thing. Run it into the ground and you'll automatically know what's you want next time around. Forget which BB it is unless you are buying a fleet of bikes and/or are stripping them down yourself and already have tools for one or other type.

Subjective: bling is fun, might make you fractionally faster, and may make you ride more.
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Re: Source of objective road bike advice?

Postby humanbeing » Sun Jan 29, 2012 6:52 pm

If I were you I'd get my custom made steel frame resprayed and built up with Campagnolo Chorus, Campagnolo hubs on Ambrosio rims and whatever other bits and pieces I would need.
I think that would cost less than $3000 and be a better bike.
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Re: Source of objective road bike advice?

Postby The_Eggman » Sun Jan 29, 2012 8:56 pm

__PG__ wrote:b) I still get the feeling that its often very difficult to get a bike store to sell you the right bike for you, rather than buy the bike they want to sell you.


I used to sell golf clubs back in the day, and based on my (albeit limited) experience with cyclists there are a lot of parallels between cyclist and golfers. Based on that, my guess is there's three reasons for that.

(1) People are always a tad disappointed when you tell them the standard equipment will suit them quite well. They always wanted to hear that they needed clubs that were 3 inches longer than standard or needed some extreme shaft flex or crazy lie angle. The truth is there are probably a heap of bikes out that suit your need exceptionally well, hence they will recommend whatever they feel is the best deal.

(2) They're a business, and they need to sell bikes. They are hardly going to recommend something they don't stock and sell.

(3) You sound like one of those rather annoying customers who wants to spend half a day in the shop, agonising over every bike in the shop from every concievable angle. Even if you do end up buying a bike from them (which is unlikely given you'll probably size up a bunch of shops in the area, not to mention the on-line alternatives), the salespeople have invested so much time closing the deal, you wonder whether the deal was worth it in the first place

At the end of the day it's a competitive market, and as a buyer you certainly have the right to work all the angles.
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Source of objective road bike advice?

Postby zohxoco » Sun Jan 29, 2012 10:40 pm

The_Eggman wrote:The truth is there are probably a heap of bikes out that suit your need exceptionally well, hence they will recommend whatever they feel is the best deal.


Exactly. Everything over a $1500 105 equipped Alu frame road bike is just luxury unless you're competing. Reliability and "quality" doesn't really come into it. All bikes use the same groupsets from the big three, and while there have been the odd story of dud CF frames, it's not consistent
across brands.

To the OP, get the bike you like. Cars are different. There are just far fewer variables in bikes. But make sure you get the right fit.
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Re: Source of objective road bike advice?

Postby rkelsen » Mon Jan 30, 2012 1:12 pm

The_Eggman wrote:(1) People are always a tad disappointed when you tell them the standard equipment will suit them quite well.

Eggman, that is one of the most insightful sentences I've read on this forum.
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Re: Source of objective road bike advice?

Postby __PG__ » Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:04 pm

So a LBS asked me today why do I want Ultegra? I said because I've rode it for 18 years and it still works. The LBS spokesperson replied that 105 is now regarded as the most durable groupset, and that now Ultegra has been designated as a 'racing groupset' (along with Dura-Ace) it isn't as long lasting or durable as 105.

Now, if he said that 105 is better value (its a couple of hundred dollars cheaper generally), or if he said that 105 shifting is as good as Dura-Ace was a few years ago, I'd go along with that. But saying that 105 is the best for recreational riders because Ultegra doesn't last anymore...made me rather skeptical.

I'm probably going to throw new 105 on my current steel frame when I give it a respray and turn it into my dedicated commuter machine. But I honestly haven't considered it throwing on my new sub-10 kg carbon climbing machine. Especially when conventional wisdom says that Ultegra gives you 95% of Dura-Ace performance for half the cost.

But conventional wisdom is often wrong.
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Re: Source of objective road bike advice?

Postby Ken Ho » Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:14 pm

rkelsen wrote:
The_Eggman wrote:(1) People are always a tad disappointed when you tell them the standard equipment will suit them quite well.

Eggman, that is one of the most insightful sentences I've read on this forum.


Or any forum for that matter.
I thought it was a true nugget of wisdom too.
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Re: Source of objective road bike advice?

Postby __PG__ » Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:26 pm

Well I've been crunching some numbers and doing a bit of research. It's good to read over some of the older posts as well now that I've got a bit more perspective.

I had an interesting bike experience the other weekend. I rode Beach Rd early on Sunday morning with a bunch of regulars. I hadn't ridden there in almost a decade, and things certainly have changed. For one, it's non-stop carbon everywhere. In our group of six there was a Pinarello, a Specialized, two Wiliers and an Argon. Once you are on the road the endless parades of Pinarellos et all continue...and 90% of the riders ride a white, black and red bike with matching gear. It's feels like a theme park. Needless to stay I stood out like a rash in my cobalt-blue steel frame and bright green lycra. I spotted two other steel bikes during the whole morning (one was a very old Colnago).

I managed to keep up with the guys (and the rest of the bunch who we managed to incorporate along the way) and I only got dropped right at the end of the ride as we were heading back into Brighton. Our bunch was very fast (averaging 40 km/h in some sections on the way home) and I only got passed by a handful of cyclists on the day. So for all the hoopla, $$$ and marketing...my old steel bike still does the job for recreational cycling. It does almost all I want it to. All I need is a compact crank set and a bit less weight so I can climb some mountains.

My current bike is about 10.5 kg. Now, I have considered just upgrading my current bike and keeping the frame. $350 or so for a respray, $1000 or so on SRAM Force, $700-ish on wheels and a few more hundred on a lighter seat/seat post and stem/handlebars.

However, the existing wheels are pretty good (Ultegra hubs with Campagnolo Omega hubs which weigh 440g). I'm not sure how much more weight I could shave off. Plus this means I've still only got one bike to commute with and go climbing with etc. The nice thing about having an old ratty vintage bike is that you can ride it to work, ride it to the gym, ride it to the shops etc and not be overly paranoid about getting it stolen. I remember when I first bought my bike I'd never leave it locked up where I couldn't see it. I don't have to worry like that anymore.

Weightweenies is a great source of data and ideas. I've been thinking about what you have to do in order to get a bike at around 8 kg. It seems that a standard starting point for weights is
Frameset - 1.5 kg
Wheels - 1.5 kg
Groupset - 2.0 kg

That leaves 3 kg over for contact points and tyres. I'm not sure how achievable this is.

It's interesting to see which weight costs the most. If you look at frame weight in the Wilier range for example, moving from Izoard to Gran Tourismo to Cento, your frameset weight changes from 1660g to 1510g to 1410g. Buying a Gran Tourismo frame saves you 150g for about $340. The Cento frame saves another 100g for about $1450.

In terms of components, moving from SRAM Rival to Force to Red for example. Force saves about 130 g for about $300. Red saves another 150g or so...but for an additional $600 or so.

There isn't much fat in terms of Alloy rims. The lightest rim (for a 90 kg rider) is about 420-440 g. It seems you have to go to carbon rims to get get under 400 g for a rim. In terms of hubs, moving from Ultegra to Dura-Ace for example saves just over 100g for about $300. Moving to DT Swiss shaves about 50 g for another $100 or so (BTW has anyone ever used White Industries hubs? They seem very competitive for price/weight..unsure about durability). You can of course move to low-spoke count alloy wheelsets (e.g. Fulcrum 3) however there are always question marks about low-spoke counts and heavy riders.

Re : Packaged bikes with dodgy components. Yes, it seems that often whole bikes have weak links (e.g. Trek Madone 5.2 with $200 Bontranger wheels). I'm beginning to understand why many people upgrade wheels within a year or so after buying a bike. I also see why people build their own bikes. In some ways it costs more than a packaged bike..but in terms of performance/$ you often come out ahead as you can of course use the groupset and wheels that you want.

What is interesting is that its very hard to build bike with new frames in Australia. In the US and UK Trek, Giant, Wilier etc all sell framesets for most of their range. In Australia, you can only buy high-end framesets. I understand now why people by frames from overseas and ship them.

So now its time for some test rides. In addition to 'name brands', I'll also consider no-name carbon such as BikePro, Melbourne Bicycle Centre and Ivanhoe cycles. The latter two source frames from XDS which is a big Taiwanese manufacturer. I'm trying to remain objective although at times my heart does leans towards Wilier, mainly for historical/sentimental reasons. Focus also have some good products and a discounted Izalco with SRAM Force and DT-Swiss wheelset seems a strong product for the price.

I have read pages of 'Generic Carbon eBay' threads on roadbike reviews but I've decided not to go for a Chinese clean skin. The idea has a lot of merit but generally the people who have succeeded in doing this have a lot of experience riding/building carbon bikes, and aren't using them as their only bike. Plus its harder to get some of the frames in larger sizes (e.g. 57-58 cm effective top tube).

Then again once the budget approaches $3.5k you can consider Lynskey. In some ways Titanium may feel more familiar to what I'm used to and has added benefits of toughness and longevity, as well as the some ability to customize.
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2013 Baum Corretto custom titanium frame with SRAM Force
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Re: Source of objective road bike advice?

Postby waramatt » Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:40 pm

Hi PG

Is there a remote possibility you're over-thinking this whole thing? I think your description of how well you kept up with the bunch on your old steely might indicate that you are. Bike purchase is so much more than science. It's probably largely emotion-based for many of us. For others, brand name is critical. Some of us could easily be accused of being downright snobbish.

I reckon you want something that you like the look of, but more importantly feels good underneath you out on the road. For $3K, that leaves you with a LOT of bikes to pick from. When are you planning on taking the plunge?
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Re: Source of objective road bike advice?

Postby Nobody » Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:28 pm

humanbeing wrote:If I were you I'd get my custom made steel frame resprayed and built up with Campagnolo Chorus, Campagnolo hubs on Ambrosio rims and whatever other bits and pieces I would need.
I think that would cost less than $3000 and be a better bike.
Cheers,
Peter
I think this is pretty close to the correct answer.


The_Eggman wrote:You sound like one of those rather annoying customers who wants to spend half a day in the shop, agonising over every bike in the shop from every concievable angle. Even if you do end up buying a bike from them (which is unlikely given you'll probably size up a bunch of shops in the area, not to mention the on-line alternatives), the salespeople have invested so much time closing the deal, you wonder whether the deal was worth it in the first place
Many engineers over-analyze which appears to be in their training and/or nature.



_PG_,

Important:- Safety, fit, comfort and durability.
Not so much:- Weight and image.

Your custom steel frameset should already have the four important things. Just get some new bits as required.
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Re: Source of objective road bike advice?

Postby briztoon » Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:49 pm

If it's the right size, I'd buy a pirates bike. Pretty sure you'll stand out amongst sea of carbon and silicon.
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