Questions about purchasing bicycles and parts
hey guys, just after ppl's opinion on these road bikes (as i usually ride/race mtb's)....
atm, i'm consdiering either gettin a brand spanking new roadie, or a 2nd hand one.
my budget is absolutely no more than $2500. i'm mainly be using it as part of me training and commuting to and from work every so often (which may increase over time!). i know that in terms of reliablity, i really shouldn't go less than shimano 105's.... i've been offered a used look bike as follows:
- 2005 Look 555 road bike; 51cm
- frame: full carbon
- Shimano 9spd Ultegra shifters, cranks
- Dura Ace rear deraillieur
- Scud stem and bars
- Mavic Ksyrium Elite Wheels
- Michelin Pro Race tyres
the seller is asking $1800. apparently has been fully serviced with cables replaced
thus, am after your thoughts! should i go the used or get a new one? as for that price i can get a new one, tho running 105's and a mix of alum frame/carbon forks....
cheers in advance
Carbon frames, for all their bling factor and all the bulldust that's spread about them (which isn't to say they aren't good frames, just not the god like creatures cafe racers like to pretend they are), have one major achilles tendon. A damaged frame may not appear damaged as the break can start from the inside of the frame. That break will spread and eventually the frame will fail. NO damage on a carbon frame can be successfully repaired despite claims to the contrary from some quarters.
You want carbon? Fine. Good choice for many reasons, but buy new or make pedantically sure that frame is in pristine condition - absolutely no indication of a bingle. Carbon frames are tough, they aren't delicate little things that'll shatter at the slightest contact, but unless that bike has spent its career under YOUR bottom, you have no idea of what it has gone through or how well it has been looked after (remember, there is a difference between maintaining a bike properly and just keeping it shiny, amateur mechanics and even lousy pros can stuff things up).
Now, the other comment about 105. I don't know who you've been listening to but you don't have to buy 105 to get reliability. Ask Mike about Tiagra - he does over 12,000 km a year on a bike fitted with a Tiagra groupset, the bike is a couple of years old now and while he natters about a lot of things, you don't find him talking about unreliability.
Yes, as you step up through the range of groupsets, you get longer life and better quality components (I ride Ultegra and the difference between that and Tiagra is startling), but to say you have to start at 105 is nonsense ... and isn't it interesting that this is the start of the racing groupsets.
Mate, look around lots and buy the best you can. I'd counsell against buying a second hand carbon frame if you don't know the history of the bike.
On the surface, it's a good deal, so I think that it comes down to trust and fit. Firstly, does the bike fit you? It's not a very big frame, so arrange an extended ride with seat height and rake adjusted to suit you as much as possible. If it feels good, then consider how well it's been looked after - or let trust take over.
As you have probalby noticed, there's quite a few new bikes in the $2,500 range - but not many of them will be full carbon frames with full Ultegra (albeit 9-speed) and Ksyrium Elites. In fact, I don't think that you'll find one!
I've recently picked up a Giant OCR C3 new for $1950, which is very cheap for a full carbon frame. It's not uncomfortable to ride and I've had no trouble keeping up with the other roadies on it so far.
It has a Tiagra set, which so far (not long) I have found pretty good. The shifts and trim controls are nice, and the triple chain ring setup suits where I live very well.
A well kept set of any type will last for ages and work fine, they'll differ in weight, materials, etc. and certainly more expensive will be better, but OTOH if you wear out cheaper parts, you can save money replacing them, or you can upgrade as you go.
Won't comment much on the Look bike, but make sure it's your size and you get it adjusted for you. You can be very uncomfortable if it's too small/large. Also be sure you want to be bending forward that far, you may prefer a more comfortable riding position if you are not racing. My OCR has the seat about the same height as the bars and is plenty fast enough at this point in my road riding experience.
Where are you? If in melbourne then freedom machine has some really good deals on Giant OCR carbon bikes. You can get a 07 OCR C2 for $1999. That is a really good price for a full carbon bike with 105 running gear. OCR C1 is $500 more.
Like others said, you can get a really good deal on a used bike but you won't know the bike's history and it might not be a perfect fit (unless you were fitted on the same bike and know the frame size that suits you).
Good luck with getting the bike.
WOW! so much to think about than anticipated.
thankee for the inside info so far
1st off, yes i trust the seller. hasn't been in any sort of crash/accident. apparently the only "damage" to the frame is a chip near the bottom bracket....
i'm 76.8% sure that the frame will fit me as i'm only like 5'5" and ride a
small sized mtb (yes, i know the geometries are different.....); and i'm planning to test ride before i decide; as i definately know the consequences of an ill fitting bike
wndrdr1111: i am actually in melb and i've checked out their bikes. tho must've missed that 07 OCR C2.....
chees again for the help so far! will let u guys know how i go
as someone completely ignorant of bike-specific materials and mechanics, i'd be rather wary of a "chip near the bottom bracket" on a full carbon frame, as the integrity has been compromised.
just from a basic physics standpoint, if it's iron or alloy, there will be allowances for stretch and strain on the frame, with carbon it seems to me there'd be much MUCH less elasticity/flex in the frame, even though the material itself is strong, if structural integrity has been compromised, you're more likely to snap the frame.
not sure how this applies to the bike though, but just my 2c.
Anything that's screwed in, there's a metal thread inside. There are torque limits on most things you can damage by applying excessive force.
A chip or scrape can be harmless on a carbon frame, e.g, from a rock hitting the frame after bouncing off the road. It can also be from something more serious.
I recently found myself in the same position as yourself... $2500.00 budget for a roadie after riding MTBs for years.
I bought a new Bianchi Via Nirone 7 Alu/Carbon. I didn't want a full carbon frame, just forks and rear stays for a bit of comfort. I'm an ex RAAF Aircraft Fitter and having worked on F/A 18 Hornet airframe, I've had a bit of experience with carbon fibre. I must agree with Europa, in that any damage to carbon fibre is a bit like an iceberg... what you see is only the tip!
An example I recall is seeing a 12 mm spanner dropped on a Hornet wing that left a tiny dent. On carrying out an ultrasonic inspection, it was found an area of about 200 mm square had to be replaced. The damage that occurs in this material is like a spider web below the surface.
Buying second hand you have no idea what is below that "tiny little knick" in the carbon... Caveat Emptor when buying second hand.
Good luck with your purchase... Enjoy the experience, it's heaps of fun!
haha! nice analogy! i'm a (junior) marine scientist, and know exactly what u mean!
well i've re-read the email i got from the seller regarding any damage to the frame. apparently the chip near the BB is from the chain dropping off on its first ride. i guess we'll see when i have a goooooood look over the whole thing. hopefully soon-ish!
cheers once more ppls! greatly appreciated!
Snap, me too. Ex Aircraft Systech working on P3 Orions. Out since 1995.
well, as it turns out, that Look 555 road bike got sold to another person thus the needles point towards gettin a brand spankin new one!
after much hunting around and lookin on the net n' stuff, its pretty much come down to a few bikes:
- Giant OCR C2 or C1 ("105's" or "Ultegra" respecitvely....)
- Shogun Team Issue
- a full carbon Azzurri bike (not sure whether to get the "105" or "Ultegra" spec'd bike....)
- that Cell bike that's about $2300-ish, carbon frame, ultegra gear....
for some reason i want a full carbon frame, tho not entirely sure that it'll be necessary. the shogun has carbon forks and seat stay, running ultegra gear - only $1900!
only problem i have about Cell bikes are that i'll have to order it over internet and i can't ride the thing b4 i get it. anyone have a cell bike here?
again, any info would be greatly appreciated
cheers in advance,
Last edited by Wanta-bike on Mon Apr 16, 2007 10:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I've bought a few component from them recently and had good service each time. While this is not the same as a full bike it says something about them as operators.
They also sell Scott bikes so that may be another option within your price range and you can always go to the shop in Stanmore and talk to them.
If you're not sure, you are better off going into a shop and getting them to help you get a good size and fit. I'd be wary of buying a bike you've not at least sat on & had a look at prior to purchase.
If you're used to MTBs you might find the OCR geometry more comfortable at first. Think some of the TCRs might also be in your range, which are the more race oriented Giants.
That said, I've seen quite a few Cell bikes around and they don't look bad.
Any particular reason why you want a full carbon bike? My brother just bought a Giant OCR1 (carbon forks, stays and seat post) with 105 running gear for around $1600 from freedom machine. He loves it, although my personal preference would be for ultegra running gear as it just feels a little nicer. I think freedom machine still have specials on OCR C series bikes. Check out their website.
Good luck and keep us posted!
What goes around, comes around ..., or everything old is new again.
I rode a full carbon, full Ultegra bike with a retail price of $2,499 the other day. So, what's old about that do I hear you say? It was a Nishiki, that's what.
It seems that the Nishiki brand is being floated in a few stores by a supplier to see how it goes. The bike was a good example of the mi-$2000 price point and felt light and responsive over my short (30 minutes) reasonably flat ride.
Until I started my 'secret project', I was going to buy the carbon monocoque Azzurri Primo - which is around the mid-$2000 price point and I think is good value for money - especially if you friendly enough with the shop to get Ultegra level wheels as well.
not 100% sure why i want full carbon, tho it does giv u a "comfier" ride and i've been told that transfer of energy is much more efficient. weight wise, the bikes i've been lookin at are all about 8-9ish kgs.... also that toss factor of sayin "i've got a full carbon bike"
yeah i've cheked out the freedom machine's website and they got some pretty sweet deals on their giant bikes. quick question ppls:
when giant says that their "OCR C1, C2 and C3's are a "carbon composite" frame, does this mean its carbon mixed in with alloy? as opposed to "monocoque carbon" that i've noticed is on azzurri bikes?
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