Questions about purchasing bicycles and parts
17 posts • Page 1 of 1
I'm in the market for a top range flat bar roadie.
Looking at riding 20km each way to work.
I've been doing it on my old mountain bike but its time to upgrade.
Their seems to be quite a bit in the market.
Most annoying thing is when you speak to salesmen and they start ratlling off specs like 'shimano tiagra, carbon forks etc etc' which to a novice like me means nothing
Hence the reason for my query.
I'm leaning toward discs due to the wet.
I've narrowed it down to the following which are all around the same price and was wondering what appeared the best value?
-Norco VFR One Disc
-Cannondale Bad Boy disc
-Giant CRX zero
-Kona Dr. Dew
A bit lower down the line are:
-Gitane Mach 3400
Thoughts or any other suggestions?
G'Day bc013, welcome
Test as many as you can, I have a tiny preference for Giants, but they all would do the job pretty well. Know what you mean about discs, I like to stop in the wet too.
Good luck with the hunt.
was kinda in the same situation as you! i was ridin me mtb to work, then found meself ridin more on the road than the dirt....
at first i had no idea whatsoever about components for the road - too used to the likes of (shimano) deore, LX, XT, XTR; and (SRAM) X7, X9, X0 etc....
(shimano's) tiagra is like deore; 105 is like LX; ultegra is like XT and thus; dura-ace is like XTR!
tho as for the campy gear, no idea! haven't researched their gear yet....
anywho, would definately suggest gettin carbon forks and/or carbon seat post and/or carbon rear stays (rear triangle); as this will absorb much of the vibrations/harshness from the road. ridin predominantly me mtb, didn't feel much vibration from the road - afterall, i was used to goin over gravel, logs and rocks, road ridin is smooth as in comparison! the carbon blingness isn't necessary, but nice to have!
i looked at and tried a few bikes (giant, shogun, trek, azzurri, biannchi). ended up gettin an azzurri full carbon! since i started ridin it, i've been lovin it ever since - and i've cut about 10-15mins so far off me ridin time to and from work! (~50km round trip)
as suggested, definately ride a few and see what u like and what "feels good". i gotta admit, i originally set meself a 2k limit, but then when i rode the full carbon azzurri and found out they could get me the colour i wanted, i ordered one straight away
Most flat bar road bikes have V brakes, which are quite capable wet or dry. Disc brakes may perform a little better, but the main purpose is to keep the braking surface out of mud and crud, which you won't see so much of on the road. Maintenance might be a little easier I guess. But your bike will be a smidgen heavier too... They do look nice don't they...
Road components go, in order of goodness:
2200, Sora, Tiagra, 105, Ultrega, Dura-ace.
Carbon fibre fork is good because it damps out the road buzz, which is nice on the hands, and it's usually a bit lighter.
Value, well, the bike you like most, that fits you best, that you enjoy riding more, is always the best value. You can trade off "hmmm better front deraileur, better shifters, worse bottom bracket, better crankset... etc" forever, so pick the one you like most.
Welcome to the pack mate.
As for your bike, it's pretty much all been said.
You don't need discs - V brakes will do more than you need (it's different in the bush where rim distortion becomes an issue).
Buy the best you can afford, but leave room for all the kit you need.
20km isn't an extreme distance by any means, but do put bar ends on the thing - flat bars aren't very nice to wrists.
Just shop around and buy the bike you fall in love with. You aren't going to make any horrendous mistakes - go with your heart or you'll be riding your new bike longing for something else.
I regularly ride bikes (MTB's) with both discs and v brakes, and in the wet, I dont think v brakes are even in the same ball park...not even close.
Having said that, the bike with v brakes has unmachined rims, so with a road bike with machined rims, the difference may not be anything like I notice.
Disc brakes came into being to help overcome rim distortion on hard, downhill runs. Even cheap V brakes provide more than enough braking power (I've got them on the horrible hybrid). The Avid V brakes coupled to brifters and travel agents on the Black Beast (a less than perfect setup for them) provide me with enough power to control the point of lock up at speed without applying anything like firm pressure on the levers - when you can comfortably control the rear wheel lifting off the road when stopping from 70km/hr, your brakes are plenty strong enough.
Quite frankly, if you can't get modern dual pivot brakes or modern V brakes to work for you, you need to look at your cables and pads. Anodised rims make stuff all difference - Rivendell go so far as to claim machining the rims is un-necessary and weakens the rim.
I'm not bagging disc brakes - that'd be lunacy.
I'm not disputing that disc brakes provide more power than rim type brakes - that's just wrong.
Disc brakes on hard ridden mtbs make a lot of sense.
However, disc brakes are NOT necessary on the road, even in wet conditions (it takes little to dry your rims). They are more expensive, they are trickier to set up than rim brakes and not as serviceable.
My opinion? If you want and can afford disc brakes on your road bike, go for it - they'll do you very well and you'll have a nice bit of bling. But don't buy them thinking you 'need' them - you do not.
With respect to Richard, I feel I need to answer some of the points he's brought up here.
I believe discs became popular with MTB riders, not because of rim distortion, but because they have predictable modulation characteristics in more varied riding conditions. These conditions do include long down-hill runs, where the heat build up form repeated or continuous braking can indeed distort rims, but is more likely to melt the pads on v-brakes (severely reducing their effectiveness when you really want them to work!)
However, disc brakes also maintain their predictable modulation when they get wet, muddy or when the pads get old.
Disc brakes need less pressure on the lever to work effectively, so a MTB rider can easily operate the lever with one finger, hold the bar with the other three and operate the gears with the thumb (if the bike is set up that way). When you're being thrown all over the track by bumps and the like, it's nice to know you have a firm grip on the bars and the ability to brake when needed.
Now, while these characteristics may not be absolute necessities on the road, they make riding on the road just that little bit more "secure", if I may put it that way. I know that I'll be able to modulate my brakes equally each time I apply them, whether it's wet or dry on the road.
Now onto that other internet myth: "Disc brakes are hard to set up and maintain." So far, I have not found that to be true in either case.
My MTB has hydraulic disc brakes. Setting them them up for the first time is as simple as loosening two bolts, squeezing the brake lever, and re-tightening the bolts. When you let the lever go, the brake caliper is in the correct location. Replacing the pads requires no tools - you just lift the pad out and clip the new one in. I haven't had to bleed the brakes yet, but that's just attaching a drain tube to one end of the system, a squeeze bottle at the other and opening the nipple. Hydraulics are self adjusting, so as the pads wear, the built in rebound absorbs the difference. No manual adjustment needed - ever!
My 'bent has cable discs. They took ten minutes to set up for the first time and only require a twist of the cable nut every three weeks or so to keep adjusted.
If the rotor ever gets warped (and it does, rarely), a clean shifting spanner is all that's needed to get it back to true. You don't even need to take the wheel off the bike to do this adjustment. It takes about 1 minute to true a slightly warped rotor.
In my experience, disc brakes are as easy to set up and maintain as rim brakes, but they tend to stay cleaner because they are not in the spray line of the tyres. For commuting, they work well because road grime is less likely contaminate the system (the rotors are above the puddles, whereas rims go right through them).
I am not wishing to start a flame war (or even a luke warm battle) with this reply. I'm simply explaining my own experience with disc brakes on both MTBs and commuting "road bikes" (if I may be so bold as to describe my 'bent such a bike). It's true they are not "necessary", but they are nice.
Which was the message I was trying to get across to someone whom I felt had been fed the 'essential' line.
Thanks for the further explanation of their use too - I was merely repeating the reply I was given when I asked the same question.
I had a good bike ... so I fixed it
Apollo Zap! Apollo, yay! It's sort of kind of almost Australian! Pretty good components, good brakes, not the brand mark up of say, a Giant or Specialized.
I've not ever ridden a bike on disks, but I've encountered the limit of braking on good quality V-brakes, with the back lifting enough to give me a good scare.
Learn to use your V brakes with a bit more finess and you'll extend that limit even further
I had a good bike ... so I fixed it
You can hoist the tail with most modern braking systems, the difference is how much force you need to achieve it.
With my Trek S500 (Nexus Hub brakes) I have to haul the lever with my whole hand to lock the wheel.
With my Giant OCR C3 (Dual Pivot callipers) I can do it from the drops with moderate pressure.
On a borrowed Giant Iguana (Cable disc front, V brake rear) takes a little less pressure.
With the Giant Alias (Single piston hydraulic discs) I can do it with two fingers.
If you can lock the wheel, then that's as much stop as you can get. Stopping faster at that point is about technique and practice.
BTW Cable discs and single piston hydraulic discs do require adjustment over time, there's a static pad on the wheel size that needs to be pushed out now and then. Cable brakes require adjustment of the moving pad too. This is just to compensate for pad wear, IMO V brakes have much more to worry about (centring, vertical position, toe in, debris in pad, etc)
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