Newbie to Forum and getting more serious about cycling.

Questions about purchasing bicycles and parts

Newbie to Forum and getting more serious about cycling.

Postby gsxrboy » Wed Jul 18, 2007 4:01 pm

Hi there,

I currently ride a Giant Boulder SE (circa 2001ish with 3000kms-ish on the Cateye) and do about 30kms round trip to work, though currently on hiatus due to weather, dark mornings, (just love the before 6am sunrise in summer :) ), and endless flat tyres ! *glares*

Daily work travel is approx 50% bike path and 50% road, weekend stuff will extend to more than that as I explore Perth more than just around the bridges etc.

I am looking at moving up to something a bit nicer in comfort and abilities and have narrowed it to a regular selection. Preferably I will buy around the start of September and will test ride them all then. Hopefully the 08's come out soonish and either get a 07 on run out or buy the flash new ones.

I won't be doing racing or the like so riding is for commute, recreation and fitness as the primary goals. With that in mind I think I prefer a flatbar to a dropbar, to the horror of some :D

Considered -

Avanti Blade Comp
Giant CRX 2
Specialized Sirrus Sport

Other choices around this level?

Also considering the CRX 1, is the upgrade really worth the extra $$?, it has the carbon the others have that the CRX 2 misses out on.

Cateye Strada with cadence
Sigma 1606 with cadence

Any info on when the Specialized and Avanti 08's will be out?

Cheers !
gsxrboy, 37, Perth.
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by BNA » Wed Jul 18, 2007 4:21 pm

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Postby europa » Wed Jul 18, 2007 4:21 pm

G'day gsxrboy (don't ride a big Suzuki do you?),

Welcome to the nuthouse. Don't fight the effects on your sanity - they are inevitable and irreversible but don't worry, they don't harm you any, just upset your partner :D

If you haven't done so (and I suspect you have :wink:), have a read of the following threads as I think they'll go a long way towards answering some of the questions you haven't asked.

http://www.bicycles.net.au/forums/viewtopic.php?t=2212

http://www.bicycles.net.au/forums/viewtopic.php?t=2210

http://www.bicycles.net.au/forums/viewtopic.php?t=2208

On the new models and old model run outs, start looking now. Some new bikes are already on the way, and some great bargains can be had on current models as they arrive. This process will last from now until Christmas but it's a bugger if the only bike left is a bit too small or too large for you (don't buy it if it is). The amount of discount and the bikes available varies from shop to shop so visit lots and visit often.

For the riding you're proposing, which is very similar to my own, I suggest you don't buy a flat bar bike. Okay, there's a lot of personal preference here, but having two bikes with flat bars and two with drops, I find that flat bars are a hideous compromise and a recipe for sore wrists - for example, I was out on the mtb this morning (in the mud) and where I was doing genuine mtb work, the flat bar worked well (which is why it's fitted) but once on easy ground again, 'flat bar wrist syndrome' kicked in hard and bar extensions don't really do much to help it.

Go for a bike with drop bars. This doesn't mean you need to buy a racer - there are quite a few bikes in the more comfortable range with drop bars, but shops don't like to tell you about them because then they'd have to stock them (shops would rather have only one or two types of bike on hand). Drop bar bikes become uncomfortable with the bars are too low - look for a bike with the bars around saddle height and all of a sudden, you have the best of all worlds. The Specialized Sequoia springs to mind, Trek's Pilot range come with flat or drop bars, the Mongoose Randonneur, etc. I suggest browsing a few catelogues and you'll find a world of bikes the average lbs doesn't want you to know about.

I can't make comments about the models you've listed because I don't know them.

How's that for a starter? You're riding sounds a lot like mine, so a browse of my website will give you my solution to things (I rabbit on about the reasons I made some of my choices as well as how wonderful those bikes are) - there's a link at the bottom of this post.

Richard
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Postby Bnej » Wed Jul 18, 2007 4:24 pm

A carbon fork is really worthwhile, takes some of the road buzz off your hands.

Flat bar bikes are okay for the distances you are doing. Don't discount drop bars without trying any though, I think they're much better for road riding. Flat bars are easier to ride initially though.

Bear in mind that as you go towards more road oriented geometry, more weight is going to shift onto your hands. If you're not currently using bar extensions, make sure you get some.

I don't have any specific comments on those bikes though.
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Postby europa » Wed Jul 18, 2007 4:34 pm

Bnej wrote:A carbon fork is really worthwhile, takes some of the road buzz off your hands.


Only if you buy a bike with an aluminium frame. Buy a good steel framed bike and you don't need no tupperware :wink:

Flat bar bikes are okay for the distances you are doing. Don't discount drop bars without trying any though, I think they're much better for road riding. Flat bars are easier to ride initially though.


That's probably a fair enough comment. Flat bars are less scary at first, but that's temporary. Flat bar bikes tend to come with bars at seat level or above, making them more comfortable than racers who have lower bars for aerodynamic reasons. Drop bars offer more hand positions and the ability to tuck down out of the wind and therein lies their appeal. In essence though, Bnej is right.


Bear in mind that as you go towards more road oriented geometry, more weight is going to shift onto your hands. If you're not currently using bar extensions, make sure you get some.


Not only that, flat bars put your wrist at an odd angle, hence the pain I keep talking about. It can only be alleviated by riding with your elbows out, which is fine in the mud but not really workable on the road. Bar ends are good, but not a solution. Trekking bars (those ugly big things that curve back towards each other) are a good solution - you had them didn't you Bnej? Or am I thinking of someone else.

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Postby Aushiker » Wed Jul 18, 2007 4:34 pm

Bnej wrote:A carbon fork is really worthwhile, takes some of the road buzz off your hands.

Flat bar bikes are okay for the distances you are doing.

As a CRX 1 owner (bugger Richard :D ) I would agree with Bnej's comments. My commutes/riding is currently similar to your approach and find the CRX 1 good for same.

Mind you a true roadie is appealing as well. Maybe after I get a new MTB :shock:

Regards
Andrew
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Postby europa » Wed Jul 18, 2007 4:36 pm

Aushiker wrote:As a CRX 1 owner (bugger Richard :D )


You're allowed to be wrong Andrew ... it's a right I exercise all the time :roll:

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Postby Bnej » Wed Jul 18, 2007 4:39 pm

europa wrote:Trekking bars (those ugly big things that curve back towards each other) are a good solution - you had them didn't you Bnej? Or am I thinking of someone else.


Yep, still have the bike with trekking bars in the garage. They're a good conversion for a flat bar if you develop (or already have) wrist problems, or if you just want more hand positions.

I think a carbon fork after an aluminium fork makes almost as much of a difference though, those little shocks and vibrations coming up through your already stressed wrist tissues can't be good. Part of the goodness of trekking bars is that they let you move your hands so they're not in a stressed position, so the vibration is vibration rather than impact.
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Postby Mulger bill » Wed Jul 18, 2007 4:53 pm

Aushiker wrote:...Maybe after I get a new MTB :shock:

Regards
Andrew


Good to see someone thinking straight :wink:
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Postby gsxrboy » Wed Jul 18, 2007 10:31 pm

Thanks guys for the welcome and the helpful chat.

Specialized have just put up the 2008 range tonight on their site and the only thing different between the '07 and '08 is pretty much a chain and a US$120 price increase ! I think that counts out waiting for the new model !

I did some looking into the frame geometry of a Giant OCR and the CRX and pretty much the only different is the wheel base and a correspondingly slightly longer reach to the bars. So for all intents and purposes they appear to be very similar. The top hand bar position between them looks the same as well allowing for the adjustability. The only real difference would be the drop ability to become more aero from what I can see. The Avanti Blade has bar ends as standard. I have definitely decided carbon forks are the way to go, so that means a step up to a CRX1 if I went the Giant 'fitness' style.

I don't suffer any wrist problems at all, only a shoulder one from transmitted (big) bumps due to a meeting with the brown front guard panel of a car, (that's the only thing I remember until waking up in an ambulance :) ). I gave up riding trails a few years ago as it would get into my shoulder and go into the other side arm. I have done a 50km ride on the current steed without any aches and pains, so the grip position doesn't seem to be an issue.

The decision isn't getting any easier :) bearing in mind the little changes to one of the bikes a test ride of all those flat bars and an OCR is on the cards.

I'd love to flash out on a $2500 bike as per one of those other threads but a limit has to be drawn somewhere otherwise future toy buying is compromised :)

europa wrote:G'day gsxrboy (don't ride a big Suzuki do you?)


GSXR750Y 8) :wink: wouldn't mind a Triumph Daytona 675, something different from a GSXR1000 or R1 friends have etc maybe I'll take one for a spin one day and fear the bank some :)
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Postby europa » Wed Jul 18, 2007 10:44 pm

gsxrboy wrote:
europa wrote:G'day gsxrboy (don't ride a big Suzuki do you?)


GSXR750Y 8) :wink: wouldn't mind a Triumph Daytona 675, something different from a GSXR1000 or R1 friends have etc maybe I'll take one for a spin one day and fear the bank some :)


Ah, one of the little ones :D I had the GSXR1100 - I think it was a J, forget now, one of the original slab sided jobs but I had the second version with the more solid wheels. Lovely bike, more of an endurance racer than the later ones which were more like oversized 750s.

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Postby Kalgrm » Thu Jul 19, 2007 8:15 am

Welcome to the board gsxrboy,

It's great that you are planning to commute - I do the same in Perth. I don't know which side of the river you live on nor where you work, but I would strongly advise a drop bar bike if you will be riding into the Freo Doctor come summer. That bloody head wind is a real bastard (the Freo Doctor is a proctologist if you own a bike .... ;)).

When I came time for me to buy a bike to substitute for my MTB (which I had been commuting on) I chose to get a recumbent bike: they are the ultimate in defeating wind resistance.

Good luck with your decision.

Cheers,
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Postby Bnej » Thu Jul 19, 2007 8:56 am

The big difference between the OCR and CRX in position is on the OCR you will spend most of your time on the brake hoods, which is a more natural hand position, while on the CRX they will be held horizontally whenever you need to access the brakes and shifters.

The drops are generally used for going fast on the flat and descents, so you can get the best leverage on the brakes and the most aerodynamic position. The tops let you sit up and rest every now and then.

If you hang your hands by your sides, you will see they're oriented vertically not horizontally from your body. IMO this is far more comfortable on a bike too.
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Postby gsxrboy » Thu Jul 19, 2007 7:42 pm

Hahaha.. damn... 2007 OCR3 Carbon on runout..

I will not take it for a ride ! *glares*

Eeep !

Lucky it is crappy weather here for a few days and I can't take anything for a ride.
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Postby Bnej » Thu Jul 19, 2007 8:28 pm

Have a ride if you can, just to see the difference in positioning and handling.

It took me one ride on a Trek 1000 to know I could handle a road bike okay, but it took about a week to a fortnight to acclimatise once I got my own. I've been riding on drop bars for a few months now.

With my old bike I could do maybe 21-22km/h over 10kms, if I really went all out. More normally I'd get an average about 18-19.

Now I can easily maintain 22-24km/h over 30 to 60km rides, and have been up near 25 average for a 30km circuit.

It's better for group rides as it's harder to tangle the bars, and performs similar to what others have. You can go further, faster, easier.

Don't get me wrong, a CRX or similar can be a fine bike, but if you're up near the top end of the flat bar range, I think you should at least consider going to the total roadie package. It opens up a lot of opportunities beyond the commute. Within a month of getting my OCR C3 I did the 70km Blaney to Bathurst ride, and although I'd never ridden more than 50kms before, I felt like I could ride more.

(BTW: If it sounds like I'm pushing you for drops, well I am. I got a $1,000 flat bar hybrid about 2 years ago, and it's a great bike and would make a great commuter, I kinda wish I'd been sold a drop bar bike back then, because I've had so much fun since I've got one and got into group riding. OTOH it meant that when I did get a road bike, I was already fit and ready to spend quite a bit more.)
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Postby gsxrboy » Thu Jul 19, 2007 8:47 pm

Thanks Bnej,

The shop I dropped into today still had a few runout 07 giants, including the carbon OCR3 as well as the new ally with carbon forks 08 range of CRX and OCR. The spec on the 07 is a little higher than the 08 but higher price, discounts make them about the same in the end, or there about. The 07 carbon weighed the same as the 08 ally, it is mighty tempting. The helpful lad also extolled the drop vs flat, I will be taking those for a spin, this w/e is rain rain rain though. A different shop had all the flats I mentioned previously, so I will do a mega comparo :)

I fear taking the carbon for a ride though :twisted:
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Postby gsxrboy » Mon Jul 23, 2007 8:01 pm

Fine have it all your way !

Update - Icky weather notwithstanding I took a few bikes for a ride. I was surprised how much extra weight on the wrists there was for the flatbar compared to the old war horse.

Unfortunately, due to a huge sale, the bike shop I demoed the flatbar at didn't have the Avanti Blade or the Giant CRX in stock only the Specialized Sirrus SP, so that meant..

I went to the other store and got a OCR C3 :)

Damn you all !

There is a little scratch in the paint that I noticed just now, but nothing that will cause any grief. It is certainly a whole lot different to ride than the Boulder, even the Specialized was. I havent ridden for 5 weeks or so and such it was all new again with new bits on my body feeling it due to the lean.

There is one problem, on the way back to the car... I got it wet ! So I assume like glue on styrofoam it will be all melted by the morning :wink: . It was sexy for a little while at least !

Thanks for all the suggestions guys, please don't talk to me about Edge 305's or anything :P

Perth needs some dry weather now !
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Postby Bnej » Mon Jul 23, 2007 9:24 pm

Naturally we demand pics.

Did you get some road shoes to go with the standard clip-in pedals or did they change them for you?

It will take a bit of riding to get used to the new geometry, but you'll find yourself sprinting from the drops in no time at all!
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Postby europa » Mon Jul 23, 2007 9:27 pm

Bnej wrote:Naturally we demand pics.


He's past his ten posts, he should be able to post pics. If not mate, PM me the links to where they're hosted and I'll put them up for you.

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Re: Newbie to Forum and getting more serious about cycling.

Postby bigbuzz73 » Tue Jul 24, 2007 2:20 am

[quote="gsxrboy"]Hi there,

I won't be doing racing or the like so riding is for commute, recreation and fitness as the primary goals. [quote]

Hi GSXR and welcome,
I was going to say "buy a Bianchi", but as you didn't list the following in your requirements, you obviously don't need a Bianchi:
becoming irresistable to women, being the envy of ALL cyclists, increasing your IQ by 20 points, becoming immortal and impervious to pain, winning a Nobel Prize, winning a Pulitzer Prize, and generally becoming superior in EVERY aspect of life! 8) (This is about the time I get all the flak!) Hehehehe
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Postby Bluerider » Tue Jul 24, 2007 9:14 am

gsxrboy wrote:Thanks Bnej,



I fear taking the carbon for a ride though :twisted:


:lol: that did it for me last Sunday !

Congrats on the purchase.
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Postby Mulger bill » Tue Jul 24, 2007 10:56 am

C3, Mmmmm that's nice GSXR.
Expect to be having a two wheeled blast you can only get on the track with an engine these days :wink:

Saw a Bianchi on me big ride yesterday, down near the glass factory in Spotswood, it was one of their steel framed rigid MTBs from the mid 90s, it was gorjus and the smile in the loaded tagalong made it even better.

It was Black too :wink:

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Postby sogood » Tue Jul 24, 2007 11:14 am

gsxrboy wrote:Specialized have just put up the 2008 range tonight on their site and the only thing different between the '07 and '08 is pretty much a chain and a US$120 price increase ! I think that counts out waiting for the new model !

Why did you say that? USD has been crashing and AUD has been shooting in the sky. I would say that waiting for the Australian pricing may be a smart thing to do. It'll show how hungry our Australian Specialized distributor is.
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Postby gsxrboy » Tue Jul 24, 2007 11:26 am

Picture demands are thoroughly expected and understood and they will follow soon, when it actually stops raining... sometime next week !

Is there a "post your ride" gallery I have missed somewhere?

Pedals are the standard build still which I will swap out for basics until I get either strap ins or some shoes in the future. She is certainly a flighty little miss compared to the mtb but I will adapt quickly enough.

Fanx for all the comments and suggestions so far, no doubt I will have other questions to hassle you all with.

bigbuzz73 - There is only room for one guy at the top, that's you :wink: :)
Bluerider - I hold you partially responsible as well !
Bnej - How is the Garmin?
Sogood - The spec of the 08 really didn't change and even if we kept an even keel for pricing. The current modus operandi amongst the manufacturers seems to be a lowering of specs, or not much change to keep pricing level or even lowered vs the previous year.

Shockingly, the rain did not eat through the carbon, I even wiped her down some too. Perhaps our water is less acidic in W.A. :wink:
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Postby europa » Tue Jul 24, 2007 11:54 am

Post pics in this thread mate, or start a new one - gives us more room to tease you about it :wink:

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Postby Bluerider » Tue Jul 24, 2007 11:58 am

:lol: sound like my wife :shock: oh but this was something good me think :lol:

I too was looking at the OCR's very nice ! look forward to the pics and you reminded me not to ride in the rain as well, hate to see her melted on the pavement :cry:
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