Advise on buying a flat bar road bike

rakhvir
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Advise on buying a flat bar road bike

Postby rakhvir » Thu Dec 31, 2009 3:20 pm

Hi there,

I've been looking around for a flat bar road bike for the last 5-6wks. I have narrowed the search down to a few bikes.

The bikes are:

1. $899 Progear RS40 - (has tiagra components)
2. $900 approx Norco VFR1 - (SHIFTER FRONT Shimano SL-R440 Trigger 3 speed
SHIFTER REAR Shimano SL-R440 Trigger 9 speed
FRONT DERAILLEUR Shimano FD-R440 Black
REAR DERAILLEUR Shimano 105 RD-5600 GS black
CASSETTE Sram PG-950 12-26T 9 speed)

3. $1300 Avanti Blade 4(2010) - (has 105 components to my knowledge according to lbs)

4. $1550 Giant CRX-1 - 105 components to my knowledge



There are others, but they alll seem to be expensive for what they offer. I'm very keen on the Progear as it seems to have the best equipment for the price. Not so sure if i'm compromising on the frame quality.

I was told by the Avanti LBS that if i buy a lesser known brand then I will be compromising on the quality of the frame. Is this true?

Has anyone got any of the above bikes?

I was also considering looking at:

Orbea
Trek
Specialised
Cannondale
Merida
Felt
Apollo

But they all seem to be too expensive for the price range i seem to be looking at. I am happy to keep things under $1500 if possible.

Thanks in advance

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Max
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Re: Advise on buying a flat bar road bike

Postby Max » Thu Dec 31, 2009 4:29 pm

When I was in the market for a flatbar, I really, really liked the Avanti Blade. There's another forum member here who swears by the Norco. I've never heard of Progear, so can't comment on that. I think either of the Avanti or Norco would be a really good buy, provided the bike fits you. Be sure to take any candidate out for a decent test ride.

Max
One of the best things about bicycle commuting is that it can mitigate the displeasure of having to go to work. - BikeSnobNYC
Cycling is sometimes like bobbing for apples in a bucket full of dicks. - SydGuy

Fletcher
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Re: Advise on buying a flat bar road bike

Postby Fletcher » Thu Dec 31, 2009 4:35 pm

Hello and welcome. I have the Avanti Blade 4.0. Bought the '09 model back in July. It has certainly served me very well. Components are good, wheels are strong, and it has bar ends (very important)and 3,500km later I really cannot fault the bike at all. I wasn't looking for a super light roadie, I was looking for a solid, good quality, comfortable bike that I could commute on, lose weight and get fit - ticks for all three. It is ridden every day.

Out of those above bikes, the Avanti is slightly more slanted for road use. I looked at the Giant too, but thought the wheels would be a bit flimsy, and it has no bar ends (and I have an irrational prejudice against Giant because every man and his dog owns one).

Norco is a good bike too. Last time I checked, six months back, it used mtb gears and was a little more offroad friendly. They have changed the componentry from Deore to 105 by the sounds of things. One of our members here has one, and loves it as much as I do my Avanti.

All those brands on your list make decent flat bar roadies. Cannondale Quick has carbon seat stays on it's frame - that would be nice. Felt Speed 15 and speed 30 are nice. Orbea too. I know nothing about the GT, sorry.

Value wise, you'll probably get more bang for your buck if you buy either Avanti, Apollo or maybe Felt or Orbea. In particular, try to look out for superceded 2009 models, as you will save money. Cannondale, Trek and Specialized will probably chuck on an extra two or three hundred bucks for the name.

Have fun choosing, and try to buy something you'll be happy to ride every day.

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Max
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Re: Advise on buying a flat bar road bike

Postby Max » Thu Dec 31, 2009 8:47 pm

+1 to the Apollos. I had a 2008 Fiamme and it was a great bike. Very robust, tough, but quick too. The components were nothing special (the bike's a $500 jobbie), but you wouldn't know it to ride it.

Max
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Cycling is sometimes like bobbing for apples in a bucket full of dicks. - SydGuy

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HAKS
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Re: Advise on buying a flat bar road bike

Postby HAKS » Thu Dec 31, 2009 9:31 pm

What about the Scott Speedster FB range? I've just started looking for a FB roadie for the missus and it stands out as a potential.
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Max
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Re: Advise on buying a flat bar road bike

Postby Max » Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:00 am

The Scotts are also very nice. My mum has an FB30 and loves it. It's very light and nimble, not to mention quick!

Max
One of the best things about bicycle commuting is that it can mitigate the displeasure of having to go to work. - BikeSnobNYC
Cycling is sometimes like bobbing for apples in a bucket full of dicks. - SydGuy

rakhvir
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Re: Advise on buying a flat bar road bike

Postby rakhvir » Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:23 pm

Hi All,

Thanks for the replies. I've been doing some reading on the Scott Speedster10 FB. Looks like a great bike for $1500.

I will have to go and test ride it and see how it stacks up against the others.

I'm still keen on that progear bike. has anyone taken a ride on it?

Sorry for the double posting of my question, I was having internet connection problems when I posted them. didn't think that the first one was posted.

Thanks,

Rikhi

Fletcher
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Re: Advise on buying a flat bar road bike

Postby Fletcher » Mon Jan 04, 2010 5:21 pm

HAKS wrote:What about the Scott Speedster FB range? I've just started looking for a FB roadie fGor the missus and it stands out as a potential.


You're totally right I forgot about Scott. I had a good look at a Sportster or Sub (the one with forks, not shocks) 20 flat bar on the weekend, and I wanted it. The frame & forks were quality items. The wheels were good too,white Alex Rims Race 40-somethings with 32 spoke count. Scott-branded hubs, The only thing missing were bar ends.

rakhvir
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Re: Advise on buying a flat bar road bike

Postby rakhvir » Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:51 pm

Hi again,

I was just reading up on the Merida T5. Looks like a good bike. the 09 model has a 53T chainwheel. Would that help in getting greater speeds? The Price was $1599 down from $2099.

I've also said that I am quite interested in the Progear RS40.. Here is a link to the bike's website.. can someone have a look at it and give me some feedback on the bike?

http://progearbikes.com.au/product.php?id=28

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HAKS
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Re: Advise on buying a flat bar road bike

Postby HAKS » Mon Jan 04, 2010 8:37 pm

rakhvir wrote:Hi All,

Thanks for the replies. I've been doing some reading on the Scott Speedster10 FB. Looks like a great bike for $1500.

I will have to go and test ride it and see how it stacks up against the others.


Is the S10 available in the FB range? I could only find the S20 and S50 in FB.
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TJH~VIC
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Re: Advise on buying a flat bar road bike

Postby TJH~VIC » Mon Jan 04, 2010 9:11 pm

Hi,

I purchased a GT Legato, from a bike shop in Preston for under 1k.

It is a great bike & comes with Shimano 105.

Definitely is worth a look, as I have travelled over 5k with only the 6 & 12 month services.

rakhvir
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Re: Advise on buying a flat bar road bike

Postby rakhvir » Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:34 pm

Sorry HAKS,

no there is no s10 in the scott. I meant to write s20fb.

I also looked at the Merida Speeder T5. that seems to be good value too. 53T chainwheel. looks great...

I'm still waiting for someone to come back to me with a review on the Progear RS40 bike.

Rikhi

rakhvir
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Re: Advise on buying a flat bar road bike

Postby rakhvir » Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:36 pm

Hi TJH,

I was at the lbs and he had a second hand gt-legato.. he was wanting to sell that to me for about $1200...

I tried looking for a GT Legato but couldn't find one....

I only looked at bikeexchange.com.au through...

Rikhi

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HAKS
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Re: Advise on buying a flat bar road bike

Postby HAKS » Tue Jan 05, 2010 12:22 am

I don't think anyone has heard much of ProGear so you prob won't get an answer. Like most, my recommendation is to try them and let your bum decide.

Yes a 53T chainring will allow you to 'go faster' but i think the range others offer will most likely be fine.

Looking at spec alone the Scott Speedster S20 FB still stands out for me above those listed above. 2c
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jasimon
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Re: Advise on buying a flat bar road bike

Postby jasimon » Tue Jan 05, 2010 12:15 pm

rakhvir wrote:the 09 model has a 53T chainwheel. Would that help in getting greater speeds?

53T chainwheel of itself won't do anything - it just sits there until you push it around with your legs. Stronger legs will help a bike go faster.

In terms of the implicit question, it depends on what the rear cluster is: a 53-12 is about the same as a 50-11. And, to give you some context, at 80rpm on 700x23C tyres 53-12 equates to 45kph. Most people don't attain those speeds anywhere but down a hill when gravity is a much more important force than the speed you are spinning your legs. (Particularly on a flat bar where your riding position is upright - going over 30kph you really start noticing wind resistance.) I would be really surprised if any flat bar riders could spin out a 50T chainwheel and complain that the gears don't go high enough when riding on the flat (they'd have to be doing over 60kph).

rakhvir
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Re: Advise on buying a flat bar road bike

Postby rakhvir » Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:00 pm

jasimon wrote:
rakhvir wrote:the 09 model has a 53T chainwheel. Would that help in getting greater speeds?

53T chainwheel of itself won't do anything - it just sits there until you push it around with your legs. Stronger legs will help a bike go faster.

In terms of the implicit question, it depends on what the rear cluster is: a 53-12 is about the same as a 50-11. And, to give you some context, at 80rpm on 700x23C tyres 53-12 equates to 45kph. Most people don't attain those speeds anywhere but down a hill when gravity is a much more important force than the speed you are spinning your legs. (Particularly on a flat bar where your riding position is upright - going over 30kph you really start noticing wind resistance.) I would be really surprised if any flat bar riders could spin out a 50T chainwheel and complain that the gears don't go high enough when riding on the flat (they'd have to be doing over 60kph).


Hi Jasimon,

Thanks for that info. I'm a beginner when it comes to riding so haven't got the best idea. I just assumed that it would be great to have a 53T chanring:)

I was in a bicycle shop earlier and the guy told me that tiagra components are one of the lower specs. Is that true? I thought that tiagra was meant to be better than deore & sora. can someone help me on this?

cheers,

rikhi

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jasimon
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Re: Advise on buying a flat bar road bike

Postby jasimon » Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:45 pm

rakhvir wrote:I was in a bicycle shop earlier and the guy told me that tiagra components are one of the lower specs. Is that true? I thought that tiagra was meant to be better than deore & sora. can someone help me on this?

The ranking for road bike components goes Dura Ace>Ultegra>105>Tiagra>Sora
But, for flat bar road bikes I reckon that Tiagra is just perfectly suited. It is a very functional set of running gear (my CRX2 runs Tiagra rear Sora front and I'm happy with it). You might stretch to 105 to get a 10-speed rear, but putting Dura Ace or Ultegra on a flat bar is like putting mags on a Tarago: great if you like bling, but ultimately pointless.

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HAKS
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Re: Advise on buying a flat bar road bike

Postby HAKS » Tue Jan 05, 2010 6:03 pm

Tiagra will be more then sufficient for your requirements. I had Tiagra on a road bike for 4yrs and it served me very well.
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rakhvir
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Re: Advise on buying a flat bar road bike

Postby rakhvir » Wed Jan 06, 2010 1:05 am

hi all,

thanks for the information....

I think that based on the good advise from everyone here.... I'm going to narrow my bikes down to two...

1. Progear RS40 $899 - has tiagra components

2. Esperia KCS Arwin - $799 - not sure of the components but they are preety basic.

Can I get some feedback on these two bikes please?

Thanks,
Rikhi

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Re: Advise on buying a flat bar road bike

Postby Fletcher » Wed Jan 06, 2010 12:05 pm

The Progear looks to offer very good value for your buck. $899 with full Shimano aint bad at all. As others have said above, Tiagra is good stuff. It may not be far up Shimano's range, but it looks good, is durable and works very well. The wheelset is Shimano too, W-R500s, which they put on many road bikes. If you buy it, don't forget to buy bar ends at the same time.

rakhvir
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Re: Advise on buying a flat bar road bike

Postby rakhvir » Wed Jan 06, 2010 1:29 pm

Fletcher wrote:The Progear looks to offer very good value for your buck. $899 with full Shimano aint bad at all. As others have said above, Tiagra is good stuff. It may not be far up Shimano's range, but it looks good, is durable and works very well. The wheelset is Shimano too, W-R500s, which they put on many road bikes. If you buy it, don't forget to buy bar ends at the same time.


Hi Fletcher,

That Progear is looking like great value... I know of two bike shops near me that sell Progear... I might see if I can get a good price on it. But for $899, it seems like good value for what it offers. I'm not too familiar with the Wheelset.. will that have an impact on me?

I ride once maybe twice a week and do about 50Kms on one ride and 25Kms on the second. I only ride the bike trails at the moment(scotchmans creek & eastlink trail) I think that this bike will do for what i'm doing. I eventually want to get a good road bike and go for long rides(100Kms ++) But that's probably 2years away from now....

Does anyone know of any good trails that I can ride on? apart from scotchmans creek trail and eastlink trail... I might post a discussion on that...

Cheers,

Rikhi

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Re: Advise on buying a flat bar road bike

Postby cycomick » Thu Jan 07, 2010 11:17 pm

Hey Guys,

My first post here and my intent is to return to cycling to commute to work.

I too have been looking at a flat bar road bike, mostly to ride to and fro work along either the (melb) eastlink trail and Dandenong creek trail. All up 26km's each way, daily.
I'm planning to start at a couple of days a week and build up from there.

Have been following this thread for a little while now and thought I should jump out of the shadows.

Some interesting bikes you mention here, some i have not seen in the metal. The Progear sonds interesting.
I was pretty much sold on the Giant CRX 1, until reading this thread!

I'll be honest, i'm not just looking for a simple utilatarian workhorse, but something that is lightweight, durable and gives me a bit of a buzz everytime I jump on it.
After riding the CRX 1, it pretty well ticked all boxes for me - except it's more than i'd like to spend!

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Max
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Re: Advise on buying a flat bar road bike

Postby Max » Fri Jan 08, 2010 6:04 am

Cycomick, I don't think you'd regret the Giant. Better to spend a bit more upfront and get a bike you love to ride, than skimp and get something you don't enjoy riding. :)

Max
One of the best things about bicycle commuting is that it can mitigate the displeasure of having to go to work. - BikeSnobNYC
Cycling is sometimes like bobbing for apples in a bucket full of dicks. - SydGuy

rakhvir
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Re: Advise on buying a flat bar road bike

Postby rakhvir » Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:53 pm

Hi guys,

I did have a look at the CRX1. Went for a test ride on it.... Went for a test ride on the ProgearRS40. Was very impressed with it...

I'll be honest with you... didn't find much difference between the RS40 and the CRX1.. I almost bought the CRX1 before christmas........ but then found this Progear..... CycoMick.... if you read a couple of the replies before max.... you willl find that most of them agreed that the componentry on the bike seems very good.....

In my opinion..... If I'm going to spend $1500 on a bike.... then I might as well buy the Merida SpeederT5 or Scott Speedster s20 fb i think....

Much better components than the giant.... I was very impressed with the giant... but not convinced....

I'm sure even the more experienced guys on this would agree with me on this one????

I am going to take the progear for another ride again this week.... I might ask the bike shop owner if I can borrow it for about 45mins... and go for a long ride to see if it stacks up.... I'm hoping that the bike shop owner will allow me... He seemed preety easygoing when I first went there.....
If i'm happy with it... then I might buy it.... I've got another associate of mine who is looking to buy another bike.... he seems to be keen on the RS40 too.... if you are interested cycomick... maybe the 3 of us should go in together and get a reallly cheap price....???

Cheers....

Rikhi

cycomick
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Re: Advise on buying a flat bar road bike

Postby cycomick » Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:58 pm

Hey Rikhi,

I would love to check out the Progear RS40 in the metal and if it checks out ok and im happy enough with it, then yes a group purchase would be fantastic.

Great idea.

There is a significant difference in price, between the CRX1 and PG-RS40.
I wonder if the differece in componentry for my current lowly level of riding would be all that noticable?
Any idea of the difference in weight between the two overall?

At face value, the major componentry are not what i'd say worlds apart between the two, but often there are many differences in the finer detail that begin to add-up quick. And i'm no expert on bicycles. Not knowing a hell of a lot about the RS40 leads me to believe there surely has to be a good reason for the delta between the two.

But again, are the differences critical or even really that noticable? Or is the RS40 just priced well?

I really need to have a good look and a test ride. Which bike shop are you dealing with?

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