Upgrade from low level road bike

Questions about purchasing bicycles and parts

Upgrade from low level road bike

Postby heggs1980 » Mon Oct 01, 2007 9:52 pm

Hi all

I am currently getting around on a Diamondback Criterium (c. $900) road bike i have had for around 3 years and its time for an upgrade now i am getting into more group rides (a mate with a TCR full carbon is leaving me for dead, although i am sure its not all up to the bike).

I am looking at spending around $1,500 to $2,000 and am finding it hard to find much info on my options (tried search function for the last few hours but come up with nothing much).

I feel like my bike is pretty easy to throw around (admittedly no direct comparison), and I would like to keep a nimble feel, but want to get much better componentry (105 at least), and carbon forks and seat for the price.

So first question (finally) - what gives best bang for bucks - better componentry (ie. 105 vs Tiagra) or the type of frame (carbon bits vs full alloy), and what would be a few good bikes to keep a look out for?
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by BNA » Mon Oct 01, 2007 10:05 pm

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Postby MountGower » Mon Oct 01, 2007 10:05 pm

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Postby europa » Mon Oct 01, 2007 10:41 pm

G'day Heggs,

Welcome to the nuthouse.

Take a lot of time looking around and trying as many bikes as you can - at that price range, it's still possible to buy the wrong bike or the wrong sized bike and that's painful.

Like MG, I too would be looking at Ultegra, but 105 is okay. I haven't used 105 but the difference in feel between Ultegra and Tiagra is startling. That isn't to say Tiagra isn't good, it is, but on my Black Beast (with a mix of Ultegra and Deore LX), I often don't notice the gear changes, they are that good whereas the changes on my son's bike with Tiagra, lack that crisp feel for me.

Carbon frames? I'm not a fan of them but then again, I'm not a fan of aluminium either. For that price, I'm sure you could find yourself a nice steel framed bike, just don't expect the juvenile idiots who staff most of the bike shops to know what you're talking about. However, that's my particular fetish.

Cheap carbon is that. If you're going to buy carbon, make sure you buy a good frame and that is pricey. Where's the cut off. I don't know. However, you're probably better off going with a mix of aluminium and carbon with good level components ... or a good steel frame (what's a base level Tommassini worth MG?).

But look around at a lot and think a lot. Start to analyse everything on your current bike.

There is no need for any pain or discomfort, so if you are suffering it now, you needn't be. Be aware that quite often, you won't be really aware of it until you've ridden with its absence. With me, it's my hands (not my dicky shoulder interestingly enough, a legacy of trail bike bingle years ago). I'm more comfortable now than I've ever been, but having ridding a set up with absolutely no discomfort, I find what I have now unacceptable.

You may have issues which you just accept and live with. You don't have to ... though you may not like the cure either.

So think and look very carefully and take as many bikes for as long a ride as you can manage. Sooner or later, you'll find a bike you like and which suits you. You'll know when, so if there is any doubt, you aren't ready yet or it isn't the right bike.

Does all that sound airy fairy? It isn't. There are no hard and fast rules in this game and so beware of those that offer them - they're not always wrong, but they aren't always right either.

And when all else fails, buy a RECUMBENT :D

Richard
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Postby toolonglegs » Tue Oct 02, 2007 6:12 am

Hi,think getting Ultegra for that price might be pushing it,I just found this ...
http://www.phantomcycles.com.au/product ... 186&page=2
I would say worth saving your money for a little bit longer...saying that the new 2008 105 stuff looks pretty good even if a bit heavier.I agree with Richard on the steel if that is what you want but personally I think a good steel frame will cost more than you are wanting to spend.A good all alloy frame with a good carbon post and fork,with ultegra would be a nice raceable bike.How much do you weigh?....that is the main consideration,if you are under 90kg you will be fine,if you are over that you need to start thinking about everything a bit more.
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Postby heggs1980 » Tue Oct 02, 2007 10:17 am

Wow thanks guys - some very useful info there.

I weigh 85kgs or so, so i think i should be ok with most bikes. I will keep an eye out for ultegra fitted bikes, although i am sort of in a hurry to buy, as my currenu bike keeps snapping spokes on the wheels (3 on the weekend) and the computer attachment has now snapped..........

Will b e looking this weekend, so hopefully i can resist the temptation and shop around a bit.....
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Postby europa » Tue Oct 02, 2007 10:22 am

I wonder if anyone ever goes shopping for a new bike when their budget exceeds their desires/needs

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Postby triode12 » Tue Oct 02, 2007 12:12 pm

heggs1980 wrote:Wow thanks guys - some very useful info there.

I weigh 85kgs or so, so i think i should be ok with most bikes. I will keep an eye out for ultegra fitted bikes, although i am sort of in a hurry to buy, as my currenu bike keeps snapping spokes on the wheels (3 on the weekend) and the computer attachment has now snapped..........

Will b e looking this weekend, so hopefully i can resist the temptation and shop around a bit.....


Better to resist and do your research. Better to get a bike that suits you rather than one (that you bought in haste) that doesn't.
Live to ride another day.

Why take unnecessary risks? No matter how small they are...
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Postby MountGower » Tue Oct 02, 2007 1:16 pm

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Postby Kalgrm » Tue Oct 02, 2007 1:58 pm

MountGower wrote:This forum is full of examples of people who have taken a step back, drawn a breath and then taken another step back.

There are few notable examples of people also doing the opposite. Anyone care to own up? :D

Cheers,
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Postby Bnej » Tue Oct 02, 2007 2:37 pm

I believe Richard qualifies as "Person who spent most time researching a bike purchase, ever, only to be ultimately unsatisfied with the eventual result"


:D
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Postby toolonglegs » Tue Oct 02, 2007 2:41 pm

I usually make do with what is in stock...if i regret it i am sure it wont be too long till it breaks!
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Postby Kalgrm » Tue Oct 02, 2007 2:41 pm

Really? Our Richard? Who would have thought ....




:D
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Postby Bluerider » Tue Oct 02, 2007 3:09 pm

Research research :roll: or analysis paralysis :)
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Postby europa » Tue Oct 02, 2007 5:05 pm

Pffft. You heathens just don't understand how to get the most out of your cycling 8)

And the bent has been chosen largely on price so THERE :P (I blame Graeme for the rational part :roll:)

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Postby Kalgrm » Tue Oct 02, 2007 5:09 pm

I take exception to being accused of rationality .... :shock:
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Postby europa » Tue Oct 02, 2007 5:15 pm

Kalgrm wrote:I take exception to being accused of rationality .... :shock:


You were talking about bents ... oh, I see what you mean 8)

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Postby Blybo » Wed Oct 03, 2007 11:21 am

I've recently been through your process check out these 2 threads
$1550 budget
Azzuri Uno

These show my short list although you probably won't get the Masi for $1500 unless going to a Bike force franchise. You would also be limited to what they have on the floor.

I ended up getting the Lemond Tourmalet 2 days ago and loved my commute yesterday so much that I dumped my excess gear at home and went out for another 1/2 hour loop before it got dark.
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Postby heggs1980 » Wed Oct 03, 2007 8:15 pm

I have had a look on the net (haven't gone into a bike shop yet), but saw some specials on a few bikes. The two that have caught my eye so far are the Lemond Tourmalet and the Trek 1400. I like the look of the Trek, looks more aggressive in its stance than the Lemond, although they are both nice.

Any opinions on the Trek?
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Postby Bluerider » Wed Oct 03, 2007 8:30 pm

heggs1980 wrote:I have had a look on the net (haven't gone into a bike shop yet), but saw some specials on a few bikes. The two that have caught my eye so far are the Lemond Tourmalet and the Trek 1400. I like the look of the Trek, looks more aggressive in its stance than the Lemond, although they are both nice.

Any opinions on the Trek?


Yes Treks are too common though great bike, I'd go the Lemond's any day over a Trek but thats my choice, you need to test ride them to really decide heggs1980.
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Postby MountGower » Wed Oct 03, 2007 8:41 pm

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Postby Blybo » Thu Oct 04, 2007 9:19 am

As a show of how popular recreational road bikes must be becoming, all of Trek's 08 road bikes will have the more relaxed Lemond geometry, except the hard core race Madone (sp?) series.

Of course I'm biased.

By better half is getting an 08 Trek 7.6FX flat bar as soon as stocks arrive later this month 8) . We were originally going to get her an Orbea Gatika but the geometry was too aggressive for her, she has an old arm injury which prevents too much pressure being applied on longer rides.
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Postby heggs1980 » Sat Oct 06, 2007 6:22 pm

Well after all the being patient talk, I bought myself a new bike this morning. Its an 07 Giant TCR Alliance 2 (orange/black) which i picked up for 30% off. Rode four different bikes all up (including an ultegra fitted one) and I couldn't go past this one, and it was the last one they had in stock.

Went for a ride on it (only about 15kms) when i got home and the difference is amazing! I reckon most points on my normal route I would have been carrying at least 5km/h more than on the old bike. And reading you guys say the carbon would cushion bumps a bit i was a bit sceptical, but it really does!! Very happy with it!

Only thing is now I have three bikes and am running out of room in the shed.........(although one is admittedly a mountain bike).
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Postby europa » Sat Oct 06, 2007 7:05 pm

heggs1980 wrote:Well after all the being patient talk, I bought myself a new bike this morning.


Of course, how did you think it was supposed to work :roll:

Its an 07 Giant TCR Alliance 2 (orange/black) which i picked up for 30% off. Rode four different bikes all up (including an ultegra fitted one) and I couldn't go past this one, and it was the last one they had in stock.


Sounds like a good deal. No choice in colours then :wink:

Went for a ride on it (only about 15kms) when i got home and the difference is amazing! I reckon most points on my normal route I would have been carrying at least 5km/h more than on the old bike. And reading you guys say the carbon would cushion bumps a bit i was a bit sceptical, but it really does!! Very happy with it!


I gather it's a dud then :roll: :D

Only thing is now I have three bikes and am running out of room in the shed.........(although one is admittedly a mountain bike).


SHED? SHED? What sort of heathen keeps his bikes in the SHED?
Mine all live in the dining room :D

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Postby Deanj » Sat Oct 06, 2007 7:12 pm

SHED? SHED? What sort of heathen keeps his bikes in the SHED?
Mine all live in the dining room -QUOTE-

Agree with that. Mines in the spare bedroom!
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Postby heggs1980 » Sat Oct 06, 2007 7:13 pm

Ha ha thanks for your comments Richard!!

Yeah my old one was/is a dud........
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