Questions about purchasing bicycles and parts
Sitting in front of quite a large slab of humble pie for all the grief I've given my friends over the years, I am thinking of getting a road bike.
I ride mountain bikes, I have two, a BMC 4Stroke full suspension trail racing bike that I compete with and a Voodoo 29er hard tail that I have now got Vittoria road tyres on so I can commute at great speed and do a little small pack riding.
However I seem to have topped out on my strava leaderboard placings as I just cannot make a Chrome Molly steel, mountain bike geared contraption go any faster irrespective of tyre pressure and tail wind.
So the question is.. What's a good bike? I'm not talking entry level here, I am fit, strong, road savvy and likely to do a hundred or so a week on this new treadley. I currently rotate my bikes so they all feel the love and would do the same with this one.
I am also big, at 194 cm and 87 kilos I need something that will be appropriate and comfortable for my size, most of my length is in my long legs.
Price range, up to say 4 - 5 K Happy with something cheaper than that though.
All input greatly appreciated.
Last edited by glawrence2000 on Tue Sep 18, 2012 11:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
Go into a bike shop, have a look at Scott Foil, Specialized Tarmac or Trek Madone 4 or 5 series. The new 5.2 is very nice.
There are others you could investigate as well. Without knowing your price range, I couldn't recommend further. Or maybe you've got enough money to buy the Factor Aston Martin One-77 bike, or a Specialized S-Works McLaren Venge.
Hundred a week I assume is 100 miles? I think you'll easily do hundred kilometres a week on a road-bike. Even I do that.
Important factor - sorry.
Say 4 - 5 K Happy with something cheaper than that though.
Warthog, thanks! Probably do a bit of commuting but mostly keen to get this one out and hit the tarmac on some decent rides.
I've got a solid commuter in the Voodoo.
So light is important but so is strong.
100 ks on this one is a nice starting target - noting I will be still commuting on one of the three during the week.
I've recently started going for a bit of a stretch on the way to work else the 9.6 ks is just too short to get up any aerobic excitement. The envisaged new toy will take this to a new level hopefully.
You've got a ton of options.
A quick search on bikeexchange brought up these 2 gems:
Either of those would fit the bill.
My advice is to get out there and start test riding.
Hey, I do like the integrated Ant+ transmitter feature!
Modern Treks have the Cadence/Speed monitoring that can be done within the frame through the Duotrap digital sensor. You have to buy it as an option, but it works okay with stuff like the Garmin Edge 800. You do have to use a rare-earth magnet on the crank (back of the pedals) to get cadence, but that's easy enough and avoids the need for any cable-ties.
My humble sales pitch!!
You can do that? Bike shops will let you take a bike for a ride? For how long, is it like test driving a car? (I just bought a big noisy BMW so I know how that works at the top end of the scale) Didn't even know you could do such a thing with a bike.
Please tell me more?!?
If a bike store won't let you test ride the bike tell them to shove it, it helps to be a common size so they have something that suits you assembled of course. You're paying a premium for buying in a store when compared to online so the best things they can do to let you know they appreciate your business is give good advice, fit your bike to you and let you test ride a bunch of them.
First thing with a road bike is work out your geometry, more aggressive or relaxed. Relaxed in your budget doesn't mean slow either, but if your main aim is crushing Strava segments, you might consider more aggressive, rather than relaxed which is far better when doing long rides, ie 100km+. You'll be more suited to relaxed right now I'd think, but I'm sure you can get used to whatever geometry you think suits your needs.
Next is your size. I'm 195cm, and went to quite a few shops, and shops don't have demo stock in our size. One of the few bikes I test rode was XL sized, but still too small for me according to the shop, so how can you get a real feel for it how a bike handles if it's not your size? You also won't probably pick up on the subtleties that make different brands that different anyway, given your lack of road bike experience. Some shops will offer a day long test ride, but again, at your size, they will have to order the bike in for you, so it's more like a confirmation ride than a test ride.
2012 runout stock is still around, but you also get the double edged sword on that. 4 out of 5 run out models won't have your size, but the other one you might get at an extra special price if you are lucky, as they worry about getting stuck with a big bike. If you don't want the 2012 stock specials, this won't be an issue for most big brands, as they mostly accommodate our size.
As for the bike, most of the $3-4K bikes have excellent frames and Ultegra+ groupsets. You'll find it hard to find bad reviews of bikes in your price range, so I really don't think you can go wrong as long as you understand the geometry, and get fitted properly. If you are after serious performance, the stock wheelsets are often a little lacking, so consider budgeting for a top quality wheelset to get the most out of the frame. You have the decision to spend that money up front, or get used to a road bike for 6-12 months with the idea of upgrading these later. You can then replace countless parts to get little weight savings, or extra comfort, but usually the stock wheelset will be the biggest barrier to fast times. Also factor in road pedals and shoes.
To do a little more research on prices, BikeExchange is pretty good. Search for Road bike, XXL sizing, anything above $2K in NSW, and you'll start to get a feel for what bikes you can get. I eventually bought from a shop that consistently had lower pricing on a few of the different bikes I was looking at on there.
Try to work out what style of road bike suits you. It's easy to be seduced by the fast looking bike with the lowest handlebar drop, but you want a bike that you're going to be comfortable on, especially if you envisage using it mostly for 100km+ rides.
Fabian Cancellara rides the Trek Domane, rather than the Madone his teammates do, and very few can keep up with him.
byke.com.au - Find the cheapest cycling gear from your favourite stores
I'm a puny 186 cm, and it was seriously difficult to find bike shops in Sydney with stock of that size; you'd be a
size up from that, and it will be harder still.
The real important thing is to get the frame size right. Don't let anyone sell you a smaller bike on the basis of whacking a long headstem on it and/or shifting the seat to back-most position with longer seat post - it isn't the same as having the top tube length and seat tube length right. Downward adjustment of the stem height, and small adjustment fore/aft, are easily and cheaply done; decent LBS's will offer you the option to do that after a bit of riding. So its best to start on a more relaxed fitting, then slam it down if you find it too much relaxed.
Find an LBS that will offer a proper fit and after sales service. You ought to be able to get something really good in the
$3 to $4K range, including good service.
Good luck with your search. Buying bikes is fun++.
Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us -Jerry Garcia
It's exactly the same. They might ask you to leave your license or car keys (or something else valuable) to make sure you come back, but $5k is a lot to spend on a bike and you have to be sure that you like it. They can't expect you to spend that sort of money without knowing what you're buying. You should walk out of any shop that refuses a decent test ride, though I suspect that none will. A good shop will measure and fit you before letting you out on a test.
That's a good point. I ended up with a Trek Madone, and got the 62cm size. It towers over my original bike that I was told should be fine. You'll find a little variance between brands, but if it's under 60cm, it's probably too small for you.
no no no
Yes the title is wrong, but the dark side is recumbents. Just ask me I know all about it
Masi Speciale CX 2008 - Brooks B17 special saddle, Garmin Edge 810
No way, you ever seen the lights on a bike that does 24 hour endro races through a forest? It's like a burning white hot Christmas tree flashing through the pine trees.
Thanks for all the expert advice guys, I'm definitely the noob here. As some of you have mentioned it is a trade between pure speed and for me comfort as well. As a guy who broke his hip a few years back doing said 24 hour stuff I can do without any more pain whilst actually riding.
Regarding sizes, I'm around your height; I found the US brands tend to have the extended size range you will want to look at: Trek, Cannondale, and Specialized. I have a Trek at 60cm - the 62cm was too large for me in standover height.
I'm currently staring down the barrel of a 2013 Cannondale Synapse running Ultegra at around $3700; or
A 2012 Felt AR1 running ultegra? Maybe Sram Red - also around the $3600 mark.
I picked up the FELT AR4 from the LBS on Wednesday. Right at the start of some dismal weather so did some trainer time last night and only really got it out and rolling this morning.
So far wonderful. Couldn't be happier with it.
Twitchy after a MTB but very fast which I am enjoying.
Web research on rider reviews says that is an excellent bike out of the box, with the stock wheels being a bit heavy. Seem light to me - for now....
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