Advice on purchase of first road bike (from MTB)

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Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:42 am

Advice on purchase of first road bike (from MTB)

Postby brucegillespie » Fri Nov 02, 2012 12:02 pm

Hi all. This is my first post, and early stages of my exposure to road bikes, so please be gentle! I'm interested in advice to help me to choose well with my purchase of a road bike. I want to buy right first time, and not have to replace or continually upgrade. I've had a few years on a Mountain Bike (Specialized Stumpjumper) but am spending more time on the road than the trails these days, so I feel it is time for a second bike. I am 46, reasonably fit, and 178 cm tall. I'm intending to start with a few 25k each way commuter rides each week (light bcakpack, no laptop), and some 50k rides on the weekend. Then see how far I can take it. I did my first 50K MTB the other day and got the taste for it.

I initially thought my budget was around AUD $3k, and that I was looking for a size 54 "plush" bike: Specialized Roubaix, Giant Defy, Cannondale Synapse, Binachi Infinito, etc, and a 105 group set. But a few test rides got me excited about the prospect of pushing the envelope. I road a Bianchi Sempre, and it was pretty comfortable, and much more fun to ride than the Infinito. The Ultegra group set seemed a bit nicer too. So, I think I am now looking at $AUD 4k, and shortlisting Specialized Tarmac / Roubaix, Cannondale SuperSix / Synapse, Giant TCR / Defy, Bianchi Sempre / Infinito, and the Cervelo R3, at the Ultegra groupset level. My short short list is the Specialized Roubaix 2013 Ultegra SL3 Expert, and the Cervelo R3 Team 2012 Ultegra, both bang on $AUD 4K.

I have been test riding bikes, but to be frank, after the stumpy, I love every one of them on the road, and I'm not really differentiating. BUT - the rides are typically pretty short, and I'm worrried that I might be fine on a "race" oriented bike for a short distance, and really regret the decision on my first decent ride out to the National Park from Sydney's inner West, as my back cramps up or something.

So... any thoughts or advice appreciated.

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Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:54 pm

Re: Advice on purchase of first road bike (from MTB)

Postby zero » Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:19 pm

We can't guess what your back will do, but if a sportiest bike feels good for 10 minutes, its probably going to feel good for an hour and I'd go for it. Especially if you are keeping your MTB, in which case you can mix and match during the first month or so to ease the transition.

I did a 90km race the weekend before last (no drafting, so 30km/hr average for 3 hours), largely on chip, and my 40yo back was fine. It was a fairly flat course, so I rode about 90% of the time on the drops. I did get a tired arm towards the end, but that probably reflects the amount of time spent on chip surfaces.

Just make it clear when buying it that you don't want the steerer chopped off too low to begin with so you can at least raise the bars a bit if you have to.

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