Buying first road bike

drevil
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Buying first road bike

Postby drevil » Wed Jun 27, 2007 11:23 am

Well, it's with great anticipation and some nerves that I am about to buy my first road bike. I started on an old steel MTB, moved to a hybrid & now some 2,800KMs later, I am reaching for a roadie.

I have looked at many, ridden a couple, but now I am at the pointy end I think I will buy a 2008 Giant OCR2. They seem to offer the best value for money, lifetime warranty on frame, good all round components (incl carbon fork & seatpost) plus the look pretty hot.

My wife rides a MTB, so she will be getting one as well, otherwise she will never keep up. :lol:

The only thing I am slightly nervous about is that my riding style has been based on MTBs & hybrids, so I hope I enjoy the riding style & position of a road bike. Everyone tells me they are more comfortable and on longer rides (50K +) I am sure they are, but I guess the ride will be harsher though I'm not sure how much.

Also riding in wet weather - is there a greater chance of having a spill due to the skinnier tyres?

I look forward to hearing about similar experiences of anyone who has recently made this move to a road bike.

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Bnej
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Re: Buying first road bike

Postby Bnej » Wed Jun 27, 2007 11:54 am

drevil wrote:The only thing I am slightly nervous about is that my riding style has been based on MTBs & hybrids, so I hope I enjoy the riding style & position of a road bike. Everyone tells me they are more comfortable and on longer rides (50K +) I am sure they are, but I guess the ride will be harsher though I'm not sure how much.


I found it took me about a fortnight of riding to get used to the position and handling. It's a bit twitchy at first. If you don't already have some good quality shorts, make sure to get some. Also be sure you're sitting on your sit bones, if you get the set up right then the bike should be comfortable all day long.

Get some practice switching between the hoods and the drops, you need to use the drops for the better leverage on the brakes on steep descents or braking hard.

Ride is not harsher, a carbon fork takes out a lot of the road buzz and is very noticeable if you've been riding with an alloy fork.

Also riding in wet weather - is there a greater chance of having a spill due to the skinnier tyres?


I don't think so. Like anything, be sensible, but normally on the road you will have plenty of traction for normal bicycle speeds.

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Postby sogood » Wed Jun 27, 2007 1:17 pm

Apart from the more aero/aggressive riding position which you'll get used to very quickly, the caliper brakes on road bikes are typically less powerful than V-brake and discs on MTBs. Or at least the hand position makes actuation of the levers less efficient. But it's something a new rider will get to know quite quickly and muscles adapt.
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Postby moosterbounce » Wed Jun 27, 2007 1:37 pm

My husband did a similar switch at Christmas. He went with an OCR Composite as it had a more "relaxed" position compared to some others and he wanted the more upright position for more vision and control to get used to the difference. His lessons:

1. Don't jam on brakes as you would on an mtb - you will go over the handlebars.
2. Don't think you can jump kerbs at a close angle as you would on an mtb - you will end up on the ground (tyres are narrow and can get caught on the lip at the bottom of the kerb).
3. Don't move all your mtb bags etc to your road bike - they are too big.
4. Even though you look like a dork practicing cleat ins and outs in the loungeroom, it is worth it.
5. Riding your mtb on anything other than a dirt track is no longer practical - it is too hard to ride and you don't go fast enough.
6. Don't start thinking "why didn't I do this before?" or "why didn't I spend Australia's GDP on a new bike and not just the household GDP?".

You will love it. Go crazy!!

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Postby sogood » Wed Jun 27, 2007 1:58 pm

moosterbounce wrote:My husband did a similar switch at Christmas. He went with an OCR Composite as it had a more "relaxed" position compared to some others and he wanted the more upright position for more vision and control to get used to the difference. His lessons:

1. Don't jam on brakes as you would on an mtb - you will go over the handlebars.

Interesting experience.

1) I don't really believe the OCR is all that relaxed compared with other road bikes. Relaxed or not to me depends much more on how the bike is fitted. If you put more spacers on the steerer, then it's more relaxed. If you take them out, then it's more aggressive.

2) I would say the brakes on road bikes are much better modulated than V-brakes on MTBs. The first time I rode a MTB with V-brake, I almost flew over the top bar. Much much harder on a road bike in my experience.
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Postby moosterbounce » Wed Jun 27, 2007 2:45 pm

I think the A-over-T experience was caused by 2 things. Firstly, the mtb is 10 years old and the brake pads would be worn, as opposed to ones that had done 100km. Secondly, on the MTB, he was able to skid it to a stop, but the change to narrow tyres means he needs to "re-learn" this skill if he wants to. He didn't have the same "control" as he had on the mtb - much of this was being used to the handling of the bike.

I agree that the setup will make a bike more or less relaxed, and his is set up quite relaxed (more spacers), but you would need quite a few mods to make a bike with slightly different geometry as relaxed surely. Not saying it can't be done, but not as "out of the box".

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Postby Bnej » Wed Jun 27, 2007 3:25 pm

On a road bike you're leaning further forwards, so your CoG is different - even more so if you're braking hard on the drops, so I think it is easier to put yourself over the bars if you're not ready for the brake response.

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Postby drevil » Wed Jun 27, 2007 3:31 pm

The LBS called this morning and said the bike had arrived, so I dropped in on my way home from work.

It looks great, except for one thing.

The photo of the 2008 OCR2 shows it has shifters with the black lever under the silver one for changing down (sorry for the poor description). But the actual bike actually has the same style as last year's model in that you have to press a little lever with your thumb up near the top of the shifter to change back. This means you can't change up and down while your hands are on the lower part of the handlebar. This is only on the Tiagra.

I see this a major disadvantage - what do others think?

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Postby sogood » Wed Jun 27, 2007 3:49 pm

drevil wrote:It looks great, except for one thing.

The photo of the 2008 OCR2 shows it has shifters with the black lever under the silver one for changing down (sorry for the poor description). But the actual bike actually has the same style as last year's model in that you have to press a little lever with your thumb up near the top of the shifter to change back. This means you can't change up and down while your hands are on the lower part of the handlebar. This is only on the Tiagra.

I see this a major disadvantage - what do others think?

You've got Shimano's Sora model with their copy of Campagnolo shifter design ie. Pedal and button. I can't comment on Shimano's Sora implementation, but Campagnolo's shifter design is liked by a lot of people and considered to be an advantage.
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Postby drevil » Wed Jun 27, 2007 4:02 pm

You've got Shimano's Sora model with their copy of Campagnolo shifter design ie. Pedal and button. I can't comment on Shimano's Sora implementation, but Campagnolo's shifter design is liked by a lot of people and considered to be an advantage.


Hi Sogood

Why is that considered an advantage? Isn't it a pain to have to shift your hand position to change down if your riding in the drops?

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Postby sogood » Wed Jun 27, 2007 4:15 pm

drevil wrote:Why is that considered an advantage? Isn't it a pain to have to shift your hand position to change down if your riding in the drops?

At least in Campagnolo's implementation, I find that I can easily access the button from the forward part of the drop. If I am at the rear of the drop, then yes, I will have to move forward and it's no different to Shimano's standard setup. YMMV with Shimano of course and only you can tell if that design is for you.
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Postby Bnej » Wed Jun 27, 2007 4:18 pm

If you have long thumbs you can reach the little switch from the drops. Campagnolo uses the design because it simplifies the lever design and makes it easier to service (they have a paddle under the brake lever, the lever itself doesn't move sideways).

Last years OCRs were
Sora Tiagra 105

This years are
2200 Sora Tiagra

So they've dropped one level in price and running gear.

I think it's easier to reach both shifters with the regular two lever STI design, I think they use the alternate arrangement with Sora to reduce the manufacture cost.

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Postby drevil » Wed Jun 27, 2007 4:23 pm

Where do rider's hands spend most of their time when riding, on the hoods or in the drops?

If a lot of time is spent riding with your hands on the hoods, then it's no problem. Otherwise...

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Postby Bnej » Wed Jun 27, 2007 4:34 pm

Ride on hoods most of the time. You ride on the drops in sprints, and descents. You use the hoods when cruising and climbing. And you can use the tops when resting or spinning.

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Postby LuckyPierre » Wed Jun 27, 2007 5:52 pm

There's more to it (Sora v Tiagra) than just the 'Campagnolo-like' shift - even though that's the most noticeable thing.
Why not look for something that is Tiagra-equipped, or have you committed money to the 2008 model? It's worth a whinge if they didn't tell you that the 2008 models would be moving 'down spec' to maintain their price point.
ps. shifting my hand doesn't worry me and when I'm riding, I find that I usually work down to my smallest cog / highest gear before I switch to the drops anyway.
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Postby MountGower » Wed Jun 27, 2007 8:28 pm

Moosterbounce
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Postby mikesbytes » Wed Jun 27, 2007 9:04 pm

MountGower wrote:Moosterbounce wrote:
5. Riding your mtb on anything other than a dirt track is no longer practical - it is too hard to ride and you don't go fast enough.
I could not possibly, even in 1000 years from now, disagree more. Your husband has a dunger of an MTB.


Ah, but its the nut behind the handlebars that counts
If the R-1 rule is broken, what happens to N+1?

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Postby moosterbounce » Wed Jun 27, 2007 10:08 pm

I think I've converted him to a roadie...it could have been the carbon shavings I sprinkled into my cooking :D

Never trust a cycling wife :wink:

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Postby Bnej » Wed Jun 27, 2007 10:20 pm

MountGower wrote:Moosterbounce wrote:
5. Riding your mtb on anything other than a dirt track is no longer practical - it is too hard to ride and you don't go fast enough.
I could not possibly, even in 1000 years from now, disagree more. Your husband has a dunger of an MTB.


Uhhhh.... nah... riding an MTB again is PAINFUL on the same hills I take my roadie on. Even with the lockout and bar ends. You get used to getting up a hill at a decent pace with a certain amount of effort, then change to the MTB and try the same thing, and about 1/4 of the way up something just starts to seem wrong....

You put the power down on a nice roadie and it flies up hills. Even on the brand new MTB with lockout and bar ends in use it's just not the same.

It's my experience that after riding a proper road bike, anything else feels slow and ungainly.

Not that an MTB isn't fun, but it's fun for it's natural environment.

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Postby Mulger bill » Wed Jun 27, 2007 11:46 pm

G'Day Drevil

I went through this in February this year, and am loving every minute :D

Not sure what's happening spec wise, a glance at Giants AU homepage showed this for a 2008 OCR2
Image

It looks to me like Sora has grown up a bit and got paddles over buttons, are you sure the shop isn't trying a fiddle?

As to the Road/MTB debate, they're all bloody bikes. Ride whichever one takes your fancy every time you open the shed door :wink:

Personally I won't commute on Deni the roadie when it's wet, I like to stop, and the Avid Juicy discs on Princess have never let me down... *touch wood*

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Postby Bnej » Thu Jun 28, 2007 8:07 am

Shimano's website shows Sora shifters with either type of control. The 3304 is the lever/thumb and the R500 is the paddle. Maybe Giant photographed one then decided to use the other?

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Postby Halfanewb » Thu Jun 28, 2007 8:14 am

Hi Drevil grats on the new bike mate! :)

When i crossed over onto the roadie it took me a couple of weeks to get used to the new ride. Even after 5 months i have only used the drops once and switch hand positions between the hood and the flats, but that will change as i get closer to my goal of joining a club.

Early this week during the rain i was planning on putting a set of mudguards on the flatbar and using that so i could still get some riding in, well i gave up that illusion very quickly!. One ride on the old bike convinced me that i couldn't go back, it felt like i was trying to pedal a tank! i can do 75k no worries on the roadie but 15k on the flatbar was torture!

Keep us posted, always inspirational to hear another riders experiences. :)

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Postby drevil » Thu Jun 28, 2007 9:51 am

It looks to me like Sora has grown up a bit and got paddles over buttons, are you sure the shop isn't trying a fiddle?


No, I called Shimano yesterday and the ones on the bike are the new Sora. It's now a nine speed and has a window showing what gear I'm in, but still has the thumb switch.

Why not look for something that is Tiagra-equipped, or have you committed money to the 2008 model? It's worth a whinge if they didn't tell you that the 2008 models would be moving 'down spec' to maintain their price point.


They told me of the change in spec, as this year's OCR2 is really like last year's OCR3, so no surprises there. The Tiagra one (OCR1) is another $300, and as my first road bike, I can't really justify the extra money.

I have decided that I will go for it. I'm getting just over 20% off, so I'm happy with the deal.

MountGower

Postby MountGower » Thu Jun 28, 2007 4:24 pm

B
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Postby mikesbytes » Thu Jun 28, 2007 4:56 pm

135psi is rather high. How much do you weigh ?
If the R-1 rule is broken, what happens to N+1?

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