Questions about purchasing bicycles and parts
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.
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.
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.
I don't think so. Like anything, be sensible, but normally on the road you will have plenty of traction for normal bicycle speeds.
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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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!!
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.
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".
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?
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.
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.
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.
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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Ah, but its the nut behind the handlebars that counts
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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.
I went through this in February this year, and am loving every minute
Not sure what's happening spec wise, a glance at Giants AU homepage showed this for a 2008 OCR2
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
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*
London Boy 29/12/2011
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.
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.
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.
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