Questions about purchasing bicycles and parts
10 posts • Page 1 of 1
I've been looking at getting my first bike spending in the sub $2000 range. I rode a few and have short listed a Trek 3.1 Madone 2012 and Specialized Roubaix Compact 2012. When I rode them I really liked both, I think I would be happy with either.
The Roubaix is $300 more and has the lower group set - Tiagra (10 speed) verse the Trek's 105. To be fair the madone has a mix of 105, Tiagra and SRAM.
To me, as a newbie, the frames and the groupsets had very similar feels.On paper the reviews point at the Roubaix having a great frame and Madone as a great entry level carbon.
* Specialized is at my LBS and I think I would get decent advice and support from them - much more so than the Madone
* I would also feel the need to change the seat for the Madone which brings the prices closer
I am leaning towards the Roubaix mainly because of the LBS and if the reviews are right should have a much better frame - I can always upgrade the groupset as it wears on.
My question is... "Is the frame of the Roubaix worth $300 more than the Madone even with the Madone having a better groupset?"
Yep. Better a frame you love to ride with 105 than one you can't stand with DA.
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
London Boy 29/12/2011
People will often tell you to buy the best frame you can and upgrade the groupset on that frame at a later date when things wear out, but I'm wondering how many people actually do that.
From other peoples experience, they buy a complete new bike with an even better frame and groupset, and say they have moved on from the old bike.
Neither frame is a dud, and I would just buy the bike that fits you best (I bet you have read this on the BNA forum a few times), and upgrade components as they wear out, but in the case of the Trek, upgrade to all Shimano components, say 105 level, as Shimano just seems to work well together. In the meantime, a better tyre selection when the original tyres wear out, would see more improvement in actual performance at a cheaper price than a groupset upgrade will (my opinion, through experience).
Generally, the frame is the most important element up to a certain point. The frame is how the bike feels over surfaces, responds to you and how it corners and moves, if it flexes and if it respond to your power efficiently. It's generally what gives a bike its character and feel on the road as well as how comfortable you are. In saying this, bike frames generally haven't changed much over time and you're unlikely to feel 'too' much of a difference between material when compared to geometry.
Wheels are the next important as they generally serve as to how fast you can get up to speed and hold it.
Grouppo's are pretty okay with 105+. Obviously it's how it shifts under power.
All of these factor weight too.
Thanks for your comments.
In the last few days I've ridden a couple more bikes one with ultegra and another with force. I have to say I could really feel the quality in the components of these higher speced group sets. As a total newbie my expectation was that I would not really notice much difference.
I love the way the frame of the roubaix "fits" but there is no way I can afford one with the ultegra group set.
It has certainly given me something to think about.
Thanks again for all your input
Best of luck. I personally feel a lot of difference between 105 and Ultegra for example. 105 feels a lot more 'drier' and less smooth to me, though I know this is largely from the rear derailleur.
Anyway, the best thing is that you're going by 'feel'. A lot of people rock into their local LBS and just pick something up. It's best to ride and keep riding heaps of difference bikes (provided they all fit) and go for one you like. If you need to stick an LBS, I'm sure your local one will be more than willing to service a bike you didn't buy from them.
My road bike is almost 6 years old. It was 105 with aksiums. I've replaced cables, saddle, complete group set (now dura ace that I picked up near new)" wheels (fulcrum zeros that I bought when my husband went skiing in japan on my birthday ), pedals, stem, bars.
I've not changed the seat post or the frame.
For me, frame is most important, but consider new or second hand pricing of components you may want to replace as it may be cheaper to increase the budget in the first instance.
I've not been tempted to change my roadie, but I have bought and sold 6 other bikes in that time giving me 3 keepers in my stable.
Good luck with your selection...post photos!!
Thanks for all your advice.
I ended up purchasing a Focus Cayo 3.0 with the SRAM force. It wasn't something I was considering but a store had a 2012 model and gave me a good price.
Out of all the bikes I rode it felt like it was doing everything I wanted, more so than any other bike ( and I tested a lot). It really felt precise and I could feel the quality, I also love the SRAM double tap. Oh I just the look of it too.
Obviously all those things are subjective but I am very happy with the purchase.
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