Questions about purchasing bicycles and parts
10 posts • Page 1 of 1
Just looking at my next bike. I currently own a s/h Giant OCR zero. But I do fancy a new carbon bike. Just talking about comfort, do I have to buy specialist roubaix or giant defy etc. Or can I just buy any bike ( within reason ) and angle the stem up to get the same position. I realize steering head angles and other things change. But I am more bothered about not having to bend over too far, I'm 59 and I ride about 270 Km a week.
While you certainly don't have to buy a Roubaix or Defy these bikes have been specifically designed with a more relaxed ride in mind. This means that features such as the headtube are longer enabling you to have higher bars and sit up straighter as well as having specific characteristics for comfort rather than all out speed. Of course you can ride these things fast, but they will be nicer to ride over longer distances. The main selling point of the Roubaix/Defy etc in your situation is indeed a longer headtube and possibly a shorter toptube to enable a more 'upright' position without having to resort to drastic measures such as an upright stem (in my experience this is usually a sign of an incorrect fitting, bike size, or bike purpose) or a stack of spacers.
I would seriously suggest spending the money on a bike fit before you buy, this will give you a range of measurements you can use to narrow down your choices of bikes that will fit well. This will take a lot of the guesswork out of the decision and enable you to ride in comfort, it is amazing what even a couple of mm change can make to a bikes feel. You may even be surprised and find you are more comfortable in a lower, racier position due to being on a better setup. Its a small price to pay for peace of mind and is of course transferable to other bikes in the future.
Thanks for the reply, I quite fancy buying a new carbon relaxed bike anyway. It's quite difficult as I have hired a cannondale synapse but the lbs did not put any effort into set the bike up. I have had a quick scoot around a car park on 2 giant defys trying to find the right size. I am going to ride a Scott cr1 at another shop, I will see how interested they are set the bike up as its a demo day. I know what you are saying re get a fitting, but it's difficult which bike shop and which bike.
With the bike fitting its not a matter of having a bike to be fitted to but getting the important measurements done. Some bike fitters have an adjustable "bike" that they will use to set all the major positions and record a set of measurements you can transfer from bike to bike. Once you have these measurements you can simply get out the measuring tape and set any bike up to be a perfect fit. This way you are not relying on the 'expertise" or even interest of bike shop staff to set something up for you. I would also assume that a customer who comes in knowing their position and measurements may get slightly less of the "the size is right for you" or the always good "you look to be in a good position". A quick google search will reveal some good bike fitting places, but essentially anywhere that offers a "full" "complete" etc etc bike shop would be fine. They could even fit you to the OCR to just get the measurements right, a good bike fit isn't a one off it will go with you for ages and outlast any other purchase you can make in terms of comfort and performance. You may even find after a bike fit that the OCR feels a lot better?
As for the bikes I have always been a bit in between Giant sizes and as much as I would like one (especially the new Propel) at this point in time there are other options that fit me better. I would always say demo, demo and demo especially as you are after comfort over long distances but once you have a fit you could potentially look at geometry and see if a bike would fit you. If it would fit your intended usage is a different matter.
If you don't already have a list I would look at the Roubaix, Defy, Synapse, Willier Gran Tourismo and Izoard, BMC GF01, Stevens Ventoux, Merida Scultura (not quite as relaxed as others), Fuji Roubaix lots of bikes to choose from in this category.
Let us know how the search goes, preferably with pics
Another thing with relaxed bikes, or as the trade like to call them, endurance bikes, is that the carbon tubing and stays are designed to be more forgiving and not stiff all over like a proper racing bike.
An endurance bike will still be stiff in places like the bottom bracket so you still get great power transfer from the legs to the bike, but the seat and chain stays will be designed to have a small amount of give in them so you get a bit more comfortable ride.
I have a Giant OCR1 with an alloy frame and carbon fork and the ride is noticably more harsh at the rear end than my steel framed bike. Some bike brands will also fit 25mm width tyres rather than the standard 23mm tyres of a racing bike, and the extra ballooning in the tryes, while not much, helps to take the edge off the harsh ride as well. This is what I am running on my OCR1, and I think the Defy and Roubaix also run 25mm tyres as well.
I went from a Giant TCR (race bike) to a Specialized Roubaix.
I'm much happier on the Roubaix - I don't race, or ride crits though. It's not the longer head tube/taller bar position - in fact, my stem is slammed and I changed the 20mm conical spacer to a 10mm one, so that my bar position is about the same on the two bikes. The longer chainstays and wheelbase on the Roubaix make the bike more stable, and less twitchy. Less concentration to ride, easier to ride sitting upright with no hands (not that I do that very much, but I really found that more difficult with the TCR). 25mm tires at lower psi also helps.
However, less twitchy may equal less responsive, depending on what you want it for.
Thanks everybody for the replies. Yesterday I went to a bike shop, they had a demo day for Scott bikes. The guys at the shop looked me over and decided to put me on a 54cm ( medium ) cr1 . I was a bit surprised as I ride a rather large giant. Anyway I must admit I loved the fit on the bike I felt really good. I rode it for about 30 minutes. I was a bit spoilt as it was top of the range with electronic shifting, that's great but too expensive for me. This is the first carbon bike I have rode and I found it very smooth in deed. The whole exercise was great no pressure to be quick on the rode test or to make a sale.
The good thing with the Scott CR1 is they have bikes with the same frame, but different levels of components to suit all budgets.
A good value for money bike would be the CR1 Team, which has full Shimano 105 components.
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