I'm looking at road bikes, trying to figure out what to get.
I'm coming off of a Fuji Roubaix Pro, which is a decent bike for the money, but not necessary great at any particular thing. My goal is to get a bike which is more comfortable and also more efficient in terms of energy transmission on climbs and sprints...so I'm looking at all carbon frames (my Fuji is an '08 and those were Alu main tubes with CF fork and stays).
My budget's really tight (putting all my play money into taking the little man skiing much as possible), so I'm looking at leftover 2012's, 2013's for the most part and 105 level gear. I'm also looking at used bikes provided they were well maintained and not ridden into the ground. That keeps the price under 1.5k and I'm trying to get down to $1200 if possible (not easy in the meat of cycling season, usually you can't get 50% off leftovers at this time of year).
Here's my short list so far:
- Cannondale Synapse
- Cannondale EVO
- Cervelo R3
- Scott CR1
- Scott Addict
- Litespeed M1
Here's my thinking about race VS gran fondo bikes: A gran fondo is really most appropriate for everyday use, training and a little racing. The geometry and compliance is meant for longer distances, so the reactions are a little slower, the position of the rider more relaxed, and the shapes of stays are usually curved to break up vibrations from what I've seen. The more serious race bikes have tighter wheelbases, more upright geometry, and they sacrifice vibration absorption and compliance for quickness and immediate energy transmission on climbs and sprints.
Surprisingly, I've been really amazed at how much quicker the gran fondo type bikes are in a sprint compared to my Fuji. Previously I rode steel, then all Alu, then Alu/CF on a Litespeed, and now another Alu/CF with the Fuji (not as rewarding as the Litespeed). The new carbon bikes have bottom bracket areas which are S-T-O-U-T!!! The Cannondale Synaps, Scott CR1 and Litespeed M1 have all been pretty fast-feeling machines. And while not super light, they feel light due to the acceleration capabilities.
So...here's my quandry. I do want to get back into racing, so I'm thinking maybe...just maybe I should get a race-specific bike and try to tune out some of the harshness with tire, seatpost, saddle and even bar tape choices. Crazy talk?
My training rides are 25-55 miles generally, and usually a mixure of rolling hills, flats and a few steeps no matter where I go in my area.
Ideally, I'd get a more compliant bike for training and a race bike for racing, but it's just not the right time for me to do that.
Any pearls of wisdom to share? Thanks! :)