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Road Bike shopping, what to get? - Page 2

post #31 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by krp8128 View Post
tja,

Regardless, my LBS has the Serotta fitting system!
Ideally they also have someone with coaching experience to observe you pedal; there are a lot of variables and they are not independent.
post #32 of 57
Carbon, is the thing right now. Referencing an earlier post (once you have been fitted), if you go on Craigslist you can periodically find really good deals on used equipment. People are funny, they will spend enormous amounts of money on bikes, then let them sit in a garage. You might be able to find an older Trek OCLV 5500 carbon frame for not much money. Though they are older technology, they are still a really good carbon frame. The 5500 is also a really comfortable frame to ride, and easy to fit.

I found an older frame and built up a bike for my dad for xmas last year. For $1800 I put together a 5500 with Ultegra/6600 series components, compact crank set, Mavic Ksyrium Equipe wheels, carbon post & bars etc. In the end the bike weighed just shy of 18lbs and rode fabulously.
post #33 of 57
Pick up used Ti too.
post #34 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex View Post
Pick up used Ti too.
If I were going used, and was unable to evaluate the frame before purchase, I'd go with Ti ahead of carbon. Just gut instinct here, but Ti is less likely to have problems than carbon in the used market (e.g. Ti will show damage much more readily and obviously than carbon).
post #35 of 57
Carbon, is pretty durable. More so then most people think. Damage that is structural in nature to a carbon frame will be very obvious. Typically anything structurally damaging will result in a complete failure of the frame at that point. The one exception to this point being the bottom bracket. If a heavy rider has ridden the frame hard the bottom brackets will stretch on older models (newer models have an aluminum sleave in the bb to prevent this).

This however is easy to identify with a quick test ride. Stand up, pick a higher gear and stomp on it. If you hear loud creaking in the bottom bracket the bb has stretched.
post #36 of 57
Thread Starter 
What about other frame options, i.e. Aluminum? Carbon would be my #1, just 'cause I like composite things...
but the money may keep me away.
post #37 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by krp8128 View Post
What about other frame options, i.e. Aluminum?
Aluminum is hard to repair if you wreck it. Otherwise variations in design, fit and outfitting are so huge that they mask any conceivable difference that can be properly attributed to the frame material.
post #38 of 57
I would pass on aluminum, its light but uterly unforgiving. Every little imperfection in the road passes through the frame directly into your body. Very high road fatigue factor, which is one of the priorities you mentioned wanting to avoid.

Steel & Titanium are totally different animals. Steel is the perfect combination of strength/rigidity and forgiveness/flex. Steel bikes absorb just enough of the road vibrations to remain comfortable, while retaining the proper strength/rigidity to efficiently transfer your energy to the wheel. Titanium is slightly less forgiving and significantly lighter. Titanium bikes are high performance and slightly less comfortable then steel, though significantly more comfortable then aluminum. Titanium is also very expensive. I would probably avoid it.

Carbon is the plushest ride. Carbon is responsive like steel, light like titanium, yet stiff/rigid (in the proper places) like aluminum, making it the choice for most pro's.

I would stick to steel or carbon, unless you find a screaming deal on a used titanium bike.
post #39 of 57
I would ride as many different frames as possible, all materials, and decide what feels best to you. Carbon and Ti, both being pricey, may limit your options to steel and aluminum. I prefer aluminum personally, because its strength/weight/rigidity produces a ride quality and handling that suits me (all other things being equal), whereas some riding buddies would never even consider aluminum. We all have our own preferences, you should go discover yours.
post #40 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by krp8128 View Post
Regardless, my LBS has the Serotta fitting system!
So does mine, but like all things, the fit is only as good as the fitter (just like ski boots). The one I've been to tends to "half-ass" everything they do -- including things on the customer service side of things. That's unfortunate, considering I bought almost $5000 in bikes and gear from them in just over a year. They lost my business.

The only business they are keeping is for repairs, and that is ONLY because the mechanic is REALLY good, and I consider him a friend.
post #41 of 57
I'm really surprised at the anti-Al sentiment around here, especially considering the price point this person is trying to break in at.

There is NOTHING wrong with aluminum frames. They have drawbacks, but all frames do. Many Al frames are outfitted standard with carbon forks and seat stays. Add a carbon seatpost, and the ride is really pretty good. If you disagree, that's fine, but I ride in MN, which has arguably some of the worst roads in the country. Al is a rougher ride than some, but it really depends on the bike.

I currently ride a pair of Ti frames on the road, and Al for my MTB and commuter. I'd still love to get a nice steel roadie some day though. My commuter is a rigid front and rear end, but it's all about tire pressure there. Al is the frame of choice for MTB's IMO. Ti is nice, but spendy. Steel for MTB is just too heavy.

Long story short, don't discount Al bikes. The majority of the frames out there now are Al. There are some pretty nice ones if you choose right. Fuji is a great way to go if you're shopping price. Felt is probably one of the best "bang for the buck" out there.
post #42 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by axebiker View Post
I'm really surprised at the anti-Al sentiment around here, especially considering the price point this person is trying to break in at.

There is NOTHING wrong with aluminum frames. They have drawbacks, but all frames do. Many Al frames are outfitted standard with carbon forks and seat stays. Add a carbon seatpost, and the ride is really pretty good. If you disagree, that's fine, but I ride in MN, which has arguably some of the worst roads in the country. Al is a rougher ride than some, but it really depends on the bike.

I currently ride a pair of Ti frames on the road, and Al for my MTB and commuter. I'd still love to get a nice steel roadie some day though. My commuter is a rigid front and rear end, but it's all about tire pressure there. Al is the frame of choice for MTB's IMO. Ti is nice, but spendy. Steel for MTB is just too heavy.

Long story short, don't discount Al bikes. The majority of the frames out there now are Al. There are some pretty nice ones if you choose right. Fuji is a great way to go if you're shopping price. Felt is probably one of the best "bang for the buck" out there.
I completely agree; your price range is saturated with aluminum offerings, eliminating them from consideration will severely limit your options. Test ride several first, then decide whats right for you. A good local shop will go the extra mile for you, so give them a shot at your business.
post #43 of 57
http://www.feltracing.com/08/product...,1515&pid=8665

And for all you you carbon/AL/Ti/Steel folks, frame geometry is WAY more important for most folks than frame material....
post #44 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by tja111 View Post
This however is easy to identify with a quick test ride. Stand up, pick a higher gear and stomp on it. If you hear loud creaking in the bottom bracket the bb has stretched.
Creaking in a BB can be one of many things, not just an ovalized BB shell. Most common is a lack of lubrication on the BB threads, caused by pressure washing, hot summers, or ab incorrectly installed BB. At the shop, we generally start there when decreaking a bike, then move on to any threaded part that's under load such as chainring bolts and crank bolts. I've seen it be seat rails moving in the top of the seat post, or water bottle bolts.

In regards to frame material, like others have said, construction and geometry play a bigger part in how a bike rides than material. Not all carbon bikes are light, I've been told by reps that they can build aluminum bikes lighter and stiffer than carbon, but there's little market for a hyperlight al bike, so they are only used by pro riders.

Fit is also very important, so like others have said, ride, ride, ride. Would you feel comfortable buying ski boots online? I would only if they were a screaming deal, and would be willing to take the hit if they didn't work out. Support your LBS(s) and build a relationship. If you're looking to spend some time with a fit, I'd recommend going on a weekday morning or afternoon, rather than a weekend. Weekends at our shop are pretty nuts mostly with people buying $700 that'll sit in the garage for 15 years, and the sales dudes can devote more time to a fit on the weekdays.
post #45 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex View Post
He's fortunate, in a way.

Remember how hard it was to find compact cranks 10, 8, even 5 years ago?

Is 53/39 now the sub-70mm waist of cycling?
53/39 is a standard double crank. The compact crank is 50/34. Couple that with an 11 - 28 cassette (SRAM makes this new for '08) and you've got just about every gear ratio covered that you would with a triple crank. Better cross-chaining action too. Shimano says their rear derailleur is not compatible with the 11 - 28, but it sure is. That's what I'm running on my new Ruby, Ultegra rear der with the 11 - 28 cassette.

Look at the Specialized line if you haven't already.
post #46 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by TriMom217 View Post
53/39 is a standard double crank. .
The sub-70 mm ski waist was standard for a long time too.

53/39 came in as half-step went out. I suspect 53/39 is going to become a relic as well.
post #47 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex View Post
The sub-70 mm ski waist was standard for a long time too.

53/39 came in as half-step went out. I suspect 53/39 is going to become a relic as well.
probably. I don't know why anyone would want to turn a 53 when you can accomplish the same top end with the 50. Everyone I ride with is switching to the compact crank, even the old school cat racers (esp the old guys!)
post #48 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by TriMom217 View Post
probably. I don't know why anyone would want to turn a 53 when you can accomplish the same top end with the 50. Everyone I ride with is switching to the compact crank, even the old school cat racers (esp the old guys!)
If I were starting all over again, I'd prolly go compact. I'd prefer a compact to a triple (for instance dropped my granny on my mtb).

That said, my RB has a compact & he gets cross-chained a lot & drops his chain wayyy more than I do (FWIW, he's got compact Shimano Ultegra circa 2006, and I'm on 53/39 Campy Chorus circa 2003.).

Also, instead of sitting in a 39 ring & simply changing cogs to go up short, steep sections, he tries to stay in his 50 chainring and ends up having to stand while climbing. So, the compact covers a wider range, but depending on where you ride and your style, it may not be as fun or practical as a "standard" for certain types of riding.
post #49 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dino View Post
Also, instead of sitting in a 39 ring & simply changing cogs to go up short, steep sections, he tries to stay in his 50 chainring and ends up having to stand while climbing. So, the compact covers a wider range, but depending on where you ride and your style, it may not be as fun or practical as a "standard" for certain types of riding.
-shrug- I get that with 53/39 if I use my corncob and attempt to shift in an 11-23 or 11-25 pattern. I see that as more of a shift awareness and shift planning thing, not innate to the 50/36 choice.

When 10sp came in, one of the nice things about it was that almost all cogsets had 16t in the back, a great transition gear for front shifts on 53/39. I only have one 110mm crankset in use so I'm not as aware of what that would be on 50/36, and I suspect there's a greater possible - case by case variation- in what people might find optimal, just because the fronts are smaller overall.
post #50 of 57
[quote=tja111;868677]Carbon, is the thing right now.

:
post #51 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by carbonissimo View Post
Carbon, is the thing right now.

:
Unless you're smart enough to buy Ti... I like the idea of a "lifetime" frame. After having carbon, I'll take my Ti frames any day.

Nothing wrong with a 53/39 if you're a flatlander like me. Compact cranks would be wasted on me in MN. I get more than enough flexibility with my current setup. It seems like I only use about 1/3 of what's available to me as far as gearing goes anyway. I'm pretty set in the way I ride - my cadence rarely varies, nor does my speed.

If I was riding in mountainous areas though, you can BET I'd be riding compact cranks. And frames...
post #52 of 57
So, axie, how you feel about beam bikes?
post #53 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by tja111 View Post
Carbon is the plushest ride. Carbon is responsive like steel, light like titanium, yet stiff/rigid (in the proper places) like aluminum, making it the choice for most pro's.
Carbon is the DAMPEST ride, not the plushest. That would be steel. And not everyone, likes the feel of carbon. When I bought my last bike I rode many, ti, carbon, al and mixed media bikes. Believe it or not, I HATED all of the Carbon and Ti bikes. HATED THEM. I felt they were utterly unresponsive and didn't give me the feedback from the road that I wanted.
post #54 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex View Post
So, axie, how you feel about beam bikes?
Haven't ridden one. Sorry. But I do think they look funny...

I've got 2 Ti roadies, an Al hardtail MTB, and Al "commuter", and an Al "wifey" ATB. It's been about 6 years since I've had carbon. But still no compact cranks - I oughtta try one, but it would be too expensive to upgrade...
post #55 of 57

$1500 road bikes

Pick up a copy of "Road Bike Action" magazine, their latest issue had some more affordable bikes in your price range!
post #56 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dino View Post
That said, my RB has a compact & he gets cross-chained a lot & drops his chain wayyy more than I do (FWIW, he's got compact Shimano Ultegra circa 2006, and I'm on 53/39 Campy Chorus circa 2003.).

Also, instead of sitting in a 39 ring & simply changing cogs to go up short, steep sections, he tries to stay in his 50 chainring and ends up having to stand while climbing. So, the compact covers a wider range, but depending on where you ride and your style, it may not be as fun or practical as a "standard" for certain types of riding.
First, he is on shimaNO and you are on Campy. The Campy front is far superior to the shimaNO. I ride a Chorus compact have never dropped my chain on the front.
post #57 of 57
Still see that as a shift-awareness and shift-planning thing,

with maybe some attention due to chain length and rear der lubrication/alignment.
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