What would be your "ultimate" budget race bike build? Preferably not a CAAD (too common). It seems as if most alu frames are either pretty expensive (spooky, s1) or cheap and come w/ crappy components...
depends on the budget?
brand new I'd pick the new giant tcr with new ultegra if the budget allowed, it's a lot of good bike for the money.
Spooky Sleketor with Ultegra and a nice wheelset.
I know where you're coming from; I raced carbon all of last year and while I trusted it, I didn't want to think abotu crashing it.
We got a new sponsor for 2010 and I'm getting a aluminum frame instead of their [very tempting] carbon frames, honestly, I'm an aluminum kind of guy. Carbon is nice, but IMO, aluminum is better all around.
I see hills.... Bring them on!!!
Stay calm and bring a towel.
Here's a REAL shill suggestion: why not one of the aluminum Bikesdirect frames with a decent groupset? You can pick one up for basically the cost of the groupset, and if you crash it, no tears. I bought a Windsor somethingorother (hell, I can't even remember what it's called) this year for the Ultegra 6700 group that was on it. The frame's sitting in my garage waiting on me to Ebay it. It'll probably go for $150 and it's actually not a bad frameset; reasonably light, carbon fork, yada yada.
Orange Park, FL
Of the 3 listed above, the Cervelo S1 w/ Force (https://www.nytro.com/products2.cfm/...ame/Road-Bikes) still has my eye. Such a beautiful bike. Not a huge fan of the stock wheelset, though. Think a good LBS would swap out the Racing 7s with 3's or 5's for a fee?
Get 2 of the 300-400$ bare no name carbon frames off ebay. Keep one as a spare. Buy a Campagnolo gruppo and some Khamsin wheels and you are in for a good look and a good time. You could do this for maybe $1600 if you shop around.
The best part of being a mad scientist is never having to ask yourself, "Should I really be doing this?"
Budget looks like the 2006 Specialized Allez Sport that I upgraded with a set of decent Rolf wheels and used DuraAce 9speed. It is waiting patiently for my next race, and I have yet to lose a race because my bike sucked... I lose because I am weak. Last Sunday a friend and I did some laps of the crit course and then a trip up a 22% grade... the bike was more than good enough for that. The DA doesn't miss shifts, total weight is 18.xx, and if it dies I won't cry... that's a budget racer.
I'd say "budget" is an older steel frame/alumimum frame/carbon frame with a well-adjusted 105 group and hand-built wheels... very good steel bikes can be had for a song these days, and they have a lot of advantages.
here are some examples-
Specialized Sworks E5 framesets can be had for around 400usd - that bike is world championship class...
Caad 7,8,9s may be common, but they are cheap and they are a fantastic bike... that's why they are popular
Older Lemonds can be found at very low prices, and they have good geometry,
Merckx & Ciocc made good racing frames -
Anything with decent geometry will be fine - keep it in working order and don't think about it again.
If you want be a budget racer I think you should be looking for used bikes from 1500 and down. Add good bibs+shoes, and a training plan - there... done.
Spend the extra money on tires/food/race entries/new bibs in case you wreck and shred yours... You can easily spend more than the price of your bike on the lifestyle and misc parts of being a racer over the course of a year.
If you want "ultimate" than look at ultegra/da/red/chorus on a new bike.
I'm not trying to be a total downer - I love new gear as much as the next guy - but if you are turning down excellent bikes like the Giant, and calling a new Cervelo "budget", there is little that won't be within your reach.
To answer the question you actually asked -
here are some new, race-worthy bikes that I happen to quite like in the 2-3K range
-The Giant has fantastic geometry, a group that will shift and work for the next 10 years, and lots of other people seem to ride carbon-alum bikes without them combusting
-The Podio is a great bike - psimet races one and has great things to say about it.
-Mickey (Spooky) makes an excellent bike by all accounts (heck, I want one myself)
-Raleigh makes some fantastic bikes in your price range - You should be able to get the Competition or the Prestige for the money you are talking - both BB30, excellent carbon frames. (Full disclosure, my team is sponsored by Raleigh - but I've been hot on their bikes much longer than I've been on the team)
-I was impressed by a Jamis Xenith I rode last year - definitely in your price range.
-Kestrel is somehow looked down on because BD sells them... strange in my mind, but they make a great race bike in the Evoke... fast and aggressive was the way it felt when I tried one. You can score a very good deal on them if you look around on the interwebs.
in short - if you are worried about crashing it, don't buy something you can't stand to lose.
Forreal. You don't need a better bike...
Also, caad9 is king.
Also, also, the BD le champ frames are old fuji frames. They're light and pretty good.
I'd say you're not looking for budget bikes at all. 2-3k is a lot of coin.
2-3K puts you in the price for a TCR advanced with ultegra. A fantastic bike.
I wouldn't really call it budget either, but If I was budgeting under that for anew bike, I'd try to bump up the funds.
In your price range, try shopping used.
You can get a TCR Advanced used, if you shop around, with DA or Red... often in the 15lb range, ready to rock.
Cat 2 O-Meter ..... about 1/3rd of the way there.
I think BMC makes a nice aluminum frame
I would look at a Van Dessel Hellafaster
Dugast Rhino 30c, previously glued and needs new tube, but lots of tread left $35+ shipping
I'm a little surprised at this thread, and the replies.
I'd also put a budget race bike closer to 1000 dollars. I've put about 2000 dollars toward a race bike, wheels, and parts in the last 2 years, and if I had to do it again, I'd buy a caad9 with 105, and a powertap. Isn't that the standard reponse around here?