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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 02-14-09, 05:23 PM   #1
VA_Esquire
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Really getting into Road Cycling

I am starting to get into road bicycles and have done research from popular companies for their bicycles in my price range for a new bike $1200-1400. I am a college student so anything more I dont have the money for

Giant Defy1- $1400
Trek 2.1- $1300
Specialized Allez Sport Compact Double- $1300
Felt F85- $1250
Cannondale CAAD9 5- $1250

Now I know it would be much easier to just go to my LBS and test ride bicycles, but the two shops near me only sell Trek bicycles, yet can work on any bicycle.
I was just curious as all of you have more skill and experience than me, what bicycle of the 5 (or another bicycle company) you would recommend.

Thank you
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Old 02-14-09, 05:29 PM   #2
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I love my CAAD9, the bike is comfortable and incredibly responsive. The CAAD9-5 comes with 105 components and a nice wet of wheels.
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Old 02-15-09, 09:08 AM   #3
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ok, this post kinda wierded me out.... Only because I was about to post the same question, with the exception of tossing in a Kona Zing (MSRP $1300).

I know (as probably so does the OP) that "which ever feels the best" is a good option, but from a paper/technical point of view which bike measures up to be the best buy? Taking into consideration customer service, quality, longevity, components, etc.

My last three bikes have been Trek. I'm kinda loyal to them and all and really like the Trek 2.1, but when I look at the Tiagra mix components it offers and then look at the Giant Defy1 and Specialized Allez Sport Compact Double (which I believe both come with all or mostly 105).... well I have trouble keeping with Trek. I'm sure there's other features to look at and help determine some of that cost, but I don't know which. =)

All help is appreciated.
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Old 02-15-09, 09:27 AM   #4
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In the long run the only thing that matters is fit. Really... the ONLY thing that matters. A Trek or Giant or Kona or Cannondae are all great bikes. Sure you might get a nicer derailleur or brakes or tires or ... whatever... on one, but any mechanical shortcomings are very easily fixed, while a bike that gives you a sore back can be much harder to fix.
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Old 02-15-09, 09:58 AM   #5
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but isn't the fit also adjustable? Are the fits really that different?
heh.. sorry, pardon my ignorance on the topic. Up until now, I've ridden a hybrid, then a Trek 7.2fx tricked out for commuting. So this is my first step into a true road bike.
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Old 02-15-09, 10:11 AM   #6
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In any price range you are mostly paying for component quality. Frames are pretty much just frames at ANY given price level, Test ride, check fit, buy the one you like. I would recommend making your purchase where you will be getting service work done.
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Old 02-15-09, 10:30 AM   #7
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I'll make my usual recommendations. If you can find a Lemond Propad on sale still it should be a MASSIVE end-of-line bargain.

700c/29" disc brake equipped road bikes with drop bars.

trek portland - http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...land/portland/

cannondale cross xr7 - http://www.cannondale.com/bikes/08/c...del-8XR7C.html

Brodie Ronin '09 - http://www.brodiebikes.com/2009/bikes/ronin.php
Brodie Ronin '08 - http://www.brodiebikes.com/2008/2008_bikes/ronin.php

rocky mountain solo cxd - http://www.bikes.com/main+en+01_102+...tml?BIKE=606#2

kona sutra - http://www.konaworld.com/08_sutra_w.htm
Kona Sutra - http://www.konaworld.com/09_sutra_en.cfm
Kona Dew Drop - http://www.konaworld.com/09_dewdrop_en.cfm

Orbea Diem Drop Disc (2009) - http://www.orbea.com/en-gb/productos...icicletas.aspx (see road bikes > fitness > diem drop disc)

focus cross disc - http://www.focusbikesuk.com/focuscyc...cross_disc.php
focus mares disc 2009 - http://www.focusbikesuk.com/focuscyc...mares_disc.php

Devinci Caribou2 (2009) - http://www.devinci.com/11628_an.html

Raleigh USA Sojourn (2009) - http://www.raleighusa.com/bikes/road/sojourn/

Rei Novara buzz road bike (2009) - http://www.rei.com/product/779985

rotwild rs1cx - http://www.rotwild.de/en/ (street bikes section)

Fixie Inc. Pureblood - http://www.cycles-for-heroes.com/bik...oss/pure-blood
fixie inc. pureblood - http://www.cycles-for-heroes.com/200...pureblood.html

Salsa la Cruz - http://www.salsacycles.com/laCruzComp08.html
Salsa Fargo - http://www.salsacycles.com/fargoComp09.html

Opus Sentiero - http://opusbike.com/site_route.php?lang=en (see 2009 bikes > road > cyclocross)

Genesis Croix de Fer - http://www.genesisbikes.co.uk/series/croix_de_fer

BikesDirect Motobecane Fantom Cross Outlaw - http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...ane/outlaw.htm

Baron bicycles - http://baronbicycles.com/spec.htm
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Old 02-15-09, 10:56 AM   #8
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I ride an Allez, personally, for my road bike. I love it! Most comfortable bike I've ever ridden. It's also scary fast.
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Old 02-15-09, 12:23 PM   #9
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I ride an Allez, personally, for my road bike. I love it! Most comfortable bike I've ever ridden. It's also scary fast.
I'm still trying to figure out why a very trusted LBS guy told me the Allez wasn't for me. Rather, he said "I don't think that's the bike you're looking for"

perhaps because I said I would be using it to commute sometimes too?
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Old 02-15-09, 01:09 PM   #10
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but isn't the fit also adjustable? Are the fits really that different?
The fit is limited in its adjustment. After getting your saddle position where you want it, you adjust your reach to the brake hoods and you can adjust that with different length or height stems or different (reach) length handlebars. However, if you go with shorter stems or handlebars, you make the steering more and more responsive. Now, "responsive" is like "lightweight", it's one of those words that most people will like instantly, and if you take a responsive bike like a CAAD9, and decide you'd like to adjust the fit by installing a shorter stem or bars, you just made it more responsive.

Regarding difference of fit, consider that people have long, in-depth discussions about fit and there are many articles on the subject. There are "fit kits" and bike fitting services. So..
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Old 02-15-09, 01:11 PM   #11
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I'm still trying to figure out why a very trusted LBS guy told me the Allez wasn't for me. Rather, he said "I don't think that's the bike you're looking for"

perhaps because I said I would be using it to commute sometimes too?
You could just ask him. Or you could ask us to guess.
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Old 02-15-09, 01:12 PM   #12
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I'm still trying to figure out why a very trusted LBS guy told me the Allez wasn't for me. Rather, he said "I don't think that's the bike you're looking for"

perhaps because I said I would be using it to commute sometimes too?
I have no idea, other than the stock wheels are nothing special for a Clyde. I fixed that on the initial purchase though by upgrading it to a hand built pair of Velocity Deep V's in 36 spoke, 2 cross weave on the front and 3 cross weave on the rear.

I'm actually going to use it on a tour this summer, pulling a trailer since it has no provision for a rack.
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Old 02-15-09, 01:58 PM   #13
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The fit is limited in its adjustment. After getting your saddle position where you want it, you adjust your reach to the brake hoods and you can adjust that with different length or height stems or different (reach) length handlebars. However, if you go with shorter stems or handlebars, you make the steering more and more responsive. Now, "responsive" is like "lightweight", it's one of those words that most people will like instantly, and if you take a responsive bike like a CAAD9, and decide you'd like to adjust the fit by installing a shorter stem or bars, you just made it more responsive.

Regarding difference of fit, consider that people have long, in-depth discussions about fit and there are many articles on the subject. There are "fit kits" and bike fitting services. So..
I agree completely. It is possible that you may be able to modify almost any bike to fit acceptable, but there is likely a certin geometry or shape of a bike that will be closest to your ideal fit without any modifications. There are also limitations on how much you can change any given dimension without hard to find, expensive, or custom made parts.

Call around to shops in your area to see who offers professional fit service... the numbers they give you can be checked against the stock geometry of any bike to see how far away from the reccomend dimensions they are.
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Old 02-15-09, 02:04 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caleab
I'm still trying to figure out why a very trusted LBS guy told me the Allez wasn't for me. Rather, he said "I don't think that's the bike you're looking for"

perhaps because I said I would be using it to commute sometimes too?
Quote:
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it has no provision for a rack.
Mounts for racks and multiple water bottles and fenders and front lowrider racks, etc., don't slow a bike down, but a lot of manufacturers leave them off their raciest bikes... maybe because they think people won't believe they are racing bikes, or think the extra 15 grams will slow the rider down. By doing this they make the bikes harder to use for anything but a toy that you play with on the weekend.
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Old 02-15-09, 02:57 PM   #15
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You could just ask him. Or you could ask us to guess.
Hehe... I plan on asking him. He was guiding me more towards a Roubaix or Sequoia.
I just haven't been back to the LBS this week.
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Old 02-15-09, 04:24 PM   #16
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^^^ Aha, that's why he advised not getting the Allez, because it's more of a criterium racing bike, like the CAAD9, which emphasizes quick acceleration, braking and steering while keeping you more spread out with lower, farther-out handlebars whereas the Sequoia/Roubaix put less emphasis on all three and more on steering stability, vibration absorption, maybe shock absportion and definately on having a more upright posture.

There are many people on this board whose first road bikes seem to have been racing bikes and they're happy with them but you should have some idea of what the difference is and you should definately ride both for about as long as they'll let you and try to include a short hill descent that's not too steep or technical but just enough to give you an idea of the difference in steering feel.
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Old 02-15-09, 05:04 PM   #17
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^^^ Aha, that's why he advised not getting the Allez, because it's more of a criterium racing bike, like the CAAD9, which emphasizes quick acceleration, braking and steering while keeping you more spread out with lower, farther-out handlebars whereas the Sequoia/Roubaix put less emphasis on all three and more on steering stability, vibration absorption, maybe shock absportion and definately on having a more upright posture.

There are many people on this board whose first road bikes seem to have been racing bikes and they're happy with them but you should have some idea of what the difference is and you should definately ride both for about as long as they'll let you and try to include a short hill descent that's not too steep or technical but just enough to give you an idea of the difference in steering feel.
first, I would like to apologize for kind of taking over the thread, Sorry OP! I hope this is helping you too.

secondly, Thirdin77, that's some of the best advice I've received since started the research for my first road bike. Thank you... seriously. That gives me some nice direction and information.
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Old 02-15-09, 06:46 PM   #18
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Its okay, were pretty much asking the same thing and I have been away from the computer (either riding or watching the Tour) so I actually should be thanking you for keeping it going so I dont have to send out a rescue party for the thread, haha
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Old 02-15-09, 08:15 PM   #19
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They are all fine bikes. In adition to fit I would consider which LBS you feel comfortable with. Unless you are mechanically inclined you will be dealing with them for adjustments and parts and accessories. Find one you like.
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Old 02-15-09, 08:31 PM   #20
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I admit that the store and salesman that i bought my CAAD from was pretty awesome. They all know my name and all treat me real well. They always encourage me to ride with them and only reccomend what they think i need not the most expensive stuff in the store.
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Old 02-15-09, 08:39 PM   #21
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The Allez is a very responsive bike, and can get away from an inexperienced rider....you do need to keep that in mind. I crashed very badly in May when I had the rear wheel break traction on some sand on the pavement and fractured my Collarbone, for example. I was in a standing sprint and the back wheel went out from under me so fast I didn't even register the crash had happened until I sorted myself out and figured out I wasn't dead.

I also shattered my helmet, so I'm awfully glad I had it on....might have been the old bean.

Quote:
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^^^ Aha, that's why he advised not getting the Allez, because it's more of a criterium racing bike, like the CAAD9, which emphasizes quick acceleration, braking and steering while keeping you more spread out with lower, farther-out handlebars whereas the Sequoia/Roubaix put less emphasis on all three and more on steering stability, vibration absorption, maybe shock absportion and definately on having a more upright posture.

There are many people on this board whose first road bikes seem to have been racing bikes and they're happy with them but you should have some idea of what the difference is and you should definately ride both for about as long as they'll let you and try to include a short hill descent that's not too steep or technical but just enough to give you an idea of the difference in steering feel.
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Old 02-16-09, 08:45 PM   #22
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Mounts for racks and multiple water bottles and fenders and front lowrider racks, etc., don't slow a bike down, but a lot of manufacturers leave them off their raciest bikes... maybe because they think people won't believe they are racing bikes, or think the extra 15 grams will slow the rider down. By doing this they make the bikes harder to use for anything but a toy that you play with on the weekend.
Race bikes aren't really intended for commuting. Yes, you can do it, but drilling holes into carbon forks and seat stays for racks could weaken these parts on a carbon frame. However, I have seen it done on a Specialized Tricross which is a cyclocross bike. Also, the chainstays are significantly shorter on racing frames than they are on touring frames which are intended for racks and panniers. If you put racks and panniers on a racing frame that has 405-410 mm chain stays you are most likely going to experience heel strike. Also, even if a race frame had mounts for fenders, the clearance between the tire, fork, and seat stays would be pretty tight and not allow for full fenders.

Race frames are built for racing. They don't do commuting and touring very well. If you're looking for an all around bike then a touring bike or certain cyclocross bikes might be the better choice. It's rare that I see a class III tow package on a ferarri.
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Old 02-16-09, 10:42 PM   #23
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ya know... maybe I use the wrong words.
to me, commuting is riding my bike to work.
it doesn't mean I have to add every accessory that I can find. I merely mean riding my bike to work (7 miles each way).
I've accepted that instead of using panniers and a trunk, I would have to use a backpack. But seriously, it's not all about the ride to work. All I have to take to work is my change of clothes. It doesn't take that much room or weight (on my back).
I don't want that class III tow package on my ferrari. I just want to feel the wind in my helmet and the breeze in my eyes


also, I have looked into the cyclocross bikes. Namely the Specialized and Giant.
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Old 02-17-09, 12:11 AM   #24
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If you don't have much to carry to work and you don't care much for fenders, then a road bike is fine. In fact, my funnest commutes to work are on my road bike. When it's not cold, wet, and I don't have much to carry I take the road bike and carry everything I need in my jersey pockets (underwear, socks, keys, wallet, cell phone.) I leave a weeks worth of clothes at work for me to change into and then pick them up on the weekend for washing.

However, 8-9 months out of the year I carry rain gear and layers of clothing so I have a touring bike with racks, panniers, and lights for most of my commuting. Because of the wet weather I have full fenders and long leather mud flaps. The touring bike is a steel frame, long wheel base, comfortable, but heavy in comparison to my carbon fiber road bike.

Plenty of people, even in this area, ride their road bicycles to work. They don't seem to mind getting wet. However, they do hate all the cleaning and maintenance that they do on their drive train.

I think that you should get the type of bicycle that is best for the type of riding that you plan to do most. If that's road riding, then a road bike... and just ride it to work with a backpack. If it's commuting and occasional road riding, then a touring or cyclocross bike. I really like the Specialized Tricross... even the carbonfiber frames have braze-ons for racks and clearance for fenders.
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Old 02-17-09, 08:49 PM   #25
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Touring bike is what I kinda had my eye on too.
so any recommendations on touring bikes?
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