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  1. #1
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    Looking at buying a road bike

    I stopped into the LBS this past weekend (Specialized/Giant Dealer) as they were having sale on clothing and wondered over to the bikes. I'm new to road bikes and have some back issues, so I've had serious doubts about getting down into the drops, but this weekend, my whole opinion changed. My new love is a Specialized Dolce Sport.

    [IMG]http://****************/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/specialized-dolce-sport-triple-womens-2011-road-bike.jpg[/IMG]

    It was too snowy to take her out for a test ride, but just sitting on the bike, it really did feel like a dream and I can't WAIT to go back and give her an honest test drive. DH tells me that when tax money comes in, we can can, but I also plan on testing some other bikes too... I own a Trek now and want to check out the Lexa that's new for 2011 and designed for women. When we do this, I plan on getting a full fitting, so I'm really looking forward to Spring and the upcoming season.

    Now, SNOW... Get out of here!!!

    Shannon

  2. #2
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Good for you. A good fitting roadbike isn't any less comfy than a mtb or hybrid. Also a roadbike doesn't mean that you have to ride in the drops all the time. I use the drops maybe 5-10% of my ride time. Usually I'm on the hoods.

  3. #3
    Senior Member timmythology's Avatar
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    Congratulations, hope you have fun this spring.

  4. #4
    Senior Member magohn's Avatar
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    Im a "hoods" rider too. I rarely, if ever, use the drops...

  5. #5
    Senior Member bassjones's Avatar
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    Be sure to check out the Cannondale WSD models as well, particularly the Synapse for a more comfort oriented road bike.

  6. #6
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    Good for you. Those Dolces look like nice bikes. I told myself that when I break 200 I'll reward myself with a new road bike to replace the 20+ year old Trek, and the Specialized Secteur is on my short list (then again, it's looking more and more likely that when I get there I won't be able to afford a new bike at all - I may have to put my "reward" in abeyance indefinitely, or until the recession is really over and I can get a job in architecture again).
    Craig in Indy

  7. #7
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roadtrip View Post
    I stopped into the LBS this past weekend (Specialized/Giant Dealer) as they were having sale on clothing and wondered over to the bikes. I'm new to road bikes and have some back issues, so I've had serious doubts about getting down into the drops, but this weekend, my whole opinion changed. My new love is a Specialized Dolce Sport.

    [IMG]http://****************/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/specialized-dolce-sport-triple-womens-2011-road-bike.jpg[/IMG]

    It was too snowy to take her out for a test ride, but just sitting on the bike, it really did feel like a dream and I can't WAIT to go back and give her an honest test drive. DH tells me that when tax money comes in, we can can, but I also plan on testing some other bikes too... I own a Trek now and want to check out the Lexa that's new for 2011 and designed for women. When we do this, I plan on getting a full fitting, so I'm really looking forward to Spring and the upcoming season.

    Now, SNOW... Get out of here!!!

    Shannon
    The Dolce is an AL frame, with a carbon fork, a mix of Sora and Tiagra parts, it's not bottom end, but it's closer to the bottom then the top. it does have 32 spoke wheels however, you should check the tire clearance to make sure it can handle a little wider tire, say something in the 28mm range. At that level, AL is the most common frame material, AL doesn't like to flex, so AL frames are typically made stiff, so the ride can be a little harsher then with some other materials, if you pump the tires up to rock hard. If you can run the tires say 10PSI shy of maximum pressure, then the ride is a lot nicer.

    The most important thing, when buying a bicycle, isn't component level, it isn't frame material, it isn't tire size or width, it isn't what kind of BB or headset it has, it's fit. People come in different shapes and sizes, the bicycle must be able to be able to be adjusted to fit the rider, bicycles that do not fit, end up on a hook in the garage covered in dust. The time for a fitting is before you buy.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    The Dolce Sport is a great road bike to start with...I did!!!! When on a road bike, you will seldom, if ever, be in the dropped portion of the handle bars. That being said, I never thought a road bike could be so comfortable and it is usually by bike of choice. Two cautions for you: 1) If you buy a new bike in Jan/Feb, it takes even longer for spring to arrive, 2) For me, road bikes quickly became an addiction. I have five, each a bit different. Bottom line, enjoy your buying experience by looking at as many brands as you can, get a good fitting for the bike of your choice, then enjoy and never look back!!!!!

    Good Luck waiting for better weather,
    P2

  9. #9
    Downtown Spanky Brown bautieri's Avatar
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    I hate to be the one to ask this, but what price range are you looking to stay within? Check around, you might be able to score a left over specialized Ruby for a few bucks more! If not, there is nothing wrong with the Dolce at all. As Wogsterca mentioned, fit is everything. A good fit is always worth it. Spend the money up front for a pro-fitting if you have to. It's much cheaper than throwing money at different components later on trying to solve a fit problem.

    Dang it...you got me looking at new bikes

  10. #10
    Come here often? <wink> exile's Avatar
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    I usually don't look seriously unless I am ready to buy. Some people call my browsing an obsession; I think of it as an addiction although there are no Dr. Drew's around to help.
    lil brown bat wrote:
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    I think road bikes are more comfortable than mountain or hybrid bikes. Having lots of different ways to keep myself upright on the bars has me moving around more during a ride. People go 100 miles on bikes with flat bars all the time ... and I used to do long rides on mine. But it's even better doing them on a road bike.

    Also, a good road bike is a very well tuned machine: sleek and sexy. They handle much better than other types of bikes, taking corners with ease going down hills. I thought I'd be a little disappointed having one, giving up dirt trails ... but I think road bikes are generally more fun than other types of bikes.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
    I think road bikes are more comfortable than mountain or hybrid bikes. Having lots of different ways to keep myself upright on the bars has me moving around more during a ride. People go 100 miles on bikes with flat bars all the time ... and I used to do long rides on mine. But it's even better doing them on a road bike.

    Also, a good road bike is a very well tuned machine: sleek and sexy. They handle much better than other types of bikes, taking corners with ease going down hills. I thought I'd be a little disappointed having one, giving up dirt trails ... but I think road bikes are generally more fun than other types of bikes.
    Bicycles are a little like cars, you know...

    Road racing bike, somewhere between formula one and NASCAR, it's fast, the trade off is often ride comfort....
    Road sport bike, closer to a Camero or a Mustang, more show then go...
    Road touring bike, more like a camper van, it can haul a lot of stuff, comfortably and run forever and a week.
    Cyclocross, the road rally of the cycling world, it's fast, it likes mud, but doesn't carry a big load.
    Hybrid, the K car of the cycling world, it ain't fast, doesn't carry a big load, doesn't go very far, hates mud, but is fine for general purpose riding.
    ATB, the Range Rover or Jeep of the cycling world, who needs roads?

    The nice thing about bicycles is, if you want to do different kinds of riding, just get one of each

  13. #13
    Senior Member tpelle's Avatar
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    Since you're posting in the Clyde forum, I presume that, like me, you are gravitationally accomplished. When I bought my bike I decided that my parameters were:
    1. A steel frame and fork. An aluminum frame and fork OK, but for sure no carbon fiber - I don't like the failure mode of CF.
    2. A horizontal top bar, not "compact geometry". I don't like having a lot of unsupported seat post exposed over the top of the seatpost clamp. I figure a long seat post is like a crowbar trying to pry my frame apart.
    3. Generally good weight-carrying capacity, including wheels.
    4. Mountain-bike-like gearing with 3 chainrings.

    I ended up with a Surly Long Haul Trucker and love it. I especially like the bar-end shifters.

    But you pays your money and you makes your choice.
    Steel Club = BF-STL-00064

  14. #14
    Senior Member skilsaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wogsterca View Post
    bicycles that do not fit, end up on a hook in the garage covered in dust. .
    Those are the bikes I like to buy !!!
    The one who has the most bikes wins.

  15. #15
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    Thanks for the replies. DH and I have talked about it and yes, when tax money comes back in, there is budget for a new bike. That seems to be about $1400-1500, but not much more then that, so I'm not sure I can swing the Ruby. I also plan on paying for a fitting as well.

    I ride a 2008 Trek FX 7.3 right now I bought used... Alu frame with Alloy fork running 700x32 tires on 32 spoke wheels, but yes, I am a card carrying member of the Athena kind.

    The Dolce Sport (Triple) is $950 or the Ruby Elite Apex (Compact) for $2,000- each is $100 off list price. The Dolce Elite is about $300 more and you get SRAM Apex instead of the Shimano Sora/Tiagra mix, but it also only comes in a Compact without a Triple option, plus I'm not over thrilled with the color.

    I live in Cincinnati, and there are plenty of hills here, so I'm really thinking I need a triple. The first Ruby with a Triple retails at $2700, but does have full 105. I just don't think I could swing that, as much as I'd like. I literally can't go a quarter mile from my house without climbing.. left.. up a hill.. right.. up a hill. Wow. I wonder if I'm going up a hill today? I couldn't justify spending that kind of money on a roadie and drive it to the trail to ride.

    Now.. if I were to finally sell my Trek Pure Sport (2010-- this is the bike I learned to ride on) comfort bike, that would add $300-400 to the budget, but still wouldn't get me to Ruby Comp Triple type money.

    Good golly soooo much to think about!! That's just looking the Spec' offerings.

    Shannon

  16. #16
    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roadtrip View Post
    I literally can't go a quarter mile from my house without climbing.. left.. up a hill.. right.. up a hill. Wow. I wonder if I'm going up a hill today?
    Well at least it is downhill on the way home.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by CACycling View Post
    Well at least it is downhill on the way home.
    Ohhhh yea.. makes going UP the hill worth it!!

  18. #18
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    Where in Cincinnati are there any hills??? Down by the river maybe? My dad lives in Lockland, it's definitely flat around there.
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

  19. #19
    Cat 5 field stuffer bbeasley's Avatar
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    Shannon,

    The Trek 2.3 triple is near your price range. It's Aluminum with a carbon fork and seat post (lightweight and nice riding). I think most LBSs will include a fitting with a new bike.

    I bought one 5 months ago and have been very pleased.

  20. #20
    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
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    That looks like a nice bike. I just love new bikes. Kinda like that new car smell.

    Remember to negotiate on the price, $100 off during the winter? You can make a better deal. Or at least try to have them throw in some accessories or discounts on clothing.

    I would look for a 2009 or 2010 model since 2011 models are coming out and they need the floor space. I would expect a discount of 20-30%, at least around here.

    I purchased a 2009 jamis aurora elite in late Oct 09 for $1150, msrp was $1550. Thats a 25% discount. But if your looking for a 2011 model then you won't get much if any discount.

    Well happy hunting and post some pics when you make the purchase.
    I don't do vintage, I bought them new, rode them, kept them. Now they are just old bikes
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  21. #21
    Rain, rain go away john423's Avatar
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    Until you get it, work on that core.

    I've had nothing but woe with mine, but I'm hoping a lot of core strengthening this winter's gonna do some good.

    I'm starting to itch to get on the bike - I knew I should've bought a trainer.

  22. #22
    Senior Member bassjones's Avatar
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    In that price range you should be able to get a Synapse 5 WSD leftover and still have money left for wheels. Or see if you can do the same size in a men's frame. Seems like Trek has a markup on their WSD models. Don't know if Cannondale does or not. You should be able to get into 105 or SRAM Rival in the $1500 range though. With 105 you'd have money left over for a nice wheelset but with Rival you'd have a better group

  23. #23
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roadtrip View Post
    Thanks for the replies. DH and I have talked about it and yes, when tax money comes back in, there is budget for a new bike. That seems to be about $1400-1500, but not much more then that, so I'm not sure I can swing the Ruby. I also plan on paying for a fitting as well.

    I ride a 2008 Trek FX 7.3 right now I bought used... Alu frame with Alloy fork running 700x32 tires on 32 spoke wheels, but yes, I am a card carrying member of the Athena kind.

    The Dolce Sport (Triple) is $950 or the Ruby Elite Apex (Compact) for $2,000- each is $100 off list price. The Dolce Elite is about $300 more and you get SRAM Apex instead of the Shimano Sora/Tiagra mix, but it also only comes in a Compact without a Triple option, plus I'm not over thrilled with the color.

    I live in Cincinnati, and there are plenty of hills here, so I'm really thinking I need a triple. The first Ruby with a Triple retails at $2700, but does have full 105. I just don't think I could swing that, as much as I'd like. I literally can't go a quarter mile from my house without climbing.. left.. up a hill.. right.. up a hill. Wow. I wonder if I'm going up a hill today? I couldn't justify spending that kind of money on a roadie and drive it to the trail to ride.

    Now.. if I were to finally sell my Trek Pure Sport (2010-- this is the bike I learned to ride on) comfort bike, that would add $300-400 to the budget, but still wouldn't get me to Ruby Comp Triple type money.

    Good golly soooo much to think about!! That's just looking the Spec' offerings.

    Shannon
    The rule is, buy the best bike that fits, which you can afford.

    One thing to note the lowest gear on the Dolce triple is 30x25 for 31.5 gear inches, the compact double is 34x28 for 31.9 gear inches, less then gear inch difference, I doubt that many people could detect that in riding. What you should do is pick the bike that you like best and don't worry about the size of the gear box.

  24. #24
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    Test road some bikes today... the Specialized Dolce Sport and Elite as well as the Ruby Elite with full 105 components. WOW. Just WOW.

  25. #25
    Senior Member
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    You can test ride already? We've still got icy roads here... some of them resemble skating rinks with very, very, lumpy ice. It will be at least 2 more months before I can test the bikes on my short list. Le sigh.
    One of the bikes on my short list is a Cannondale Synapse Alloy 105. It's possible to get it with a triple crank as an option. Every review I've read about it, the reviewer raves about the comfortable ride. Worth adding to your list, if it's available where you live.

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