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  1. #1
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Thanks a lot guys, this is all your fault!

    Well, I decided to go test ride some road bikes today, to see what the fuss is all about. Holy derailleur, Batman! I was blown away.

    First up, I rode a Specialized Roubaix Comp Triple and had my mind blown away. It was amazing! Light, nimble, responsive, fast, quiet, just fantastic. That said, I had immediate issues with my hands (it was hard squeezing the brakes from the drop bars as opposed to flat bars), with my back (I have lower back issues), and with my neck (from having to look "up" more).

    Then, I rode a Cannondale R800 and liked it even more. But it may have been a better fit off the shelf. I loved shifting with the Shimano 105s although it was tricky for me.

    Came back into the store, and they had reversed the stem on the Roubaix to put me into a more upright position. Viola! Man, it was SWEET!

    I now realize what all the hullabaloo is about regarding saddle comfort, hand pain, etc. A road bike will mean a LOT of adjustments and getting used to some things.

    Then the downside. The particular Roubaix was $2,300. The Cannondale was $1,250. The Roubaix was a lot of carbon, the Cannondale was a lot of aluminum. There is a Roubaix with the same geometry in aluminum for $1,300.

    So the journey to find a road bike begins. I'm in no rush. I have to try steel as well. And a lot of other brands. But I can see why they're so compelling!

    It's going to be harder to climb back on my Trek 3900 MTB now. Thanks a lot, guys! It's all your fault!
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  2. #2
    Berry Pie..the Holy Grail GrannyGear's Avatar
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    Hey, no prob, DG. In fact, just hand over your checkbook/credit card....we'll fix you up good. FWIW, I have small hands and brake from the 'hoods most of the time...even on descents. There are short reach levers available....but, with growing familiarity with your drop bar setup, things may seem more comfortable. Enjoy your search and, yes, there is no rush. The more you sample and become familiar with, the more you narrow the field to suit your tastes and needs. Mid-range bikes are the best value.

    When test riding, remember that sometimes a seemingly small tweak in fit/adjustment can make a just sorta-fits-you bike seem much more ridable. When you find a bike that is your size and is set-up so it fits (hopefully you'll get good LBS clerks), tape measure your seat height, reach to bars, check your knee over pedal, bar height relative to saddle, and look at your saddle angle, etc. .....try to somewhat replicate that on another test ride bike. Try to avoid extreme adjustments: seat jammed all the way back or forward, super short/long stem extensions, etc.

    Oh, and pick out a pretty color, too!

    You've got a fun winter/spring ahead of you.....damn, I just knew you'd date some young, skinny-tired hottie and decide your current mate was too domestic and frumpy.
    ..... "I renewed my youth, to outward appearance, by mounting a bicycle for the first time." Mark Twain, Speeches
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  3. #3
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    So Gary are you still talking to your bike or is it sitting in the corner ignoring you?

  4. #4
    370H-SSV-0773H linux_author's Avatar
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    - a nice fit on a bike makes all the difference, doesn't it?

    :-)

    - i have my two rides top rides now (Merlin and Serotta)... wouldn't trade 'em for anything! getting there was an experience, but thankfully, because i bought used, i didn't spend a whole lot, got in shape on the cheap, and now know what it takes to be comfortable!

    - good luck, and let us know how your ride progresses! we want to know!

    p.s. happy holidaze!

  5. #5
    Senior Member KeithA's Avatar
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    I get as excited about the thoughts of a new bike these days as I used to for a hottie in my more youthful days. Me thinks you chose two good possibilities. That Specialized has long been on my list of possible next bikes. As far as steel, oh yeah, try to see if you can try one out. I think Jamis still is in the steel game.

    Prediction: Next year when someone starts a thread about how many miles we put on this year, Gary's gonna post something like, "Oh, I put on 4000, but there's still a couple of months left, so I'm hoping for 5000."

    One suggestion I'd make is to keep your mountain bike if practicable because (1) it's like an out friend now and will always be that way and (2) there'll be times when you need to take the new bike in and it will give you a backup ride.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    Drops? What are those? I never get down into the drops, it's just not comfortable anymore, and the body isn't configured properly for it either.
    See if you can find a Giant OCR3 carbon bike to test ride. It costs between the two bikes you tried, and has 105 components. It's a more upright position, too. It has the same frame as my OCR2, which rides beautifully. See if you can find a bit of "rough" road that will tell you how the bike will feel with some buzz.
    Silver Eagle Pilot

  7. #7
    Senior Member Old Hammer Boy's Avatar
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    Hey Gary, you might want to take a look at some of the Trek Pilots. They're designed for us older guys with a little more gentle and up-right geometry, etc. They come in a wide range of price/features. Both my wife and I drive Trek 2100s (not pilots, however) with carbon forks seat post and stays. We find them to be a great mix materials. I'm a real Trek and Cannondale fan and sadly find these to be some of the few products still make in the good old U.S. of A!! OHB

  8. #8
    Stv
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    "That said, I had immediate issues with my hands (it was hard squeezing the brakes from the drop bars as opposed to flat bars),"




    Re: The Roubaix, or any Shimano STI equipped bike for that matter, the LBS can insert "spacers" into the brifters. This reduces the distance reach of the levers. Works especially well for people like me with smaller hands or those who have difficulty operating the brifters in the drops for whatever reason. Neck flip on the Roubaix is helpful, too.

    PS:EDIT; In addition, for me and much to the consternation of the setup mechanic at my LBS, I insisted that the handle bars be tipped or tilted downward about 15 degrees. This setup works well for me and I haven't felt the need to change it.
    Last edited by Stv; 11-28-05 at 09:00 PM.
    TODAYS OBJECTIVE: Avoid road splatter; my own, preferably.

  9. #9
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Gary-Great to hear you've given some road bikes a test. Doesn't is just make sense to be able to do more miles with about the same effort? Here's some things I've learned the hard way.

    Make certain you get the right fit-especially if you have lower back issues.
    Make sure your bike has a carbon front fork and preferably carbon seat stays-there's a huge difference in ride comfort over aluminum-reduces road noise.
    I'd go ahead and look at a carbon bike-like the Giant or Trek. Very good value with these bikes. I would be willing to bet that you'd wind up spending less dollars over a 3-5 year period with a good carbon bike than something else. Again-been there.......

    Have fun shopping!!

  10. #10
    "Old & Slow Rider" BJ Ondo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee
    It's going to be harder to climb back on my Trek 3900 MTB now. Thanks a lot, guys! It's all your fault!
    DG, your falling for the "dark side" of the force, soon your Trek will be a rusting hulk in a dark corner of the garage!! :O The siren song of the roadies makes the head swoon but just remember, if the "path" changes surfaces, you can't follow and you will be stuck on the hardpan, wishing you could go a different way! LOL, enjoy yourself looking for the two wheeled corvett, the "two wheeled jeep" will always be waiting for you to come back to the "light"!!
    BJ & Jo Ondo
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    "We ride just for the FUN of it"!
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  11. #11
    Senior Curmudgeon
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    Quote Originally Posted by BJ Ondo
    ...The siren song of the roadies makes the head swoon but just remember, if the "path" changes surfaces, you can't follow and you will be stuck on the hardpan, wishing you could go a different way!...
    'Tisn't entirely that simple - By keeping TWO sets of wheels for my roadie, I'll be able to do BOTH road and mild off-road. One set of wheels will be 26 mm road tires at HIGH pressure for road-only riding. The other set will be 37 mm (size?) WTB "Slickasauras" tires which allow me to do dirt roads or gravel too!

    To make this work, one needs a road frame with sufficient tire clearance (most won't cut it including the Specialized Roubaix that Gary was enamoured of). Alternately, a hybrid or "touring" frame should work fine. My game plan is to use a touring frame with V-brakes and clearance for the wider tires. That way, I get the benefits of the road bike with the versatility of the hybrid.

    I tried to buy a Nashbar touring frame that I could build, but they were so back ordered, I've opted for a 1998 Klein Navigator frame that I'll build instead. I'll post pictures when I get done.

  12. #12
    Senior Member jazzy_cyclist's Avatar
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    So when will you be joining the OCP club?

    I recall when my wife had just bought a road bike and a had a mountain bike -- she seemingly dropped me on flat ground without pedaling while I was hammering away...

    You might want to check out the Cannondale Synapse -- has a longer headtube than the standard Cannondale geometry so will be slightly more "upright"; also the alloy version is about the same price as the other CDale you mentioned.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee
    I now realize what all the hullabaloo is about regarding saddle comfort, hand pain, etc. A road bike will mean a LOT of adjustments and getting used to some things.
    But it is well worth the time & effort. Savor the process. A rice road bike that fits is like a comfortable pair of shoes.

    Go for the guality & higher end if you can swing it. I purchased a new bike this past August. Perhaps more than I really needed. But, I sure do enjoy riding it & don't regret the purchase.

  14. #14
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    A word of caution regarding aluminum bikes. Researchers are finding links between Alzheimer's Disease and Aluminum. So if eating or licking your bike is important to you, you may want to take this into consideration. If, on the other hand, you want to forget how much you paid for the bike then aluminum may be the way to go. This comes in handy when the significant other asks how much you spent. After she asks, just for good measure ask her who she is. That should get her mind off the cost question.

    On another note, check out Lemond bikes. They have their spine bikes which are combos of steel/carbon or titanium/carbon (no aluminum, safe to lick). At lowwer price points they offer steel bikes with the same geometry. Great bikes!
    I'm just trying to be the person my dog thinks I am.

  15. #15
    OM boy cyclezen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee
    Well, I decided to go test ride some road bikes today, to see what the fuss is all about. Holy derailleur, Batman! I was blown away.
    First up, I rode a Specialized Roubaix Comp Triple and had my mind blown away.
    Then, I rode a Cannondale R800 and liked it even more. But it may have been a better fit off the shelf.
    Then the downside. The particular Roubaix was $2,300. The Cannondale was $1,250. The Roubaix was a lot of carbon, the Cannondale was a lot of aluminum. There is a Roubaix with the same geometry in aluminum for $1,300.
    It's going to be harder to climb back on my Trek 3900 MTB now. Thanks a lot, guys! It's all your fault!
    Let me add the option of Pre-abused steel. For less than 1/2 of the ALU bikes cost you can get setup wih some Top-O-da-line lightly abused neo-modern steel. Staying with something already with cassette and brifters means all you're giving up is that 1st big markdown. In this case I recommend plain old low-tech steel, cause its a great intermediary between carbon, Ti and the more uncushioned ride of Alu. Enough out there to offer any particular 'feel' or persona you might like.
    Yes, I am a 'steel' guy. I feel I give up nothing of real substance to anyone else on the road. And I know my bikes will outlive me - prolly the best thing anyway...

  16. #16
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    Digital Gee,

    Good luck in your search for a "road" bike. I was in your shoes a couple years ago and purchased an old
    Schwinn road bike to see if I could handle the drops comfortably. I really enjoyed the bike so this spring I bought a Felt F65 and love it. I have over 2000 miles on this bike and am still making small adjustments. Following advise of this forum I make all adjustments in small increments and find it amazing that such a small adjustment can make such a big difference in comfort.

    Jim Angel
    I will not consider a slow sailing ship for I intend to go in harms way.
    John Paul Jones

  17. #17
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    I'm in real trouble here. I can only presume that somehow, some way, my Trek 3900 found out I was out test riding some thin-tired lightweight roadies. How do I know?

    On today's ride, the creaks came back. The ones that had mysteriously disappeared without any tweaking on my part. See this thread.

    Did she see me put the business card from Performance Bikes in my wallet? Did she overhear me talking to someone? I don't know. All I know is the creaks are back. Sure, everything else is just as it always was -- dependable, reliable and solid performance.

    But something's changed, and she knows it, and she's clearly not happy.

    How you folks with more than one bike keep 'em all happy is obviously beyond me.

    Tomorrow, I'm sneaking out to try out a couple of Treks -- the Pilot and the 1200. Don't say anything to anyone!
    Visit my blog! The Leadership Almanac
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  18. #18
    Elite Fred mollusk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee
    How you folks with more than one bike keep 'em all happy is obviously beyond me.
    You need to ride each of them hard at least once every week.
    I'm the world's forgotten boy. The one who's searchin', searchin' to destroy.

  19. #19
    Senior Member KeithA's Avatar
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    Lie to each of them about how they're your favorite behind the other's back.

    Buy them flowers once in a while.

    Never wear the same clothing on the other's seat.

  20. #20
    Senior Moment Litespeed's Avatar
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    If you want a REALLY great bike, go to Bill Holland's web site. (Don't confuse it will the Holland bike shop in Coronado). He will custom make you a bike that will fit you like a glove. He's not cheap but definitely worth it. My husband has one as to lots of other folks around San Diego. It usually takes him several months to build one, but again, it's worth the wait. If that isn't quite what you are looking for, you can also check out HiTech bike shop, off Mission Gorge Rd. They have some really nice bikes. I had mine custom made by them (before I knew about Bill Holland). Good luck finding one!

  21. #21
    Rides again HiYoSilver's Avatar
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    DG--

    Caution. Don't rent a Litespeed for a day. It definitely will create a "sweet" - "money flying out of wallet", stimulus response action event.

    The sweet happened, but can't afford money part of event. So just in dreamland now.
    Hi 'o Silver away

  22. #22
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee

    First up, I rode a Specialized Roubaix Comp Triple and had my mind blown away. It was amazing! Light, nimble, responsive, fast, quiet, just fantastic. That said, I had immediate issues with my hands (it was hard squeezing the brakes from the drop bars as opposed to flat bars), with my back (I have lower back issues), and with my neck (from having to look "up" more).

    It's going to be harder to climb back on my Trek 3900 MTB now. Thanks a lot, guys! It's all your fault!
    GaRy, the drops are ONLY used for downhill speed and a change of positions, and in the wind.

    I haven't used them much in years.

    Look into a more reasonable bike such as a Trek 1000 or Lemond Tourmalet or similar.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  23. #23
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BJ Ondo
    DG, your falling for the "dark side" of the force, soon your Trek will be a rusting hulk in a dark corner of the garage!! :O The siren song of the roadies makes the head swoon but just remember, if the "path" changes surfaces, you can't follow and you will be stuck on the hardpan, wishing you could go a different way! LOL, enjoy yourself looking for the two wheeled corvett, the "two wheeled jeep" will always be waiting for you to come back to the "light"!!
    I ride in gravel perfectly well with my 700x25's.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  24. #24
    Berry Pie..the Holy Grail GrannyGear's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=DnvrFox]GaRy, the drops are ONLY used for downhill speed and a change of positions, and in the wind.
    Gary,
    Everyone's riding style is different. A strong rider friend rides almost exclusively on his bar tops, using the 'hoods only when in braking situations. I ride all over the bar--drops, hoods, flats,--except the tops. Given your current back sensitivity, the drops may be your last choice-- for now. My bars are about an inch below the nose of my saddle and I find that, for me, that bar/stem position makes the drops very accessible. On long rides, the more hand & back angle variations you can find the better.

    In cycling, "Never say Never" is a good motto..."versatility" may be another factor to consider in your bike selection. But, hey, there are lots of things you can do in setting up (or changing the set-up) of any given bike...as your riding style evolves. Eventually, there may be a third bike on the horizon...but we'll wait till 07 to grow your harem some more.
    ..... "I renewed my youth, to outward appearance, by mounting a bicycle for the first time." Mark Twain, Speeches
    .

  25. #25
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    GaRy, the drops are ONLY used for downhill speed and a change of positions, and in the wind.
    Okay, I admit - I overstated just a bit about the drops.

    The reason was that sometimes folks think that you MUST ride in the drops all the time because it is a road bike and there are drops!

    Granny Gear is right of course!

    Felxibility is the spice of life - tell THAT to my back!

    And the past few years, I have both raised my bars and used the drops less. On my "utility" road bike, I have even (shh!!) leveled my bars so that I can reach the hoods more easily.

    Whatever keeps you riding is what one should do.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

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