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Old 06-03-06, 02:14 AM   #1
stapfam
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The dark side.

Yesterday I went to my LBS to get the bits to rebuild the Tandem and I was shocked. They had some road bikes in their that I liked the look off. I actually started looking at them and even that surprised me. They are Giant dealers and besides the high end bikes that are way out of my Price range- They had two that seemed to be just about suitable for a Newbie. One was an OCR2 and the Other a TCR3 can't tell you the difference between them but both had triple chainsets that are necessary for a "New" road rider in our area, and I believe they were fitted out with Sora drive chain. Can't tell any of you about the rest of the bike but the TCR looks better to me- Colour of the OCR was a bit rough. (Typical newbie)

So let me throw it open to you lot- I will be looking at Giant Bikes as that is whet my LBS sells (They also sell Dawes but I don't I am mature enough for one of these Bikes-OLD Plodders Bikes in my opinion) So in the cheap end range- what should I be looking at for a road bike? I do realise that money gets a better bike- but This may just be a mental glitch on my part and I might come back to me senses fairly quickly.


Edit--These must be 05 models- and going by the colour of the TCR- It must have been a TCR Team as it is black.
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Old 06-03-06, 05:32 AM   #2
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Don't know too much about them, but they do get pretty good reviews. Click "Road Bikes" once you get to the site: http://www.roadbikereview.com/mfr/gi...L_5555crx.aspx
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Old 06-03-06, 05:51 AM   #3
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You will likely awake soon and find that this whole "road bike" thing is just a Kafkaesque nightmare.

As I am sure you are aware, Sora is not designed for a "racer-type" person, in that it is unlikely you will be able to shift while "in the drops." One of the shifting levers is on the inside of the brake hoods instead of both levers being at your fingertips just under the brake levers as in 105 and higher.

Also, Sora is an 8 speed cog (or at least it used to be). 105 and higher will have a "trim" feature for the middle chain ring to help assure a good drive line between the cogset and the middle chain ring. However, my Sora, without the trim feature, seems to track well. It is likely that with both 105 and Sora, you will not have full usage of all your gears in your small ring and large ring due to cross chaining.

I have Sora and 105. They both work well, when adjusted properly, which always seems to be a challenge, as I want my gears and drive train to be absolutely, totally quiet, and I can't stand ANY chain drag. Right now, both are adjusted perfectly, except I need to adjust the delimiter on the inside chain ring of my Sora, as I have been dropping the chain into the frame a couple of times.

Beyond that, as you well know, fit is the most important thing. Hopefully your LBS can assist. I have a very long body with very short legs, which means that there are certain frames that are most difficult, if not impossible, to adjust for me. I don't know your situation? If you have an averagely proportioned body, most frames should be just fine.

Good luck and have fun.

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Old 06-03-06, 05:56 AM   #4
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I have one road bike with the Sora kit, another with a 105 kit and yet another with the ultegra kit. Just a personal thing, but I wouldn't go for anything below the 105. While the Sora is adequate, and works fine, the performance improvement when you move to the 105 is quite large. The Ultegra is a jump up from the 105, but not as much. I'd also look carefully at the wheels. Do you know what the differences are between the two?

+1 to a visit to the RoadBike review site.
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Old 06-03-06, 07:47 AM   #5
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'road' bike' or 'other' - 'dark' or 'shady'

I've admired many times the sleek steeds built for speed then looked out the shop window at our local asphalt & concrete streets & roads. The roads' engineered strength was intended to resist all forces but they continually buckle from the clay soils in our region leaving gaps between curb & pavement, potholing, generally deteriorating at alarming speed & creating havoc for bike tires. I ruined a bike years ago by inadvertently slipping into the 2" gap between curb & pavement so have been leery ever since.

That's when I decided that if I was looking for more speed, more fluidity then some other kind of bike frame was likely more suitable - I've been looking at the 'cyclocross' (start around $ 900?) which take a range of tire widths & types or even a Surly Cross-Check frame that can be built to my specs ($ 399 for frame). Obviously thousands ride the skinny steeds but their vulnerability and SINGLE PURPOSE make me hesitate in my own investment as such.

As a rider who loves non-paved, you might look at the 'shady side' instead -
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Old 06-03-06, 11:48 AM   #6
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When it comes to road cycling, I strictly buy used, preferably, garage sale bikes. But I have to admit I've looked at new Giant road bikes briefly. The one item I would look for is a bar/fork/stem set up that would allow for adjustments. This way the bike can adjust for neck/back comfort.
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Old 06-03-06, 05:11 PM   #7
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When I look at new bikes, I seldom see anything reasonably-priced which meets my needs as well as a classic lugged steel frameset.
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Old 06-03-06, 07:55 PM   #8
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I had a 2004 Giant OCR2 with Tiagra shifters and Sora hubs. I agree that I would not want a bike with Sora shifters. Where I live (California), Giant bikes are very good bang-for-the-buck machines. I'm surprised, though, that the ones you saw had Sora shifters because the ones around here have Tiagra or 105
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Old 06-03-06, 08:22 PM   #9
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Giant makes good stuff. The Shimano gear on those bikes isn't glamorous, but it is servicable. If you want an entry-level, durable road bike, you're on the right track. I've always been impressed with Giant's sensible "value-for-the-money" philosophy and their excellent choice of parts at each price point. No, I haven't ridden (or bought) a Giant (unless you consider hotel training machines as "use"), but that doesn't stop me from having an opinion. Good luck!
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Old 06-03-06, 08:35 PM   #10
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I suspect, Stapfam, that if you begin to really road ride regularly, you may well be changing out parts to suit your tastes and use.........see if there are any significant differences in frame structure at the various price points for any given model.
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Old 06-04-06, 05:27 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John E
When I look at new bikes, I seldom see anything reasonably-priced which meets my needs as well as a classic lugged steel frameset.
+1.

Stapfam,

Start with a mid-range Schwinn, Japan made, or Raleigh steel road bike from the late 70s to early 80s. Your investment, if you search carefully, will be well under 100 US $, and if you like mixing it up between the two venues, then consider upgrading your road machine.

Quote:
GrannyGear wrote: I suspect, Stapfam, that if you begin to really road ride regularly, you may well be changing out parts to suit your tastes
And since you enjoy wrenching, an older riding machine can be a great deal of fun to switch and swap components on. Soon you will be a regular over at Classic & Vintage.
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Old 06-04-06, 10:31 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrannyGear
I suspect, Stapfam, that if you begin to really road ride regularly, you may well be changing out parts to suit your tastes and use.........see if there are any significant differences in frame structure at the various price points for any given model.
+ 1 on the examination of model frames and their 'upgradability' I discovered that my Giant Boulder doesn't have a rear cassette so there is no way to 'upgrade' the gears for more suitable 'road bike' velocities. However, since I bought 2 Giant MTB's in 2002 for $ 450 total, certainly I can't complain about value for money. In fact, my Giant has been a great workhorse machine and the Shimano shifters, gearing etc. have never broken down or caused me problems. Still running on the original tires, rims, etc. Only the seat has been changed (thrice) seeking perineal comfort.
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Old 06-04-06, 02:25 PM   #13
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From my bike shopping days last summer, I seem to remember the OCR is the 'more relaxed' geometry (which is a pretty relative concept in a road bike, but leaning toward the Pilot/Roubaix school of frame geometry) and the TCR is their more traditional racing geometry...someone correct me if I'm not remembering that right.

I test-rode the Giants and thought they were very comfortable; unfortunately I fell right between sizes, so decided to go with a brand that had a little more choice in sizes. Otherwise I could very well have ended up with a Giant, probably TCR.

As for Sora shifters: my older touring/cyclocross bike needed new shifters and the only 7-speeds available were Sora. I didn't like the idea when it was proposed to me, but there was no choice. After riding with them a while, I like them much better than I thought I would.

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Old 06-04-06, 05:55 PM   #14
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I currently ride an 05 Giant OCR2. It has a 105 Tiagra mix for components. It is light responsive, and with the compact frame, very adaptable to different riding setups. From touring to race, or somewherew in between, which is where I have mine. A very good road bike for the money. I have quite a few bikes to choose from when going on a ride, Including many old school (Schwinn Paramount, Bianchi, Bridgestone, etc) and the Giant gets 75% of the miles I ride. I love it.
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Old 06-04-06, 06:15 PM   #15
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What does OCR stand for with Giants?
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Old 06-04-06, 06:45 PM   #16
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What does OCR stand for with Giants?
The OCR frames are set up as road frames(more relaxed geometry) The TCR frames are more of a criterium type bike(shorter, quicker handling).
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