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Thread: CF test drive

  1. #1
    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    CF test drive

    I am indulging my inner Fred. I went and tested an '08 Specialized Tarmac last night wondering if I wanted to go on a 5 lb crash diet and switch my ride away from steel. I was surprised that although I could feel the lighter weight there was only a small difference in responsiveness. I did find the bike reflected the bumps in the pavement more - mostly due to the stiffness in the fork compared to my springy swooped steel fork. I think I would prefer the steel bike on a century. What I did notice was that the Tarmac was not as twitchy and tracked a little better. I would prefer that on a shorter speed/club ride. My current ride will need a new group next year or the year after - it's on it's last legs. I am perplexed. There are some fantastic deals on '07 bikes if you can find one. I am not a Shamano fan - the Tarmac expert comes with shamano ultegra. Stop me before I do something stupid!
    "Of all the things I ever lost I miss my mind the most." Mark Twain
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    Senior Member ?? Beverly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclinfool View Post
    Stop me before I do something stupid!
    There is nothing stupid about buying a new bike

    I don't have a steel bike for comparison but I've found my CF to be very comfortable on longer rides. To date my longest on it has been a few 60-80 mile rides....no centuries this year
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  3. #3
    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    Thanks Bev - Many folks like the CF ride. My riding partner just switched from an all AL cannondale to a trek 1000, AL with CF fork - he could not believe he let himself be beat up by the cannondale for the past 15 years. It will take a lot for me to give up my classic Italian steel bike (columbus SLX tubing) but I am mighty tempted to bite on this all CF light weight machine, particularly since I am 2 lbs away from my 30 lb weight loss target. My stable has an extra stall in it...
    "Of all the things I ever lost I miss my mind the most." Mark Twain
    If all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclinfool View Post
    ..., particularly since I am 2 lbs away from my 30 lb weight loss target. My stable has an extra stall in it...
    When you take thirty pounds off of YOU, you are entitled to a bike that is 5 lbs lighter. It's a rule!

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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclinfool View Post
    Tsince I am 2 lbs away from my 30 lb weight loss target. My stable has an extra stall in it...
    With 30 lbs. lost, you've already lost 2 bikes. You deserve the Tarmac if you want it. And being as you lost the 30 lbs., seems like your stable should have 2 stalls.
    Bike to live, live to eat!!

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    OnTheRoad or AtTheBeach stonecrd's Avatar
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    Very nice bikes especially the Taramc Pro. Even at the comp level you get a DA RD, so a step up from Ultegra. I would have gotten the pro but the cost was about $300 more than I wanted to spend and was not quite as stiff as my Scott.
    The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard and the shallow end is much too large

    2013 Noah RS

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    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    The "CF ride" can vary quite a bit. Depends if the frame is tuned for performance or comfort. As a material, CF is more vibration absorbing than steel. But it also offers the opportunity to make a very stiff, high performance frame that is still quite lightweight. That's where some manufacturers go with it.
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    OnTheRoad or AtTheBeach stonecrd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil View Post
    The "CF ride" can vary quite a bit. Depends if the frame is tuned for performance or comfort. As a material, CF is more vibration absorbing than steel. But it also offers the opportunity to make a very stiff, high performance frame that is still quite lightweight. That's where some manufacturers go with it.
    Which is why Specialize makes the Tarmac for people who want stiffer race geometry and the Roubaix if they want more compliant relaxed geometry. Both come in CF. The key reason to go with CF is that it can be lighter for the same level of stiffness than most other materials primarily because you can build up the CF where you need the frame to be stiff and use less where you don't need the stiffness. Tough to do this with metal.
    The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard and the shallow end is much too large

    2013 Noah RS

  9. #9
    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stonecrd View Post
    Very nice bikes especially the Taramc Pro. Even at the comp level you get a DA RD, so a step up from Ultegra. I would have gotten the pro but the cost was about $300 more than I wanted to spend and was not quite as stiff as my Scott.
    I was also considering a Scott CR1 - but the deal on the Tarmac is so sweet and the Tarmac comes in red - and as I have said before red is faster. It comes with Mavic Ksryium equipe wheels - I might sell these off new and put a set of SL's on it. The seat and the tires will go straight away for sure.
    "Of all the things I ever lost I miss my mind the most." Mark Twain
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  10. #10
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Go for it. But eBay all the Ultegra stuff and get a SRAM Rival group.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  11. #11
    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    Yea - I had the same thought but instead of SRAM - Chorus. I know, I know - the group would be worth more than the bike - but I am soo campy.
    "Of all the things I ever lost I miss my mind the most." Mark Twain
    If all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

  12. #12
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclinfool View Post
    Yea - I had the same thought but instead of SRAM - Chorus. I know, I know - the group would be worth more than the bike - but I am soo campy.
    Yeah, as soon as I posted that I thought "he may want Campy". I was thinking Centaur at that price level, though.

    I know a few people who are using the new SRAM Rival group and they all love it. The biggest plus for me is the "Double Tap" gear shifters. I absolutely can't stand the Shimano STI setup with the brake lever being a shift lever and I'm not real crazy about the thumb lever on Campagnolo Ergopower.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

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    Begs the question - should one just wait until the January sales and spring for the '08 Tarmac Expert Rival?

  14. #14
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    I have two CF bikes and both are made by Trek. There are marked differences in stiffness in the two frames. Just another example of how building up the CF can make a world of difference in frame feel. You might try a few more different models to find the one that best suits your taste. After all, you have lost 30 lbs!!

    However both my Treks are head and shoulders above my first road bike (Al with a Chromoly fork) in ride comfort. The most comfortable CF bike I've ridden was my 5200 that went back to the Trek factory and never returned........They said they lost the frame??????

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    OnTheRoad or AtTheBeach stonecrd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclinfool View Post
    I was also considering a Scott CR1 - but the deal on the Tarmac is so sweet and the Tarmac comes in red - and as I have said before red is faster. It comes with Mavic Ksryium equipe wheels - I might sell these off new and put a set of SL's on it. The seat and the tires will go straight away for sure.
    I was comparing a 2006 CR1 to a 2007 Tarmac Pro. The Tarmac Pro was quite sweet CF bars and DA RD, the red was hot but my price limit was $3000 and the LBS could not come down to that. The Tarmac Comp was also nice but I was lusting after the pro. I was also looking at a Orbea Opal in beautiful blue and the 2006 Scott which is naked CF with white decals and was significantly cheaper being 2006. On riding the bikes I graded them CR1, Opal and then Tarmac for stiffness and acceleration. The ride comfort felt the same but then this was only a test ride. In the end the price and ride put me on the CR1, I have about 1200 miles on it so far and have no regrets it goes like bat and I have no discomfort riding it.

    When you get to this level of bikes there is so little difference I think you can be happy with whatever you choose.
    The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard and the shallow end is much too large

    2013 Noah RS

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfred View Post
    Begs the question - should one just wait until the January sales and spring for the '08 Tarmac Expert Rival?
    I've got my eye on that one too. It kind of depends on the math. (2007 closeout price minus resale value of Ultegra components plus cost of Rival components plus whatever value you place on the hassle and the work involved) compared to (sale price of 2008 bike with desired components plus whatever value you place on having to wait).

    For me it's an easy calculation. By the time I am possibly in a position to buy a new road bike, the 2007 models will all be gone and I will have decided on a different bike anyway.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  17. #17
    OnTheRoad or AtTheBeach stonecrd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
    For me it's an easy calculation. By the time I am possibly in a position to buy a new road bike, the 2007 models will all be gone and I will have decided on a different bike anyway.
    You might be surprised, I found my 2006 Scott in June of this year. Sometimes these types of higher end bikes hang around a bit longer than the slightly lower model. I usually see a few older Madones sitting in
    shops as well. I think at this price point the margin for the LBS is less so they can't really fire sale them so they keep them around a bit longer.
    The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard and the shallow end is much too large

    2013 Noah RS

  18. #18
    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    There are such an endless array of options. I started looking at the Pinerello F3, worked myself up to an F4 - was leveling out at $6000, wife was saying - go 4 it but I just couldn't justify it. I had not ridden an F3 or F4 but had done enough reading about them. I poked at the scotts last night, I can get a good deal on one of those - basically shop discount through a friend. From what I can tell they ride about the same. The issue is I will not know what I have until I have ridden a few 100 miles on it. Acceleration is hard to tell in a parking lot - If I were to do my favorite 30 mile loop on a cool day with no wind and checked the speed at each of my speed check points I would know for sure. and as one post said - at this level they are so close. Every CF bike I have ridden has not felt like an improvement over my steel Simoncini, they are 4 to 5 lbs lighter so I know they must be accelerating faster but without a scientific measurement it is hard to tell. What I have found over the years is that it is the little things over a long distance that make the differenence. 105 lbs of air vs 90 lbs of air in the tires is worth about 0.5 mph average on a 30 mile ride, a clean lubed drive train is worth a few tenths on my 16 mile ride over a few weeks of chain grunge. With a jacked on a cool morning will drop a few tenths.

    What i expect out of this new bike is by mid summer next year to move to the fast club rides from the touring rides. The touring rides average about 18 - 19 mph over 50 to 60 miles, the fast rides are more like 21 with some added hills. Thats my goal anyway. I won't be riding much anymore this year - I have already spend 4 days this week on the trainer.

    The deal I have worked out now has the expert less than 2K. Tonight I just proposed trading the wheels up to Ksyrium SLs and adding speedplay X2s - which I have been riding for the past 12 years. I have a number in my mind - if they can hit that we gotta deal. If they don't I'll buy the bike - ebay off the wheels before I ride them and set it up the way I want it. I think I can live with the Ultegra and DA which comes with it, If after a year or two I don't like them I'll put me beloved campy on it and ride into bike heaven. If the ride proves too stiff for centurys my Simoncini will still be in the stable and we will do the dance weve done so many times in the past.
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  19. #19
    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    Well I did it. Placed the order last night for this http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=22287

    I'll switch out the wheels right away though and it will drop another 3/4 lb.

    My Simoncini must have been jealous though, I got home do to my 30 mile loop solo and we did it with a 17.6 average with a gusty head wind through about 1/3 of the ride. This was my best average yet. The bike and I were in harmony. I guess I will have two loves next summer - I will be a Bikamist.
    "Of all the things I ever lost I miss my mind the most." Mark Twain
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  20. #20
    Senior Member Deanster04's Avatar
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    I went from a Ti Carbon bike back to steel. Purchased a Mondonico Diamond Extra and a Pinarello light wt steel fork. With my Record group swapped over from the TiC bike the Mondonico weighs only 17.9 lbs and is a steel lugged bike made with the light Columbus Neuron tubing. Glad I went back to steel for the ride is fantastic. Also, lost 38 lbs since the beginning of the year...Made a great difference even riding my Scapin SLX bike with C-Record as well.

  21. #21
    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    I have run into a few folks who have followed your path and I may end up as one but for now I gotta try this. Mt steel ride is a different ride, more like a comfortable sporty car. From the little test riding I did I think the Tarmac will be a higher performance machine but with the pit falls that come with it.
    I could not tell from a few short rides, the proof will be on multiple long rides and which bike a tend to saddle up more.
    "Of all the things I ever lost I miss my mind the most." Mark Twain
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  22. #22
    Senior Member ?? Beverly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclinfool View Post
    Well I did it. Placed the order last night for this http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=22287

    .
    Congratulation on the new bike! How long before you get to ride it?
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  23. #23
    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beverly View Post
    Congratulation on the new bike! How long before you get to ride it?
    It's in stock at the warehouse, I am going to call the shop manager tomorrow and see when they will have it. I want to trade the wheels right away so I may ask them to wait a few days before they assemble it so they can put it together with the new wheels and I will take the wheels that come with it in the box to e-bay off as new.

    If this takes too long the answer to that question may be May '08. We are looking at a hard freeze tonight, although I can typically ride here until late October, it certainly will ramp down quickly now.

    I will post pics when it is all together.
    "Of all the things I ever lost I miss my mind the most." Mark Twain
    If all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Wildwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclinfool View Post
    Yea - I had the same thought but instead of SRAM - Chorus. ... I am sooo campy.
    +1
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    Ya know, I've got to try my steel bike again. I haven't been on it for 2 seasons now. The problem though is it is much heavier than my CF and it feels it.

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