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Old 07-31-09, 07:51 PM   #1
BCAC
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Want to stop using my MTB as a road bike

Because I won't ride trails when they're wet, I've been using my Gary Fisher Deluxe FS 29 more on the road than on trails recently, almost everyday 25-30 miles. While it's a great workout, I'm getting the bug and I'd like to do more miles and go faster when I'm on the road.

55 years old, 6'3"/205 lbs, healthy & fit, except for the 10 pounds I'm going to lose.

I want to buy from one of 2 local lbs that sell mainly Trek, Cannondale/GF, and Specialized. Since I know I'll use it for years and I can ride year round, I've set myself a budget of around $3,000ish.

Local roads are hilly backroads.

Any insights on models/set-ups for my particular situation?

Thanks,

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Old 07-31-09, 08:09 PM   #2
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$3K will buy a lot of bike.
Although a little more than $3K I would consider this Serotta

The best in Columbus steel, well designed and should hold it's value pretty well.
The only problem is that it is white...

But as I said - lots of really great options so sit back and take in all the advice.
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Old 07-31-09, 09:10 PM   #3
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For 3 grand you should be able to get a bike from any of those manufacturers that will make you quite happy. Get fitted and get a compact crankset for the hills. Buy the one you like best.
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Old 07-31-09, 10:27 PM   #4
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You need to determine if you want aluminum, steel or carbon fiber as well. But as stated before, with a budget like yours you will be able to come home with plenty of bike. Oh, and take it from someone who rides in a hilly area as well, a compact double is the only way to go.
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Old 07-31-09, 11:07 PM   #5
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I like the double compact suggestion as well. Give consideration to a Specialized Tricross Expert. It does a lot of things well.
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Old 08-01-09, 12:53 AM   #6
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Just to highlight some problems on the first road bike.

With a budget of that amount- you will have a problem trying to decide which bike to get. Really have a problem as you are also changing forms of bikes. There is a rule in Cycling that the first bike you buy- is only to tell you what you should have bought in the first place.

I changed from MTB's to road 3 years ago and knew nothing about Road bikes at all. What Geometry should I get? Comfort- Performance- Racer? What spec of groupset? What sizing? What quality of wheels?

Talking from experience now--The groupset is easy. Ultegra or above if you are going shimano- or the eqivalent in other makes. The geometry is what you will settle into but If you go for one type and it does not suit your body or ride style then it will not be comfortable. Sizing and as an EX mountain biker- my first frame was just a fraction too small. It felt right initially but wasn't long before I realised the next size up would have been better. And then the wheels- although at that price I would expect "GOOD" wheels- you may be getting a wheel that is not really for you.

So be carefull in choosing that first bike otherwise N+1 may be required a bit too quick.

So that is the pitfalls but hopefully the LBS will guide you through and over them.

One of the most popular road bikes around is Specialised. Going to plug for a bike that I have never owned but can highly recommend from the comments of others on this forum. The Specialised Roubaix.
The Roubaix Expert has everything I have suggested For a quality bike. Ultegra Groupset-And wheels that I have been using for two years that are quality and Strong.

http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/...jsp?spid=34081

Others come to mind in the Trek Madone and the Cannondale models but I know less about these that the Roubaix.

So welcome to the dark side but take time to adjust to riding with your head between your knees. Should take about 10 minutes.

For my own personal choice of bike-I would prefer something that stands out a bit. That Serrota cycling fool suggested is one of them. The quality is there and from a race background. It is just a bit different to the run of the mill manufacturers. I suppose that is why my favourite bike is one that most have never heard of- but it works. And I got a custom build on it so everything fits.

http://www.boreas-bikes.dk/pages/ignis.html

That will cost more than your budget though.
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Old 08-01-09, 01:37 AM   #7
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While there is much debate about this, personally if I'm planning to put a lot of miles on a bike I want that bike to be good, comfortable steel....hold on, all my bikes *are* steel...lol...anyway, your budget allows for lots of choices, and considering that, while out test riding, I'd consider checking out the steel touring bikes, such as the ones from Jamis (the Quest and Eclipse, okay the Eclipse is more of a steel race bike) several riders in my local club ride the Quest and love it. Either of them is within a pound of weight of a similarly priced carbon or aluminum bike, so weight isn't really an issue....comfort is.
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Old 08-01-09, 03:42 AM   #8
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Go to the LBS. Test rida a lot of bikes. Go out of town to another set of LBS and test ride a lot of bikes. Listen to what everyone in the shops are telling you and try to determine who knows what their talking about. (that is the hard part.)

Think about what you have learned and go back and test ride a lot of bikes.

I agree with Stapfam, your first road bike may not be your last so plan accordingly.


Did I mention that it was a good idea to ride a lot of bikes?
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Old 08-01-09, 10:44 AM   #9
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Whatever you do, please do not buy a tiny race frame meant for some supple 20 year old and put on a lot of spacers and a flipped stem to make it rideable. We "elderly" need either a frame made for comfort or a traditional roadframe in a size large enough for grownups. That Serotta Fierte is really beautiful but perhaps a tad expensive. If you travel often a Ritchey Break-Away is a nice alternative that would be well inside your budget. (I really like mine set up with 9 speed Campy Racing triple)
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Old 08-01-09, 01:02 PM   #10
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Contrary to what others have said here, I don't think you'll have any trouble finding the right bike. From the list you've provided, the Specialized Roubaix stands out. I would also look outside your list at Giant.
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Old 08-01-09, 01:20 PM   #11
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I'll second the Roubaix Expert, because I have one. But it's going to be quite a bit above your budget. I certainly like mine and its geometry indeed makes it an "endurance" bike.

I don't know that I agree with a post above that we "elderly" need comfort bikes like the Roubaix. I say that because I also love original road bike (or at least the frame and forks and several components, all of which date to 1962). That bike has a far less relaxed geometry than my Roubaix. I'm not sure what would happen if I tried to ride, say, 100 hilly miles in a day on it - if I ever rode it that far, memory fails me.
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Old 08-01-09, 01:24 PM   #12
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Looking at the OP. You have hilly backroads. Providing they are not mountains- think about a compact double for the crankset. The standard Crankset is fine for 20 year olds or flat routes but Most of us here do prefer the Compact with lower gearing if it involves a few hilly bits. Even hillier and a Triple might be on the cards. If you are in doubt about your "strength" then go for a triple or even change the rear cassette to a 12/27 gear range. I play safe and have the compact double at 50/34 and a 12/27 cassette. Except on the Bike I have set up for the mountains and that does have a triple and the 12/27 fitted.
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Old 08-01-09, 02:30 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by icyclist View Post
I'll second the Roubaix Expert, because I have one. But it's going to be quite a bit above your budget. I certainly like mine and its geometry indeed makes it an "endurance" bike.

I don't know that I agree with a post above that we "elderly" need comfort bikes like the Roubaix. I say that because I also love original road bike (or at least the frame and forks and several components, all of which date to 1962). That bike has a far less relaxed geometry than my Roubaix. I'm not sure what would happen if I tried to ride, say, 100 hilly miles in a day on it - if I ever rode it that far, memory fails me.
I ride a classic steel race geometry (level-horizontal top tube) from the mid 90's on long rides, my compact geometry CF Tarmac expert stays in the stable. I personally find high quality classic steel to offer an excellent ride and I have no issues with the geometry. The Tarmac is my climber and training bike - it's stiffness makes it a more efficient climber. I don't find the compact geometry to be superior - just looks different.

Stapfam is right on as far as gearing goes. My Tarmac has a triple (54/39/30) and a 12/26 cassett. There are times when I would like more on the lower gears but never looking for a faster gear. The steel bike has a compact (50/34) and 11/26 - too much high speed gearing and not enough on the low end. My plan is to change out the cassett on the steel bike at the next chain change - may go to a 12/28 or even lower.
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Old 08-01-09, 08:04 PM   #14
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All I'll say is that if I had $3K to spend on a new road bike, I would have a great time trying out all the available options and in the end I would have another great bike under me. Enjoy the search.
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Old 08-02-09, 06:34 AM   #15
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From a definite minority perspective, I'd consider how you like to ride first. I don't care for muddy trails either, but often do them as I love to ride and can't wait for them to dry. Sometimes I ride in the rain.

I hate tire-spray on the road as well and always had steel touring frames in the past to facilitate a rear rack with a narrow (low drag) trunk bag which is equivalent to a hydration pack for off-road. I also like fenders and keep a bobbed rear fender (no heavy/high drag side "brackets"/wires needed) on the bike all the time and add a front fender only if the roads are wet or running a high risk of rain. You can feel the effect of the front fender in high winds. It's an air scoop. I also use removable fenders on my mountain bike to minimize the mud coating.

I now use a titanium cyclocross frame which has provisions for both rack and fenders. It can can also accommodate disc brakes but use Vs for lighter weight. A separate set of wheels can allow wider tires (to 38 mm) for dirt/gravel forest roads. Cyclocross frames are a little more rugged, have more relaxed frame angles and are generally more comfortable. Possible in-between the pure road bike and the touring bike.

Being in excellent condition, but no jock, I prefer lower gearing. The rings are 22/34/46 (TA crankset) with a 12/27 cassette. I can easily spin above 100 smoothly. My wife uses a mountain bike (22/32/44) crankset on her road bike.

I was fortunate in buying an Airborne Carpe Diem frame set about the time they cured all the issues with that design and before the company folded. I was going to get a special -order ti frame set from Lightspeed for the rack and fender provisions. I was able to build the Airborne for about $3000. The Lightspeed would have probably have raised that another $500.

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Old 08-02-09, 07:16 AM   #16
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I'm 57 and was looking for a practical all around bike that was very comfortable. I ended up with a Rivendell Bleriot and as happy as a clam. It rides like a '76 Cadillac Edorado and is still pretty nimble. The Bleriot is discontinued and has been replaced with the Sam Hillburn. Grant Peterson has an unconventional view on some cycling issues but he designs some great bikes.

http://www.rivbike.com/products/list...s#product=none

Bump for a steel frame. *I* still believe nothing beats steel for a bike frame. Ever see an aluminum spring?

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Old 08-02-09, 07:34 AM   #17
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For the OP, If you are from Greensboro, I believe that I Know some of the LB shops in the area. I went thru ythe same type conversion last year, The Specialized shop is great to deal with and knows a lot about their bikes and fittings. The Cannondale shop in the area carries Cannodale, Trek and Giant. I have found them to be very knowledgeable and great to deal with. The actual reason I bought from them was their customer service. They made me feel like part of the family and treated me as if I was important from the first time I walked into the store. When I asked about a test ride for both me and my wife they did a brief fitting to get the bikes ready for a test ride and then 2 store employees took the bikes outside, I just figured they were going to let us ride them around the parking lot like the specialized store did. But no, they loaded the bikes into my truck and told us to take them home and test ride them where we normally ride and to bring them back in two weeks and let them know what we decided. They also do carry special order Serrotta, and Seven. Just wanted to give you my thoughts and hope they helped.
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Old 08-02-09, 06:04 PM   #18
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Thanks to all for the great comments and advice. I'm starting to think it may be a bit foolish to spend the kind of money I'm planning. I mean, while I'm fit, I am 55, so how much difference is the bike going to make?

But I did a tiny ride on a Roubaix at one shop and I'm going to check out the Madone at the next. And keep researching. Figure a compact crank and CF might be the way to go.

Gonna get something. Got rained out on the local trails again today. While riding in mud can be fun, it's rightfully frowned upon by the folks who do the trail maintenance!

The idea of doing group rides and trying centuries is really becoming interesting.
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Old 08-03-09, 08:09 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by cyclinfool View Post
$3K will buy a lot of bike.
Although a little more than $3K I would consider this Serotta

The best in Columbus steel, well designed and should hold it's value pretty well.
And, best of all, is that it is white...

But as I said - lots of really great options so sit back and take in all the advice.
Fixed
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Old 08-03-09, 10:21 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by icyclist View Post
I'll second the Roubaix Expert, because I have one. But it's going to be quite a bit above your budget. I certainly like mine and its geometry indeed makes it an "endurance" bike.

I don't know that I agree with a post above that we "elderly" need comfort bikes like the Roubaix. I say that because I also love original road bike (or at least the frame and forks and several components, all of which date to 1962). That bike has a far less relaxed geometry than my Roubaix. I'm not sure what would happen if I tried to ride, say, 100 hilly miles in a day on it - if I ever rode it that far, memory fails me.
I do not have a Roubaix nor have I ridden one. From the Specialized website, it seems like one to consider. IMHO, the innovation in frame design has been suspension and weight reduction while maintaining stiffness and aerodynamics i.e. different shaped tubing. Even though, the bike is a small part of the rider experience, with rider fitness being the most important, collectively, a good road bike that is comfortable, aero and lightweight is a joy to ride.

There is a lot of discussion in BF about wheels and performance. A good set of lightweight wheels put on a great frame will make a long ride more enjoyable with less energy required. And they can really dress up a bike. Happy hunting.
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Old 08-03-09, 10:55 AM   #21
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Thanks to all for the great comments and advice. I'm starting to think it may be a bit foolish to spend the kind of money I'm planning. I mean, while I'm fit, I am 55, so how much difference is the bike going to make?

But I did a tiny ride on a Roubaix at one shop and I'm going to check out the Madone at the next. And keep researching. Figure a compact crank and CF might be the way to go.

Gonna get something. Got rained out on the local trails again today. While riding in mud can be fun, it's rightfully frowned upon by the folks who do the trail maintenance!

The idea of doing group rides and trying centuries is really becoming interesting.
Hate to say it but a good bike makes a lot of difference. I only have to ride my Giant OCR and then the TCR-C to find that.

Compact good- C.F. not always as good. After years on Aluminium- I went C.F. and it took a bit of sorting out.

And Mud is great fun.
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Old 08-03-09, 12:55 PM   #22
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check out the "Fuji Touring". it is a genuine road bike but wicked wicked comfortable!
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Old 08-05-09, 01:03 PM   #23
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If you like the Fisher maybe a second set of wheels with narrower tires would fill the need for speed?
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Old 08-05-09, 09:44 PM   #24
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I was there, done that.
My biggest mistake was to trust the recommendations of fellow bikers for a LBS. They sold me a bike that did not fit well, was expensive and helped the LBS to clear the inventory. They closed shop 6 months later.
My recommendation is to study what you want and do not rely on any salesman.
More money for the bike should get you better functioning components like Shimano Ultegra or better yet Dura Ace.
Full Carbon Bikes ride smoother and are agile. My fellow bikers claim that Titanium is springy.
Bike fit is very critical. One inch makes a lot of difference.
I love my Trek Madone but I am sure that other bikes in that price range are very nice also.
One undesirable feature of the Madone is 25 mm max tires. The lousy roads around here would be better with 28 or 32 mm. I am using a Cycle Cross bike with 32 mm tires for that reason.
BTW, there are big savings if you accept last years model. You should be able to get a nice bike for $2,500 or less.
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Old 08-05-09, 10:08 PM   #25
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I just ordered my first one ($800 bike) knowing full well it probably isn't the perfect one. But, since I don't have any experience with road bikes, I don't KNOW what the perfect one for me is, so I'm trying one out. If I dropped $3K it would be depressing if I found out it really wasn't the best one for me.

Just sayin...
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