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  1. #1
    Senior Member metalheart44's Avatar
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    Any Cervelo RS Owners Also Ride Steel?

    At 65 I started cycling again after a 20+ year lay off. I am shopping for a new bike for pavement rides of 40-50 miles on a combination of flats and hills. I have done some test rides of a wide range of bikes and I like the Specialized Roubaix, the Felt Z5, and I really like the Cervelo RS. The short test rides means I have to guess what each bike would feel like after 30 miles ...

    My current bike is steel and I am reasonably happy with it, but I need to shorten the stem to make it comfortable for longer rides. Since I am going to buy another bike anyway, and I favor the ride of the RS, I am wondering if there are any RS owners who also have steel bikes and if so, how do you compare the ride for longer distances ....

    The retail price on the RS is not too far off from a custom steel bike and I briefly thought about a Carl Strong or similar, but then I do not have any unusual anatomy that makes a custom bike necessary other than it would be nice to have something tailored exactly to my needs.

    Just some random thoughts as I think about the next bike....

  2. #2
    Just Ride BITSA's Avatar
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    Hey metalheart44,

    I just got my RS in early July and have already put over 1k miles on it. Most rides during the week were 25 miles with 50-70 mile rides on the weekend.
    I just love this bike, the ride is great and you can still hammer to go fast. I do have a Peugeot (1986 - P6), which has gotten very little use since the RS.
    I use to use the Peugeot for small local rides and the Madone for longer rides, now its mostly the RS and the Madone for 25 and less high intensity rides.
    Cervelo R3T (Crash Replacement for RS)
    Trek Madone 4.5...........................................Trek 6000D
    Moto Fantom Cross Team Ti..........................Peugeot 1986 - P6

  3. #3
    Senior Member bobbycorno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BITSA View Post
    Hey metalheart44,

    I just got my RS in early July and have already put over 1k miles on it. Most rides during the week were 25 miles with 50-70 mile rides on the weekend.
    I just love this bike, the ride is great and you can still hammer to go fast. I do have a Peugeot (1986 - P6), which has gotten very little use since the RS.
    I use to use the Peugeot for small local rides and the Madone for longer rides, now its mostly the RS and the Madone for 25 and less high intensity rides.
    Not surprising that you find the Cervelo more appealing than a Peugeot P6. Rather like comparing a Ferarri to a Pinto. Not exactly the matchup that the OP had in mind, methinks.

    SP
    Bend, OR

  4. #4
    Senior Member metalheart44's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies ... For me, there is some hand wringing that goes into spending 4K plus on a new bike. I have read many of the recent threads here and elsewhere about steel, carbon, and ti frames, the importance of fit, the value of appropriate/good wheels for ride quality, and a range of opinions about the comfort of carbon/steel/ti. This piece about steel and carbon http://reviews.roadbikereview.com/bl...nd-not-carbon/ and the many comments that follow show the range of opinions about ride quality in various materials, particularly steel and carbon.

    My longer term experience is with steel, but my short rides on a range of carbon frames (Bianchi, Cervelo, Specialized, Trek, Cannondale, etc...) showed some promise, especially the RS and the Roubaix. This next bike is going to be my long ride bike, the 40+ mile bike, and some comfort and durability are the important factors in the decision point. I think about the Cervelo at 3.6K and a custom steel bike at about 4.2k and I just wonder if there is that much more value in a custom frame or if a stock carbon frame would do just as well on the fit end since there is nothing unusual about my torso to leg ratio. And, for either bike I can change the wheels to work for me.

    I thought some might have gone through the same decision and have experience with the RS.

    Thanks again,
    MH

  5. #5
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    I have two Cervelo bikes, a steel Prodigy 2001 and the RS 2008. The Prodigy is a traditional geometry with longer wheelbase and the RS is sloping with shorter wheelbase. The RS is more fun to ride. Since you're in the Sierra foothills, you have a lot of elevation gain type riding.

    For me, its not just about the frame material, its about how the bike handles. The carbon material has a damping effect, so I can't say the RS rattles me more than the Prodigy. Yet on long descents, the steel Prodigy has that very assuring and steady handling quality. Some of this may be due to the longer wheelbase too.

    I would say that the RS will not beat you up on long rides because it doesn't for me. As far as comparison between Roubaix, Felt to the RS, make sure you use the same wheelset and use the same tire pressure throughout, even if the rides may be on different days. The RS should feel more lively the the others.

    If you had been riding all along and in good condition, I would suggest going for the Cervelo R3 because they're on sale. It has those thin seat stays much like the RS.
    Last edited by Garfield Cat; 09-29-10 at 12:10 PM.

  6. #6
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    I have an RS and some other good CF bikes- Madone 5.5, Look 566 and Scott CR-1 as well as a steel Gunnar and Serotta CDA. I believe the most import thing is the fit, followed by a good wheel set with fat (25 or 28mm tires) and then, finally, the frame material. If I were in your position, I would opt for a custom steel or ti bike because they will survive a crash as well as give a great ride. There are lots of threads on custom steel, ti and carbon fiber builders. I have had a custom steel bike by Waterford in Wisconsin- great bike for long or short rides! IT'S THE FIT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR! Just my oppinion of course but I think many forum members would agree.

  7. #7
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    There is only one way to compare bikes and that is to test ride them. I don't have the problem as to whether it is going to be custom steel or C.F as I am not in the market for a bike.

    However 3 years ago I was. I went to a lot of shops and I was talking a higher end bike. Never rode steel but Ti- CF and Al. My feeling was that if I was spending that amount on a bike- it had to be right- None of them were perfect and some put me off that "Big Name" manufacturer altogether. But back to my LBS and chat again. I did buy from my usual LBS and I bought a top end Al frame and got it custom built on components.

    But that was only after a good test ride on the owners bike that luckily fitted and on MY wheels. I knew how those wheels felt so took one variable away from the equation. That bike is still the one I prefer to ride and the quality shows through.

    Aluminium is not a favoured material nowadays but this bike suits me. It is a top end frame and the components fitted are a compromise on quality and cost so is yet another way to go. But quality does show through. This is a race spec frame and can understand why it was a rated manufacturer for the club racers over here.

    So test out the bikes that interest you- it is the only way that you will buy a bike that will be ridden and not only come out for the odd jaunt. That was the mistake I made on the next bike as I went CF in a TCR-C. Good bike but it doesn't give me the ride I really want.
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  8. #8
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    It is true that the bike's geometry and the way it fits the rider are far more critical than the choice of frame material. Steel does have a proven advantage in longevity, reliability, and repairability, and I don't fret over the extra weight.

    Perhaps because I grew up with more relaxed, traditional frame geometries, and perhaps because I do a fair bit of utility cycling, I find some of today's racing geometries a bit too tight, aggressive, and twitchy. I also think some of the designers have gone overboard on close clearances -- what is wrong with leaving a bit of extra space to accommodate a wheel which goes a bit out of true during a ride? The shorter the brake reach, the higher the braking leverage, but today's brakes are really good, anyway.

    On the other hand, I also find the steering response of some of the longest touring frames frustratingly slow.
    Last edited by John E; 10-02-10 at 10:43 AM.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    I just bought a Cervelo RS and LOVE it. Went on a 31 mile ride today. Felt like I could easily do another 31 at the end of the ride (except for a slightly uncomfortable seat). I also test rode a Felt Z5 before buying the Cervelo and it was also a very nice bike, couldn't really find anything wrong with either of them. But I got a pretty good deal on the Cervelo since the 2011 RS is going to sell for $1000 cheaper. You might be able to pick up a 2010 RS Ultegra for not too much over the 2011 RS price now.

  10. #10
    Semper Fidelis
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    I have a Waterford 2200, a Serotta CDA and recently bought a new Felt carbon. If you have a proper fit, saddle to bottom bracket, reach and set back and a saddle that fits right the only difference I believe that you will find would be a weight factor which imo is minamal compared to the ride qualities of steel and carbon. both inmo soak up the road buzz and vibrations and the carbon is kind of a softer ride here on the roads in texas but for ride quality I find both materials very comparable and depending on the geometry, this would be the key too responsiveness and your preference
    "Advantages Must Be Pressed, Disadvantages Must Be Overcome"

  11. #11
    Senior Member jr59's Avatar
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    My 2 cents would be; Buy the custom.

    It will be made just for you, painted just the way you want it.
    Fit like a glove, and be a bike that will last you the rest of your life. Hopefully a long time!

    This to me is a no brainer. CF is ok, I'm not down on it, it works well for what it is.

    But a high level custom made frame, fit to you, made to your specs, or a high level CF frame, mass produced to fit everyone.
    Besides, if you wreck the CF, (Hopefully not) it's toast. While the steel can be repaired.

    I have CF frames, Ti frames, Al frames, as well as steel. All are good.

    But, when you talk about CUSTOM, now thats something else.

  12. #12
    Veloist riversiderider's Avatar
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    I have and would again go custom steel.

    In my case I went with Doug Curtiss, Curtlo Cycles in Winthrop, Washington.

    A custom steel bike made with modern steel tubing is incredible.

    Ride safe.
    2006 LeMond Versailles
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  13. #13
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    I have a 10 year old Lemonds Steel and a Cervelo 3R SL which I purchased a year ago.

    The Cervelo rides much smother and is more fun to ride. I have a vacation house and the original concept was a bike in each location however I like the Cervelo so much I bring it with me and ride it exclusively. The Lemonds is permanently mounted to the indoor trainer.

    I would say the the RS is a nice bike and worth consideration though a 2011 R3 might be better. You should know that the 2011 Cervelo R3 has meaningful upgrades.

    This looks like a deal, it is a 2010 so it does not have the upgrades but is full Ultegra and at $3,200 is a lot of bike for the money.

    http://www.excelsports.com/main.asp?...jor=1&minor=35

    Here is a 2011, I never heard of this place. It is my understanding that the current year Cervelo is price fixed so it might be a standard price?
    http://www.nytro.com/index.cfm/product/?ProductID=5674
    Last edited by v70cat; 10-03-10 at 09:00 AM.

  14. #14
    Senior Member metalheart44's Avatar
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    Thanks for the observations and comments ... I am going to shop for a custom steel bike, but I probably will not give up on having a carbon bike at some point. There are some insightful discussions here and in other forms ... check this one out ... http://forums.serotta.com/showthread...ghlight=custom and this one ... http://forums.serotta.com/showthread...ghlight=custom about the value and benefits of custom vs off the shelf bikes. The Cervelo is a very nice riding bike and it may still be in my future ... or wait ... maybe it should be a Merckx EMX-3!!! thanks again, for the comments.

  15. #15
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    A few random thoughts to add to the mixing bowl.

    Blessed or cursed with a garage full of bikes of various frame materials so the steel vs. carbon argument does not hold water with me. I find no great speed difference when going over 30 miles between the materials and similar equipped. Frame fit to the rider is the key.

    A modern steel frame can compete very well with other frame materials on weight. Example: Torrelli Nitro Express with Ultegra and a decent set of wheels is under 17 pounds in a size 52 cm frame according to my scale.

    If it ever comes down to it the bikes will be sold off in the following manner: aluminum first, carbon, carbon/steel mix, ti, ti/carbon mix, steel.

  16. #16
    Senior Member BikeArkansas's Avatar
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    My new Gunnar Roadie frame is scheduled to arrive today. Guess that tells you my take on bike frames.

    Actually, I have had an Orbea, a Tirreno Raza and now own a Trek carbon fiber bike. Great bikes, but I want a good steel bike. I bought a custom steel bike that a local bike mechanic had built custom for his own use. He and I are the very same build, including height, weight and leg length. I rode the custom bike a few times and got rid of it. Did not fit.

    Then I read an article, which I cannot find right now, that was written by a bike builder. The article was about custom builds, which the builder had done in the past. However, he has now come full circle to say that major bike companies spend a tremendous about of time and money to perfect their frames. He says to go with those frames and tweak the fit with the seat, the stem and handle bar.

    I now agree with the bulder, the major bike manufacturers know what they are doing.
    I started riding my bike to get healthy. Now I try to stay healthy so I can ride my bike.

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