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  1. #1
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    The Color of My New Bike

    I'm about to buy a Specialized Dolce Comp. For those of you who don't know, it is a Women's specific design. Well I'm kind of bummed because I loved the color of the 2004 model but it is not available in my size. It was a beautiful brushed blue/silver.

    http://www.specialized.com/SBCBkMode...m7gyv9v.j27002

    The new 2005 model is a Candy Apple Red with Silver accents. It seems a lot of the companies have gone from silver color bikes to some color like red, aqua, or the standard blue combination.

    http://www.specialized.com/SBCBkMode...m7gyv9v.j27002

    Perhaps it is better to have a color?? Is it me?

    I really wanted to buy locally so that I could develop a relationship with the bike shop but I could try to find the 2004 model somewhere. There isn't another WSD that offers the same specs or has a better color selection.

    What do you all think?

  2. #2
    n00b street rider Lufty's Avatar
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    I wasn't too worried about color with my rescent bike purchace. Yeah I leaned to certain colors, but it came down to the ride, availability of the bike that fit, and the comfort in the saddle.
    I liked the Specialized silver too...but bought a blue Lemond.

  3. #3
    Tom (ex)Builder twahl's Avatar
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    Have you asked if they could get a 2004 model in? I had my LBS order in an 04 Expedition Sport about a month ago, the 05 was more available, but they located an 04 for me.

  4. #4
    bac
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    For what it's worth, I like the red better.

  5. #5
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    Specialied is sold out of the 2004 model. I've emailed a few dealers but so far no luck. Perhaps it is meant for me to have the red bike. It will look nice on the back of my silver car. There you have it -- I must be partial to silver. Red is however one of my favorite colors. I just liked the rich look of the silver but I think I can live with the red.

  6. #6
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    I've never liked the colours that Specialized picks for their WSD bikes. The periwinkle on the 2004 Elite was nice, but it sure didn't look very fast. And now? Lavender? Seafoam? Yeeeugh!

    The red for the Dolce Comp is alright... but it's a little on the candy/lipsticky side.

    Have you thought about just getting a well-fitted 2005 Allez Comp, and forgetting about the Dolce WSD altogether? The double's a real nice Ti/silver colour!

  7. #7
    Short bus rider H. Star's Avatar
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    Everyone knows that red bikes go faster!
    Always try your most moderate.

  8. #8
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    Well there is a point for the red!

    As for getting the Allez -- I'm 5'2" and really need a WSD bike. I'm also after a Road bike.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    I think that color is more of a factor for some people than it is for others.

    For many people, a bicycle is a tool and they don't have strong opinions regarding color. For them, color is a veto element - they say they don't care unless it's a color that they hate. I remember one customer telling me "Whatever color the next one off the assembly line happens to be." His very next sentence was "Not green."

    For other people, their bicycle is an artistic extension of themself. For them, color can be very important. I remember selling an $800.00 wheelset to a woman just so that she wouldn't have to have red rims. The really funny thing was that her husband used to be the general manager of the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team. I guess maybe she thought that she already had too much red in her life.

    I'll admit to being color sensitive. I generally prefer reds, blacks and gray and I will gladly pay a little more or wait a little longer to get what I want. A bike that has a color that I don't like or that I'm indifferent to isn't going to get ridden much at my house.

  10. #10
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    IMHO it is more important to have a slime-green bike AND a great relationship with the LBS mechanic than your favorite color and no one to hold your hand when your wheels go out of true, you can no longer shift to the big chain ring, and your bike squeaks more than John Kerry's wife...

    Hey, red's cool... Easier to match with standard, discount bike clothing as well.

    BTW... If you are female, make sure you wear one-size-smaller bike shorts. This will help reduce aerodynamic drag enabling you to stay in front of the guys! :-)~

  11. #11
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    Personally, I wouldn't worry so much about color as I would about fit, components and a good relationship with the bike shop.

    At 5'2" be sure the shop is getting the right size. I see too many small women on bikes that have tt that are too long even though they are on small frames.

    A woman I know (my size, 5'2") bought a 48 cm Dolce and is complaining of back pain, her back was very rounded, she was bending from the waist not the hips. She tried my 44cm Aegis and she was perfect. I suspect the tt is too long or handlebars too low, but I'm not a fitter. Supposedly, the guy who did the fitting knew what he was doing but she was very uncomfortable even on a 30 mile ride.

    Another story about fitting very small women. I did a ride last week and this guy was telling me his wife was getting a Waterford frame (she's also my size). I gave him some suggestions to think about but the bike was being built as we spoke. Well, I happened to run into to them on Sunday, and she was very unhappy. She was uncomfortable because she couldn't shift and brake well. The brake hoods were way up on the handlebars, hard for her to reach and shift. I took one look and it was obvious that her handlebars were too wide. Again, she tried my bike and her arms fell into alignment with her shoulders. Her handlebars were probably 40 or 42cm, mine are 38cm and short reach! She was also very uncomfortable with the Shimano hoods and loved my Campy ones, but we don't know if it was the awkward position or the shape of the hoods themselves.

    Moral of the story, know what you need before you buy and don't rely on the salesmen, they are trained to fit the average man not a small woman. If necessary, pay for a good fitting and educate yourself before you buy. Know your specific fitting needs, short arms, flexibility, etc. You may find that Campy is more comfortable than Shimano, that 650c wheels feel better than 700c's, etc.

    Also, consider components, the 1st bike is all Ultregra, the second bike is a mix of Ultregra and Dura-Ace. I would go for the better components.

    Check out the Serrota Fierte Steel. It's a stock frame, the same price range, the 46p fit me well and has a better geometry with the 650c wheels which I love.

    Better yet, go custom!

    Good luck, I know its hard to find small frames but little things mean alot.

    Kathi

  12. #12
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    You are right that I should be more concerned with the fit of the bike and the compnents than the color. Thank you very much for the feedback. It is all very confusing. I have read all kinds of horror stores on this forum of people buying expensive bikes and having problems due to fit. I truly do not want to find myself in that situation.

    Do you know how many people have said, not to buy a bike with 650c wheels? I've heard this from 2 LBS that sell WSD bikes with both 650c and 700c wheels. They seem to have sound reasons for advising against the small wheel. To whom should I listen? The other option is to just ride both bikes and make my own decision. Trek does have several nice WSD bikes with 650c wheels.

    In terms of the size of the frame, this differs with each company because of the style and design. So a 48cm with one company might fit and with another be too big. By "tt" I'm assuming you are referring to the top tube on the Dolce. Well, I guess it all depends whether someone has an average torso in proportion to height or long legs and a short torso, or a long torso and short legs.

    I wish I could afford to have a bike custom made with all ultegra parts but I'm afraid that will just go over my budget. Being a new rider, I would have a hard time justifying more than the cost of the Dolce Comp. The reason I'm spending that much is that I feel that having a lighter bike with good components will make my ride more enjoyable.

    Thanks again.

  13. #13
    Geezer Member Grampy™'s Avatar
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    I too think the Red is a better looking bike.

  14. #14
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    I don't understand the bias that some shops have against 650 wheels. I've ridden them for almost 10 years and haven't had a problem getting tires or tubes. The few articles I've read comparing the 650's with 700's state they are just as fast and actually accelerate faster.

    You're exactly right stating that you don't want to buy an expensive bike and find it doesn't fit, which is happened to my friend Kim, she had to pay $125 for a fitting to find out why her brand new bike doesn't fit! I also had an issue with my bike that I bought 4 years ago, I was having shoulder and neck pain especially when I rode long distances or every day. I went back to the shop that built it and they said everything was fine. I went to another shop, paid for a fitting and found the handlebars were 4 cm to low. Since I had a carbon steerer tube on my fork the handlebars couldn't be raised that much. I had to buy a new fork and stem to the tune of $500.

    If I ever buy another bike it will definitely be custom.

    I'm curious, what are the reasons for not buying 650 wheels? Are they based on experience or conjecture?

    For what its worth, I had my new mtn bike and my road bike fitting done by Serrotta fitters. I was very pleased with the knowledge and training of both fitters.

    Kathi

  15. #15
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    I'm a believer in 650c wheels for small road bikes. Here's why:

    The issue is frame geometry and top tube length. If you try to make a small frame road bike by simply porportionately shortening all of the frame tubes of a bigger bike, eventually you will reach a point where your toes strike the front wheel. There are only five things that can be done about that.
    1. Live with a too long top tube.
    2. Use an abnormally upright seat tube to move the saddle forward.
    3. Use an abnormally slack head tube to move the front wheel forward and the handlebars back.
    4. Use a smaller diameter front wheel.
    5. Live with toe overlap.
    There are bicycle manufacturers who use every one of these alternatives. Some frames use combinations of two or more. I think that anyone who is buying a small frame road bike should take the time to figure out what their frame builder did regarding this issue. Most of those alternatives look pretty unattractive to me.

    For most riders, using 650 wheels simply means that you have to pack along your own spare inner tubes on rides. I don't see that as being a big deal at all.

    Racers have a couple of additional issues. 650c wheels means that, if you flat, you can't just use a 700c wheel from someone else. It also means that your effective gear ratios will be different from the other people in the pack that you are riding with so you may lose a little ground whenever you shift. You will also spin-out sooner on the fastest descents. I've never raced so I can't say how valid of an issue these things might be for you.

  16. #16
    fredelicious mini-masher overthere's Avatar
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    I just got a Dolce Elite. I'm just under 5'2" and it's a 48cm. Before I go off into tire size, I did look at the 2004 and 2005 and chose the 2004 mostly for the color. I like the darker blues and black trim, rather than the sky blue/silver trim coming out. Part of my feeling, is like wearing black in the city - I don't want to be too conspicuous and want to blend in (right, on a bike on the road in lycra) but it's an aesthetic thing...
    I don't want something that screams Women's Bike.

    I tried both the Dolce with 700 tires, and the Trek WSD with 650. I'm already short, I don't want to feel like I'm riding a pony when every one else is riding a horse! And I just liked the feel of the road better on the Dolce. I did like the shorter handlebars on the Trek, but I haven't had any trouble in the Dolce, and the Dolce came from a lbs that really spent time fitting it to me.

  17. #17
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    Well I guess I'll just have to try out the bikes. I should give the Trek a spin for comparison sake. While the smaller tire offers faster acceleration the speed takes more work to maintain. Also, I understand hills are harder with smaller tires. When it comes down to it, I guess comfort will dictate my decision.

    While I don't plan to race per-ce, I do want to be able to keep up with groups. Some groups are impatient.

    I think the red color will be fine. It will match my hair if I end up with the Specialized. The shop I plan to use was recommened to me by an experienced rider/racer because of their fitting experience.

  18. #18
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    Hills are harder with smaller tires? Hmmm, I remember walking lots of hills back in the days before my 1st bike with 650's. After I got the smaller bike I started climbing hills I had previously walked and I now rarely walk a hill. It could have been due to an improperly fitting bike, heavier bike, different gearing. Wonder if the riders I pass on hills agree?

    Harder to maintain speed? Not sure what that means, once I get going I seem to keep on going unless I stop pedaling. I almost ran into a rider yesterday who slowed down in front of me and I didn't see her. I was spinning at 21 mph on my ride today. Maybe I had a good tailwind.

    One thing that has helped me tremendously is that I went with a compact crankset. I'm a lot faster now. AVS. used to be around 14 now I'm in the 15-16 range. (same size wheels).

    Smaller wheels do help you spin higher cadences, I spin between 80 and 100 rpm's sometimes faster. But I've trained myself to do that.

    Fitmiss, you're the one riding this bike, don't listen to the guys bias, make your own decision based on fit and make sure it fits!

  19. #19
    Cycling Anarchist Trsnrtr's Avatar
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    I've been riding 5000+ miles a year for over 20 years, all on 700c wheels. I have ridden the last 4000 on 2 bikes with 650 wheels. If there is a disadvantage, I don't know what it is. The choice in tires is smaller, but the tires that are available are high quality. Check any mail order catalog.

    As far as being slower on climbs, I know that doesn't make sense as they are lighter and accelerate faster, both desired attributes for climbing.

    Don't worry about the 650s unless you have a small shop to do business with that doesn't want to stock 650 tubes and tires.

    -Dennis

  20. #20
    The Rabbi seely's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lovemyswift
    Harder to maintain speed? Not sure what that means, once I get going I seem to keep on going unless I stop pedaling. I almost ran into a rider yesterday who slowed down in front of me and I didn't see her. I was spinning at 21 mph on my ride today. Maybe I had a good tailwind.
    Since the diameter of the wheel is smaller on a 650 (26") vs. a 700c (29") you are going to have to pedal more to cover the same distance. I don't know the specifics on measurements but the 700c covers X amount of ground in a given revolution and the 650 covers less distance because of the smaller overall diameter. I steer people away from 650s typically but on a small frame its the only option that makes sense. Its good for smaller riders too, because the smaller wheel accelerates faster for those with less mass.

  21. #21
    Cycling Anarchist Trsnrtr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seely
    Since the diameter of the wheel is smaller on a 650 (26") vs. a 700c (29") you are going to have to pedal more to cover the same distance.
    It's more like 24.75" vs. 26.75". You don't pedal more, you use a bigger gear due to the difference in gear inches. The effort is the same.

  22. #22
    Senior Member NeoBinary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lovemyswift
    Harder to maintain speed? Not sure what that means, once I get going I seem to keep on going unless I stop pedaling.

    For every 13 revolutions that a 700c wheel makes, a 650c wheel must turn 14 revolutions to have covered the same amount of ground.

    If the gearing were identical, you would have to spin faster. As Trsnrtr stated you could use a bigger gear to compensate, but the increased rpm's of the wheel will cause a higher degree of rolling resistance. Unless your racing this probably won't affect you, and wouldn't be much concern.

  23. #23
    Cycling Anarchist Trsnrtr's Avatar
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    Without doing a quick search, the increased rolling resistance of a 650c wheek vs. a 700c wheel is negligible. The minor difference in RR is rapidly offset by the lighter rims, tubes and tires. Some would also claim the aero advantage, but I doubt it means much.

    One of my 650 bikes is geared higher (55-44) to give the same effective gearing as a 700c but the other has a standard 53-39 chainring setup. The only difference I've noticed is in final speeds in the upper 30 mph range. Regardless, I ride almost exclusively in groups and have never been disadvantaged.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seely
    Since the diameter of the wheel is smaller on a 650 (26") vs. a 700c (29") you are going to have to pedal more to cover the same distance. I don't know the specifics on measurements but the 700c covers X amount of ground in a given revolution and the 650 covers less distance because of the smaller overall diameter. I steer people away from 650s typically but on a small frame its the only option that makes sense. Its good for smaller riders too, because the smaller wheel accelerates faster for those with less mass.
    Hello! There's truth in what you say but not nearly enough to make your statement true. Maybe you should give politics a try.

    My bike has a whole gob of gears. Whenever I find that I'm having to spin too fast, I just access the next faster one. That's what everybody else does too. The only times that your argument has any validity is when you are sprinting downhill in your very fastest gear and possibly in some pack raceing situations.

    The things that affect how fast you can go on your bike are the power of the motor and the various resistance factors that are holding you back. For any one rider, the power that you can produce is essentially fixed. Of the factors that hold you back, aero resistance, once you get past about 15mph is so great that everything else fades into the background. On hills, weight becomes an issue but, oh yeah, 650 wheels and tires will weigh less won't they? Actually, I could make an argument that the shorter top tube and better frame geometry that is made possible by the 650c wheel will allow a shorter rider to both produce more power because she's more efficient and be more aero because the bike fits her better.

  25. #25
    Cycling Anarchist Trsnrtr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
    My bike has a whole gob of gears. Whenever I find that I'm having to spin too fast, I just access the next faster one. That's what everybody else does too. The only times that your argument has any validity is when you are sprinting downhill in your very fastest gear and possibly in some pack raceing situations
    Correct and thank you. There seems to be confusion that because 650 wheels generate a smaller gear inch for a given gear that they are slower overall. Smaller gear inches just means one has to use a slighter higher gear choice. But that's not a problem since it takes the same power to turn a 100 inch gear, no matter whether it's a 650 or a 700.

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