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  1. #1
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    Comfort and speed

    Help! I have been riding a Novara Strada (steel) for the last decade and am ready to upgrade. Thought I wanted carbon frame but test rides on Trek Madone 6.5 and Orbea Orca have been "rough' with significant vibration. Really disappointed as both bikes are highlly rated.

    I typically ride a couple of hilly centuries a year and enjoy 50+ mile weekend rides (rolling terrain) almost every weekend. Any recommendations?

  2. #2
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    Keep in mind that bikes like the Madone and Orca are designed for racing rather than comfort. Carbon tubing for race bikes is often formed specifically for stiffness rather than vertical compliance, and the geometry is also set in a fairly aggressive position. All of which makes for a faster but less comfortable bike.

    As for recommendations, I guess that depends on what issues you have with the old bike other than getting bitten by the Upgrade Bug. At any rate, assuming you're looking for something that's carbon and a reasonable blend of speed and comfort:

    Specialized Roubaix
    Fuji Roubaix
    Giant OCR Composite
    Jamis Eclipse
    Felt Z15, Z25
    Cervelo R3

    You might also consider titanium (Seven Cycles), high-end steel (Waterford, Mercian, IF), or midrange steel (Lemond Sarthe), depending on your budget.

  3. #3
    Senior Member bobbycorno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe View Post
    Keep in mind that bikes like the Madone and Orca are designed for racing rather than comfort. Carbon tubing for race bikes is often formed specifically for stiffness rather than vertical compliance, and the geometry is also set in a fairly aggressive position. All of which makes for a faster but less comfortable bike.

    As for recommendations, I guess that depends on what issues you have with the old bike other than getting bitten by the Upgrade Bug. At any rate, assuming you're looking for something that's carbon and a reasonable blend of speed and comfort:

    Specialized Roubaix
    Fuji Roubaix
    Giant OCR Composite
    Jamis Eclipse
    Felt Z15, Z25
    Cervelo R3

    You might also consider titanium (Seven Cycles), high-end steel (Waterford, Mercian, IF), or midrange steel (Lemond Sarthe), depending on your budget.
    also, Trek Pilot.

    SP

  4. #4
    Senior Member bobbycorno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobbycorno View Post
    also, Trek Pilot.

    SP
    and, oh yeah, if you're considering contemporary steel, Gunnar Roadie, Crosshairs or Sport. I've got a Roadie and a Crosshairs and love 'em both. Smooth, fast, and very reasonably priced. Made from the same materials in the same factory by the same people as Waterford for way less $$$ (Gunnar is Waterford's economy brand).

    SP

  5. #5
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    Two more to consider.

    Cannondale Synapse series
    Bianchi C2C series

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotbird View Post
    Help! I have been riding a Novara Strada (steel) for the last decade and am ready to upgrade. Thought I wanted carbon frame but test rides on Trek Madone 6.5 and Orbea Orca have been "rough' with significant vibration. Really disappointed as both bikes are highlly rated.

    I typically ride a couple of hilly centuries a year and enjoy 50+ mile weekend rides (rolling terrain) almost every weekend. Any recommendations?
    Serotta has a really nice non-custom called the Fierte that is excellent riding and less aggressive than the two you mentioned. it is primarily steel with a carbon rear.

  7. #7
    **** that mattm's Avatar
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    if you're willing to drop big bucks on carbon, there's also new steel that's good - davidson custom bikes, vanilla, etc.

    i'm riding a ciocc "com 12.5" steel bike, and love it! - definitely lighter, and much stiffer than my 2005 bianchi eros was.
    Cat 1 o-meter: 24/35 points

    Race Ready app | Race Results app | Steephill.ios app

    blog

  8. #8
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    Also be conscious of the role that the tires and wheels play in the vibrations you feel. I'm pretty darn sure the smoother ride of my "rain" bike Vs. my "fast" has more to do with 90-100psi Vs. 115-125psi than frame composition.
    “I drank coffee, ate a glazed doughnut, and was happy”
    ~S. Husvedt ~

  9. #9
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    Thanks to all for your comments. I ended up getting the Orbea (close-out on '07 Orca that I could not pass up). No regrets! Wonderful hilly 60 mile ride yesterday on an absolutely magnificent machine -- with slightly less air in the tires!

  10. #10
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotbird View Post
    Help! I have been riding a Novara Strada (steel) for the last decade and am ready to upgrade. Thought I wanted carbon frame but test rides on Trek Madone 6.5 and Orbea Orca have been "rough' with significant vibration. Really disappointed as both bikes are highlly rated.

    I typically ride a couple of hilly centuries a year and enjoy 50+ mile weekend rides (rolling terrain) almost every weekend. Any recommendations?
    What kind of tires do you ride? They make a huge difference in comfort as do gloves. For hilly centuries, I'm not a fan of steel.

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