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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 04-25-10, 10:12 AM   #1
southbound123
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Cross country bike

My son will be returning to PACTour this summer after a great cross country ride last summer. Last year he rode my (entry level) Specialized Roubaix Triple. I want my bike back so we need to get him a new ride.

We are considering a $2,200 Cervelo S1 (Ultegra) and looking for some opinions. The S1 is a more aggressive bike than the relaxed geometry Roubaix. It is also a stiffer bike. Will these two contribute to a less comfortable ride while doing daily centuries?

Due to it's stiffness, the bike seems very fast, but is that an important aspect for century rides? Will the Cervelo aluminum frame be a lot less comfortable than a similarly priced carbon frame?

He'll still have his Brooks saddle, which he loves. He will probably go with 25c Gatorskins. What else can we do to 'soften' the ride?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-25-10, 11:54 AM   #2
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Is your son Greg from NY?. He'll be fast no matter what bike he rides. I rode my Tarmac SL2 for PacTour last year and it was just fine. Quite a few of the other people were also riding race geometry bikes as well. Someone who has an S1 might be able to chime in and comment on how the bike rides.

I find that tires make the biggest difference in comfort level. Definitely go with 25c tires, running some GP4000s instead of gatroskins would soften up the ride quite a bit, but you are sacrificing durability and puncture resistance to accomplish that.
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Old 04-25-10, 03:10 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southbound123 View Post
The S1 is a more aggressive bike than the relaxed geometry Roubaix. It is also a stiffer bike. Will these two contribute to a less comfortable ride while doing daily centuries?
Yep

As Brian416 points out, you can moderate this a little bit. Find some 80-100 psi tires, you will also need to find out how wide of tires you can put on the bike. You can also raise the bars a little bit, get a comfy saddle (e.g. Brooks, once it's broken in) and add bar gels under the bar tape.

By the way, some people believe that with longer rides, a more compliant setup is a performance advantage; if the bike is smoothing things out, that results in less fatigue and discomfort. I doubt it makes a big difference in a 40-mile race, but likely adds up after a week of 80+ mile rides.

IMO there is nothing wrong with preferring the feel of a stiff bike (or a compliant one), but in terms of speed, I believe it's one of those subjective, common-sense, dead-wrong things -- i.e. "the bike responds quickly, therefore I must be faster!"

FYI the Cervelo equivalent to the Roubaix is the "R" series. Not sure if there is really a big difference, but it might allow for wider tires and have a little more relaxed geometry.


Quote:
Originally Posted by southbound123
Due to it's stiffness, the bike seems very fast, but is that an important aspect for century rides? Will the Cervelo aluminum frame be a lot less comfortable than a similarly priced carbon frame?
As hinted above, I am not aware of any study that proves that stiffness genuinely improves your speed. Aerodynamics is far more important. The S1 will have a more aerodynamic rider position, but the rider may find that less comfortable for longer rides, as it puts more stress on your body. However, even aerodynamics is not super-critical when you're in a paceline, as you're already drafting and thus reducing drag. (Plus he can likely boost handlebar height for the tour, and go back to normal for other rides.)

I used to believe that material makes a difference, but lately I have my doubts. It's more in how the material is used, than the material itself. That said, Cervelo almost certainly set up the S1 to be stiff, because it was made as a racing bike, and that's what racers like.


If he plans to ride fast all the time, the S1 might work out, again swapping parts and changing the setup for the longer rides. If he plans to do "long rides" without too much concern for speed or racing, it might not be the ideal choice. Ergo, I'd make the first priority finding a bike that fits and feels good; and just make clear to the shop or fitter that in addition to whatever else he's doing, he plans to do a fairly fast supported tour.
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Old 04-25-10, 05:57 PM   #4
Homeyba
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For a Pac-Tour the Cervelo S1 is a fine bike as long a it fits him. That of course is the most important thing. When they talk about "stiffness" in race bikes they are generally talking about the area around the bottom bracket. To have better power transfer to the peddles. That doesn't necessarily mean that it will also have a stiff ride.
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Old 04-27-10, 10:16 PM   #5
southbound123
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cross country bike

Anyone have any experience or opinion on the Jamis Endura 2
http://jamisbikes.com/usa/thebikes/r...thendura2.html

It is a full carbon frame with relaxed geometry, ultegra components and long reach brakes.
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