Shopping for my first carbon bike opinion on "Comfort Bikes" vs the rest
I'm about to pull the trigger on my first carbon bike (I have roughly a $3000 budget) Cannondale, Bianchi, Specialized and others particularly advertise a line of bikes that are more comfortable for ultra distance riding. I don't think my LBS will let me take a bike on a really long ride either to really put it to the test. So for those that ride how much more of an advantage is there from let's say a Synapse to a Supersix, given that it is road riding (a little bit of rough shoulder riding at times) and I'm going 80+ mile days?
Also what are your thoughts on the CAAD10? It is aluminum but I've heard great things about it and my budget would definitely make room for getting one with an Ultrega group with some money to spare.
Biggest difference is head tube length - comfort bike = more upright.
Don't assume you can't take a long test ride. I was able to rent 3 contenders for all day rides, and test ride (1/2 hour) 2 more. Yes I had to pay for the all day rides, but it was worth it in terms of discovering which bike worked for me.
Just bought a Bianchi Infinito from Texas Cyclesport this March, luv it. Of the 3 Bianchi is coolest.
just another gosling
Never ridden a CAAD10, but my CAAD9 would be a POS for long distance riding. My aluminum Nashbar frame is vastly better, though a bit heavier. No comparison with carbon.
You don't really need a long ride. Position is the critical long ride thing, and as long as the frame is the right size and top tube length is appropriate for your body, everything else can be dialed. So top tube length is a possible way to choose between frames of the same nominal size. Get the LBS to put the bike up on a trainer and dial in the stem length and saddle position for you before you take the bike out.
What you want to see on a test ride is how smooth is it and how does it steer when pushed. You should be able to feel both of those things on city streets. You want a smooth feel to the bumps and yet have the bike wow you with its acceleration when you put power to the pedals, in and out of the saddle. IMO you want as neutral a steering feel as you can get. The bike shouldn't dive by itself or have to be pushed into the correct line. When the bike goes over, it should follow the line by itself.
As valygrl says, many shops will let you go for a long ride. I rode a mountain century with a friend who was test riding a bike. He was impressed with the bike but didn't buy it.
I was considering one of those in the 105 group. My coworker just did the California AIDS ride (500 mi) on it and couldn't be happier. If I wanted to fork up the money at that price point I have some more options. But thanks for the +1 on the Bianchi.
Originally Posted by riderdude
I will drop by my LBS and see what they can do. Will they put on platform pedals for the test ride?
Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
Bring your current bike. Have them set up the test bike to the same dimensions. Have them put your pedals & saddle on it, wear your current shoes. I brought an old saddle that I had lying around.
Agreed. You should be able to test ride one. For a 3k budget, why not look in to getting custom fit for something so that your longer rides are more comfortable. Any particular reason you want/need carbon? What about a quality Ti or even steel bike? Those can be just as comfy for long rides.