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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 05-10-02, 07:57 AM   #1
RoAdRaGeR
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The Best Road Bike?

What company makes the best road bikes? I have been trying to figure this one out. Is it Trek? Who makes bikes for Lance and the gang. Or maybe Bianchi, who make the Italian sports cars of Cycling. Or is it the ever so popular Cannondale?

Whats your opinion?
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Old 05-10-02, 08:34 AM   #2
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I think the best road bikes are not from big companies
like trek, or c'dale or even bianchi.
Richard Sachs, Rivendell, Ben Serotta, Harry Havnoonian
(probably misspelled that), Bob Jackson, Marinoni, Pegoretti.
Those are by my account the best road bikes.
(I don't know too many european builders)

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Old 05-10-02, 08:34 AM   #3
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The best road bike is the one that fits you and the one that you love to ride.

Everyone has their preferences, of course. I'm a sucker for Italian steel, even Italian steel handmade in Canada [I ride a Marinoni], and I know a lot of folks who swear by American titanium bikes.

Bicycles are so personal that there can't be any best.

Howver, these are some of the ones I would like to own...

De Rosa Corum [steel]
De Rosa Merak [Al]
Look KG381 [CF]
Marinoni Piuma [steel]
Wilier Triestina K2 [CF]
Empella Bonfire [Al]
Marinoni Fango [steel]

All would be built up with Campagnolo Record 10sp and Campagnolo Nucleon wheels, except the last two, which would have Record 9sp with wheels built from MAvic Open Pros.

Any questions?
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Old 05-10-02, 09:00 AM   #4
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I just bought a Cannondale, my first roadbike for many years.
However, if I had the money, I would have gone for either a Litespeed or an Airborne titanium, set up with Ultegra kit and Mavic Open Pro rims (definitely on the shopping list anyway)
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Old 05-10-02, 09:09 AM   #5
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I would argue that there is no "best" road bike. Depending on your needs and resources you can buy the lightest road bike available, but is it the best? Everything is a compromise of weight vs strength, etc.. The lightest bike available may only last one season or one crash, whichever comes first. Fit is extremely important, but in my opinion any frame that is in the right size range for a given individual can be fine tuned for a good fit. Before anyone jumps on this let me stress that I am not talking about taking a tiny frame and using a 400 mm seatpost and a 300 mm stem to fit someone 6'4". I'm saying that with my 32 inch inseam and 35" gorilla arms I could probably make myself quite happy with any frame from about 54 cm to 58 cm. I currently have 3 very comfortable bikes, one 56 cm, one 57 cm, and one 58 cm.

I am not even sure about the concept of "perfect" fit. What may feel "perfect" at one point in a cyclist's "career" may not feel right a few months. I started out wanting a big wide saddle and an upright riding position with a relatively short saddle to bar distance. Over time I moved to increasingly narrower saddles, a lower bar position and increasing saddle to bar distance. If I had gone to a shop and been fitted with a bike set up the way I have mine set up now I might not have been riding two weeks later because I think I would have been extremely uncomfortable.

As it is, I am EXTREMELY happy with a steel racing frame I bought for $45 and built up myself. If I ever buy something spiffy like a Trek, Pinarello or Colnago in all honesty it will be more for the name than because I think it will be "better" than my no-name, but very light, steel frame.

This is probably a very unorthodox opinion and not at all what you are looking for, but it is how I have come to view bikes.
Regards,
Raymond
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Old 05-10-02, 09:10 AM   #6
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In my opinion, the best bike (today) would have a Calfee Dragonfly frame (2lbs.), with campagnolo record components, and the lightest best wheel set, seatpost etc.
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Old 05-10-02, 09:22 AM   #7
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For frames in the normal range, most bikes can be adjusted to fit most riders, but with very big or esp small frames, major companies seem to have little idea what makes a good bike. Maybe their R+D budget is not as big as their marketing budget.

Have a look at the Torelli website for an interesting discussion on workshop vs industrial frames, and why only big producers can supply major teams with the hundreds of bikes they need for a single season.


Big manufacturers just cannot afford to make the finest frames. These require too much hand finishing. Even carbon fibre frames benefit from hand finishing of threads and facings.
When they do, such a Canondale Black Lightening, its a limitted edition model made under small workshop conditions.
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Old 05-10-02, 09:45 AM   #8
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Boy, is this a loaded question! You will find as many opinoins about what is best as there are manufacturers. But, you asked for an opinion, so here goes!
Waterford or Rivendell. End of thread, they are top of the line. If you want the "best", why not go with a custom built frame? Comparing what "Lance and the boys" ride to a garden variety Trek is like comparing the space shuttle to a Geo Metro....there is no comparison! Athletes like Lance and his ilk don't stop by the LBS for an off the rack bike.
For me, "Steel is real" and I love my Waterford framed Schwinn....but I have a friend who rides Ti, and another who rides a high-end Cannondale, and they are equally as passionate about thier rides as I am about mine.
Get a bike that fits, ride it a lot, and that is your best bike!
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Old 05-10-02, 10:20 AM   #9
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For me it's my Litespeed.
Although I'd be willing to try a Trek 5500 if someone wants to send one to me to test ride (for a couple of years).
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Old 05-10-02, 10:24 AM   #10
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Nebill,
It's good to hear from you. I haven't seen many posts from you lately. Hope things are ok in the midwest. :thumbup:
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Old 05-10-02, 05:46 PM   #11
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Yup, still here! Me and ol' Blue are anxiously awaiting the weather to stabilize so we can really get to riding! Been doing a bit, but not near enough to make me happy!!
Thanks for asking about me Ron! I'm still here! LOL
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Old 05-10-02, 07:26 PM   #12
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MINE!

L8R
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Old 05-15-02, 10:11 AM   #13
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To me there is no such thing as the best road bike as today all road bikes a built with good quality components and they all have to keep up with the stiff competition. A close of friend of mine once said to me when it comes to the end of the day you still have to pedal the thing, the bike does not pedal you. Try and place Lance Armstrong on a $2000 Giant or Bianchi and place an ametuer on a $4000 Trek, well I can rest assure who will win.

Though if I were to choose one bike it would be Merida's 907 magnesium frame with Shimano Ultegra groupset. I've felt the weight of this machine and she is light, plus with a very stiff frame, as magnesium is a very light but yet very stiff alloy. We also should take now that it's not only the lightness of the frame but the stifness is very important as well.

To see a picture of this bike click on the link below.

http://www.belimport.ch/cgi-bin/meri...w?ArtCod=42107

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Old 05-20-02, 08:00 PM   #14
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Nebill,
Your pic reminds me of the old school, crusty dudes that ride lugged, steel frames and old wool jerseys around these parts. They are the coolest dudes as they know alot about everything and have cool NOS Campy stuff on their bikes. Always a friendly word.
They are like the zen masters of the road bike crowd When I'm out on a training ride, that's the best type of rider to ride up on. Usually good for a conversation. Recumbent riders are...different but you can't really talk to them looking down there...know what I mean?
I guess this is off topic a bit...
My favorite ride?

Derosa Merak (compact frame version) in Vini Caldiroli blue--the one Cassagrande used to ride.
Pinarello Prince (Fassa Bortolo) because Bartoli, Cassagrande and Petacchi rock and I wanna be like them!

Oops, forgot the Litespeed Ghisallo and Titus FCR-- Those would be my "if I could only have one bike for the rest of my life bikes."

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Old 05-20-02, 11:13 PM   #15
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As long as we're all putting in our .02 I'd have to agree with RonH and say anything Litespeed. They actually are a good deal when compared to some of the exotic Italian bikes and they ride GREAT! Whoops that's Tony the Tiger's line.
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Old 05-20-02, 11:22 PM   #16
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Yesterday I have just been at local Trek dealer looking for my new bike and we had a discussion. He said that the thing he hates most, in a brat coming with a filthy rich daddy looking for the most expensive bike.
The point is, the is no best bike. For my financial state, I know I can go as far as Trek 2300, but as I ride 3 months a year, I shall take the 1000 model. But, if I had to choose now, I would probabaly take the Trek 5900...
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Old 05-21-02, 01:52 PM   #17
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I will go for Pinarello Prince, then Vortex Litespeed, Colnago C40, I guess day dreaming is one quality I have
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Old 05-21-02, 04:30 PM   #18
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I was thinking Litespeed Vortex too, and as for the best road bike company....I guess I would say Cannondale because they have a really good selection.
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Old 07-28-02, 11:41 PM   #19
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Right now, I would say Litespeed Vortex, Seven Cycles Axiom, Colnago C40, any De Rosa, Pinarello, or Principia I could get my paws on (as I never see them)...that or a nice steel like a Steelman or Colnago Classic.
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Old 07-29-02, 07:04 AM   #20
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No one makes the best.Velocipedio got it right.Don't buy the rest of the crap.Some are better values than others,especially some of the lesser known names like fuji and KHS. Avoid Huffy and Roadmaster.

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Old 07-29-02, 07:53 AM   #21
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Bianchi and Colnago make some of my favorites, but I have to agree, its impossible to say who is 'best'.

Besides how many of us really need a Colnago C40 with complete campy record? Get real...
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Old 07-29-02, 08:13 AM   #22
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None of us really need a C40...I sure don't. I interpret "best road bike" as those I would most like to have, and think (subjectively) would perform the best.
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Old 07-29-02, 01:23 PM   #23
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i don't think questions of need enter into a thread like this. For example, saturday i did a local hill-climb that's just on the line between fun and painful. Now, my 20 pound Schwinn Super Sport GLX w/ Ultegra/105 components worked; i got up the hill. BUT, would I have enjoyed myself more riding some gossamer 16 pound beauty? possibly so. Would I have gotten to the top faster and with less effort? i think undoubtably so. If I had the money to blow on a C-40 or equivalent, and it would make me happy to climb that hill a couple of minutes faster, NEED is not an issue. For that reason, i think the best bike is whatever ride you think would put the biggest smile on your face at the end of your favorite ride. For some, it's the 25 year old lugged steel monster. For others it's the Ti/Carbon w/ all the bells and whistles. Me? I think whatever bike I'm on is the best bike there is, since riding anything at all sure beats the alternative.
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Old 07-29-02, 01:59 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by pgreene
i don't think questions of need enter into a thread like this. For example, saturday i did a local hill-climb that's just on the line between fun and painful. Now, my 20 pound Schwinn Super Sport GLX w/ Ultegra/105 components worked; i got up the hill. BUT, would I have enjoyed myself more riding some gossamer 16 pound beauty? possibly so. Would I have gotten to the top faster and with less effort? i think undoubtably so. If I had the money to blow on a C-40 or equivalent, and it would make me happy to climb that hill a couple of minutes faster, NEED is not an issue. For that reason, i think the best bike is whatever ride you think would put the biggest smile on your face at the end of your favorite ride. For some, it's the 25 year old lugged steel monster. For others it's the Ti/Carbon w/ all the bells and whistles. Me? I think whatever bike I'm on is the best bike there is, since riding anything at all sure beats the alternative.
I realize that for the most part we are talking about our dream bikes here, but living where I live (right outside DC) it makes me laugh to no end at the number of people I see decked out in full gear sporting Trek US postal replicas or equivalent bikes, or guys who go on and on about needing to upgrade their components to the latest model year campy record....while this thread is fun, it scares me when I see people actually riding 4000 bikes for recreation/ fitness purposes. Id be too embarrassed to even sit on a C40 unless I was a professional rider....

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Old 07-29-02, 02:24 PM   #25
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h20.1, i don't disagree with you at all. the word "poser" comes to mind when i ride past someone whose bike costs 3-5 times what mine did and weighs 3-5 pounds less. but if someone wants to blow cash on a bike "beyond" their abilities, far be it from me to stop them. i might snicker as they get dropped, but i suppose i'm happy they're out there riding anyway.

oh, and i used to live up in d.c. the poser factor up there is extreme- what you get when you combine youth, lots of money, and status-craving.
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