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  1. #1
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    And the test rides begin: CR1, Defy Advanced, Roubaix et al

    [ah geez, CR1, not CR!]

    As I've posted elsewhere, it's about time to replace my trusty 2004 Giant OCR2. I've upgraded over the years to William's 30's, Ultegra, new bars. The alum with carbon fork isn't bad, and I have no issues with the triple, but at over 22 pounds and with newer materials, I'm ready for the change.

    Looking in the relaxed geometry space with roughly a $2500 budget.

    Today, I'll swing by to test out the Scott. While I hear great things, I have read some reviews that still talk about the harshness of this ride, despite the re-design a couple of seasons ago.

    Then this weekend, the Defy Advanced. I rode one of these, and a Synapse three years ago on a test and wasn't impressed at that time. I don't know if the frames have changed much since then.

    The next dealer will be Trek/Specialized, I guess the Roubaix and Domaine, both with outstanding reputations. Only issue I'm wondering about on the Roubaix; some say while smooth, it also feels numbing or somewhat detached from the road, almost too much.

    Ultimately, first have to see which offers the best fit and then take it from there. I'll post follow-ups as I go along.
    [insert clever quote here]

  2. #2
    Just Plain Slow PhotoJoe's Avatar
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    Several years ago, I did the bike shop tour and rode everything I could. Orbea out in Camarillo, Giant, Cannondale and Felt in Newbury Park, Roubaix in Woodland Hills and Tarmac in Northridge. It was really interesting to ride so many bikes back to back to really see the difference. I had decided on the Defy Advanced 2 (now the composite 2). It was noticeably nicer than the Defy Advanced 3 even. The Orbea didn't speak to me AT ALL. The Synapse was the wrong size, and thus my low opnion of it is not fair. Even though MANY people LOVE the Roubaix, it wasn't for me. The Tarmac made the choice for the Defy very difficult. The Tarmac begged to be ridden harder. I can't explain it, but it did. It begged me to give it more power, then mocked me when I couldn't. I don't think it thought I was worthy of it...and I agreed. I planned on going back the next week to buy the Defy, but got bad medical news during the week and had to put all plans on hold. I think I would have been plenty happy with the Defy. It was nice. I would have always wondered if I made a mistake by not buying the Tarmac, though.

    So, a year and a half later, after all my med stuff was over, I bought a Lynskey having never ridden one.

    Enjoy the search.
    If at first you don't succeed, Skydiving is not the sport for you!

  3. #3
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    Yeah, I'll hit NP Bike Shop, which is where I got the OCR. Serious Cycling for the Scott and probably Michael's for Trek/Spec although I work close to Spoke and Wheel in the valley who is a Specialized dealer.
    [insert clever quote here]

  4. #4
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    I really love my Bianchi Infinito. Its a little bit more, but if you can find a dealer I'd recommend a look, especially if you can find a 2013 still around. To me, it felt WAY better than the Defy or TCR. Its a great all-around road bike. A bit less aggressive than the TCR, but sportier than the Defy.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Mike F's Avatar
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    I never thought of my CR1 as riding harsh but then again I came off an aluminum.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsa103 View Post
    I really love my Bianchi Infinito. Its a little bit more, but if you can find a dealer I'd recommend a look, especially if you can find a 2013 still around. To me, it felt WAY better than the Defy or TCR. Its a great all-around road bike. A bit less aggressive than the TCR, but sportier than the Defy.
    If I wasn't an ass about paying upfront, I would've bought the Infinito over the Trek. However, Trek gave me an offer that the Bianchi dealers couldn't match. And I'm able to do the 12 month 0% financing. I have until December, but it looks like my last payment will be on October. Not that I'm unhappy with the Madone, it's just between the two, the Infinito was my first choice followed by the Madone.

    So tell me, did you get yours at Veloro?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundom66 View Post
    If I wasn't an ass about paying upfront, I would've bought the Infinito over the Trek. However, Trek gave me an offer that the Bianchi dealers couldn't match. And I'm able to do the 12 month 0% financing. I have until December, but it looks like my last payment will be on October. Not that I'm unhappy with the Madone, it's just between the two, the Infinito was my first choice followed by the Madone.

    So tell me, did you get yours at Veloro?
    I got mine at Bicycles Pleasanton (local). It was 2013 model on discount and they were willing to swap the cassette to 11-28 (stock is 12-25) and credit me for the saddle (I wanted an SMP dynamic), so I was decently happy with the price. I'm loving the bike, it climbs well and feels even better on the descents. Extremely stable, and holds a line very well. I can do deep into a corner and bike feels like it would be happy going ever deeper.

  8. #8
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nesdog View Post
    I don't know if the frames have changed much since then.
    I went from a 2007 Roubaix to a 2012 SL3 Roubaix and the difference was remarkable.

    Quote Originally Posted by PhotoJoe View Post
    It begged me to give it more power, then mocked me when I couldn't.
    I felt the need to preserve this for posterity.

    Quote Originally Posted by PhotoJoe View Post
    I bought a Lynskey having never ridden one.
    Interestingly, I bought my first Roubaix sight unseen (bare frame) and my second one in the same condition having only ever ridden my first Roubaix. (I've had other bikes). I think a test ride would be great for identifying a bike you really hate but there are so many variables that are difficult to control. Having said that, test riding is fun and I wish you great success.

  9. #9
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    Nesdog, The 2012 Defy Advanced was a new frame. I rode the Scott and felt it was a little too harsh as well; along with the angles. You might want to try the Focus Izalco Ergoride, if a model is in that price bracket (slightly shorter top tube across the sizes, compared to Giant, and many others). I've got a Norco Valence, but the low warranty would probably steer many away. Look forward to your reports.

  10. #10
    Just Plain Slow PhotoJoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by PhotoJoe View Post
    It begged me to give it more power, then mocked me when I couldn't.
    I felt the need to preserve this for posterity.
    I need to talk to Tom about adding an emoticon of me flipping you the bird!







    Nesdog - Please keep us updated on your progress. Anxious to hear how it goes.
    If at first you don't succeed, Skydiving is not the sport for you!

  11. #11
    Senior Member oldbobcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike F View Post
    I never thought of my CR1 as riding harsh but then again I came off an aluminum.
    It isn't, but the ride is definitely sharper than, say, a Roubaix or a Domane. I like the CR1. It's pretty remarkable that this bike has been around pretty much unchanged for four years. I'd like it more with a lower bottom bracket, a slacker seat tube, and a prettier fork.

  12. #12
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    If you can try a Felt Z series.
    Rides a lot smother than my Domane 2.0 and transfers power a bit better.

    YMMV

  13. #13
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    Rode with the shop today and had planned on trying the Scott. No 54 in stock so will need to wait until mid-week when they are getting one in. Good thing...temps in Socal today were up to 105 as we returned at 11 am. I'm hitting the pool instead!
    [insert clever quote here]

  14. #14
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    Tested the Giant yesterday. Spent time on the rougher road surfaces in the neighborhood behind the LBS. Compared to my OCR2:

    ....Defy was smoother over the bumps. The carbon has a different feel and sound than the alum. Found the compact gearing to be fine. The cockpit felt a touch shorter though it looked like the front wheel was farther out in front of me...illusion I guess.

    Brakes were awesome, way better. Handling okay. Hard to tell much on a fifteen minute cruise but I pushed it best I could and came back sweated over. Not being a racer type, I'm not sure how well it comes to speed. Maybe someone can offer an opinion.
    Definately lighter in weight.

    Looking for the next vendor today or tomorrow.
    [insert clever quote here]

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by nesdog View Post
    Tested the Giant yesterday. Spent time on the rougher road surfaces in the neighborhood behind the LBS. Compared to my OCR2:

    ....Defy was smoother over the bumps. The carbon has a different feel and sound than the alum. Found the compact gearing to be fine. The cockpit felt a touch shorter though it looked like the front wheel was farther out in front of me...illusion I guess.

    Brakes were awesome, way better. Handling okay. Hard to tell much on a fifteen minute cruise but I pushed it best I could and came back sweated over. Not being a racer type, I'm not sure how well it comes to speed. Maybe someone can offer an opinion.
    Definately lighter in weight.

    Looking for the next vendor today or tomorrow.
    Definitely see if you can find a steep hill near the bike shop, even if its short you'll be able to tell a lot of difference on a short climb and descent.

  16. #16
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    wheels and especially tires have such a great affect on ride quality. at 110 lbs one tire can be harsh and unforgiving, while another is smooth and supple. Not sure how to divorce the effects from the entire package, but tires are an easy change (often the first) and often make a dead ride become fun and lively...
    would it be silly to bring your own set of wheels (especially if you have a nice set you like) and do 2 test rides with each bike, back to back - one with the stock wheels and one with your set ?
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  17. #17
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    There is a small hill behind the shop, I made sure to play on it.

    Not sure about switching out wheels, tires, etc. Seems like a lot of work for the LBS and me. I suspect whatever I decide to buy will probably work out fine. I'm way too lazy to try to nuance every little bit of the various bikes. I doubt I'm that smart! I somehow made the OCR work fine for the past ten years and it isn't exactly a racing machine!
    [insert clever quote here]

  18. #18
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    I just bought a Scott CR1, and I love it. I didn't think it was harsh at all, and I am coming off of a steel Lemond frame. That being said it had old and lower end wheels. My Lemond was a 2003, and I am amazed at how much better the Scott rides in all categories. I rode a friend's Roubaix, and I didn't notice it being any smoother than my Scott.

  19. #19
    Senior Member lsberrios1's Avatar
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    I only have experience with Felt z85, roubaix sl3 comp, giant defy anvanced 1 and my current roubaix sl4 expert. The felt was great for what it was. An entry bike that took a beating and was very nice. A bit heavy but durable and sturdy. I rode the roubaix and defy back to back. The defy was more aggressive in terms of handling which I liked but I didn't fit well enough. When I tried the Sl3 I loved the fit and the feel of smoothness. They couldnt do anything pricewise on the SL3 so I called my LBS and they gave me the SL4 for the same price as the SL3 on the other shop and gone it was. Best bike ever. I do agree that handling may be a teeny bit muted but it definitely helps with longer rides (50 to 100miles for me). I do feel that since my fitness has changed and my flexibility as well it feels like the bars are too high but now I just ride the drops most of the time. It is stiff with the only downside being the wheels (which I am changing for a nice set of RS80s )
    Cat 6 going on PRO....

  20. #20
    Senior Member patrickgm60's Avatar
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    Agree with the suggestion of finding a good hill to test ride up. Also, coming from a triple, make sure the compact crank suits you. I'm in the minority, but I don't like them. Finally, don't be shy about requesting long test rides. If you are intent on buying from an LBS, I would think nothing of taking each bike out for an hour.

  21. #21
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    Tested the CR1 this afternoon. I was on the way home from work on my bike and stopped in to the shop I normally do weekend rides with. I tested the Scott on my local route including one hill.

    I had to ride a 52 as a 54 was not in stock. I wasn't super concerned about this because in my initial round of test rides, I'm just trying to get some feel for the different bikes and can make allowances for the lack of fit, as long as everything is close. Once I zero in on candidates, I'll be much more thoughtful on this.

    First impression of the Scott upon hitting the street: Wow! The darn thing was alive. Had an instant smile on my face. I can't explain what it was, because the bars were not correctly set up for me, nor the saddle and the 105 shifters were a bit tough to grab. Yet, there was something!

    Compared to the Giant Defy Advanced, the CR1 wasn't quite as smooth. It chattered a bit on the pavement but was fine on bumps that my OCR2 would pound on. The Defy felt more muffled to me and stiff. However everything is a jump up from the OCR. The Scott climbed well. It is definitely going on my serious list.
    [insert clever quote here]

  22. #22
    Senior Member Mike F's Avatar
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    As for the "Wow", this link gives some brief reviews and they tend to agree. Obviously im quite biased In the end its what ever bike that fits your needs and feels the best to you.

    http://www.consumersearch.com/road-bikes/scott-cr1-comp
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  23. #23
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    One thing pointed out to me after riding the Scott was that this bike comes with a mid-range 23mm tire. I normally ride Conti 4000's in the 25mm on William's 30's. If I bought this bike, I would likely move the wheelset over from my existing ride. That may also make some difference in handling and ride quality.
    [insert clever quote here]

  24. #24
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    Still love my CR1 after 2 years and 16000 miles. I race it, ride centuries on it, and everything in between.
    ...

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by nesdog View Post
    Tested the CR1 this afternoon. I was on the way home from work on my bike and stopped in to the shop I normally do weekend rides with. I tested the Scott on my local route including one hill.

    I had to ride a 52 as a 54 was not in stock. I wasn't super concerned about this because in my initial round of test rides, I'm just trying to get some feel for the different bikes and can make allowances for the lack of fit, as long as everything is close. Once I zero in on candidates, I'll be much more thoughtful on this.

    First impression of the Scott upon hitting the street: Wow! The darn thing was alive. Had an instant smile on my face. I can't explain what it was, because the bars were not correctly set up for me, nor the saddle and the 105 shifters were a bit tough to grab. Yet, there was something!

    Compared to the Giant Defy Advanced, the CR1 wasn't quite as smooth. It chattered a bit on the pavement but was fine on bumps that my OCR2 would pound on. The Defy felt more muffled to me and stiff. However everything is a jump up from the OCR. The Scott climbed well. It is definitely going on my serious list.
    This is what I noticed as well. The thing was just really responsive, and it seemed to accelerate really well. I took mine out on a 60 mile ride the other day, and it felt as nice as my Lemond/steel. Good luck. Only thing I didn't love was it was fairly plain looking. Just a touch of blue. I will get some handlebars/tires later on that are the same teal/turquoise to give it a little flare. I do love the ride though. Also, seems to be a great value at 2500 before tax.

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