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  1. #1
    Senior Member Jaeger99's Avatar
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    Your thoughts, please, on new road bike purchase.

    So I'm well into the process of selecting my first road bike.

    Riding a hybrid now- loving it for what it is and keeping it for family trail rides which I really enjoy - but wanting to carry more speed over greater distances and join up in some roadie group rides with local buddies of mine. Early test rides revealed a clear preference for a more endurance-oriented bike with decent or better vertical compliance.

    My only regret with my hybrid purchase is that I would have purchased a more up-level bike had I known I was going to get hooked. So with the road bike, I definitely wanted to get something beyond entry level, that I wouldn't feel the need to upgrade any time soon. This led me to try a number of full carbon / Ultegra bikes in the $3-4k zone.

    Bikes ridden include:

    Cannondale Synapse Carbon 3
    Trek Madone 5.2
    Trek Emonda S6
    Pinarello Rokh (2013 model)
    Giant Defy Advanced
    Giant Defy Composite
    Cervelo R3

    As you can imagine, none of these bikes sucked. The standouts were the Cervelo R3 (the most fun, the lightest and quickest-feeling with the most nimble handling, but the worst of the bunch for comfort over the rough craptastic roads I ride) and the Rokh and Emonda, both of which felt so buttery smooth, like I could ride them till my legs fell off before I ever got saddle-weary.

    Which leads me to my problem and my main question (though by all means shout out any thoughts you have about any of these or any others I should try). I'm at the Pinarello / Cervelo dealer and spot a bike that just kind of appeals to me in terms of looks. I thought what-the-heck, I'm here, why not ride it? And I really kind of loved it. A lot. Fit me like a dream. Soaked up road imperfections really well. Felt quite lively and fast (though frankly, the R3 made all of the others seem a bit subdued). Just in terms of seat-of-the-pants impression, I felt I liked it as much as the Emonda and Rokh.

    So what's the problem? The bike in question was a Felt Z5 with 105 group. Certainly closer to an entry level bike at around half the price of most of the others.

    Z5 - Felt Bicycles

    Now I have heard the school of thought that once you decide you are into this cycling thing - and I certainly am - buy the best bike you can afford. I can afford the others. So am I crazy to be leaning toward the cheaper bike? Am I setting myself up for a bad case of upgradeitis? Thing is, I can't think of much I would change just based on that one fairly extended test ride on the Felt.

    I'm not in a super rush to pull the trigger - but I'd welcome any and all thoughts.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaeger99 View Post
    So I'm well into the process of selecting my first road bike.

    Riding a hybrid now- loving it for what it is and keeping it for family trail rides which I really enjoy - but wanting to carry more speed over greater distances and join up in some roadie group rides with local buddies of mine. Early test rides revealed a clear preference for a more endurance-oriented bike with decent or better vertical compliance.

    My only regret with my hybrid purchase is that I would have purchased a more up-level bike had I known I was going to get hooked. So with the road bike, I definitely wanted to get something beyond entry level, that I wouldn't feel the need to upgrade any time soon. This led me to try a number of full carbon / Ultegra bikes in the $3-4k zone.

    Bikes ridden include:

    Cannondale Synapse Carbon 3
    Trek Madone 5.2
    Trek Emonda S6
    Pinarello Rokh (2013 model)
    Giant Defy Advanced
    Giant Defy Composite
    Cervelo R3

    As you can imagine, none of these bikes sucked. The standouts were the Cervelo R3 (the most fun, the lightest and quickest-feeling with the most nimble handling, but the worst of the bunch for comfort over the rough craptastic roads I ride) and the Rokh and Emonda, both of which felt so buttery smooth, like I could ride them till my legs fell off before I ever got saddle-weary.

    Which leads me to my problem and my main question (though by all means shout out any thoughts you have about any of these or any others I should try). I'm at the Pinarello / Cervelo dealer and spot a bike that just kind of appeals to me in terms of looks. I thought what-the-heck, I'm here, why not ride it? And I really kind of loved it. A lot. Fit me like a dream. Soaked up road imperfections really well. Felt quite lively and fast (though frankly, the R3 made all of the others seem a bit subdued). Just in terms of seat-of-the-pants impression, I felt I liked it as much as the Emonda and Rokh.

    So what's the problem? The bike in question was a Felt Z5 with 105 group. Certainly closer to an entry level bike at around half the price of most of the others.

    Z5 - Felt Bicycles

    Now I have heard the school of thought that once you decide you are into this cycling thing - and I certainly am - buy the best bike you can afford. I can afford the others. So am I crazy to be leaning toward the cheaper bike? Am I setting myself up for a bad case of upgradeitis? Thing is, I can't think of much I would change just based on that one fairly extended test ride on the Felt.

    I'm not in a super rush to pull the trigger - but I'd welcome any and all thoughts.
    Wait for the 2015 Z5 - Threaded bb.

  3. #3
    Senior Member kleng's Avatar
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    I'd just get the Z5 if you like the looks and the ride, the frame feature wise is similar to the other models you are considering. If you put ultegra on that frame, its going to cost as much as the others. The new 105 is a great groupset it's heavier than ultegra but just as functional

  4. #4
    Senior Member ckFoxTrot's Avatar
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    It may help to think whether the more expensive group sets (e.g. Ultegra vs 105) are worth the extra cost, since that accounts for some of the price difference on the bikes you are looking at.

    At a certain level the "buy the best you can afford" argument loses a ton of traction, especially for every day cyclists. It's easy to get caught up in frame material and component hype, when none of that is really going to hold you back by any means.

    You said you wished you had purchased a more high-end hybrid, but didn't really say why. What is lacking on your hybrid compared to higher end models, and how much of a difference would it really make in your riding?
    :)

  5. #5
    Senior Member Jaeger99's Avatar
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    Thanks gents.

    Quote Originally Posted by ckFoxTrot View Post
    You said you wished you had purchased a more high-end hybrid, but didn't really say why. What is lacking on your hybrid compared to higher end models, and how much of a difference would it really make in your riding?
    I probably would have gone for a carbon frame, or at least a carbon fork, something better than an 8 speed triple, less chunky tires, better grips with integrated bar ends. Essentially, a more road-oriented hybrid while still retaining the ability to handle crushed gravel and groomed woodland trails. Some of that has been addressed in upgrades - and they have made a difference in my riding - I'm quite happy with the bike overall. I bought it initially just to ride in the neighborhood with my daughter, and my roadbike buddies forced me to NOT buy a cheap department store bike but head to the LBS instead. Seemed like an expensive purchase at the time. Like I said, I didn't know I would get hooked. If I could go back in time, I'd probably grab a 7.7 FX or Sirrus Carbon Comp.

    So party of my goal in the roadbike purchase is to avoid a case of the shuldaboughts.
    @SundayNiagara - what is the benefit of a threaded BB?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaeger99 View Post
    Thanks gents.



    I probably would have gone for a carbon frame, or at least a carbon fork, something better than an 8 speed triple, less chunky tires, better grips with integrated bar ends. Essentially, a more road-oriented hybrid while still retaining the ability to handle crushed gravel and groomed woodland trails. Some of that has been addressed in upgrades - and they have made a difference in my riding - I'm quite happy with the bike overall. I bought it initially just to ride in the neighborhood with my daughter, and my roadbike buddies forced me to NOT buy a cheap department store bike but head to the LBS instead. Seemed like an expensive purchase at the time. Like I said, I didn't know I would get hooked. If I could go back in time, I'd probably grab a 7.7 FX or Sirrus Carbon Comp.

    So party of my goal in the roadbike purchase is to avoid a case of the shuldaboughts.
    @SundayNiagara - what is the benefit of a threaded BB?
    Do a search for press fit bottom Brackets - They come loose and start making noises.

  7. #7
    . bbattle's Avatar
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    There's nothing wrong with any of the bikes you mentioned. You liked the ride of the Emonda, the Rokh and the Felt Z5, focus on those and/or test ride some other bikes.

    Shimano 105 is very good stuff; the differences between it and Ultegra for many of the components are small or nonexistent. If the Felt was a nice ride, get it and use the extra cash on other stuff.

  8. #8
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    What about the Felt Z3? Same fit and geometry, but better frame material, wheels, group set, etc...

  9. #9
    Bike rider alexaschwanden's Avatar
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    The Z5 is a great bike.
    2013 Felt 960 29er MTB. 1,368.4 miles
    2013 Raleigh Revenio 2.0. 1,076.7 miles

  10. #10
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    You might want to give a Trek Domane a try. I have the 4.3, and have upgraded to a Campy Chorus, mainly because I prefer the ergo (mine had 105 and it was OK). I would recommend you look at the 5 series Domane as they have a livelier response according to those who have ridden them. Or try some Italian bikes...:-)
    I'm so slow I met myself yesterday...

  11. #11
    blah blah blah milkbaby's Avatar
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    If you really enjoy the Felt, just get it. The performance difference in bikes for most people can be subtle, and it won't be the bike that holds you back from your riding goals. The more enjoyable the ride experience, the more you will ride.

    I'm speaking from personal experience as I own and ride a range of road bikes from a $200 vintage beater to a $10000 super bike. The bike I ride the most is actually an aluminum road bike that was originally $1300.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Jaeger99's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the replies, gents.

    SundayNiagara - I'm not sure when the 2015s will arrive, but I will inquire. While I'm not in a rush, I'd rather get something in the summer with a good deal of riding time ahead of me than wait until the fall.

    slowgo - they did not have a Z3 in stock for me to try, but that is certainly an option. Though I suppose part the appeal of the Z5 is that I like it so well for a bike that costs so much less than the others - even less than many 105-variants of some of the others. Similarly priced, I expect it would be a closer call as between the Z3 and say, the Emonda.

    macjager - I did try the Madone 5.2 - really liked it, but I was less warm to the all-black colour scheme (which I pretty much have on my hybrid). Probably just a matter of more careful setup, but I also had a slightly better fit on the Emonda.

    milkbaby - some real food for thought there, thanks.

  13. #13
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    My advice also is buy the best you can afford. Most people end up regretting not buying better stuff after a while. 105 is nice but Ultegra is nicer. I personally like something that's not the most common bikes out there or in every LBS like Trek. Trek's are good but there's the stigma of I want to be like Lance.

    I understand what you're saying about the R3 not feeling as comfortable as the others. But most of the time that feeling goes away with miles and getting into better riding shape. My advice again is buy what gets you excited and makes you want to more more often and fast and hard.
    You're just trying to start an argument to show how smart you are.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaeger99 View Post
    Thanks for all the replies, gents.

    SundayNiagara - I'm not sure when the 2015s will arrive, but I will inquire. While I'm not in a rush, I'd rather get something in the summer with a good deal of riding time ahead of me than wait until the fall.

    slowgo - they did not have a Z3 in stock for me to try, but that is certainly an option. Though I suppose part the appeal of the Z5 is that I like it so well for a bike that costs so much less than the others - even less than many 105-variants of some of the others. Similarly priced, I expect it would be a closer call as between the Z3 and say, the Emonda.

    macjager - I did try the Madone 5.2 - really liked it, but I was less warm to the all-black colour scheme (which I pretty much have on my hybrid). Probably just a matter of more careful setup, but I also had a slightly better fit on the Emonda.

    milkbaby - some real food for thought there, thanks.
    According to SuperDave from Felt, on the RBR forums, the 2015 Z5 should be released late this month. There are some '15 models on the site now.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Jaeger99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SundayNiagara View Post
    According to SuperDave from Felt, on the RBR forums, the 2015 Z5 should be released late this month. There are some '15 models on the site now.
    Cheers - I'll check with my LBS as to when they expect delivery. Not sure what the lag is between a model being by the manufacturer and actually showing up locally. I was kind of surprised to find a few Emondas already in stock. If they are expecting a shipment of the 2015 Felts anytime soon, I would certainly be willing to wait.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Jaeger99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StanSeven View Post
    My advice also is buy the best you can afford. Most people end up regretting not buying better stuff after a while. 105 is nice but Ultegra is nicer. I personally like something that's not the most common bikes out there or in every LBS like Trek. Trek's are good but there's the stigma of I want to be like Lance.

    I understand what you're saying about the R3 not feeling as comfortable as the others. But most of the time that feeling goes away with miles and getting into better riding shape. My advice again is buy what gets you excited and makes you want to more more often and fast and hard.
    I'm quite conflicted about the R3. It was the most "fun" ride of the bunch. I really loved its shear athleticism, but it clearly lagged behind all of the others in comfort. I jumped off the R3 and onto the Felt and my test ride on the latter was almost twice as long because of the supple roll. Given that riding further is a more proximate goal for me than riding faster, I see the more compliant endurance-oriented bikes as keeping me in the saddle longer. I may want to go faster and harder on the R3 (though the others aren't slugs) but I will go further on the others. I've been invited on a 100km group ride this Spetember and am working myself into shape for it. So far my longest ride on my hybrid has been 50 km. I agree that it is possible I may get used to the R3 - (hey, it sure felt better than the S5 did!) but that strikes me as more of a potentially expensive risk to take.

    I'm not personally saddled with any Lance baggage, but already having a Trek, I did want to try a different brand just for variety. And I do hear you about riding something different. The road bike scene in my area seems like a giant Trek /Giant club. The Pinarello would probably be the least common among the bikes I have ridden. Though the longer I wait, the less likely that the few remaining 2013s will still be around. And I don't find them a compelling value at full price.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Jaeger99's Avatar
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    Decision and purchase made. Thanks again for the input.

    The Felt Z5 came in second. Still really liked it, but felt (pardon the pun) that I would like the 2015 better and didn't want to wait for an uncertain release date.

    I went back to the bike that had the strongest emotional appeal from the outset. Not a popular brand here, but it was the one that always had me glancing over my shoulder for another look: the Pinarello Rokh.

    Predictably, the one 2013 Rokh that my LBS had in stock was gone. The good news is that I managed to source one about an hour's drive away. The better news is that the owner of my LBS decided to make me an offer I couldn't refuse on a 2014. So upgraded frame, internal cable routing and 11-speed Ultegra 6800 (versus 6700 on the 2013).

    It's a smooooth roller and I am a happy guy. Stock pic below. I went for black saddle and bar tape, but you get the idea.


  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaeger99 View Post
    Decision and purchase made. Thanks again for the input.

    The Felt Z5 came in second. Still really liked it, but felt (pardon the pun) that I would like the 2015 better and didn't want to wait for an uncertain release date.

    I went back to the bike that had the strongest emotional appeal from the outset. Not a popular brand here, but it was the one that always had me glancing over my shoulder for another look: the Pinarello Rokh.

    Predictably, the one 2013 Rokh that my LBS had in stock was gone. The good news is that I managed to source one about an hour's drive away. The better news is that the owner of my LBS decided to make me an offer I couldn't refuse on a 2014. So upgraded frame, internal cable routing and 11-speed Ultegra 6800 (versus 6700 on the 2013).

    It's a smooooth roller and I am a happy guy. Stock pic below. I went for black saddle and bar tape, but you get the idea.

    Beautiful bike! Looks like you went up a level or 2.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Jaeger99's Avatar
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    Thanks my man. The Z5 was lower priced than most of the other bikes I had been looking at. It's a testament to how nice a package it really is that I nearly bought it. The Pinarello was more in the price mix with the other Ultegra-equipped competitors - at least when discounted. Very pleased with it so far - though it's tough to be anything other than very pleased on day one.

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