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Old 12-30-13, 05:21 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Ms. H, you have my respect. You do everything right. You might have been better off with the version with the triple up front, but what you bought is the most common gearing for your area. You'll probably grow into it. If you wanted lower gears, you could get a bigger cassette and a MTB rear derailleur. But with the amount of climbing you've done with your current setup, it's seems fine for you. Closer ratios are nice. You might someday want a carbon bike for a smoother ride, with Ultegra components because they shift well and are durable, but what you have is fine for the foreseeable future.

I still recommend starting with the group ride ASAP if you can make the distance work for you, IOW it's someplace where you can conveniently take off to get more good miles. It takes more than 2-3 rides to get good at riding with others.
Whoops, sorry, but I'm maybe going to dissapoint you now. I told you the wrong bike. After I composed the previous reply, I started thinking that $600 was way too cheap for the Lexa S. Thats not what I have, I dug out my paperwork this afternoon. I have the Regular Lexa, which is the lowest of the entry levels. I remember now that I wasn't sure I'd like cycling, so I went with the least expensive bike. I for sure need a new bike. However, at least I feel like I've 100% gotten my money's worth.

Frameset
Frame 100 Series Alpha Aluminum
Fork Aluminum
Size 52 cm

Wheels
Wheels Alloy hubs; Bontrager Approved alloy rims
Tires Bontrager T1, 700x23c

Drivetrain
Shifters Shimano 2300 STI, 8 speed
Front derailleur Shimano 2300, 34.9mm clamp
Rear derailleur Shimano 2300
Crank Vuelta Corsa, 50/34 (compact)
Cassette Sun Race CSR86 12-25, 8 speed
Pedals Look plastic

Components
Saddle Bontrager Affinity 1 WSD, steel rails
Seatpost Bontrager SSR, 12mm offset
Handlebar Bontrager SSR VR-S, 31.8mm
Stem Bontrager SSR, OS, 10 degree
Headset 1-1/8" semi-cartridge bearings
Brakeset Alloy dual-pivot brakes w/Shimano 2300 STI adjustable-reach levers

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Old 12-30-13, 05:42 PM   #27
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Whoops, sorry, but I'm maybe going to dissapoint you now. I told you the wrong bike. After I composed the previous reply, I started thinking that $600 was way too cheap for the Lexa S. Thats not what I have, I dug out my paperwork this afternoon. I have the Regular Lexa, which is the lowest of the entry levels. I remember now that I wasn't sure I'd like cycling, so I went with the least expensive bike. I for sure need a new bike. However, at least I feel like I've 100% gotten my money's worth.<snip>
H
Trek's specs say a 12-28 cassette. If they really gave you a 12-25, it might have been a mistake. If it is the 12-25 (count the teeth), go back to the LBS and get the largest cassette that will fit without buying a new rear derailleur.
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Old 12-30-13, 06:10 PM   #28
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??? I copied & pasted the above from the Trek website, my bike is a 2012, maybe they've changed it since 2012. I'm not 100% sure what I'm supposed to count, but the innermost sprocket on the rear wheel has 25 teeth for sure.

UPDATED to add: yes, they've changed it. The 2012 model has a different cassette listed in the specs than the current model.

H

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Old 12-30-13, 09:30 PM   #29
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Please start doing some group rides. If for no other reason than to get comfortable cycling around other people. Also, in my experience, it's really difficult to push yourself hard enough riding solo. I wish I had starting riding with the local group earlier than I did this past year (my first year riding). Actually, I rode with them early in the spring and could keep a good pace, got involved in a pileup on the very first ride, and quit riding with them. By the end of the summer when I went back, I was being dropped within a few miles. Plus, you can pick the other rider's brains about the centuries.

I have no idea about the terrain issues, where I live it's super flat, but it sounds like the first century should be a piece of cake for you. Just try to peak for the second century. Good luck with it.
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Old 12-30-13, 10:48 PM   #30
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??? I copied & pasted the above from the Trek website, my bike is a 2012, maybe they've changed it since 2012. I'm not 100% sure what I'm supposed to count, but the innermost sprocket on the rear wheel has 25 teeth for sure.

UPDATED to add: yes, they've changed it. The 2012 model has a different cassette listed in the specs than the current model.

H
Well, so get a bigger cassette, at least a 12-28. Whatever the LBS says will work with that RD. You'll need a new chain too, but 8-speed chains aren't expensive. It'll be worth it to you. I run a triple on one of my bikes, a 52-42-30, with a 12-27 in back. That's a good combo. So 30/27 = 1.11 and 34/28 = 1.21; 34/30=1.13 which is what I'd go for if possible. I like to run at least a 78 cadence on long climbs. Saves the legs. Yes, I have a Cateye Astrale computer with cadence, about $30. All I watch is cadence and distance, never speed.
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Old 12-30-13, 11:21 PM   #31
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Well, so get a bigger cassette, at least a 12-28. Whatever the LBS says will work with that RD. You'll need a new chain too, but 8-speed chains aren't expensive. It'll be worth it to you. I run a triple on one of my bikes, a 52-42-30, with a 12-27 in back. That's a good combo. So 30/27 = 1.11 and 34/28 = 1.21; 34/30=1.13 which is what I'd go for if possible. I like to run at least a 78 cadence on long climbs. Saves the legs. Yes, I have a Cateye Astrale computer with cadence, about $30. All I watch is cadence and distance, never speed.
Does brand matter? Or is a cassette a cassette?
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Old 12-31-13, 09:30 AM   #32
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Does brand matter? Or is a cassette a cassette?
This time it doesn't matter. It just has to be 8-speed. LBS will know what to do.
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Old 12-31-13, 02:08 PM   #33
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Does brand matter? Or is a cassette a cassette?
Edit, I didn't realize you were riding an 8sp group when I first replied. I've ridden an 8sp Sora with a triple and it was fine with a 12-25 cassette. With a compact crank you're going to need to sacrifice some middle cogs for better climbing gears.

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Old 12-31-13, 02:56 PM   #34
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Husband went to LBS. They can only do a 12-26 without replacling the rear derailleur. If they replace the rear derailleur, I can do an 11-30 or 11-32. It is $160 for parts and labor. That $ amt is not a big deal, but I am wondering if I would just be better off getting a better bike rather than putting more $ into this one. Anyway, they dont have the cassettes in stock and cant get them until Friday at the earliest and they can't have the bike on the weekend, so its next week until anything happens with that.

Today I tried to tride my test and was incapable- my legs were made of clay and I could not sustain a HR of 160 for more than 6 min. Maybe its that I didnt sleep well (which is the case) or maybe I am getting sick, but either way, Im on haitus until Sat I think.

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Old 12-31-13, 03:46 PM   #35
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An 8sp wide range cassette will make for some pretty big gaps in the middle of the cassette. I'd personally pick up a Tiagra or 105 group for $350-400 from the UK and pay your LBS to install it. That gets you up to 10sp which gives you a lot more options. I own both groups and either one shifts great. I'd probably look for a triple if I was doing a lot of climbing.

http://www.probikekit.com/cycling-gr.../10781912.html (use code HELLOUS15 to save another 15%)
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Old 12-31-13, 04:05 PM   #36
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Husband went to LBS. They can only do a 12-26 without replacling the rear derailleur. If they replace the rear derailleur, I can do an 11-30 or 11-32. It is $160 for parts and labor. That $ amt is not a big deal, but I am wondering if I would just be better off getting a better bike rather than putting more $ into this one. Anyway, they dont have the cassettes in stock and cant get them until Friday at the earliest and they can't have the bike on the weekend, so its next week until anything happens with that.

Today I tried to tride my test and was incapable- my legs were made of clay and I could not sustain a HR of 160 for more than 6 min. Maybe its that I didnt sleep well (which is the case) or maybe I am getting sick, but either way, Im on haitus until Sat I think.

H
If you can climb with what you have, you'll be OK. It's your decision how to spend money. <g> You've been OK so far? Except now you're cooked. Told ya. No big deal.

Here's what you do: Every morning, get up, pee, get dressed, then lie back down with your HRM on. Lie there for 5 minutes and think of marsh grasses waving in the wind by a pond - or something like that. Note your lowest HR. Then stand and note your HR after standing for exactly 2 minutes. Write these down every day. After a few days or so, you'll have a feel for your normal MRHR and normal MSHR. You'll notice that you have "recovered" numbers, "normal training" numbers, and "overdoing it" numbers.

If your resting HR jumps from normal training by 5-8 beats, rest. If your MSHR jumps by 10 beats and particularly if it keeps climbing toward the end of the 2 minutes, rest for a day or until it goes back down. This is a surefire way to test training state. Getting sick will also jump your MSHR, MRHR not so much. MSHR is the more important indicator.

The other things you might notice are what you just noticed: you can't make your numbers, and also on a climb you're grabbing a lower gear than normal or having to pedal more slowly in your lowest gear. Many people respond to that latter indicator by training harder, exactly the opposite of what one should do. As it is said, you only get stronger when you rest.
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Old 12-31-13, 04:06 PM   #37
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Well of course the correct answer to your question above is yes, get a new bike. As for the training, don't over think it If you are riding regularly, and getting a few rides in at up to 60 or 70 miles, you can do two centuries with no problem. Dont go out too fast, for the first one, just concentrate on finishing (look at Strava and see where others in your general shape have finished the ride) for the second one, take some of the lessons learned on the first ride, and apply them to do even better.
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Old 12-31-13, 04:50 PM   #38
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In my humble opinion fit is the most critical aspect. And non easy to get right for first time shopping for a bike. Hopefully, your LBS put you on a bike that fits, adjusted what was needed and the bike suits your purposes.

If you do keep this bike, consider replacing the pedals.

See if they spin freely and easily. If not, then that is energy spent not moving you forward. Sometimes a bit of lubricant will help. You may want to check after a ride as sometimes things bind up more after they been used... Friction = heat = expansion => more heat.

Thanks for this thread, I'm learning a lot from your training, the comments, and guidance.
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Old 01-01-14, 12:30 PM   #39
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Ok, slept 11 hours last night, I never sleep that late/long so I guess I was pretty exhausted. I didn't get to take my resting heart rate in the am because I am on-call today and what woke me up was a call from work about a potential surgical emergency, so from I didn't have a mellow start to my morning by any means.

Anyway, I am seriously thinking about just getting a new bike rather than put any more money into this one which I've all along planned on replacing anyway. So now I have a few questions about that.

First, what is the best time of year to buy a bike? Are they more likely to be discounted now after Christmas? Or at a premium because of New Years resolutions?

Second, am I better off buying a mid-range bike as the next step and then replacing that in 2-4 years or just biting the bullet and getting something higher end that could take me 7-8 years? I think I'm pretty settled on an interest in riding long distances 50+ miles and I'd like to get better at climbing- so I want something comfortable for riding long distances. It's not that money is no object but I have the money to buy pretty much any bike that I want. I don't want to waste money, though, value is important, and I want to get something appropriate to my current and near-future abilities.

Third, should I be looking at women's specific bikes or is that mostly a marketing thing?

Fourth, any specific comments on the BMC GF01 or Cervelo R3 Ultegra? Any other specific models or features that are recommended?

Thanks for any insight.

H
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Old 01-01-14, 03:17 PM   #40
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Jan-April is usually, but no always, a good time to buy bikes because of the cold weather and short days. I know from personal experience Specialized ran a 15-20% off promotion on many of their carbon fiber road bikes this past winter/spring. The industry sales numbers published later in 2013 indicated that consumer demand was particularly weak that time of year due to the very cold weather across much of the country.

My opinion is that if you know you like cycling, and are relatively confident that you're going to stick to it, buy what you want now. For me that would be a mid-range carbon fiber frame with Ultegra 6800 and some ~$400-500 aftermarket wheels. Everybody is different and you should spend whatever you are comfortable with and can afford.

Women's specific geometry probably doesn't matter unless you have longer legs for your height. They tend to have lower top tubes and, of course, more feminine colors.

Without knowing what type of geometry you're riding now it's hard to recommend specific bikes.
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Old 01-01-14, 05:27 PM   #41
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Women's specific geometry probably doesn't matter unless you have longer legs for your height. They tend to have lower top tubes and, of course, more feminine colors.

Without knowing what type of geometry you're riding now it's hard to recommend specific bikes.
Im not sure what else to tell you about my bike geometry. It is a woman's bike though. After I posted my previous question, I did some google research on the question of woman's specific bikes. It's not just leg length, but torso length, arm length, center of gravity and the relationship between the saddle and the riders butt. It sounds like a woman's specific bike is in general better for most women, but it depends on the woman and the bike.

I also have decided that I'll put a premium on a bike I can buy in-town, for ease of service etc. So I have developed a short list that I will take a look at:

Available thru favored LBS
Cannondale SuperSix EVO Women’s Ultegra Di2 $5500
Specialized Amira SL 4 Pro SRAM Compact $4700
Trek Domane 5.2 WSD $3700

Available thru LBS that always tells me something completely wrong when I shop there
Giant Avail 1 $3500
Cervelo R3 Ultegra $3900


Available thru BS about 30 min away
BMC GF01 $4900-$7000
Ridley Liz 105 $2500
Colnago CLD 105 $3000


Available thru smallest LBS, the with the quirky owner who's probably not worth dealing with
Raleigh Capri 4.0 $4300


Available in-town only thru chain sporting goods store that I'd rather not deal with
Fuji Supreme 1.3C $2800





H
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Old 01-01-14, 08:04 PM   #42
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It's not just leg length, but torso length, arm length, center of gravity and the relationship between the saddle and the riders butt. It sounds like a woman's specific bike is in general better for most women, but it depends on the woman and the bike.
It's mainly shorter tops tubes and smaller frame sizes I guess because women have longer legs and, on average, are shorter than men. It really depends on your height and cycling inseam as far which geometry will work for you. I'm not familiar with all of the bikes on your list but it looks like they are mostly race geometry with a stiffer ride. The other segment you may also want to consider is an endurance road bike like the Trek Domane, Specialized Ruby/Roubaix, Cannondale Synapse etc. They have a more upright geometry, less twitchy handling and generally smoother ride quality.
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Old 01-01-14, 08:55 PM   #43
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Thanks, the Trek Domane is on the list and I did add the Ruby to my own version of the list already after reading about it vs the Amira. I'll also of course talk to the bike shop folks and see what they have to say.

I have a cycling friend who has a Ruby and loves it. I was under the impression from her interests that the Ruby was the racy bike and the Amira the distance bike, but it's actually the opposite so I was mixed up on that.

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Old 01-01-14, 09:53 PM   #44
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Riding buddy replaced his Ti bike with a Domane and loves it. Very light, stiff, and comfortable. But fit is the thing in a high end bike like you are looking at.
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Old 01-01-14, 10:31 PM   #45
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In '12 I put in about 1400 miles Jan-July before the STP (back to back 100 milers). I rode 50 milers every Saturday for two months (May and June), the other 1000 miles was mostly Jan-June at 30-50 additional miles a week in 3 rides. So 4 rides a week, three short, one medium. I was 57 YO and I did fine with one minor problem. Hot foot 2nd day. In '13 I rode 1900 miles Jan-June (with fewer 50 milers) and did much better despite a May lay off (nasty wreck).
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Old 01-01-14, 10:50 PM   #46
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STP is less then 4000' of climbing in the whole 200 miles. Under 12 hours elapsed for the one-day.

I bought a carbon Trek 5200 (the Ultegra model) back in January 2000. Over 50,000 miles on it. The frame, fork, and bars are the only original parts still on it. Wear happens. But it's still all the bike I need. I never upgraded. Like to what? Spend $5000 to save 3 lbs? Heck, I've lost 13 since April. Saved even more money on the grocery bill doing it. Like I got a rebate on the bike. I'm just saying, the next bike could be the last bike, at least until the technology changes so much that keeping it up becomes impossible for lack of parts. Choose carefully.
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Old 01-01-14, 11:05 PM   #47
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My point being. Easily feasible.
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Old 01-02-14, 12:12 AM   #48
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Since you are clearly willing to spend some real money on a nice bike, start with a good bike fit by a professional fitter. Though this money does not buy anything tangible, it's the best money you can spend to make sure the rest of your money is not wasted.

The shop you like carries Specialized, so they might have a trained Body Geometry fitter there - if so, go there and get a fit. They *might* be willing to make some deal on the fit or the bike purchase if you buy from them too, but it's not really required. From the fit, you should get the Reach and Stack numbers for the best fitting frame for you (reach = how long, stack = how tall) - and then you can figure out which of the frames you are interested in matches best, or if you need to go looking further afield for another frame that works better. Don't assume you need a women's bike. And be aware that things like stem length, crankarm length and handlebar width can be adjusted, possibly by swapping parts during the purchase process, or possibly afterwards.

Competitive Cyclist has a mind-blowing deal on a Fuji Altimira DI2
http://www.competitivecyclist.com/fu...aSBhbHRpbWlyYQ
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Old 01-02-14, 12:15 AM   #49
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I'm leaning toward getting a higher end bike with the idea that it can carry me very far. My top of the line Ruby friend tells me to go for it, it will make me like cycling even more, I ride a lot of miles, it's worth it. She is an enabler. Of course the danger is that I'm not yet knowledgable enough to make the best decision,

Then I ask another quite experienced friend and he says go mid-range. You can get a really nice bike for $2000-$3000 and don't need to spend more as a recreational cyclist.

Right now, I dont have tons of time to shop. So either things will either fall into place and I will find a bike that is my clear best choice or I will just upgrade the cassette on the current bike and keep going for awhile. Maybe if I manage to ride the Wildflower, I will get some sort of prize as the finisher with the lowest-end bike.

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Old 01-02-14, 12:28 AM   #50
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Los Angeles
Bikes: 2016 Liv Lust, 2015 Fuji Norcom Straight, 2014 BMC GF01, 2013 Trek Madone
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Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
Since you are clearly willing to spend some real money on a nice bike, start with a good bike fit by a professional fitter. Though this money does not buy anything tangible, it's the best money you can spend to make sure the rest of your money is not wasted.

The shop you like carries Specialized, so they might have a trained Body Geometry fitter there - if so, go there and get a fit. They *might* be willing to make some deal on the fit or the bike purchase if you buy from them too, but it's not really required. From the fit, you should get the Reach and Stack numbers for the best fitting frame for you (reach = how long, stack = how tall) - and then you can figure out which of the frames you are interested in matches best, or if you need to go looking further afield for another frame that works better. Don't assume you need a women's bike. And be aware that things like stem length, crankarm length and handlebar width can be adjusted, possibly by swapping parts during the purchase process, or possibly afterwards.

Competitive Cyclist has a mind-blowing deal on a Fuji Altimira DI2
http://www.competitivecyclist.com/fu...aSBhbHRpbWlyYQ
Are you saying get a fit on my current bike? I asked and the local shop does not have the body geometry service. They offered two fitting options, a $40 30 min job and a several hour long $200 one. I went for the $40 which actually helped tremendously. I was reluctant to spend $200 getting fitted on a $600 bike, which is why I didn't do the more extensive fitting. But I think you are recommending it as a shopping tool.

Every shop I've been to in my town has told me something completely wrong at least once, so I'm not sure any of the shops here are excellent. I try to gravitate towards the people in the shops who I can tell are more knowledgeable about road bikes, but still it can be hit or miss. It makes me feel like I need to travel a bit for a good fitting (friend has an excellent recommendation about 30 mi away, but it starts to get time-consuming with my current training schedule. And the fact that I have recently taken up the ukulele and need to practice that too, lol.

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