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Thread: soloist vs dual

  1. #1
    No one carries the DogBoy
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    soloist vs dual

    I've been looking at bikes again, much to the chagrin of my wife. I want a bike to use in tris, so getting in a good aero position is key for me. I believe that I will fit comfortably on both bikes (based on numbers...we'll see about reality), so assuming that is true, which is a better setup? I'll go through my pros/cons of each. Let me know if you think I'm missing something.

    Soloist:
    Pros:
    -10sp double Centaur. (I like my campy mirage commuter bike shifting better than my road-bike DA-9 shifting-both triple. I can only assume that Centaur would be better than mirage, but certainly no worse.)

    -Ergo shifters: Good on hills when not in aero

    -drop bars: Good on downhills, more hand positions

    -Frame designed to do both road/tri applications. Can buy add'l seatpost/saddle(maybe stem) and have easy transition between bike uses. Potential to have only 1 race/train/group ride bike.

    -Color: Matte black looks wicked cool

    Cons:
    -Ergo shifters: must get out of aero to shift when on flat courses

    -Campy hubs: Cannot interchange wheels with my current bike (shimano hub), so need to buy both trainin(comes with bike) & race wheels.

    -Cost: $400 more than the Dual

    Dual:
    Pros:
    -Tri specific geometry
    -bar ends: stay in aero to shift
    -Cost: $400 less than Soloist
    -Wheel sharing: can use krysriums from road-bike for training, meaning I can swap wheels for credit towards race wheels at purchase. (another cost benefit)

    Cons:
    -Color: I like the soloist color better
    -bar ends: how do you down-shift when grinding up a hill?
    -Cow-horns: how well does this work on downhills? Only 1 hand position?
    -Only a tri/TT/solo ride bike, cannot be ridden on group rides

    Based primarily on color and the drop setup, I'm leaning towards the soloist (again, assuming they actually do fit well). Anyone have comments?

  2. #2
    Industrial Strength BS hoodlum's Avatar
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    I can't speak about the dual, but I have an '04 Soloist and I love it. I had been riding a tri-specific bike with bar end shifters (QR Kilo), and I wanted another bike for group rides and hilly terrain. The Soloist is the first road (non-triathlon) bike I have ever owned, so I have no basis for comparison. I have to force myself to ride the other bikes now, because I enjoy the Soloist more. Either way, they are both great bikes for their price range and I am sure you will be happy with either.

  3. #3
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    i rode the dual the other day and i loved it, but i think the soloist is more versatile. you said for the soloist that you could buy an additional seatpost and saddle and have a tri setup. this seems uneccesary, as all you have to do is turn around the seatpost head and the current saddle, put on clip on areo bars, and you have a foward seated tri position. i don't know if you personally would need another stem, but if you size the bike right, get the right areobars, and adjust the seat right, you shouldn't need to. btw, the saddle on the dual sucked, and i think it is the same one as the soloist. the new anodized finish on the soloist is also more durable than paint, more scratch resistant than paint, an it won't chip like a painted bike will. the only real drawbacks are the higher price and the fact that you can't have shifting when in the areo position, but for a bike that you can climb, do any sort of road bike racing, and do groups rides with, i think the benefits would outweigh the drawbacks. groups rides have defidently made me much faster on the bike and improved my handling skills a lot. i'm also thinkin about getting the soloist cenataur

  4. #4
    No one carries the DogBoy
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    Had a good bike-shop experience. One of the few good experiences I've had.

    I went to the bike-shop and they fit me for a dual. They are going to leave it set-up and let me test-ride it on Thursday. The fitter basically suggested that I get the dual over the soloist. His comments: You already have a first-rate road-bike that you like to ride, so you don't need the road-characteristics of the soloist. Also, he said that in his experience, the aero fit on the soloist was harder to dial in than it is on the dual, so since this bike will be my aero bike, I might as well get a full-on aero bike, not a road-bike that plays an aero bike better than any other road-bike. Finally, he suggested that if I was concerned that the bike shop wasn't making enough money from me buying a dual instead of a soloist, that he had a great wheelset recommendation that would even out the purchase price.

    On the issue of climbing. I ususally climb in the saddle. He said that if that's the case, the location of the shifters probably isn't a great concern, since I can stay in the bars, or stay in them until I downshift.

    I'm being swayed toward the dual. I also like the paint-job better in person than on the website. I didn't get the feeling that the salesman was trying to push current inventory on me either. I asked about the dual-10 vs the dual-9 they had, and he thought it would be a great option for me too, but only if I wanted to spend the extra $200 to get a 16 cog and liked blue better than red. He didn't think the p2k was a great choice for me since "you have to pay a lot more for essentially the same bike." The differences are the fork, the rear cutout and the wheelset. At my speed, he suggested the most important thing was to get a good fit so I will love to ride the bike. Riding it will make it faster. I guess I have to agree with that.

    It felt great on the trainer for the fit session. Now lets see how it feels on come crappy roads for an hour. If that goes well, I will probably buy the bike. I will switch the cassette from 12-25 to 12-27, and probably get some cane creek wheels instead of the stock wheels. I'm a little leary of the stock wheels given my girth and some of the poor reviews I've seen of them (spoke braking, out of true etc. for heavier riders or sprinters). The saddle is the same one I have on my roadbike. I actually like the saddle a lot for my road-bike. I noticed I was a bit farther up on it in aero position though, so we'll see if it lasts. If I don't like it after a bit, I'll probably switch it and try the fitzic(sp) arione.

    So, did I just get smooth talked by a sales guy, or does this sound like a good choice? I don't think I was smooth talked, but I can never tell.

  5. #5
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    if you already have a nice, dedicated road bike, then go for the dual. i guess i missed that part earlier. let us know what you think

  6. #6
    Roadie/Duathlete
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    Reading the thread, it looks like you are looking at the Cervelos exclusively. Take a look at the Kestrel Talon... I was more of less in your shoes, but due to lack of space to keep, them, I had to compromise to one bike for both road and duathlons. Kestrel Talon really fits the bill! Couldn't have asked for a nicer bike. I did build it up with Campy Centaur/Chorus/Record.
    "Suddenly the thought struck me. My floor is someone elses ceiling"-Nils Ferlin

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