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What do you think is the ideal bike for riding centuries?

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What do you think is the ideal bike for riding centuries?

Old 06-03-11, 11:25 AM
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What do you think is the ideal bike for riding centuries?

I seem to gotten to the place where I can finally ride for as long as I want to. I credit my Brooks B17 and eating during the ride for the breakthru. Last ride was 48.6 miles. A century comfortable bike is on my list as a reward for completing metric century. I'm thinking 105 level componets but not ruling anything out as far as frame material. What do you suggest. Craig's List is a complete Zero here in the Great Corn-Soybean Desert. Current Ride is a 20" Trek 7300.
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Old 06-03-11, 11:38 AM
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Mine. Maybe yours, too, if you got to the point of not feeling like something is imposing a limit on how far or long you can ride. Congratulations on that! I still get shoulder pain that ultimately limits me to a handful of hours at a time...

Light weight with good power transfer really does add up to a lot less fatigue over the course of a metric century. Hell, even just biking to work and back on my ~33 pound CX bike versus my ~17 pound road bike amounts to a noticeable difference. This is thanks in part to the topography here, where the streets basically look like giant versions of the letter M.

( They changed components and wheels, and dropped the price on a Cervelo RS by $1,000 from the 2010 to the 2011 year. )
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Old 06-03-11, 11:44 AM
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The one you are comfortable on.

But if you want me to help you spend your money, this one: https://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/...01&scname=Road
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Old 06-03-11, 11:50 AM
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These three bikes are equally capable as 200k or double century bikes;

Titanium road bike



The updated C & V bike



The recreational steel Cyclocross bike




These bikes have several things in common, including light-but-strong 32 spoke wheels with Mavic Open Pro or Velocity A23 rims. I use 700x25 or 700x28 tires on all bikes. All bikes have modern 2x10 or 3x10 drivetrains with external BB cranksets. All three bikes provide compliant frames with smooth ride quality. Steel & titanium frames are high on ride comfort, but also flex excessively during sprints and climbs.

I’m equally happy with indexed bar-end or “brifter” shifters. I’m equally happy with compact doubles, standard doubles or triples, as long as the gear range is correct for the route. I have three different brakes on these bikes. Cantilevers, long-reach caliper, and short-reach caliper. One bike has fenders, one bike does not and the other bike has a spray deflector over the rear wheel.

The fit of the Cyclocross and C & V bike was excellent after some minor fine tuning. The Ti road bike was always less about relaxed fit and more about extra power. I never fully adapted to the more aggresive fit style of this frame.

The versatility of the Cyclocross bike makes it the best bike, for me, overall.
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Old 06-03-11, 11:56 AM
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Whatever one you're most comfortable riding for N hours that it takes you to finish.

I've ridden centuries on the following (in pretty much this order over my lifetime):
- 1981 Free Spirit
- 1989 Fuji Touring
- 1991 Trek 2100 outfitted as a tri-bike
- 1991 Specialized Stumpjumper with big fat knobbies
- 2008 Surly Cross Check outfitted as a brevet bike
- 1991 Paramount Series-5 PDG (Japanamount)
- 1988 Trek 400 rescued from a dumpster and turned to a singlespeed

Ideal is going to be a very personal decision based on your riding style, fitness level, and price point. For some of my friends, it's their Tarmac SL pavement rocket that gets them from A-to-B as fast as possible. For others, they're content to do 400km on a mid-70s Peugeot UO-8 singlespeed conversion that's as much rust as it is paint.
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Old 06-03-11, 02:01 PM
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Frankly, I think it comes down to which one you are comfortable with as the others have said.

Taking care of the contact points by making sure that you are as comfortable as possible is a huge part of it, IMHO. Your seat, with the B17, shoes, shorts and bars etc..

I have used both of my current bikes for such rides and I would give the hands down edge to the road bike for just straight riding, however, I give the edge to my Hybrid for riding and enjoying the scenery, taking pictures and stopping at various points of interest along the way.

I suspect a touring type bike (LHT) or some such might be the ideal midpoint between the two, but, I haven't gotten the urge to find out, just yet.
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Old 06-03-11, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Seve
I suspect a touring type bike (LHT) or some such might be the ideal midpoint between the two, but, I haven't gotten the urge to find out, just yet.
While I like my touring bike, I'd say my Cervelo RS is the better century bike. Any of the many comfort-geometry carbon frames (Cervelo RS, Specialized Roubaix, Cannondale Synapse, Look 566, Giant Defy Advanced, Scott CR1 Pro, Bianchi Nirone Carbon, Felt Z-series, Fuji SLs, etc) would make a great century-riding bike...
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Old 06-03-11, 04:45 PM
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A motor bike.
Seriously, a bike you are very comfortable on. You're in the saddle a very long time.
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Old 06-03-11, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by sstorkel
While I like my touring bike, I'd say my Cervelo RS is the better century bike. Any of the many comfort-geometry carbon frames (Cervelo RS, Specialized Roubaix, Cannondale Synapse, Look 566, Giant Defy Advanced, Scott CR1 Pro, Bianchi Nirone Carbon, Felt Z-series, Fuji SLs, etc) would make a great century-riding bike...
Your bike has really sexy curves in the rear triangle. They help make for an extremely comfortable ride.
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Old 06-03-11, 06:54 PM
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I'll second the recommendation for a Specialized Roubaix. the CF frame + relaxed geometry is very helpful, and I find the Avatar seat to be quite nice. I've done one century on it and hope to do another before long
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Old 06-03-11, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest
Your bike has really sexy curves in the rear triangle. They help make for an extremely comfortable ride.
I'd actually classify the Cervelo RS as the least comfy of the three bikes I considered; the Specialized Roubaix Expert and the Felt Z25 were the other two. Which isn't to say that it's uncomfortable just that the others, especially the Z25, were more plush. Bought the Cervelo due to the light weight, responsiveness, and great handling. It feels like a race bike you can ride all day...
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Old 06-03-11, 07:29 PM
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I'm a Trek man myself, having ridden them for years. My current century bike is a Madone 6.9 but isn't cheap. I would encourage you to look at the Trek line of road bikes. But most important, I would encourage you to get whatever line of good bikes your lbs handles. After all, they are the ones who you expect to stand behind it and probably do the major service/repairs on it.
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Old 06-03-11, 08:03 PM
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The first five centuries I did were on a Worksman single speed cruiser.

If you'll look at the randonneuring world, there is a lot of variation in what people use for long-distance riding. Carbon fiber, all kinds of metal frames, recumbents, mountain bikes, you name it.

So don't look for the "ideal" century bike, look for the bike you like. And don't be surprised if it doesn't change through the years.
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Old 06-03-11, 08:21 PM
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I will say that I really like the compact frame design. Mainly because my sleeve length is 3 inches longer than my inseam. (37 sleeve 34 inseam) I also like the idea of the new (for me) drop bar brifters. It seems one can really stretch out while using them. After I actually ride a metric century I'll start shopping in earnest because the next step is a full one.
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Old 06-04-11, 07:36 AM
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A "sportive" type bike is probably a better choice than a full tilt road race type. Something like a Soma ES, Cannondale Synapse, or Salsa Casserole perhaps.
Fit is the most important consideration for really long rides. I met a fellow at a club ride some years ago who did 300k randonneurs on a Cannondale hybrid bike with triathlon aero clip-on bars attached. Of course the local bike snobs told him he simply had to replace that with a proper road bike, but think about it: he could ride 300k/200 miles on that bike with no injuries. Obviously the setup worked for him or he wouldn't be able to do it.
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Old 06-04-11, 07:45 AM
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Last Oct with 22 rides, 17 were centuries on this.

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