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Bike buying decisions: Domane, Allez, Defy

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Bike buying decisions: Domane, Allez, Defy

Old 03-14-23, 10:03 AM
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Bike buying decisions: Domane, Allez, Defy

I have a 2019 2017 Domane ALR4 (Tiagara group) which has been my main bike. This winter, I set the Domane up as a trainer and really enjoyed it.

Spring is coming, and I'd like to ride again on the road, but I'd like a bike dedicated to the trainer so I don't have to haul one in/out of the basement and can get in mid-week rides if the weather is bad. I ride mainly 1 hour rides, with occasional 90 minute rides, and a very rare, once-in-a-while 2 hour ride. I'm over 50, fairly flexible and still in decent shape, but am no athlete. I don't race, and I don't do long endurance rides. Just comfortable, fun riding for exercise and stress relief, and I do like to go as fast as I can. (edit: I should add I've had the Domane professional fit in January, and it's working for me on the trainer).

I've been shopping the used boards and bike shops since December. Here are the best choices I have seen:

Near to me on Craigslist is an aluminum Specialized Allez 105 group set at a good price. It's a little tired, but still in decent enough shape. I have also been looking at a Carbon Giant Defy 2 105 group set at a local shop at what is the top of my price range.
  1. Option 1- get the Allez and put it on the trainer and put the Domane on the road. Reasons for this -- Domane has wider tires and iso speed, so maybe a bit more comfortable
  2. Option 2- get the Allez and put that on the road and leave the Domane on the trainer. Reasons for this are the Allez is lighter and a bit more aggressive, but it is likely less comfortable on our local, crappy roads (narrower tires, no ISO seat post connection)
  3. Option 3 - spend up +$2K over the Allez to get the Giant, make that the new road bike and keep the Domane on the trainer. Reasons for this are - New bike! Carbon! Light on the road! Reasons NOT to do this -- $$$ and the global economic collapse (/jk -- or at least I hope I'm just kidding)
I think the choices are really #1 or #3. I don't think #2 is what I want.

So, the two questions I have to figure out - A) is the Giant worth +2K on the road for 60 minute rides over the Domane (i.e. does it get me a much better/faster/fun ride), and B) as the Allez is more aggressive, and I'm used to an endurance geometry, will I find the Allez a bad fit as a trainer?

Last edited by WT21; 04-09-23 at 08:13 PM.
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Old 03-14-23, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by WT21

So, the two questions I have to figure out - A) is the Giant worth +2K on the road for 60 minute rides over the Domane (i.e. does it get me a much better/faster/fun ride), and B) as the Allez is more aggressive, and I'm used to an endurance geometry, will I find the Allez a bad fit as a trainer?
Objectively the answer would be no. But I do like my 2019 carbon Defy. It's a nice bike and rides well.
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Old 03-14-23, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
Objectively the answer would be no. But I do like my 2019 carbon Defy. It's a nice bike and rides well.
Thanks. It's snowing right now, so still waiting for better weather to at least try the Defy on the road. But it sounds like "is new and shiny work $2K" is the real question
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Old 03-14-23, 11:01 AM
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My concern for a trainer-only bike is that it feels roughly the same as my on-the-road bike:
  • the contact point locations (saddle, bars, pedals),
  • the gearing,
  • the saddle.
To get the Allez contact point locations the same as the Domane will likely require another spacer on the steering tube, and a shorter stem.
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Old 03-14-23, 12:36 PM
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For 60 minute rides the lighter bike will be more fun if you live in anything but pan flat terrain. If the bike fits you properly, then it can be fun on longer rides too.
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Old 03-14-23, 01:59 PM
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Personally, if you like the Trek which is pretty new and looks nice, then why not bring that out onto the road and just pick up something cheaper to ride on the trainer? match the settings of the custom fit and not worry about weight, wheel type, frame material ect... which doesn't really matter when it's on a trainer. It just needs to shift gears properly and be comfortable.

Most of my bikes are older but I chose to put the oldest aluminum road bike on the trainer and then ride my newer bike outside.
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Old 03-14-23, 03:23 PM
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I can relate to to the 1 bike for trainer and 1 or more for roads/trails! Much easier to help you decide to get out and go on the road when the weather suits.

There is downward market pressure on bike prices so perhaps lower prices are on the way. And keep a lookout on CL and FB marketplace. I picked up some very nice bikes for less that $400 - like 2014 Felt Z85 with very low use. And a 90s Trek steel tube that had group set swapped to Campy for $200.
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Old 03-15-23, 06:15 AM
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Originally Posted by WT21
Thanks. It's snowing right now, so still waiting for better weather to at least try the Defy on the road. But it sounds like "is new and shiny work $2K" is the real question
There's no right or wrong answer to that question. It depends entirely on how much you appreciate the bike. The Defy to me is one of those bikes that does everything pretty damn well without being super-exciting or frustrating in any way. It certainly wouldn't hold you back in any way. For $2k I think it's actually very good value for money compared to similar spec bikes. But only you can decide if you need that level of bike. You could make a valid argument that a 2019 Domane ALR4 is all the bike you could ever "need". But that doesn't mean more expensive bikes are a waste of money.
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Old 03-15-23, 07:42 AM
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I like the Defy (I ride what is pretty much a Defy clone) and find it exceedingly comfortable. I will Always suggest the Defy as a road bike .... however ... (as others have said) ...

If you have a bike which really works for you (the Domane) why not ride it? It does everything you want and you know it does it to your satisfaction.

You could throw a $100 Craigslist bike on the trainer. If the frame fits your build even a little, set up the bike to have the same contact points as the Domane and it will feel exactly the same ... on a trainer. Weight won't matter, wheels won't matter, tires won't matter .... except for the drive train, parts quality won't matter.

I have an ancient BikesDirect bike which I used on a trainer for a while .... it is a 52, while I ride a 56 or a 58 .... but with a ridiculous stem and a really long aluminum seat post I made it fit. Feels fine even though it looks like a TdF bike (those guys also ride tiny frames with cubit-long stems.) I used my oldest, heaviest wheels and leftover cheapo 23-mm tires I would never ride on the road ..... On a trainer it makes zero difference.

Of course, I would probably get kicked off the site if I didn't advocate N+ .... so buy the defy, And buy a cheap bike for the trainer.
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Old 03-15-23, 12:29 PM
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You might wait for a better option. I noticed yesterday that there were some great road bikes for sale at great prices:

Speicalize Roubaix CF Shimano Ultegra $1775
Specialized Ruby CF with Dura Ace $1,775
Trek Madrone CF SRAM $1,075
Orbea Ordu Triathalon CF Dura Ace $950
Giant Defy CF Ultegra $875

Any of these would be a great bike to ride. New these sold for thousands of dollars more than the current asking price.
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Old 03-15-23, 12:33 PM
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Where did you see these? You mean on a used posting board somewhere?
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Old 04-09-23, 08:18 PM
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I mis-typed the year. It's actually a 2017 Domane ALR4.

I am hoping to test ride the Defy Advance 2 this week. I've been shopping used bikes for about 3 months, and just nothing in my area that wouldn't take some money or work to make it fit, and if I'm going to do that, maybe just get a new bike. Or maybe I just want something shiny

My one last concern is recyclability of a new CF frame. Seems it's completely zero?
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Old 04-10-23, 10:59 AM
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I have a single speed Specialized for my trainer. I control pedaling exertion by the resistance on the trainer . No need to buy a bike with derailleurs for the trainer. Single speed bikes can be gotten cheaply.
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Old 04-10-23, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by jackb
I have a single speed Specialized for my trainer. I control pedaling exertion by the resistance on the trainer . No need to buy a bike with derailleurs for the trainer. Single speed bikes can be gotten cheaply.
Interesting approach, and you can use the trainer (Wahoo in my case) as an Erg, but I prefer to keep with the gear shifting.
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