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Personalmanager 06-27-07 09:37 AM

Time for a new bike. Advice on choice please.
I have fallen in lust with the Merckx SXM Frame. Thinking about breaking the bank and building it with Campagnalo Chorus components and American Classic Wheels.
I also like the Orbea Orca though I am told that the ride is very stiff.
Other choice and cheaper is the Look 555 with Ultegra components. I ride about three to four times a week and would consider myself a recreational rider ie no races. Had a Klein Quantum TT and found that a pretty unforgiving ride with the aluminum frame and want something more comfortable.
Any thoughts. Tried the road bike section and got nothing but BS advice eg "anything over $1000 must be good"!

head_wind 06-27-07 09:42 AM

Nothing beats a test ride. Is that practical??

Personalmanager 06-27-07 09:48 AM

Totally agree re a test drive. I am looking for feed back on the manufactures and the frames.

stonecrd 06-27-07 09:54 AM

Buying a bike is like buying a car. You have the specs and then you have the look and feel. I was looking at an Orca at one point but Orbea told me that due my weight ~190lbs I would be happier with the Opal. They are very nice looking bikes, great paint jobs and I have never heard anyone say they road bad. The Merckx frame looks sweet. I just move from Al with CF fork and stays to full Carbon and I like the full Carbon ride better. I also moved from 105 to Ultegra and I am much happier with the drive train. I have not ridden Campy before.

My short list was the Scott CR1, Specialized Tarmac, Opal and 08 Madone 5.2. I am sure I would have been happy with any of those bikes but I have been looking at Scott for a long time and the long term romance got the better me. I think if you have the $ and are lusting after the Merckx, go for it.

CardiacKid 06-27-07 10:31 AM

If you are looking for something more comfortable than your Klien, I don't think any of these bikes are going to meet your needs.
The Look 555 is advertised as a great bike for crits, meaning it is going to be really stiff. You already know the Orca is going to be stiff. I don't really know anything about the SXM, so I can't really comment on its ride characteristics.
There are more and more bikes being made every year that count comfort as the most important factor. Hopefully the days of only making stiff bikes with small head tubes, so you look like Lance, are over. Examples are the Bianchi C2C, Trek Pilot and Specialized Roubaix. From your choices though, I assume you are looking for something more exotic. I can't help you there. But if I was looking for something exotic and comfortable, in that price range, I would go custom steel.

jazzy_cyclist 06-27-07 10:48 AM

I have a Look 555 with Ultegra that I built up a little over a year ago. I am really happy with it. FWIW, my prior ride was/is a Cannondale R600. I don't know if the 555 is "stiff", but it's a lot more forgiving on centuries and long rides than the Cannondale.

rrobins 06-27-07 11:19 AM

I had a look 555 and loved it. The look is not as stiff as the Opal or ORca. It is stiff enough though and incredibly comfy. Look really know how to make bikes.. I had a very small paint crack in the top tube and Look USA upgraded me to a 565 which was even better but the top tube was 1cm to long. I sold it on ebay last month for what I paid for the 555.. I also have a 06 Opal and a 07 Orca. I like both bike just fine. I won the ORCA on EBAY last month for $1600.00. I am so glad I put in that last bid. I love this bike. I weigh 190 lbs and have had no issues with riding the Orca. Very smooth yet stiff, the Opal is very stiff but not as smooth and I think that is because of the front fork. Its not as nice as the one on the ORCA. If I had to pick one to sell it would be the Opal. It is just sitting in the garage not getting ridden but I would hate to lose money on it. I bought it for 3400 and I think I might get 1500-1700 for the complete bike. Its just not worth it to sell. Besides it makes a heck of a second bike :)

gfspencer 06-27-07 12:19 PM


Originally Posted by stonecrd
Buying a bike is like buying a car.

I'll second that. The bicycle that I just got cost more than my first new car. :rolleyes: Test ride. Test ride. Test ride.

Digital Gee 06-27-07 12:24 PM

Make sure you think long and hard and get a white bike, whatever else. :D

stapfam 06-27-07 12:34 PM

One of the choices you have to make is on the material of the frame. Carbon Fibre frame bikes are coming down in price and there are currently some good prices to be had on 06 or even 07 bikes. Then there are "Composite" frames that are generally aluminium but with C.F.Chain and seat stays. Then there is aluminium- and although they are a stiffer ride- Not many are as stiff as your Klein. Then there are the Steel frames but these in a lightweight bike are getting hard to find.

Several manufacturers that I can recommend- Bianchi-A great pedigree with a range of bikes to suit all riders and prices. Giant- They make such a large range of bikes- in so many choices of materials- that there must be something to suit you. Then there are so many other manufacturers around that You must be able to find something that will suit your needs. Just look at Specialised-Scott- Trek- or basically any manufacturer.
Looks like you have a lot of Browsing to do but links to Bianchi and Giant below. Only thing is- If you get a Bianchi- Make certain you get it in Celeste Colour- Instant Bling just on the recognition of the colour. The others don't look right.

abqhudson 06-27-07 02:10 PM

Based on your comments about the ride of the Klein, I would highly recommend that you try a Titanium frame. After custom Carbon Fibre, a Colnago steel and a couple of Sevens, I found a used Serotta Ti frame that is the best ride so far. You can save a bundle buying a used Ti frame from someone who is going Carbon. I guess that I am a bit of a snob - because I don't want to ride what everyone else is riding - but, I have to admit the Trek Madone has a good ride too. I say "try before you buy" and go used to save money.


HopedaleHills 06-27-07 02:31 PM

If you want a real responsive bike that rides better than it should, take a BMC for a test ride.

BluesDawg 06-27-07 02:36 PM


Originally Posted by HopedaleHills
If you want a real responsive bike that rides better than it should, take a BMC for a test ride.

I just learned yesterday while browsing through catalogues at my favorite LBS that BMC sells its bikes and frames through QBP. So pretty much any bike shop can get one for you.

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