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Climbing Bike?

Old 01-30-22, 09:54 AM
  #1  
TTron
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Climbing Bike?

Hi, I have my eye on a climbing bike, Aethos. Does it make sense to buy one, worth the investment, that much of a difference on climbs? I live in a hilly area with plenty of climbs. Current riding a great endurance bike, Sworks Roubaix. No plans to race, just have fun and do personal best times. In short, trying to justify a second bike, a climbing bike. Welcome the feedback.
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Old 01-30-22, 10:09 AM
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headwind15
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The best advice I can give as an ex racer that was also a bike store owner for over 12 years is: Try one out. If you are looking for something lighter, always put yourself into the equation. I'll never forget the time I was riding with a group and this guy with a 80 lb basketball (at least) size belly was saying how he had last years (heavier) carbon wheelset, and how he was going to spend $2,000 on this years wheels that were 140 grams lighter. So, I always concern my own weight over my bike's weight (first).
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Old 01-30-22, 11:44 AM
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1 kg = 1 min up Alpe d'Huez. Very roughly. Probably not worth the investment, but might feel a bit more lively than your Roubaix.
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Old 01-30-22, 11:48 AM
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One thing you never have to do here is to justify a second bike....or a third....or fourth....
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Old 01-30-22, 12:05 PM
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I would never have thought to think of the Aethos as a climbing bike. But if it's lighter than what you have to do those climbs with currently, then I suspect you'll like it for climbing and if the difference in the position it gives you over the Roubaix is okay for you, then it'll probably be your goto bike and the Roubaix will just sit in the corner.

Geometry wise the Aethos is more like the Tarmac. So it's more aggressive. Which is good if you like that, and I do since to me my Tarmac is the most fun bike I've ever had. However if you don't like the lower handlebar to saddle position that it will give you over the Roubaix, then you might be tempted to do things that look ridiculous to me in an effort to get your bars higher.

In the grand scheme of things, if you want a new bike and can easily afford it, then just buy what you want, even if it's just the color you like.
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Old 01-30-22, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by TTron View Post
Hi, I have my eye on a climbing bike, Aethos. Does it make sense to buy one, worth the investment, that much of a difference on climbs? I live in a hilly area with plenty of climbs. Current riding a great endurance bike, Sworks Roubaix. No plans to race, just have fun and do personal best times. In short, trying to justify a second bike, a climbing bike. Welcome the feedback.
If you want to be a better climber, skip the new bike and use the money for coaching, or to buy some time off from work that you can spend training. But buying a light bike to replace your current light bike will not make you a better climber.

PS: a bike is not an investment. It is a consumption good.
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Old 01-30-22, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post

PS: a bike is not an investment. It is a consumption good.
I think it depends on an individual and how long they keep their bikes...Some people including myself like to keep their bikes for a very long time. Anybody who keeps their bike for 15 years or 25 years is a investment....Then we have conspicuous consumption which is basically a bunch of insecure hot heads who feel a need to spend $ 10 000 every two years on a new bike, because they think it will impress random strangers.
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Old 01-30-22, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
I think it depends on an individual and how long they keep their bikes...Some people including myself like to keep their bikes for a very long time. Anybody who keeps their bike for 15 years or 25 years is a investment....Then we have conspicuous consumption which is basically a bunch of insecure hot heads who feel a need to spend $ 10 000 every two years on a new bike, because they think it will impress random strangers.
That just sounds like jealousy.

If $10,000 is chump change to someone, then why shouldn't they buy what they desire? Better that they keep the economy moving spending some money than hoarding it in their net worth.
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Old 01-30-22, 12:44 PM
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What does one need for "climbing"?

Light
Stiff frame
Not super aero (although you will also do descents).
Whatever gearing you desire.

While the frames may vary by a few grams, a major portion of weight will be the group set and components.
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Old 01-30-22, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
PS: a bike is not an investment. It is a consumption good.
Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
I think it depends on an individual and how long they keep their bikes...
We are off-topic, but a bike is quite literally not an investment.
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Old 01-30-22, 01:01 PM
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I have always been pretty conscious of equipment weight. I do not race but love climbing. But then I saw a detailed study of the effect of bike weight on speed on "cyclingabout.com" and it cut me a lot of slack on bike weight in non-competitive riding.
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Old 01-30-22, 01:22 PM
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The first time I rode a Specialized Roubaix it was an SL3. I remember being scared out of my wits on a very fast descent as it handled like a truck to me. Jumped on a Tarmac right after that and felt at ease. Body position and weight distribution make a difference. You should notice a difference not only on the climbs, but also in sprinting and cornering.
Now, if you are satisfied with the body position and handling of the current ride, just get a top of the line set of wheels to cut a few oz of rotating mass and save some money.
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Old 01-30-22, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
Now, if you are satisfied with the body position and handling of the current ride, just get a top of the line set of wheels to cut a few oz of rotating mass and save some money.
OP has an S-Works Roubaix, which comes with a top-of-the-line wheelset.
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Old 01-30-22, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
What does one need for "climbing"?

Light
Stiff frame
Not super aero (although you will also do descents).
Whatever gearing you desire.

While the frames may vary by a few grams, a major portion of weight will be the group set and components.
Ya, what is a climbing bike?
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Old 01-30-22, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
The first time I rode a Specialized Roubaix it was an SL3. I remember being scared out of my wits on a very fast descent as it handled like a truck to me. Jumped on a Tarmac right after that and felt at ease. Body position and weight distribution make a difference. You should notice a difference not only on the climbs, but also in sprinting and cornering.
Now, if you are satisfied with the body position and handling of the current ride, just get a top of the line set of wheels to cut a few oz of rotating mass and save some money.
AND put on some low rolling resistance tires inflated properly.
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Old 01-30-22, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
We are off-topic, but a bike is quite literally not an investment.
I get the gist of what you are saying.
However, health, fitness, QOL, less medical expenses, positive lifestyle and enjoyment, cycling friendships, sense of well being and accomplishments and more , cannot be tightly measured by $$$$ unless your spouse is an accountant or financial whiz.

If you want to get rid of the desire to buy a climbing bike, first buy an old rigid dumptruck of a MTB and slog that around in the hills for a few months.
That Tarmac will then seem to be a great climber.
Ask me how I know?
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Old 01-30-22, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
1 kg = 1 min up Alpe d'Huez. Very roughly. Probably not worth the investment, but might feel a bit more lively than your Roubaix.
really? I can do the zwift version in under an hour. So if I can manage to lose only 60 kg...I
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Old 01-30-22, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
If you want to be a better climber, skip the new bike and use the money for coaching, or to buy some time off from work that you can spend training. But buying a light bike to replace your current light bike will not make you a better climber.
Yeah, I had a coach for several years and he did more for my climbing than any bike would have. As a bonus, his connections got me such big discounts on bikes, wheels, etc. that the coaching was essentially free.
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Old 01-30-22, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by spelger View Post
really? I can do the zwift version in under an hour. So if I can manage to lose only 60 kg...I
Unfortunately it's not a linear equation, lol. It's just a very rough calculation I made for my own use. Actually when I look now it's more like 45 sec per kg over a 12.2 km climb with 8.5% av gradient. 75 kg rider + 9 kg bike @ 250W.

So really it's not all about the bike.
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Old 01-30-22, 08:03 PM
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Thanks for the feedback. It comes down the whether I can justify a second bike. I love my Roubaix, which may be become part time IF the Aethos lives up to everything printed and YouTube’d.
I kinda wish I had kept my Tarmac SL6 but it beat me up and wore me out each ride. Could have made this my 2nd bike.
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Old 01-30-22, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
One thing you never have to do here is to justify a second bike....or a third....or fourth....
You very clearly are not a sock-puppet account for my wife.
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Old 01-30-22, 08:45 PM
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Why not just another rear wheel with better climbing gears on it? That’s what I do, same when just different gearing.
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Old 01-30-22, 08:48 PM
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The climbing bikes I have looked at, eg Trek Emonda, are very lightweight, like two large full water-bottles lighter than what I have. Unfortunately, their gearing is so unforgiving I would fail and/or die trying to ride up my local 21% grade hill.

Shouldn't a climbing bike have lower gearing, not higher?
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Old 01-30-22, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by coffeesnob View Post
Ya, what is a climbing bike?
+1. If I'm riding it, it will be the worst climbing bike out there.
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Old 01-30-22, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by coffeesnob View Post
Ya, what is a climbing bike?
Any bike I'm riding uphill.
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