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which bike to buy?

Old 03-20-22, 12:56 PM
  #1  
gpooba
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which bike to buy?

Hi all,



New to the forums here. I need some advice from you seasoned riders. I am a 60 yo female who took up road cycling 3 years ago when I bought my first "real" bike, an entry level Trek Domane AL3. You can imagine my joy in riding it after having nothing but Wal-mart bikes prior. I did my first Fondo later in that year (only the 37 mile one but I was pretty proud of myself). Well, I am ready for an upgrade. I do want to stay with Trek as I do love their bikes and we have an amazing trek store and service dept. I was originally was going to go with a Domane SL 6 or SLR 6 since if is a good comfortable endurance bike but after talking to some riders I met on Strava, they said I should consider the Madone. They said I really wouldn't be sacrificing comfort because of the isospeed decoupler but would have a faster bike on straight and downhill areas. Okay, my problem?. I don't know if this is true with other brands but there are NO new Trek road cycles to buy ANYWHERE. The soonest one can be delivered from ordering is May 2023. I mean everything from a SL5 to a SLR 9 are not available.



So I started looking at used bikes and i found a few. There are 3 I am considering:

2021 Madone SL 6. 54 cm. Stock except saddle (Prolongo Kappa Evo) and tires (Conti Grand). $4200

2019 Madone SLR 6 Project One 52 cm. $4900

2021 Domane SL 6 52 cm. Stock $3700



All are higher than blue book but I figure that will be the norm where there is no stock available anywhere plus with today's inflation, I suspect bikes will be going up in price once they are available. As you might have noticed 2 bikes are 52 cm and 1 is 54. That is also a little dilemma for me as well. My domane is a 50 cm and it is too small (I bought it off the showroom floor). I did have some issues with neck and hand numbness riding long rides. I am 5,5" with an inseam of 30.25". By measurements, it looks like the 52 is ideal but could easily do the 54. what are your thoughts on that? As far as the bikes, is it worth going with the lighter weight of the SLR? or will it negligible for my riding? I. mostly ride on the trail of the coeur d alenes (80 miles mostly flat pavement) and the centennial trail which connects northern idaho to washington (flat and gentle hills). I will also be looking for roads with a bit more hilly area to train in.



Any advice is welcome. If none of these sound good, I can keep looking. I'm not in a big hurry but not sure I want to wait another full year+



Thank you!
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Old 03-20-22, 02:23 PM
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The difference with the Madone vs Domane is a more aggressive riding position i.e. lower front end. Comfort does not only come from IsoSpeed, it also comes from a slightly more relaxed and upright riding position. If you are aiming to do more Fondos I would tend to stick with the Domane. The larger size bikes you are considering will also have a higher front end and longer reach.

I doubt you would be able to tell the difference between SL and SLR frame weights. It certainly wouldn't be a very cost effective upgrade in g/$. On the other hand the SLR model would likely have a higher component spec. So it depends how far you want to go up the scale.

2023 for a new one! Wow! If you buy a good used one now, you could probably resell it next year for very little loss and still get a new one. It would also answer your other questions, almost like a test ride before buying your new dream bike.
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Old 03-20-22, 02:46 PM
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I replied to your thread on RBR.
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Old 03-20-22, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
The difference with the Madone vs Domane is a more aggressive riding position i.e. lower front end. Comfort does not only come from IsoSpeed, it also comes from a slightly more relaxed and upright riding position. If you are aiming to do more Fondos I would tend to stick with the Domane. The larger size bikes you are considering will also have a higher front end and longer reach.

I doubt you would be able to tell the difference between SL and SLR frame weights. It certainly wouldn't be a very cost effective upgrade in g/$. On the other hand the SLR model would likely have a higher component spec. So it depends how far you want to go up the scale.

2023 for a new one! Wow! If you buy a good used one now, you could probably resell it next year for very little loss and still get a new one. It would also answer your other questions, almost like a test ride before buying your new dream bike.
thank you for your reply. That is actually a good idea. Odds are resale in a year won't be too bad and yes I can get my dream bike then. That does help settle anxiety about picking the wrong bike. I still plan on using my current domane for family fun rides and social rides (they have a monthly full moon ride that is very relaxed and casual). The bike I am looking for is more for my serious training and rides.
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Old 03-20-22, 07:21 PM
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First, I think it is wonderful that you have discovered cycling and want to improve your experience.
Why do you think 50cm is too small?
I am 5'8" with a 30.5" inseam and I ride a 52cm.
Since you are 3" shorter the reach is going be really long for you.
Maybe that is why you have neck issues?
I would also check out Cannondale Synapse. My wife has one and really likes it.
I think you would benefit a lot from a custom frame, but it will be more expensive.
For example check out David Kirk:

Kirk Frameworks | Custom Bicycles

He will build a bike exactly to your body proportions. It looks like you live not too far from him so you go there to get a bike fit in person.
It is not for everybody but after buying off the rack bikes from major manufacturers including Trek, Specialized and Cannondale I have finally decided to go custom on my next bike.
It will be a one of a kind bike that you can keep forever.

Good luck

Last edited by jnbrown; 03-20-22 at 08:43 PM.
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Old 03-20-22, 10:08 PM
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For sure, get at least a 52 cm. Too small is too small. A jacked up steerer is awful. A shorter stem is a far better solution.
If you group ride, see if you can find one like you are looking for to test ride.
All I can say is I rode my 100 lb tour bike up that lake one evening. LOL. The ride, at 120 lbs, from Spokane was easy as pie.
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Old 03-21-22, 03:33 AM
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The best $300 I ever spent on cycling, was for a professional bike fit.
I told them on arrival the fit was for a new bike and not to spend time on the one Id brought.
I left knowing exactly what I needed and was even able to get my existing bike closer to being correct.
I cant recommend it enough.

Barry
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Old 03-21-22, 04:31 AM
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I am 5'4" and I ride 52 cm Trek road bikes. I have a 2017 Silque (women's Domane} SLR 6 and a 2021 Domane SLR 7. I had pro bike fits for both. They are fast at least for this 70 yo engine and very comfortable. The iso zone on the SLR models makes a significant difference in comfort. With a group of friends, I ride my age each year on one of these bikes. You really can't go wrong with any of the bikes on your list. as long as they fit. Good lock!
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Old 03-21-22, 04:40 AM
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Domane in 52 is the correct choice from the list you presented. Madone is a whole different animal better suited for the go faster crowd.

As for a custom frame, that was my choice over 20 years ago and it is still the most comfortable for me to ride, however I have adapted the fit of that frame to others in my stable and find them to work just fine. Stick with a production frame until you have more experience and know exactly what you want from a bike.
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Old 03-23-22, 01:34 PM
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It's depends on a lot of things.
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Old 03-23-22, 02:04 PM
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You say there's no new Trek road cycles to buy ANYWHERE yet there's a bunch of 52 & 54cm Domane and Madone SL5 / SL6 showing available today at stores either in Atlanta or within 2-3 hours drive.

May I suggest you use the stock locating service that Trek has on their website? Either go to a particular bike web page (laptop/desktop browser works best) select color and size, then click on "Want it today in yourcity, state?" -- best to put in a city that's pretty decent size such as Seattle to begin with, as the locator popup has issues if just one store is in that city. Then zoom out, pan around the map, change color/size to see who has what in stock. Currently showing Domane SL6 in stock at Trek Bicycle Boise West, The Bike Shop Central, just as examples.
Try https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/b...Code=red_black
and https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/b...olorCode=black

If you intend to keep the bike a good while it can be worth buying new so you get the lifetime frame warranty - which doesn't transfer with a used bike.

Madone vs Domane - that's a matter of you choosing which sort of riding you prefer then buy the bike better suited to that preference.

Sizing - What size is your AL3? I'd tend to suggest going that route. At 5'8 with 30" inseam I've been very happy with my 52cm Domane. Might could've made the 54 work but the 52 is the better choice for me.
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Old 03-23-22, 02:45 PM
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I'm not convinced you will rid yourself of the neck and arm numbness just by going to a bigger frame. Nor do I see any benefit from going to a newer bike from what you have. I'd wait another season and work on the things that might help your fit issues and give the market more time to recover from the insanity it is right now.
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Old 03-23-22, 03:31 PM
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The Domane and Madone are quite different in geometry and the position they put the rider in. Just putting them across a comparison tool, the Madone is longer and much lower when comparing across the same size. Going to a Madone or Emonda would most likely exacerbate your neck and hand issues since those bikes are pushing you to be much lower in the front.

My recommendation is to get a good fitting with your Domane now and see how you feel before committing to another bike. Without it, you may end up not being happy and chasing another bike because it doesn't fit or feel right.

https://geometrygeeks.bike/compare/t...l5-2021-52-cm/
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Old 03-23-22, 03:47 PM
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First thing I would say is don't let others tell you what you should be riding. You've had your bike long enough and have ridden enough to know what you want. Ask yourself:

Why do you want an upgrade?
What is it about your current bike that you think needs to be improved?
What kind of riding do you enjoy?
How much importance do you place on speed, comfort, etc.?

The answers should guide your choice. If you really just want a new bike for no good reason, that is fine. Just make sure you get something you'll be happy with and not what someone else thinks you should be riding.
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Old 03-23-22, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by gpooba View Post
Hi all,



New to the forums here. I need some advice from you seasoned riders. I am a 60 yo female who took up road cycling 3 years ago when I bought my first "real" bike, an entry level Trek Domane AL3. You can imagine my joy in riding it after having nothing but Wal-mart bikes prior. I did my first Fondo later in that year (only the 37 mile one but I was pretty proud of myself). Well, I am ready for an upgrade. I do want to stay with Trek as I do love their bikes and we have an amazing trek store and service dept. I was originally was going to go with a Domane SL 6 or SLR 6 since if is a good comfortable endurance bike but after talking to some riders I met on Strava, they said I should consider the Madone. They said I really wouldn't be sacrificing comfort because of the isospeed decoupler but would have a faster bike on straight and downhill areas. Okay, my problem?. I don't know if this is true with other brands but there are NO new Trek road cycles to buy ANYWHERE. The soonest one can be delivered from ordering is May 2023. I mean everything from a SL5 to a SLR 9 are not available.

So I started looking at used bikes and i found a few. There are 3 I am considering:
2021 Madone SL 6. 54 cm. Stock except saddle (Prolongo Kappa Evo) and tires (Conti Grand). $4200
2019 Madone SLR 6 Project One 52 cm. $4900
2021 Domane SL 6 52 cm. Stock $3700
All are higher than blue book but I figure that will be the norm where there is no stock available anywhere plus with today's inflation, I suspect bikes will be going up in price once they are available. As you might have noticed 2 bikes are 52 cm and 1 is 54. That is also a little dilemma for me as well. My domane is a 50 cm and it is too small (I bought it off the showroom floor). I did have some issues with neck and hand numbness riding long rides. I am 5,5" with an inseam of 30.25". By measurements, it looks like the 52 is ideal but could easily do the 54. what are your thoughts on that? As far as the bikes, is it worth going with the lighter weight of the SLR? or will it negligible for my riding? I. mostly ride on the trail of the coeur d alenes (80 miles mostly flat pavement) and the centennial trail which connects northern idaho to washington (flat and gentle hills). I will also be looking for roads with a bit more hilly area to train in.

Any advice is welcome. ...

Thank you!
My comments - to 1st address your discomforts... If you ride with straight arms, locked elbows, not matter which bike you chose or ride - the issues will continue.
It's a 'posture' thing. Keeping the elbows close to your torso, and bending them slightly, and dropping the shoulders will go a long way to reducing/eliminating neck and shoulder pain.
If hands are on the bar tops/bends or hoods, best to place them with the bar at the outside meaty part of the pslm, not down the center channel. When the elbows are rolled down and inward, you'll find a comfortable grip at the hoods, with hoods hooked between thumb and forefinger, means the the meat at the bottom of the thumb then supports the grip also... Try to not allow your wrists to drop below your palms, with hands on bar. As straight a wrist thru hand keeps the weight better distributed, less aching hands...
This also means you'll engage the 'core' muscles more to help support your torso, as you lean just a bit more to get a slight elbow bend.

roadie position, good posture
Bike...
As much as I love a nice 'race' bike geometry, I know it's not for everyone...
Madone - a nice road race design, but often forces riders to 'stiff arm' when they want a more upright posture for non-race conditions.
Domane - more 'upright' geometry DOESN'T mean you can't get more aero for high performance riding - you just get into the drops, and bend the elbows as much as necessary to get 'lower'.

I recommend: you try to use the more supple 'posture' I note above, on your current Domane. Ride on the tops, hoods and drops with nicely bent and tucked elbows, strong wrists... see how you like that posture/position.
Then realize that the Madone will force that posture more often and lower.
The 52 Domane may be the right bike, at this time...
IF you can, and the trek shop has a Madone they're willing to let you ride around the block. Bring your Domane along and ride and compare...
Posture will make a big difference in your riding and speed, after the 1st 90 min. of saddle time. Way more than whether it's SLR or SL...
I'm an old guy, but I still like, as much as anything, a good hard ride or hammerfest with the young guyz... LOL!
Ride on
Yuri
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Old 03-24-22, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by cyclezen View Post
My comments - to 1st address your discomforts... If you ride with straight arms, locked elbows, not matter which bike you chose or ride - the issues will continue.
It's a 'posture' thing. Keeping the elbows close to your torso, and bending them slightly, and dropping the shoulders will go a long way to reducing/eliminating neck and shoulder pain.
If hands are on the bar tops/bends or hoods, best to place them with the bar at the outside meaty part of the pslm, not down the center channel. When the elbows are rolled down and inward, you'll find a comfortable grip at the hoods, with hoods hooked between thumb and forefinger, means the the meat at the bottom of the thumb then supports the grip also... Try to not allow your wrists to drop below your palms, with hands on bar. As straight a wrist thru hand keeps the weight better distributed, less aching hands...
This also means you'll engage the 'core' muscles more to help support your torso, as you lean just a bit more to get a slight elbow bend.

roadie position, good posture
Bike...
As much as I love a nice 'race' bike geometry, I know it's not for everyone...
Madone - a nice road race design, but often forces riders to 'stiff arm' when they want a more upright posture for non-race conditions.
Domane - more 'upright' geometry DOESN'T mean you can't get more aero for high performance riding - you just get into the drops, and bend the elbows as much as necessary to get 'lower'.

I recommend: you try to use the more supple 'posture' I note above, on your current Domane. Ride on the tops, hoods and drops with nicely bent and tucked elbows, strong wrists... see how you like that posture/position.
Then realize that the Madone will force that posture more often and lower.
The 52 Domane may be the right bike, at this time...
IF you can, and the trek shop has a Madone they're willing to let you ride around the block. Bring your Domane along and ride and compare...
Posture will make a big difference in your riding and speed, after the 1st 90 min. of saddle time. Way more than whether it's SLR or SL...
I'm an old guy, but I still like, as much as anything, a good hard ride or hammerfest with the young guyz... LOL!
Ride on
Yuri
I really liked your overall view here, however I question this a little bit.....

When the elbows are rolled down and inward, you'll find a comfortable grip at the hoods,
I've done this naturally all my life. However after reading a post just a few months ago from another BF member, I've started rolling my forearms so that my elbows are outward. While I'm not conclusive on this yet, it seems to allow my elbows to be unlocked without as much bend. Notice that even in your picture the person's elbow is pointed outward.

While this isn't a natural thing for me to do, I'm getting use to it. It does seem to not require as much of an angle between the upper and lower arm to keep them unlocked and therefore a more relaxed position is achieved. Though whether on the tops, hoods or drops, I'm finding elbows out to be more beneficial, though I use to think people riding like that looked funny. All this time, they may have been funny because they were on to something that I wasn't! <grin>

Not saying this is for everyone, but maybe worth trying for those that have their elbows pointed down and in, that are also having hand and shoulder issues riding for longer times.
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Old 03-24-22, 10:01 AM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
I really liked your overall view here, however I question this a little bit.....

I've done this naturally all my life. However after reading a post just a few months ago from another BF member, I've started rolling my forearms so that my elbows are outward. While I'm not conclusive on this yet, it seems to allow my elbows to be unlocked without as much bend. Notice that even in your picture the person's elbow is pointed outward.
While this isn't a natural thing for me to do, I'm getting use to it. It does seem to not require as much of an angle between the upper and lower arm to keep them unlocked and therefore a more relaxed position is achieved. Though whether on the tops, hoods or drops, I'm finding elbows out to be more beneficial, though I use to think people riding like that looked funny. All this time, they may have been funny because they were on to something that I wasn't! <grin>
Not saying this is for everyone, but maybe worth trying for those that have their elbows pointed down and in, that are also having hand and shoulder issues riding for longer times.
yeah, there is a 'continuum' of things for individuals. Much depends on the bike you're riding, as in cockpit and other elements including saddle position. The pic I used was from another source with tips on 'posture' (obvious from the numbered marks).
Everyone is gonna do what they're gonna do... Elbows out also happens as handwidth/bar width increases. Elbows out creates additional tension in the upper back, shoulder and lower neck muscles - trapezius, splenius, rhomboid - a pain in the neck.
None of this has been a secret. It's something hammered into my thick skull, by riders who knew, back in the 60's...

A continuum of posture
This from Training Peaks - I'd encourage the lead rider to add a bit more bend, and the 2nd rider to 'chimp' his bike computer a lot less...

If you're on the bar tops - you're riding a 'Flat Bar', so 'elbows out' happens... if you're on the hoods, 'elbows in' is much more natural...

If you're 106 and the World Hour Record Holder and my hero, you already know and prove what works...

poor road cycling posture is curable...

Good road cycling posture - cycling is a lifetime of learning, adjusting and improving - as are most things in living...
As we age, it behooves us to learn to do things with better technique, less wasteful, and smarter than when we were younger - but not by giving in...
Ride On
Yuri
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Old 03-24-22, 10:37 PM
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Originally Posted by gpooba View Post
Hi all,
So I started looking at used bikes and i found a few. There are 3 I am considering:

2021 Madone SL 6. 54 cm. Stock except saddle (Prolongo Kappa Evo) and tires (Conti Grand). $4200
2019 Madone SLR 6 Project One 52 cm. $4900
2021 Domane SL 6 52 cm. Stock $3700
...
Any advice is welcome. If none of these sound good, I can keep looking. I'm not in a big hurry but not sure I want to wait another full year+
Thank you!
My apologies to the OP for the unintentional thread hijack... I thought addressing the discomfort issues was worthwhile, and only partially related to bike ...
So, back on topic...
I am always interested in Bike Geometry and the impllications...
so I did a Geometry Geeks comparo of the OP's current 50 Domane and roughly the other 3 three bikes she mentioned... here..
as expected the stack and HT on the Madones was substantially lower/shorter, the reach a bit longer, and as expected for a race bike vs an allrounder.
One thing which caught my eye was the BB Drop. It's been a while since I've ridden a bike with a BB Drop lower than 74-75.
My early (70's) steel Italian jobs (Colnago Super, Guerciotti) all had more BB drop than the 'fashion' of that time - short circuit race bikes with a high BB for clearance in tight/ high speed turning on Crit type courses - common from many Brit Bikes, like Bob Jackson, MKM and others. Raleigh Pro & Teams seemed to follow more 'continental' dims.
One thing the Italian jobs did very well, was road courses with lots of high speed descending. They railed at speed - a lot of which can be attributed to a lower than average BB height, nicely balanced with the other dims.
I still have one of my Supers, an '80 Saronni , and it does rail downhills like a freight train.
Think I'd love to try a Domane and see if I can get that same feeling ! There's a lot I really like about cycling - but I do so love a swoopy downhill with lots of S turns, at ridiculous speeds LOL!
anyway... The Domane, just from geo, seems to be a great all-rounder... especially for us old riders in our golden years ... LOL!
Ride On
Yuri
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