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Old High-End Tech Versus Newer Low-End Tech

Old 08-02-22, 09:22 AM
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extecher
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Old High-End Tech Versus Newer Low-End Tech

This topic has probably been fought over dozens of times here, but I didn't find a thread that specifically addresses this, so here we go:

Generally speaking, buying used gives you more value for your dollar than buying new, so it's always good to look at the used market, especially now that the craziness of the COVID bike market is starting to calm down. I'm on the look out for my n+1 bike to supplement/replace my 2013 Giant Defy 1 (Full Tiagra--professionally fitted for me). I ride with a bunch of triathletes long distances and have the itch to get something a bit more aggressive, so perhaps a tri bike to supplement my current bike and/or racing bike I can attach aero bars like I have on my current bike. So I'm looking at bikes and am finding some older (pre-2010) carbon bikes with 105/Ultegra groupsets and it's got me wondering about what point does the bike I have is a better ride than, say a 2007 Lemond Triomphe Carbon with Shimano 105 (95% of its life spent as an indoor trainer) that's for sale in town?

I'm not looking for specific advice on the bike per se (You can give me that though!), but rather what's the point nowadays where a newer bike with aluminum frame or a lower-end groupset is the better bike than an older high-end bike that's full carbon, has a 105/Ultegra/even Dura-Ace, and all the other goodies? I've got general knowledge about bike materials, frames, and groupsets, but I'm clueless about specific materials and groupset advancements.
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Old 08-02-22, 09:29 AM
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This doesn't remotely answer your question, but compares modern (as of a couple years ago) 105 to 2009 Dura Ace. Not sure you'd see as much difference between 2013 and 2007. That's just 1-2 generations.

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Old 08-02-22, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by extecher View Post
This topic has probably been fought over dozens of times here, but I didn't find a thread that specifically addresses this, so here we go:

Generally speaking, buying used gives you more value for your dollar than buying new, so it's always good to look at the used market, especially now that the craziness of the COVID bike market is starting to calm down. I'm on the look out for my n+1 bike to supplement/replace my 2013 Giant Defy 1 (Full Tiagra--professionally fitted for me). I ride with a bunch of triathletes long distances and have the itch to get something a bit more aggressive, so perhaps a tri bike to supplement my current bike and/or racing bike I can attach aero bars like I have on my current bike. So I'm looking at bikes and am finding some older (pre-2010) carbon bikes with 105/Ultegra groupsets and it's got me wondering about what point does the bike I have is a better ride than, say a 2007 Lemond Triomphe Carbon with Shimano 105 (95% of its life spent as an indoor trainer) that's for sale in town?

I'm not looking for specific advice on the bike per se (You can give me that though!), but rather what's the point nowadays where a newer bike with aluminum frame or a lower-end groupset is the better bike than an older high-end bike that's full carbon, has a 105/Ultegra/even Dura-Ace, and all the other goodies? I've got general knowledge about bike materials, frames, and groupsets, but I'm clueless about specific materials and groupset advancements.
I'm a big fan of old tech - my main road frame is 23 years old, and the groupset is really '00s. Everything works great, but it's a dead end if I were to make use recent significant advances in bike tech, as I'm limited to ~25mm tires, and rim brakes. While I can still fit some electronic group sets (if I wanted to go electronic, which I do eventually), the likely trend of not offering a rim brake option will likely shut this bike out of electronic also. If I was buying any bike now, I would future-proof it as much as possible.
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Old 08-02-22, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Litespud View Post
I'm a big fan of old tech - my main road frame is 23 years old, and the groupset is really '00s. Everything works great, but it's a dead end if I were to make use recent significant advances in bike tech, as I'm limited to ~25mm tires, and rim brakes. While I can still fit some electronic group sets (if I wanted to go electronic, which I do eventually), the likely trend of not offering a rim brake option will likely shut this bike out of electronic also. If I was buying any bike now, I would future-proof it as much as possible.
Oh, I agree 100%. I've got a 1989-ish Colnago Master Piu frame with Campagnolo 10 speed, am building a 1996 Merckx Titanium EX again with 10 speed Campagnolo, my last bike (got hit by a car) was a 1990-ish Concorde Aquila with 10 speed Campagnolo, and my next build will be a 1988 Schwinn Voyageur with a mixture of Campagolo (the Ergos) and Shimano 10 speed (derailleurs and cassette for wider range). I think I've got a bit of a trend of what I like.
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Old 08-02-22, 11:17 AM
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Old High-End Tech Versus Newer Low-End Tech

Why not newer high-end tech?
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Old 08-02-22, 11:38 AM
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Gimmicks roll downhill but quality is reserved... Just for example Deore and Tiagra are the price point where you got all-metal parts sufficiently plated, stainless, or anodized that their functional integrity were without question, and XT and Ultegra is where they were mostly aluminum forgings except where steel was required.

SRAM is better about differentiating their group levels. Every single part in the four levels from SX to XX is probably different enough to justify the change. Although there are some parts like the Power Spline BB that are hard to understand except as selling something worse just to charge more for the better thing. Shimano slices the baloney pretty fine. They presently show thirteen!!! groupset levels for MTB, though you could probably argue it's fewer with the overlaps and Saint is an outlier
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Old 08-02-22, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
Old High-End Tech Versus Newer Low-End Tech

Why not newer high-end tech?
I'd guess he/she has a budget in mind. The limit will be reached with either a new bike with lower tech or a used bike with older high end tech.
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Old 08-02-22, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by extecher View Post
This topic has probably been fought over dozens of times here, but I didn't find a thread that specifically addresses this, so here we go:

Generally speaking, buying used gives you more value for your dollar than buying new, so it's always good to look at the used market, especially now that the craziness of the COVID bike market is starting to calm down. I'm on the look out for my n+1 bike to supplement/replace my 2013 Giant Defy 1 (Full Tiagra--professionally fitted for me). I ride with a bunch of triathletes long distances and have the itch to get something a bit more aggressive, so perhaps a tri bike to supplement my current bike and/or racing bike I can attach aero bars like I have on my current bike. So I'm looking at bikes and am finding some older (pre-2010) carbon bikes with 105/Ultegra groupsets and it's got me wondering about what point does the bike I have is a better ride than, say a 2007 Lemond Triomphe Carbon with Shimano 105 (95% of its life spent as an indoor trainer) that's for sale in town?

I'm not looking for specific advice on the bike per se (You can give me that though!), but rather what's the point nowadays where a newer bike with aluminum frame or a lower-end groupset is the better bike than an older high-end bike that's full carbon, has a 105/Ultegra/even Dura-Ace, and all the other goodies? I've got general knowledge about bike materials, frames, and groupsets, but I'm clueless about specific materials and groupset advancements.
Seems like you've made up your mind. What is there to discuss?
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Old 08-02-22, 01:21 PM
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I have DA 7700 parts, and even through they're decades old and several generations removed from modern stuff, they aren't exactly cheap.
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Old 08-02-22, 01:27 PM
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your question seems to focus mainly on Drivetrain? not wheels? or other components?
I can only comment on Shimano, which I have bikes with components from early 2000s 9 spd & 10, thru 6700 10 spd complete and then R8000 cranks and brakes (used 10 spd). I do have one bike with 10 spd Campy, but it's an outlier and not ridden that often to think different about Campy, than SHimano.
9 spd is quite good, 10 spd in dura Ace,Ultegra, 105 is all a bit or much better for shifting performance. Durability, I haven't had a component go south since moving to 9 spd, except one 10 spd RD which was hammered when a wrought iron chair fell against it - weird accident...
I thin the main consideration for 'used is 'use'/condition, especially for cranksets. cassettes (chains are nothing but consumable). Biggest concern is tooth erosion,due to road dirt, general normal wear AND longer than service life use of a chain - stretched chains make a bit hit on chainrings and cogs... Even an indoor ridden setup can be quite worn, if used a lot and the chain is left on for much longer than recommended service life/length. But Brifters, indoors, should be spotless. Other consideration for 'indoors' is 'rust' from sweat.
DuraAce 10 spd is awesome good, Ultegra Very good and same for 105... finish and weight considering.
Given the current price of the latest 11 or 12 spd groupsets (mechanical for 11 spd) I would have no problem with either 10 or 11 spd lightly used, if yu can wait and keep checking for a good used groupset or individual components. I've had no issues using most 11 speed SHimano for a 10 spd drivetrain.
I won;t go 11 spd however, cause I dislike the available cassette gearing ranges, and rebuilding cassettes is a PITA - if they're not fully slip-on cogs.
Also not going electronic - don;t have that need...
Ride On
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Old 08-02-22, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
Old High-End Tech Versus Newer Low-End Tech

Why not newer high-end tech?
Because I'm a teacher with 2 kids under 2. The wife already grumbles that this cycling thing is too expensive.

But also I'm curious about the general progression of bike tech since it's pretty new to me. In terms of, say drones (Something I'm more knowledgeable about), depending on the part it's best to purchase brand new because stuff gets obsolete quickly (Flight controllers and the FPV systems all moving digital) while you can get away with not upgrading things because the old stuff is just as good (I'll be controversial and say motors and frames for FPV drones are mature compared to other components). For bikes, some components are probably similar. I'm just wondering which ones they are.

Originally Posted by cyclezen View Post
your question seems to focus mainly on Drivetrain? not wheels? or other components?
I was focusing on those because a lot of times if you're trawling through used ads you get the size and sometimes the groupset and frame material, so those are the things I'm most familiar with. Feel free to discuss any other part because I don't know much about them either.
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Old 08-02-22, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by extecher View Post
Because I'm a teacher with 2 kids under 2. The wife already grumbles that this cycling thing is too expensive.
I'd think your wife would encourage more cycling, since it leaves less time for procreation.
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Old 08-02-22, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by extecher View Post
I was focusing on those because a lot of times if you're trawling through used ads you get the size and sometimes the groupset and frame material, so those are the things I'm most familiar with. Feel free to discuss any other part because I don't know much about them either.
Given what you said, and what you first posted, I guess you've got the Buy Bike bug...
Before I go any further, I will say a 2nd bike is a 'must' (in my book), because I'd never want to be sidelined by a major issue.
I'm also gonna assume you don;t have backup wheels... ? yes/no?
And I don;t really know much about the Giant Defy, much less the 2013 version 1.
SO I looked it up, it gets some serious nice reviews. COmpared to a 2007 Lemond Carbon ? It's a wash... Your bike is very nicely spec'd !
Getting something with higher level of components all around on a nicer frame, and at a level which 'might' provide some realizable PERFORMANCE increase, is gonna set you back well above $2K, prolly above $3K, USED ! Would be the same for a 'Tri' bike (Time Trial bike). Sadly, wonderful looking bikes and parts are mostly limited by the attached motors...
So get a 2nd bike, expect to spend some dough, and not get much, if any performance increase... but you'll have a 2nd bike (and the 80/20 rule will come into effect immediately for bike use... or could even be 95/05...)
You could upgrade and get a 2nd wheel set... But again, money... Buying a set of carbon wheels 40 mm profile for $500+ will look nice. But unless they have a much wider internal width than the old std of 17mm, there likely won;t be any discernible performance gain over your stock stuff...
But a 2nd wheel set is a very worthy addition, 'race' level wheels for the Weekend Group ride, stock wheels for when you're out on your own...
One improvement which IS NOT a HUGE financial step, is top line performance tires (maybe to match up with new wheels...) similar to the Conti GP 5000, add some super light TPU tubes, and that's something you will 'feel'. And tires do go on sale, so you can minimize the hit if you are patient and 'shop'.
Keep what you have in good shape, check the chain for 'length' and never go past a .75% chain 'stretch', and you'll get the most out of your Drivetrain.
New/more bikes are fun, but very rarely give much improvement unless you're going from a Big Box MTB bike to a nicer real road bike...
Ride On
Yuri
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Old 08-02-22, 04:13 PM
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If you are on a limited budget, you need to find that tweener era. I’m guessing 10-15 years old in as close to hardly ridden condition as you can find. It is too old to have a high demand, but not old enough to be collectible.

An era probably becomes really sought after 30+/- years down the road. As people age and have more disposable income finding bikes they had or really wanted when they were younger turns bikes in that era into collectibles. 90’s mtb’s are a good example becuase 10 years ago you couldn’t give them away, now that generation wants one again.

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Old 08-02-22, 06:26 PM
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There’s a little ‘trickle down’ effect among the Shimano road groups, but if you stick to mechanical, rim brake setups (no disk/Di-2) it’s a little less drastic.
A 10-sp 105 bike won’t be much different than an 5-year older 10-sp Ultegra bike, but for minor details; but I’d rather have a 2005 bike with 5700-series 105 than a brand new Sora bike. I’d also pick the 5700 bike over a 1990’s Dura-Ace bike (unless it’s a really exceptional frame set)

Also, until the big disk/Di-2 shift, road bikes hadn’t gone through a whole lot of changes in the way they’re laid out, so it’s relatively simple to take an 80s -90s “hero/halo” bike an bring it up to modern specs. Check out the “Retro Roadies” thread in C&V for more restomod / youngtimer builds

I did this with my 1997 SoftRide build; brought up to ~2008 spec 10-sp 105. Some well timed buys put the total for the build just under $600; net was actually closer to $300, since I was able to resell the 105 donor bike an a bunch of accessories that came with it.


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Old 08-02-22, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by cyclezen View Post
I won;t go 11 spd however, cause I dislike the available cassette gearing ranges, and rebuilding cassettes is a PITA - if they're not fully slip-on cogs.
What's wrong with the gearing ranges? I upgraded to 11 speed from 9 speed, and I got an 11-36 cassette which is basically the same as the 11-32 9 speed cassette I was using previously, but with one additional gear in the 11-32 range and the additional 36 at the top. I thought that was a great upgrade.
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Old 08-02-22, 10:57 PM
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There's a difference?? LOL.
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Old 08-03-22, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by The Chemist View Post
What's wrong with the gearing ranges? I upgraded to 11 speed from 9 speed, and I got an 11-36 cassette which is basically the same as the 11-32 9 speed cassette I was using previously, but with one additional gear in the 11-32 range and the additional 36 at the top. I thought that was a great upgrade.
The discussion around gearing, 11 speed gearing options availability has been had mulitple times before. I'm not going into a 'TimTak' discussion on suitability or use or any extended quagmire of 'kooks gone wild'.
But I'll give you a few quick things to mull over...
If you had a 9 spd 12-32, rather than 11-32 , would you not have had an additional, very usedul gear in your mid-range ?
10 or 11 spd in 12-32 or 12-36, rather than '11-something', would allow even better gear distribution in the primary range of gears that most riders would like/want/use.
I'll make one, prolly controversial, statement: "It's likely that 95%+ of the 11 and 12 tooth cogs on road bikes currently on the road are 'virgin' and could easily be confused as 'NEW' / unused."
... no further posts from me, here on any of this...
Ride on, well selected...
Yuri
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Old 08-03-22, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by The Chemist View Post
What's wrong with the gearing ranges? I upgraded to 11 speed from 9 speed, and I got an 11-36 cassette which is basically the same as the 11-32 9 speed cassette I was using previously, but with one additional gear in the 11-32 range and the additional 36 at the top. I thought that was a great upgrade.
While the validity of needed an 11t can be debated, a SRAM 11 speed 11-36 (11-12-13-15-17-19-22-25-28-32-36) cassette solves a problem that a lot of wide range cassettes have, the 3 tooth jump between 17 and 20 or 18 and 21. While I think a 19-21 would be better, the 19-22 is acceptable.

At least it doesn’t have an 11-13 gap that some 8/9 speed cassettes have.

John
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Old 08-03-22, 11:35 AM
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What you are going to run into with older tri-bikes is that only 23mm tires will fit. The newer 25mm or larger will rub.

I have a 2005 full carbon Giant OCR2 with a forward seatpost and a tri-cockpit. It's not 100% aero - but then again - I'm not at my optimum weight either. Lol
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Old 08-03-22, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by cyclezen View Post
Given what you said, and what you first posted, I guess you've got the Buy Bike bug...
Yeah, I've got a bit of it because I showed up to some road cycling group rides and was the odd guy out with all the fancy schmancy carbon bikes and stuff. I tend to be the person who when they decide to go all-in on a hobby, I go all in once and get a good setup and leave it at that. So I figure it might be worth it to get a new bike... but only if I know that what I'm looking for, hence the thread so I can learn.

The rest of your post is really good info and is making me think about going beyond just groupset and frame and the importance of improving wheels. It's given me a lot to think about and more stuff to research. Thanks a bunch!

Originally Posted by Ironfish653 View Post
There’s a little ‘trickle down’ effect among the Shimano road groups, but if you stick to mechanical, rim brake setups (no disk/Di-2) it’s a little less drastic.
A 10-sp 105 bike won’t be much different than an 5-year older 10-sp Ultegra bike, but for minor details; but I’d rather have a 2005 bike with 5700-series 105 than a brand new Sora bike. I’d also pick the 5700 bike over a 1990’s Dura-Ace bike (unless it’s a really exceptional frame set)

Also, until the big disk/Di-2 shift, road bikes hadn’t gone through a whole lot of changes in the way they’re laid out, so it’s relatively simple to take an 80s -90s “hero/halo” bike an bring it up to modern specs. Check out the “Retro Roadies” thread in C&V for more restomod / youngtimer builds
This is all interesting to learn and that's what I'm kinda thinking of as the mindset of upgrading. Find older stuff may not be super high tech, but is high quality and worth the time and effort to upgrade them. It make sense that the trickle-down of tech has been far more gradual since it's a mechanical system than electronics. Not that anything is wrong with my Tiagra, but it's interesting to know that there's a sweet spot where the older higher end materials are the better value. That's good to know.

I did this with my 1997 SoftRide build; brought up to ~2008 spec 10-sp 105. Some well timed buys put the total for the build just under $600; net was actually closer to $300, since I was able to resell the 105 donor bike an a bunch of accessories that came with it.
I saw one of those at the local triathlon last Saturday. Looks super cool and the guy who rode it swears by it. Tri bikes are such a different beast and a friend of mine is offering me an upgraded Quintana Roo PRThree in my size for a steal, but there is a part of me that knows it'll be much faster, lighter, etc. but it won't handle like my Defy, so it's learning the best use cases for either bike.
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Old 08-03-22, 02:13 PM
  #22  
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I've got a 26 year old Ritchey Road Logic that's currently running Dura Ace 7800 STIs and RD, and a 2020 Canyon Endurace with 7000 series 105, as well as a 1995 Litespeed Ultimate that I just rebuilt with R8000 Ultegra - so, basically 18 year old Dura Ace vs i05 and Ultegra that have only just been superceded.

The 18 year old Dura Ace is at least as good as the much newer 105 and Ultegra. I think the FD shifts better, though that's a combination of the 7800 STIs with 7400 FD and 7410 crankset and rings - the shifting is just less effort, maybe slightly faster.

The one thing you get with the newer stuff is one more gear, which might not sound like much, but when I'm climbing it makes a difference when you hit a point where the gradient increases and my cadence falls. I could have the same spread between low and high with 10 speeds, but it would be at the cost of annoying jumps between a couple of the gears.
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Old 08-03-22, 02:57 PM
  #23  
big john
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Originally Posted by extecher View Post
Yeah, I've got a bit of it because I showed up to some road cycling group rides and was the odd guy out with all the fancy schmancy carbon bikes and stuff.

I saw one of those at the local triathlon last Saturday. Looks super cool and the guy who rode it swears by it. Tri bikes are such a different beast and a friend of mine is offering me an upgraded Quintana Roo PRThree in my size for a steal, but there is a part of me that knows it'll be much faster, lighter, etc. but it won't handle like my Defy, so it's learning the best use cases for either bike.
Do you want to race triathlon or do you want to do fast group rides?
If you want to do group rides stick with a road bike. Most groups don't want elbow steerers in the group and they are not ideal. Group rides can be a blast and you can make some good friends but any road bike will work, including your Defy.

I ride with 2 road clubs and it's true that most of the riders have the latest stuff but it's more about having it than whether it will make them faster. If I was looking for a new road bike I would want to be able to run at least 28mm tires, my current bike will only take 25s. Disc brakes would be fine but I don't object to rim brakes, for the most part. And I would want a compact double with a wide range cassette, at least 11 speed. My 10 speed stuff is getting harder to find.

Once you're riding nobody cares what road bike you have.
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Old 08-03-22, 07:23 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by extecher View Post
I saw one of those at the local triathlon last Saturday. Looks super cool and the guy who rode it swears by it. Tri bikes are such a different beast and a friend of mine is offering me an upgraded Quintana Roo PRThree in my size for a steal, but there is a part of me that knows it'll be much faster, lighter, etc. but it won't handle like my Defy, so it's learning the best use cases for either bike.
Thank you, my SoftRide is actually my century road bike; it’s a hell of a piece of kit, once you learn how it likes to be ridden. SoftRide was banned from UCI road competition (unfair advantage) but found a niche in TRI, where it’s well suited to the particular demands of the sport.

I can’t tell from your post if you’re getting into TRI, or just riding with folks who do, but if you’re getting into the sport, especially if your goal is Olympic or IM distances, then a dedicated TRI-bike would be a useful tool to have. Tri-bikes are set up a little different than aero road bikes, because they take into account that after the ride’s over, you still have to get off and run. For that reason, they’re a little comprised as pure road bikes
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