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Old 05-30-09, 08:36 PM   #1
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What makes a bike suited to be a 'Club Ride' bike?

As I look around at the various bike manufacturers web sites I sometimes see their bikes broken down into suggested uses. Say race, club ride, recreation, or touring. I think I generally understand the attributes of race, recreation, and touring but what makes for a good club ride bike? I have just started riding road, having come from mountain biking, with local clubs and groups and see an all manner of machines participate in the rides. It seems that as the group ride is billed as being in the faster catagory (medium, fast, or very fast) the bikes look racier and less suited for commuting. So, what do you think a manufacturer has in mind when they recommend one of their particular models as a club ride bike?
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Old 05-31-09, 06:08 AM   #2
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I could be way off in left field but my assumption is that a club bike would be a road bike with a more relaxed frame like a Cannondale Synapse or a Specialized Roubaix.
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Old 05-31-09, 08:05 AM   #3
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Club rides are all over the map. It depends on the rider, their conditioning and their bike. Really, once you get into an "entry level racer", which is a bike with the equivilent of Shimano 105 components, you have gotten about 98% of the performance out of a bike. The differences between riders will be the conditioning, skill and raw ability of the riders.

In the faster groups, you may have also noticed more fashionable bike clothing also. Many club riders have a spare no expense philosophy.

I do not really know what a bike manufacturer might be getting at with a "club ride" bicycle but I can guess. Most of the high end racing bikes sold are bought by club riders. For many of these guys, the best is not good enough. I would think that a club ride bike would not be a high end machine. Guys are plunking down the $$$$K on top end racing bikes that are suitable for the Tour de France. They are not paying for a club ride bike. They want an elite ride. I would guess that a club ride bike would be an entry level racer or just a bit below that. It would be aimed at someone who wants to do club rides and does not have a suitable bike. It would be something that would be adequate for the purpose but on a budget. At least that is my guess.

Following this reasoning, I would think that the bike would possibly be a bit on the relaxed side. Novice riders tend to like a more relaxed geometry because the handling is more stable and the ride a bit more smooth.
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Old 05-31-09, 08:35 AM   #4
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'club' bike = fast (by fast I mean performance oriented) and comfortable.
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Old 05-31-09, 11:10 AM   #5
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It means that the make/model is sufficiently in vogue that your fellow club members will allow you to be seen sitting at the same table while sipping their skinny latte at the cafe.

You should be safe with anything made of carbon, no more than 6 months old, and with a 4 figure price tag (don't remove the price tag whatever you do!), or anything with 'team' in its model name that closely resembles something ridden by a TDF team.

If you need further clarification sent a detailed PM to ILTB, he's always keen to share his views on these matters.

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Old 06-01-09, 06:59 PM   #6
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Clubs with big enough members will categorize their rides as A, B, or C. Its by rider capability. Usually, the more capable a rider, the better the equipment.
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