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Ready to get first road bike...

Road Cycling It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle. -- Ernest Hemingway

Ready to get first road bike...

Old 02-19-18, 09:19 AM
  #1  
mcgeggy
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Ready to get first road bike...

I've been riding an aluminum Fuji hybrid I picked up used for the last 5 months. I now want to upgrade to a road bike for mainly 15-30+ mile rides for fitness over mostly flat rural roads in dry weather. I'm 52yo, 6'1" and 215 pounds or so.

So I'm thinking an endurance bike with carbon frame, as the roads around me can be anywhere from new and smooth to old and cracked/bumpy. I'm not overly concerned with having disc brakes. Would like the groupset to be at least 105. I don't think I am going to be the type to be interested in upgrading components. My time to ride is limited, and I'd rather spend it riding than upgrading parts or dropping it off a a LBS. I want to buy a bike that I find appealing, and I don't want to look at it and think I could have gotten more for my money if I bought elsewhere,etc.

So far I am finding some bikes on Wiggle, Canyon, and Ribble very appealing. My ideal budget is under $1500, but definitely under $2k.

I like the Canyon Endurace, but the cheapest one is aluminum. Very cool looking bikes and they seem to be pretty well received overall. Love that color blue! But I wonder about the proprietary stem and seat posts not being interchangeable/upgradeable... https://www.canyon.com/en-us/road/en...ce-al-disc-7-0

On Wiggle I find the Vitus Venom very appealing. Also really like the color. But not a whole lot of feedback out there on this brand. I think the fial price including delivery/duty to U.S. would be $1500-1600 wiggle.com | Vitus Venon Disc (105 - 2017) Road Bike | Road Bikes - Race

Ribble is a bit harder for me because there are so many customizeable choices to outfit the bike, and I really don't know which components would be best for my scenario. I figured the starting point would be the Ribble Sportive Racing Green, which I'm also fond of the color scheme. But how to build it out from there gets a bit confusing... https://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/build...d/41/#groupset

I just found this bike last night and so far I think it is the one I like the most. Lapierre Sensium 500 CP Road Bike $1480 including delivery/duty. Lapierre Sensium 500 CP Road Bike 2017 | Chain Reaction Cycles

Am I on the right track here? At my weight should I be concerned about the wheelset?
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Old 02-19-18, 10:22 PM
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Is this the wrong forum for this?
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Old 02-19-18, 11:01 PM
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If you have a Performance Bike near you, I recommend getting something from them since they have a 365 day return policy and you can take it back to a store instead of having to ship it. That said the Lapierre looks like a solid bike. The only thing I would do is get some new wheels (Campy Zonda or Fulcrum Racing 3.. whichever is cheaper).
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Old 02-19-18, 11:20 PM
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There's nothing wrong with those bikes, but I don't know that I'd recommend someone moving from a hybrid to their first road bike by buying online, sight unseen, with no real guidance as far as goals and fit - a great bang for the buck bike isn't a very good bang for the buck if it's not the right bike for you. $1500-$2000 will get you a lot of bike at a local shop and there may be deals to be had on previous model years. More importantly, you'll have local pre- and post-sale support. Buy your second bike online when you have all of your wants and needs figured out, but get some assistance the first time around.

That said, with the occasionally poor roads that you mention and your weight, I'd lean towards something that would have clearance for tires in the 28-30mm range or more. That would allow you to run at lower pressure which will help tremendously with the bad sections of road. In terms of groupset, I wouldn't argue against someone that wanted 105 or better though that might put you at the top of your range, particularly with a carbon frame.
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Old 02-19-18, 11:25 PM
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Those are good choices. Consensus is that 105 is plenty good these days.

Going with a better wheelset is worthwhile upgrade. The standard wheelsets tend to be serviceable but heavy.

Try to confirm that 28mm tires will fit, as that is popular.

Rim brakes are fine/better IMO.

Agree that Canyon has some details that make it less desirable choice.

what size frame are you planning? The Lapierre appears to be clearance 55cm- small for you.
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Old 02-19-18, 11:33 PM
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As someone who has gone through a similar decision making process, I'll offer this advice.

Find a good LBS. If you already have one, great. Buying a bike online is ok as long as you can get the support you may need when you need it. Knowing that you have the support there if you need it will ease some of the apprehension of buying a bike from a direct retailer.

That Canyon Endurace as is is pretty awesome. It'll be delivered and dialed in. You assemble (30 mins), put on your pedals, and ride.
The Lapierre is good, but if you're going to upgrade wheels, the price differential disappears.
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Old 02-20-18, 01:54 AM
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Lapierre are a well-respected manufacturer here in France. They don't make the carbon frames themselves, few manufacturers do, but they do all the design work themselves. Website is here: Cycles Lapierre |

Providing you buy the appropriate frame size, which is probably 57 - 58, you shouldn't have a problem, given seat height, handlebars etc can be adjusted. Nothing beats a test ride, of course, but these days the savings are so big online it is hard to go beyond them.
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Old 02-20-18, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by king_solom0n View Post
If you have a Performance Bike near you, I recommend getting something from them since they have a 365 day return policy and you can take it back to a store instead of having to ship it. That said the Lapierre looks like a solid bike. The only thing I would do is get some new wheels (Campy Zonda or Fulcrum Racing 3.. whichever is cheaper).
To be honest I get why everyone says go the LBS route. I just find it a bit overwhelming- there are so many around my area and the more I visit the more choices I will be faced with. And I fear that the one I decide to buy from might be more interested in unloading a bike they want to get rid of and as a newbie I will be an easy target, lol!
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Old 02-20-18, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
There's nothing wrong with those bikes, but I don't know that I'd recommend someone moving from a hybrid to their first road bike by buying online, sight unseen, with no real guidance as far as goals and fit - a great bang for the buck bike isn't a very good bang for the buck if it's not the right bike for you. $1500-$2000 will get you a lot of bike at a local shop and there may be deals to be had on previous model years. More importantly, you'll have local pre- and post-sale support. Buy your second bike online when you have all of your wants and needs figured out, but get some assistance the first time around.

That said, with the occasionally poor roads that you mention and your weight, I'd lean towards something that would have clearance for tires in the 28-30mm range or more. That would allow you to run at lower pressure which will help tremendously with the bad sections of road. In terms of groupset, I wouldn't argue against someone that wanted 105 or better though that might put you at the top of your range, particularly with a carbon frame.
Yeah, I believe a 25 tire on the Sensium is max width, which concerns me. The Canyon can take wider tires.
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Old 02-20-18, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
Those are good choices. Consensus is that 105 is plenty good these days.

Going with a better wheelset is worthwhile upgrade. The standard wheelsets tend to be serviceable but heavy.

Try to confirm that 28mm tires will fit, as that is popular.

Rim brakes are fine/better IMO.

Agree that Canyon has some details that make it less desirable choice.

what size frame are you planning? The Lapierre appears to be clearance 55cm- small for you.
I thought that too but that frame size is on their chart for range 511 - 63
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Old 02-20-18, 08:52 AM
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I’m really torn between buying online or through a LBS. I figured if I bought the correct frame size that was in the smaller range (like for 5’10- 6’0 as opposed to 6’1-6’3 for example), I should be ok.

I just like the idea of buying online to get the most bang for the buck, and then finding an appropriate LBS for service/ repair for anything I can’t do myself. But I can’t overlook how frequently cyclists advise going local in this situation.

Is the main difference between aluminum frame and carbon frame weight, or is it comfort in terms of how the bike absorbs shock/ vibrations?
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Old 02-20-18, 09:06 AM
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Carbon and Aluminum have different ways of absorbing vibrations, but the difference isn't going to be life-changing. Carbon, depending on the build technically will dampen vibrations better. Your main difference will be weight and If I can offer some advice, if you go aluminum now, I have a feeling in a year or so you'll be wanting to go carbon. So, it makes sense to go carbon up front. I made that mistake and bought an aluminum bike that I rode for about a year until I decided that between my weight and the bikes, I needed something lighter. lol As for which wheels to pick and how they'll be affected by your weight.. I'm 5foot7" and about 195 and I've tried a number of wheels without any issues. What I would stay away from is something all carbon. I think as long as you stick with an alloy wheel you'll be fine.

I hear what people are saying about going to an LBS, but a good fitter online will be able to take your measurements and needs and get you a perfect fit on a bike. So, it shouldn't matter. You can definitely get more bang for the buck from many of the online retailers like Canyon, Ribble, etc.
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Old 02-20-18, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by mcgeggy View Post
I just like the idea of buying online to get the most bang for the buck, and then finding an appropriate LBS for service/ repair for anything I cant do myself. But I cant overlook how frequently cyclists advise going local in this situation.
Most of them started out that way, it worked for them, so that's what they recommend. A few of us started out the other way, never use a bike shop for service, and it works for us. The choice boils down to whether you don't mind spending extra to get service done right and not have to mess with it, or you don't mind learning and doing your own work, making mistakes now and again, and saving money.

My Road bike and my commuter have never seen the inside of a bike shop. My spare beater was in once, but they couldn't really help. So I personally don't see any benefit at all in choosing a shop, then a bike. But most people see it differently. Either way works depending on your inclinations, so take it all with a grain of salt.
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Old 02-20-18, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by mcgeggy View Post
Yeah, I believe a 25 tire on the Sensium is max width, which concerns me. The Canyon can take wider tires.
The Canyon already has 28s from the get go plus a very decent wheel.

Originally Posted by mcgeggy View Post
I just like the idea of buying online to get the most bang for the buck, and then finding an appropriate LBS for service/ repair for anything I cant do myself. But I cant overlook how frequently cyclists advise going local in this situation.
Talk to some of your LBS. See how they feel about supporting you knowing you'll be doing the purchase online. Some may not be supportive. Some will be. You'll know which one you want to partner up with. And that is what the relationship will be. A partnership.
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Old 02-20-18, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
Most of them started out that way, it worked for them, so that's what they recommend. A few of us started out the other way, never use a bike shop for service, and it works for us. The choice boils down to whether you don't mind spending extra to get service done right and not have to mess with it, or you don't mind learning and doing your own work, making mistakes now and again, and saving money.

My Road bike and my commuter have never seen the inside of a bike shop. My spare beater was in once, but they couldn't really help. So I personally don't see any benefit at all in choosing a shop, then a bike. But most people see it differently. Either way works depending on your inclinations, so take it all with a grain of salt.
20 years ago, you didn't have YouTube. For every repair there is, you can find several YouTube videos to walk you through the repair.
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Old 02-20-18, 09:57 AM
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To be fair, bikes aren't that complex, and most of the repairs are to do with changing cables, tyres, brake pads and, of course, repairing punctures. And, as has been pointed out, YouTube is a valuable encyclopedia for repair of virtually anything.

As to bike shops, I've yet to find one that is not happy to work on one of my bikes, whether it be a chain replacement, a service or whatever. None seem remotely concerned where the bike was purchased, which was often in a different country. The only ones I'd single out are Brompton dealers, and that's because I've botched some jobs myself, which, whether in the UK or France, they've always corrected without any labour charge.
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Old 02-20-18, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by motosonic View Post
Carbon and Aluminum have different ways of absorbing vibrations, but the difference isn't going to be life-changing. Carbon, depending on the build technically will dampen vibrations better. Your main difference will be weight and If I can offer some advice, if you go aluminum now, I have a feeling in a year or so you'll be wanting to go carbon. So, it makes sense to go carbon up front. I made that mistake and bought an aluminum bike that I rode for about a year until I decided that between my weight and the bikes, I needed something lighter. lol As for which wheels to pick and how they'll be affected by your weight.. I'm 5foot7" and about 195 and I've tried a number of wheels without any issues. What I would stay away from is something all carbon. I think as long as you stick with an alloy wheel you'll be fine.

I hear what people are saying about going to an LBS, but a good fitter online will be able to take your measurements and needs and get you a perfect fit on a bike. So, it shouldn't matter. You can definitely get more bang for the buck from many of the online retailers like Canyon, Ribble, etc.
Yeah, I totally get what you are saying. Once I have the bike and feel that I got it right, I want to ride for years without worrying about upgrading to another bike or upgrading components. I was hoping to keep my budget right around $1500, but now the carbon Canyon Endurace is looking like maybe the most bang for the buck with the better wheelset and ability to take wider tires...
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Old 02-20-18, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by NTX_Cycler View Post
20 years ago, you didn't have YouTube. For every repair there is, you can find several YouTube videos to walk you through the repair.
I'm pretty handy so I think I should be able to get the basic maintenance and adjustments handled. It's not that I don't want to support an LBS, it just takes so much time: put bike rack on car, load bike onto it, drive to lbs, drop off bike or wait around for service, reverse steps (or wait several days to go pick bike up). It makes me wnat to pull my hair out - I could have gone for a nice ride during all of that time taken!
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Old 02-20-18, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by mcgeggy View Post
Im really torn between buying online or through a LBS. I figured if I bought the correct frame size that was in the smaller range (like for 510- 60 as opposed to 61-63 for example), I should be ok.

I just like the idea of buying online to get the most bang for the buck, and then finding an appropriate LBS for service/ repair for anything I cant do myself. But I cant overlook how frequently cyclists advise going local in this situation.
I wouldn't buy a bike without riding it first. Bike "feel" is highly subjective. Bikes that look the same on paper can feel very different when you ride them.

Originally Posted by mcgeggy View Post
Is the main difference between aluminum frame and carbon frame weight, or is it comfort in terms of how the bike absorbs shock/ vibrations?
To some degree. You also have to consider the shape of the tubes and the thickness of the walls. A lot of different factors go into how stiff a frame feels and how much road noise it transmits.
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Old 02-20-18, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by mcgeggy View Post
Yeah, I totally get what you are saying. Once I have the bike and feel that I got it right, I want to ride for years without worrying about upgrading to another bike or upgrading components. I was hoping to keep my budget right around $1500, but now the carbon Canyon Endurace is looking like maybe the most bang for the buck with the better wheelset and ability to take wider tires...
If your budget is at $1500, stick to it and get the AL Endurace. You still have the same wheelset and as far as I know the same clearance.
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Old 02-20-18, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by avole View Post
To be fair, bikes aren't that complex, and most of the repairs are to do with changing cables, tyres, brake pads and, of course, repairing punctures. And, as has been pointed out, YouTube is a valuable encyclopedia for repair of virtually anything.

As to bike shops, I've yet to find one that is not happy to work on one of my bikes, whether it be a chain replacement, a service or whatever. None seem remotely concerned where the bike was purchased, which was often in a different country. The only ones I'd single out are Brompton dealers, and that's because I've botched some jobs myself, which, whether in the UK or France, they've always corrected without any labour charge.
This is my expectation - is a shop really going to turn me away if I want to give them my business? What if I just moved to the area and bought my bike in another state's LBS? What if a friend/family member gave me the bike for free? It doesn't make sense that they would say "No service for you!" because I didn't buy my bike from them. $ is $.
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Old 02-20-18, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by mcgeggy View Post
To be honest I get why everyone says go the LBS route. I just find it a bit overwhelming- there are so many around my area and the more I visit the more choices I will be faced with. And I fear that the one I decide to buy from might be more interested in unloading a bike they want to get rid of and as a newbie I will be an easy target, lol!
Frankly, there are so many bikes that'll take care of your needs that the thing that you're really shopping for is a good salesperson/consultant. Find someone that you feel comfortable with and go from there.
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Old 02-20-18, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by mcgeggy View Post
I thought that too but that frame size is on their chart for range 511 - 63

Yeah, I see that their size is the actual seat tube length instead of the standard 'virtual top tube' measure-

(what it would measure if the top tube was level),

so the size looks fine.


IME, bike shops are not necessarily that skilled or helpful & are motivated to sell what they have in stock.

If you are competent & interested, buying online works.
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Old 02-20-18, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Frankly, there are so many bikes that'll take care of your needs that the thing that you're really shopping for is a good salesperson/consultant. Find someone that you feel comfortable with and go from there.
Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
IME, bike shops are not necessarily that skilled or helpful & are motivated to sell what they have in stock.

If you are competent & interested, buying online works.
I asked on my state's ****** sub for reputable LBS's in my area. There was a limited response, but many named the same few places. Unfortunately, they were all an hour+ away from me. I hate to visit on a Saturday because they are all busiest then, and it's so hard to get the time during the week (they all seem to be closed on Sundays). So that leaves me checking out the 15-20 LBS's that are within 30 minutes of me, a task I find somewhat daunting, not to mention very time consuming! This is one of the reasons buying online is just more convenient...

Lol, I guess this forum doesn't like the word that starts with redd and end with it?

Last edited by mcgeggy; 02-20-18 at 11:13 AM. Reason: sneak in the censored word redd..
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Old 02-20-18, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by mcgeggy View Post
I asked on my state's ****** sub for reputable LBS's in my area. There was a limited response, but many named the same few places. Unfortunately, they were all an hour+ away from me. I hate to visit on a Saturday because they are all busiest then, and it's so hard to get the time during the week (they all seem to be closed on Sundays). So that leaves me checking out the 15-20 LBS's that are within 30 minutes of me, a task I find somewhat daunting, not to mention very time consuming! This is one of the reasons buying online is just more convenient...
Check Yelp to help you narrow down your list some.
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