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Thinking about adding a roadie to my inventory...

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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

Thinking about adding a roadie to my inventory...

Old 09-13-18, 09:08 AM
  #1  
Skipjacks
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Thinking about adding a roadie to my inventory...

I know asking Bikeforums if I should get a second bike is like going to the ice rink and asking if anyone wants to skate.

But I'm curious about feedback. I have a hybrid that I commute with and I love it. It's a great commuter. I can load it down with 50 pounds of stuff if I need to and it rides like a champion.

But on weekend rides of 40+ miles it feels a little cumbersome.

I was thinking of getting a roadie as a second bike that I don't have loaded down with racks and stuffs so I can do weekend rides where I can go further in the same amount of time.

Do you all think a road bike would make those 40+ mile rides easier? It's not that I'm gassed at that distance. I still have fuel in the tank. But it takes forever. I'm averaging 10mph over a long haul like that (partly because I usually do 20 miles uphill then 20 miles back, so the first 20 miles lowers the averages pretty hard). And with the flat bar my hands are killing me.

Or is the rider the problem and I just need to pedal more to make the old legs stronger?

Would I notice a clear and obvious difference on a long distance ride on a road bike?

I'm posting this same question in the hybrid forum to get a different take.
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Old 09-13-18, 09:11 AM
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Clear and obvious difference and the answer to another bike is always yes. Even if it's an exact duplicate of a bike you already own.
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Old 09-13-18, 09:13 AM
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It really depends on what your commuter bike is. How it's geared, how heavy it is and it's overall geometry. But as someone who once rode a hybrid/commuter and now rides a roadie.. there's a noticeable difference, especially in weight and gearing. I find I can move faster on flats and climb hills a hell of a lot easier. A good bar tape on a roadie can make a huge difference as well.. But on road bikes, you don't put a lot of weight on your hands, so, I'm thinking that problem will resolve itself as well.
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Old 09-13-18, 09:18 AM
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A nice road bike it's like a sharpened chef knife compared with a butter knife.

It's designed to be lighter, stiffer, efficient more aero and even more comfortable (you have at least 3 handlebar position, 4 if you add tt bars)

If you can afford it and have enough room at home for another bike, do it, you won't regret.
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Old 09-13-18, 09:20 AM
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Removing a rack won't make for much of a performance difference at all.
​​​
But road bikes are, on average, much faster than hybrids. In largest part due to the postures they're designed around, although they tend to also be lighter. They also usually come stock with less bombproof tires that roll better.
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Old 09-13-18, 09:21 AM
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Go test ride a few road bikes at the LBS and tell us what you think.

Lighter is always gonna be faster, and I think you will really notice the improved handling and responsiveness. I love the sensation of acceleration on a bike so light, that it feels like it's floating right over the road surface, and that's exactly what road bikes are all about, speed, and lots of it.
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Old 09-13-18, 09:24 AM
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I'm willing to bet that you will definitely notice a difference.
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Old 09-13-18, 09:26 AM
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I own a beach cruiser, a hybrid and a road bike. The road bike is much more fun for going long distances fast. I rarely ride the other two bikes these days.
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Old 09-13-18, 09:37 AM
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Just do it. Avg speed is whatever but your speed downhills should even out the uphill speed. And I think a decently in shape rider rider on a road bike should be able to do 8-10mph on the climb and depending on the grade 20-30 mph on the decent should be easy. 40 mph on big hill should be relatively easy just by coasting in an aero position. The ability to get aero is one advantage to the road bike. Climbing should also be easier with added leverage on hoods although bar ends on the hybrid could help with that. But mainly road bikes are more fun! I'd go trst drive a few and see if it's for you
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Old 09-13-18, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by motosonic View Post
It really depends on what your commuter bike is. How it's geared, how heavy it is and it's overall geometry. But as someone who once rode a hybrid/commuter and now rides a roadie.. there's a noticeable difference, especially in weight and gearing. I find I can move faster on flats and climb hills a hell of a lot easier. A good bar tape on a roadie can make a huge difference as well.. But on road bikes, you don't put a lot of weight on your hands, so, I'm thinking that problem will resolve itself as well.
It's a Specialized Crosstrail. It's about 30 pounds without all my crap on it. It's in good condition and rides great. It's got low gearing for mashing hills when I'm carrying panniers and a rack and lights, and etc etc etc (but it's still a chore to climb)

It's got a 48/38/28t crank and a 11-32t cassette. But it's an upright riding position. As I understand it even a little leaning forward to reduce my profile increases aerodynamics. Is that something you see in real world use or is that only noticeable for serious competitive racer?

I'd be looking at an entry level roadie. Everything I'm looking at has a similar cassette (maybe 11-28t) and a 50/34t (or so) crank. I'm not spending $2000 on a bike I'll ride every other weekend. Maybe when my kids get older and I have more time, but not I'm in the sub $1000 category. Does that make a difference? At sub $1000 is it just a lighter hybrid? Or does the geometry really matter?

This is the bike I'm looking at.

https://www.performancebike.com/shop...e-2018-31-8647

Cheap. With some lower end components. But affordable today with a half decent frame and carbon fork and the whole thing is upgradable if I really get into road riding. Best I can tell is that it runs ABOUT 23 pounds. So it's 7 lbs lighter than my hybrid WITHOUT loading the hybrid down with racks and bags.

I appreciate all your feedback, everyone. I've read everything on the internet in the past week about the difference between roadies and hybrids but it's all just words on the screen without any real world experience. I haven't ridden a road bike since my 10 speed Huffy when I was 15. So I just don't have the experience to know how much different a roadie feels under me.
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Old 09-13-18, 09:51 AM
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I was in a similar position a couple of years ago. Had started cycling using my early 90's rigid mtn bike for exercise and was having such a good time, I wanted to do longer rides. Picked up a used road bike and it's allowed me to do longer rides than I ever imagined. I still ride the ancient heavy beast on early morning rides a few days a week before work but on the weekends, the road bike allows me to venture farther and go faster.

It may take a while to get used to riding in the drops and you may have to experiment to find a comfortable saddle, but if you enjoy longer rides, I think you'll be very happy with the roadie.
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Old 09-13-18, 09:58 AM
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I have almost exactly that bike (a Sportif 1.0 LE in my case) and I love it.

it is Not a "light" bike... it is not a heavy bike either. With stock wheels and tires it always felt a little sluggish, too ,,, but very comfortable. I am about as fast on my Sportif as on my much lighter racy CF bike.

The slight added weight over my light CF bikes is well offset by the 11-32 gearing.

The big difference is that the CF fork and 28-mm tires are great at isolating road shock, but weigh hugely less than the suspension fork on your Crosstrail (which is by no means a bad bike.)

I have my Sportif set up with the handlebars a little high, but i could easily drop them two inches and still be comfortable. Even with the set-up i have now, i lean at about 45 degrees .... and about half the wind misses me. You Will notice that difference at 15 mph, i think. if you ride faster, you can go to the drops and really feel it.

Also ... i threw a rack on mine and I use it for everything---light touring, hauling tools, getting groceries, rain rides, and even just when I feel like a bit of variety. I have found ti to be tremendously comfortable and reliable---whenever I pull it off the rack and swing a leg over it, i am glad to be riding it.

I found it to be excellent value for the money ... and as time goes on you can throw a better group set on the same frame and have a better bike for less.

Caveat: I have no idea if this bike will satisfy you. You might buy it and wish you hadn't. You might buy it and wish you had spent more and gotten a really light, really racy bike. You might not find it offers enough of a difference over your regular ride. You might love it. Noway to tell.

Test ride some bikes if you like, if you can, and see if a lighter road-oriented bike is what you are looking for.

I can attest tot eh value of Performance Bikes, as an outlet, and Fujis as bikes generally, and the Sportif in particular. if you can wait for a double or triple-points weekend you can get a really good bike for not very much money.
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Old 09-13-18, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Ogsarg View Post
I was in a similar position a couple of years ago. Had started cycling using my early 90's rigid mtn bike for exercise and was having such a good time, I wanted to do longer rides. Picked up a used road bike and it's allowed me to do longer rides than I ever imagined. I still ride the ancient heavy beast on early morning rides a few days a week before work but on the weekends, the road bike allows me to venture farther and go faster.

It may take a while to get used to riding in the drops and you may have to experiment to find a comfortable saddle, but if you enjoy longer rides, I think you'll be very happy with the roadie.
Same here. I started commuting on an old 26 inch wheel mountain bike 3 years ago. 6 months in I was like "Gonna need a better bike" so I got a hybrid for commuting and LOVED it. Instant difference in ride quality and ease. Now 2 years after getting the hybrid I'm starting to think I need something even zippier.

I'll still commute on the hybrid. The whole point was to get exercise. So I don't want to make commuting TOO easy. Plus it's a tank. The railroad tracks I have to cross and the bumpy dirt field I cut through sometimes don't slow the hybrid down at all. But out on the weekend rides....something a little less clunky would be nice
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Old 09-13-18, 10:04 AM
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Aero matters more the faster you go. At 10 mph my cross section doesn't matter. At 20 mph it starts to matter a lot.
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Old 09-13-18, 10:18 AM
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You guys are awesome and I appreciate the feedback. It's hard to know what you don't know, you know?

I'm going to the local Performance shop at lunch to look at these in person. (The other 2 local shops that I like are both closer, but have nothing under $1500 in the road category)
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Old 09-13-18, 10:23 AM
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My answer to your question is simple: Heck yeah!

In that price point I'd consider rim brakes to save a tiny bit of weight. Disc brakes are great, don't get me wrong, but there is an additional weight penalty.

The difference in speed and climbing ability between a hybrid and rode bike will be substantial.
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Old 09-13-18, 10:26 AM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by memebag View Post
Aero matters more the faster you go. At 10 mph my cross section doesn't matter. At 20 mph it starts to matter a lot.
Even at only 10mph, air drag is a considerable fraction of total drag. The whole "it doesn't matter until mid-teens" thing is nonsense; mid-teens is where it tends to become a MAJORITY of all drag on the bike+rider.
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Old 09-13-18, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Skipjacks View Post
It's a Specialized Crosstrail. It's about 30 pounds without all my crap on it. It's in good condition and rides great. It's got low gearing for mashing hills when I'm carrying panniers and a rack and lights, and etc etc etc (but it's still a chore to climb)

It's got a 48/38/28t crank and a 11-32t cassette. But it's an upright riding position. As I understand it even a little leaning forward to reduce my profile increases aerodynamics. Is that something you see in real world use or is that only noticeable for serious competitive racer?

I'd be looking at an entry level roadie. Everything I'm looking at has a similar cassette (maybe 11-28t) and a 50/34t (or so) crank. I'm not spending $2000 on a bike I'll ride every other weekend. Maybe when my kids get older and I have more time, but not I'm in the sub $1000 category. Does that make a difference? At sub $1000 is it just a lighter hybrid? Or does the geometry really matter?

This is the bike I'm looking at.

https://www.performancebike.com/shop...e-2018-31-8647

Cheap. With some lower end components. But affordable today with a half decent frame and carbon fork and the whole thing is upgradable if I really get into road riding. Best I can tell is that it runs ABOUT 23 pounds. So it's 7 lbs lighter than my hybrid WITHOUT loading the hybrid down with racks and bags.

I appreciate all your feedback, everyone. I've read everything on the internet in the past week about the difference between roadies and hybrids but it's all just words on the screen without any real world experience. I haven't ridden a road bike since my 10 speed Huffy when I was 15. So I just don't have the experience to know how much different a roadie feels under me.
The suspension fork on the hybrid is also an energy sucker even if it's locked out. What is your fitness and flexibility like? Do you feel like you need the upright position of an endurance bike? If you are just using it for short fun rides on the weekend and are looking to be faster and more aero then the hybrid you might want to check out race geometry bikes. I would test both and see how they feel. At that price point I'd skip discs. You are getting cheap cable discs which aren't as effective or easy to set up as hydraulics. You are also adding weight over rim brakes. For the same price you can get that bike with rim brakes and Sora 9 speed which i think is a big step up from Claris. New Sora has a lot of trickle down from last generation of DA/Ultregra/105 stuff and you even get the Shimano cranks on this bike for same price:

https://www.performancebike.com/shop...e-2018-31-8648


You can get this entry level Fuji Roubaix for $899:

https://www.performancebike.com/shop...e-2017-31-6235

I actually just bought the same bike online for $765 with free shipping and no tax but if you need a shop to do final assembly and set up then you might as well buy from Performance. That bike has 10 speed Tiagra and is listed at about 18 lbs which is not light by road bike standards but is really nice for that price point. The frame is under 1100 grams and has full carbon fork and internal cable routing. Generally I wouldn't recommend spending much on upgrades to bikes at that price. Usually it makes more sense to sell it and trade up after a year or two if you decide you really love road bikes but that Roubaix frame is good enough on paper that it wouldn't be the craziest thing in the world to put Ultegra on it with some nice wheels and have a 15-16 lb bike. But you can also spend $1299 and get that bike with Ultregra on it which is would be cheaper in the long run then upgrading:

https://www.performancebike.com/shop...e-2017-31-6231
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Old 09-13-18, 11:36 AM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by Skipjacks View Post
Or is the rider the problem and I just need to pedal more to make the old legs stronger?
Well that won't do much for your hands hurting. Drop bars with more natural hand positions, and multiple of them so you can move around as you ride, will.

You want to go faster. You can do that by getting stronger (having more power) or by needing less power. A road bike requires less power for the same speed, partly because you're in a more aerodynamic position, partly because of the tires, etc. Also the gearing is meant for going faster, so if you're not gassed at the end, you'll probably benefit from that, too.
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Old 09-13-18, 11:41 AM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by HTupolev View Post
Even at only 10mph, air drag is a considerable fraction of total drag. The whole "it doesn't matter until mid-teens" thing is nonsense; mid-teens is where it tends to become a MAJORITY of all drag on the bike+rider.
But total drag is very low at 10mph. Drag is an exponential curve. Sitting up or tucking at 10mph makes very little difference. Sitting up or tucking at 20mph makes a lot more difference. Exponentially more.

But hopefully you know that. What is your goal? To get people who ride at 10 mph to go into the drops?
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Old 09-13-18, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by memebag View Post
But total drag is very low at 10mph.
Not for someone who rides at 10mph.

Originally Posted by memebag View Post
What is your goal? To get people who ride at 10 mph to go into the drops?
No, just clarifying that aero still has an impact.

As far as the drops go, I don't particularly care. "The drops" can mean a lot of things. Most of my bikes are fit so that I can comfortably cruise along in the drops; I'm definitely not someone who pushes slammed front-ends.

Last edited by HTupolev; 09-13-18 at 11:47 AM.
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Old 09-13-18, 11:55 AM
  #22  
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I started last year (Jan17) with slicks on my MTB, moved over to my hybrid Frankenbike after overhauling/upgrading it, and that July purchased a Domane road bike. For me, a big difference...but I still keep the other two bikes up and have ridden both this month. Different tools for different jobs.
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Old 09-13-18, 12:33 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by Skipjacks View Post
At sub $1000 is it just a lighter hybrid? Or does the geometry really matter?

This is the bike I'm looking at.

https://www.performancebike.com/shop...e-2018-31-8647

Cheap. With some lower end components. But affordable today with a half decent frame and carbon fork and the whole thing is upgradable if I really get into road riding. Best I can tell is that it runs ABOUT 23 pounds. So it's 7 lbs lighter than my hybrid WITHOUT loading the hybrid down with racks and bags.
That bike you're looking at is spec'd at 24lbs: Fuji Bikes | 2018 Sportif 1.9 Disc | Bike Archives
Same priced Fuji Sportif 2.1 rim brake version is over a pound lighter and comes with Sora instead of Claris. I don't have experience with those Tektro Mira mech disc brakes on the Sportif 1.9, but I have what's considered better mech brakes on my road bike (TRP Spyres) and still had to buy new rotors and pads before braking performance was acceptable, so I don't think you should expect disc brakes to be that much of an advantage or worth the weight penalty.

The Fuji Roubaix is a compelling offering but I believe has a much more aggressive geometry (haven't looked but Fuji considers the Sportif to be an endurance bike and the Roubaix a "competition" bike), so you should try test riding both to see which works better for you.

Also if you're patient, old model year bikes can be had at LBS for sometimes 30+% off around end of and beginning of year.
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Old 09-13-18, 12:40 PM
  #24  
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So....the test rides made the "get a second bike" question easy to answer. (It's 'YES', by the way)

I test rode the Sportif 1.9 and no. No no no. Shifted like an old Yugo with a bad clutch and isn't much lighter than my hybrid.

I also rode the Fuji Roubaix 1.5 and liked it a lot. I can also pick it up and carry it home if I got a flat....and by carry it I mean 'hold it above my head...while running...for miles'
https://www.performancebike.com/shop...e-2018-31-8527

The difference in how much more graceful a road bike is on pavement is just silly. I never would have guessed it was that profound. Not sure if 'graceful' is the right word but you all know what I mean. It was better.

I also tried this Marin gravel bike with SRAM shifters
https://www.performancebike.com/shop...e-2018-31-8423

That was neat. Shifting took some getting used to but it was cool. I liked that one a lot. More of a gravel than a road but it felt nice on pavement and might do better on a rail trail. The single chairing set up was different for me too. But again.....I liked it. Not as light as the Roubaix though.

Last edited by Skipjacks; 09-13-18 at 01:27 PM.
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Old 09-13-18, 12:56 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by rms13 View Post
Just do it. Avg speed is whatever but your speed downhills should even out the uphill speed. And I think a decently in shape rider rider on a road bike should be able to do 8-10mph on the climb and depending on the grade 20-30 mph on the decent should be easy. 40 mph on big hill should be relatively easy just by coasting in an aero position. The ability to get aero is one advantage to the road bike. Climbing should also be easier with added leverage on hoods although bar ends on the hybrid could help with that. But mainly road bikes are more fun! I'd go trst drive a few and see if it's for you
I don't understand that. So much more time is spend climbing than descending that making up speed downhill is nearly impossible. It take take only a few minutes to descend a mountain that takes half an hour to climb... speeds will not even out. Go up a mountain and back down and average speed will be much closer to climbing speed than descending speed.
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