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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

Bike Buying Help

Old 12-07-20, 10:27 PM
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skyrocket
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Bike Buying Help

Hello All,

This is my first post here and I am hoping you can guide me in buying a road bike. First of all I am new to riding bikes on the roads. I bought a bike tommaso Monza (without knowing anything about bikes 4 months back) and since then have been riding it on the road (approx 15 miles every other day). This is my first bike and after buying it I realize there are carbon frames, gear sets, cleats and shoes and what not . Anyways so far the journey has been good and I am feeling a bit confident (more like an confident beginner). Some questions:
1. Would you think now is the time I should upgrade my bikes to more advance versions.
2. Do you have guidance on which one. I have been looking at Cannondale supersix evo or Trek Domane. What is the difference I will feel or should look forward to if I go from Tommaso (it seems this is not even a good brand but I like the bike) to Supersix EVO? I do not know what to expect.
3. Given I am more or less new to all this would you suggest I go for a new bike or a used one?
4. Should I look for electronic shifting and hydraulic disks?
Anything you will share on these topics will only be knowledge for me. Consider me a blank slate who doesn't know much about bikes.

Thanks in advance for your help and guidance.

Rgds
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Old 12-08-20, 03:21 AM
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mr_pedro
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It sounds to me like you have more than enough bike for now. This bike is not holding you back at the moment.
The only thing that would make you need to get a different bike right now is if this one is not the right size or if the geometry somehow causes you discomfort.

Questions about brake types / electronic shifting / carbon frames are just not relevant if you are still building your fitness and riding 15 miles at a time.

If you are looking for what you can upgrade, look into buying clipless pedals and some nice shoes with cleats to go along with it. You can always use these on a next bike later on. Do you have the appropriate clothing to make cycling comfortable?
Depending on what your goals are you can also look into training programs for beginners to get an idea of what structured training looks like and perhaps get a heart rate strap to help you train at the right intensities.
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Old 12-08-20, 07:04 AM
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Ditto what Mr. Pedro said - get some more miles on the bike, try some different types of rides, see what you don't like about that bike. Make sure you have the fit (mostly seat height and position) right first.

If you want, you can do a few upgrades to that bike - a different seat, clipless pedals are often the first few things. Those will transfer to any new bike if later decide you want to buy.

If you read enough of these forums, you will soon come across the "N+1" answer to the "How many bikes do I need if I currently have N?" question. But, the real answer is you can only ride one at a time and until that one doesn't meet your needs, you only need 1.
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Old 12-08-20, 11:51 AM
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Thank you both very much.
Yes I do have clothing sorted out. Kinda enjoyed buying various clothings from gore and other websites, winter gear, base layer and what not. All fun.
ok So getting a new bike is on hold.

I will research the shoes a bit more but if you do have favorites and have recommendation please share. I read about Look pedals and SPD etc. Got it, should focus on general fitness. As such I am active, daily 4 miles run with 10 miles runs couple of times a week. I have been doing 15 miles on bike mostly because I run out of time and might be able to push it to 30 if I spend more time.

Appreciate the guidance. I will look into the training classes. With covid and all that might become challenging. Thanks a ton !
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Old 12-08-20, 01:31 PM
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For road bikes the standard is SPD-SL or Look, those that hold with 3 bolts. Although some people really like the SPD pedals that are smaller and allow you to walk better. But of coarse with all the power you will soon be putting down you can better use the version with 3 bolts .

Pick a system and then go looking for shoes that fit the right cleats. Look for ones with rigid bottom and make sure they fit comfortably, you need to try them to figure that out.

Another upgrade that you can look into is a power meter. Might be too early if you are still deciding if for you cycling is here to stay, but it is a very useful tool and can be transferred to a future bike, e.g. if you get the power meter in the pedals. If you are a data nerd it is almost mandatory to get one... Anyway, a power meter allows you to better follow structured training workouts by doing intervals at the appropriate power levels. These workouts are not done in classes btw, you can do it by yourself.

You will also notice that road bikes are very precise instruments that need lots of maintenance to keep everything rolling smooth and with no creeks. To be able to do this maintenance yourself, it is very handy to get a bike stand and then there are many tools needed, you can start with a cheap bike toolkit and expand as needed.
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Old 12-09-20, 10:34 AM
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Thank you very much. I am on it .

The power meter has more or less similar data that one gets from the watch ..like putting a Apple Watch into outdoor cycling and it I believe shows calorie burnt etc by tracking heart rate.

or is the power meter an entirely different thing?

I will look into it. Thanks for guidance.

Rgds

Last edited by skyrocket; 12-09-20 at 10:38 AM.
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Old 12-09-20, 02:42 PM
  #7  
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1. Would you think now is the time I should upgrade my bikes to more advance versions.
Why? What's bothering you about your four month old bike?
2. Do you have guidance on which one. I have been looking at Cannondale supersix evo or Trek Domane. What is the difference I will feel or should look forward to if I go from Tommaso (it seems this is not even a good brand but I like the bike) to Supersix EVO? I do not know what to expect.
They are both nice bikes, but the only thing different you are really going to get out of them is probably less weight. Weight can be a thing, especially if you ride in constantly rolling terrain or have a few very steep grades to climb .
3. Given I am more or less new to all this would you suggest I go for a new bike or a used one?
I'd suggest your ride your current bike until you know what bothers you about it or what it lacks that a new one can solve. It's the motor that you need to improve regardless of what your ride. You can get the motor in great shape on your current bike...... unless you can say something it can't do, like shift to a low enough gear to keep you from walking it up a hill.

To answer your question though, I prefer new unless a widow is selling her spouses 12,000 dollar bike for a pittance.
4. Should I look for electronic shifting and hydraulic disks?
Depends on your price range. For sub 3500 dollar bikes Shimano 105 and 10 speed Tiagra shift well enough. If you are past the 4000 dollar price range you may as well insist on electronic shifting. If you go with discs, I'd go hydraulic for certain.
Anything you will share on these topics will only be knowledge for me. Consider me a blank slate who doesn't know much about bikes.
Or we'll just confuse you more. <grin>
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Old 12-09-20, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by skyrocket View Post
Thank you very much. I am on it .

The power meter has more or less similar data that one gets from the watch ..like putting a Apple Watch into outdoor cycling and it I believe shows calorie burnt etc by tracking heart rate.

or is the power meter an entirely different thing?

I will look into it. Thanks for guidance.

Rgds
A power meter directly measures every second the energie that was transferred by you to drive the bike forward. So no estimate using heart rate but by measuring the force and speed e.g. with which the pedals are pushed around. It gives you a very accurate calorie consumption for a ride, but more importantly you can read your power output in Watts. Training programs typically consist of computing the power you can sustain for a considerable time like an hour, that level is called FTP. And then a workout is build out of intervals at a certain % of FTP. For example performing 3 blocks of 10 minutes at 90% FTP with 5 min rest between. The power meter allows you to first compute FTP and second ride at the appropriate intensity during the workouts.

Again, if you are sure you want to get serious cycling and can afford it, this would be a cool gadget for now and very useful for later as you get into structured training. But it is by no means a requirement for now. I have the assioma duo pedals that work really nice and can be easily transferred to any other bike.

e.g. This is the workout I will be doing tomorrow:



After the warming up it consists of 7 blocks of 6 minutes at a power of 88%-94% of my FTP with 1 minute rest.

Last edited by mr_pedro; 12-09-20 at 03:20 PM.
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Old 12-09-20, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by skyrocket View Post
Hello All,

This is my first post here and I am hoping you can guide me in buying a road bike. First of all I am new to riding bikes on the roads. I bought a bike tommaso Monza (without knowing anything about bikes 4 months back) and since then have been riding it on the road (approx 15 miles every other day). This is my first bike and after buying it I realize there are carbon frames, gear sets, cleats and shoes and what not . Anyways so far the journey has been good and I am feeling a bit confident (more like an confident beginner). Some questions:
1. Would you think now is the time I should upgrade my bikes to more advance versions.
2. Do you have guidance on which one. I have been looking at Cannondale supersix evo or Trek Domane. What is the difference I will feel or should look forward to if I go from Tommaso (it seems this is not even a good brand but I like the bike) to Supersix EVO? I do not know what to expect.
3. Given I am more or less new to all this would you suggest I go for a new bike or a used one?
4. Should I look for electronic shifting and hydraulic disks?
Anything you will share on these topics will only be knowledge for me. Consider me a blank slate who doesn't know much about bikes.

Thanks in advance for your help and guidance.

Rgds
Fellow noob here. I've been riding 1 year.
Even though guys on here will tell you you don't "need" a new bike and to go ride your current bike more (all valid and good points), you should know that most of the people on here make bike purchases not based on "need."
That being said, when I took the plunge, I knew it would be for the long term, and opted for the Domane.
When you first start riding, the most important thing is to get as many miles under your belt as possible. This is to get your body and cardio system used to the bike (look up Base training).
For this purpose, and for new riders, I think the Domane is a perfect bike. There are different levels based on how much you can spend (and of course different brands of the same category of bike... look up Specialized, Cervelo, etc).
It's been a year and I've logged just under 3K miles and if I had to go back a year, I'd make the same purchase.
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Old 12-09-20, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by mr_pedro View Post
For road bikes the standard is SPD-SL or Look, those that hold with 3 bolts. Although some people really like the SPD pedals that are smaller and allow you to walk better. But of coarse with all the power you will soon be putting down you can better use the version with 3 bolts .
SPD-SL allow you to put down more power than MTB pedals?
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Old 12-09-20, 07:29 PM
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a cannondale is a good traditional road bike cant wrong with a caad or supersix , trek domane is suppose to be an adventure road bike capable of running 28 mm tire width or more if you have disc brakes .

as far as over all upgrades , doesn't matter if it carbon or alum the main thing you want is more modern technology allowing for a stiffer frame , but sometimes if you get too new a bike you run into the issue of proprietary design features that are not user friendly , but if you think that funky head set will give you the advantage or look you like hey , go for it lol.

as far as parts go , disc brakes are best for off road where they give you road rim quality brake control , but for road id stick with rims for now , if you want discs hey go for it , but im not a fan , electronic shifting to me , really only allows you to shift with no effort , its still more a luxury than a necessity , id say skip it and just get nicer mechanical .


if you cant afford a new bike thats cool , but i i would always buy a used frame , because most bike companies sell you the bike set up that is profitable for them , and if you build your own bike you know the bike in and out and can customize each piece to fit you better as well as the frame , so my recommendation would be buy the frame and then the parts for the best bang for buck , or maybe sniff out a deal on the used market , i really just see much advantage to buying anybikes new , like specialized charges 10k for some bikes and they will be sold a few years later for 3k .
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Old 12-09-20, 07:58 PM
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Is this your bike? https://tommasobikes.com/products/monza

Because if it is, that's a heck of a bike.

No joke. Full 4700 Tiagra, Al frame, CF fork, 40-mm deep aero rims with 20 and 24 spokes? That is a whole lot of bike right there.

All I would suggest would be what others have suggested---try some clipless pedals and shoes eventually. They can be pricey and fit is really important,

If I were you I would be proud and excited by my bike, and I would just ride it.

Sure, you can do intervals, hill repeats, whatever .... there are a lot of training techniques. or you can just increase your effort and mileage as you see fit.

if it were my bike I would get a frame pump (mini-frame pump) a seat bag, a multi-tool, a couple spare tubes, a really good set of lights, and a bunch more time to ride.
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Old 12-09-20, 08:13 PM
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Just to reiterate what others have said, keep riding for a while. You'll get more of a sense of what you want from a bike the more you ride, so when you buy a "nicer" bike (that Tommaso seems pretty good, tbh), you'll be able to focus more on what you want. While I just did get a new bike, the best purchase I have made in a very long time is the Favero Assioma power meter pedals. Not cheap, but they have helped change the way I ride even when not doing structured workouts. There are certainly cheaper options available, but one nice thing about power meter pedals is that they are easy to switch if you upgrade bikes (which I just did).
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Old 12-09-20, 09:12 PM
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Iride01 : Thank you. Nothing about the bike is bothering me. I was just not sure if I am missing something I do not know about. As such the bike is good. Thanks you for the answers. As per the guidance from the community I will put buying the new bike on hold for some more time and aim to put some miles using the existing bike and try to get the motor in shape .

mr_pedro Thanks a ton. This is super helpful. Power meters indeed looks like a good investment and very helpful to build a training plan. I will get one.

Toespeas I think I am not there yet to build a bike on my own. Few days back I did change the tube of my bike and I was feeling super proud haha. It will be a while before I get to buying frames and putting together a bike on my own. One day though. Thank you for help

Maelochs Yes that is my bike. I like it as well. I got the tubes, lights and phone holder etc on it. . Thanks for the advise I will aim to put more miles on it.

ericcox Got it, will get pedals. thanks for help.

Thank you everyone, this is such an helpful community. Appreciate all the guidance. Your new fellow cyclist is on his way !
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Old 12-10-20, 03:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Metallifan33 View Post
SPD-SL allow you to put down more power than MTB pedals?
SPD-SL feels like your feet are more one with the bike, everything just feels more solid. This is most noticeable when outputting high power as the forces increase. But if you need to compromise e.g. because you need to walk long distances with bike shoes, SPD system is also ok to use.

My comments are also a bit tongue in cheek, all pro's use SPD-SL type, that should be reason enough to get those.
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Old 12-10-20, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by mr_pedro View Post
My comments are also a bit tongue in cheek, all pro's use SPD-SL type, that should be reason enough to get those.
Most pros use those systems because those are sponsors. And, they sponsor pros because they want you to think you should use what the pros use. I ride Speedplay Zeros as do my ex-local racer friends. Doesn't mean you should. It just means that there are other systems out there that some think work better for them than the typical Shimano or Look. You might want to check them out and see what works for you.
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Old 12-10-20, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by skyrocket View Post
Hello All,


2. Do you have guidance on which one. I have been looking at Cannondale supersix evo or Trek Domane. What is the difference I will feel or should look forward to if I go from Tommaso (it seems this is not even a good brand but I like the bike) to Supersix EVO? I do not know what to expect.


Rgds
Here's some info on Tommaso. IMO it's a good brand.

"

History

Tommaso Bicycles was founded in 1985 as a road bike brand.[1] The direct bicycle importer, TEN SPEED DRIVE of California, commissioned the original Tommaso frames to be built in Italy and then shipped over to the USA unpainted. They used the highest quality lugged Columbus cro-moly steel tubing frames. These raw frames were painted in a two toned paint design and delivered to the bikes shops ready to build. Original color choice was either blue and white fade or pink and white fade.

Since then the brand has expanded to include track bikes, fixed gear bikes, triathlon bikes and cyclocross bikes. Tommaso bicycles had a line of steel road bicycles that expanded to titanium and currently consists of aluminum and carbon road bikes. In 2013 the core of the road line is the six aluminum road bike offerings paired up with six carbon road bikes. Tommaso offers three woman specific models. The Tommaso line-up also includes an aluminum cyclocross bike and two triathlon bikes (one aluminum and one monocoque carbon).

In 2013 the Tommaso brand was sold to an investment group."
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Old 12-10-20, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by mr_pedro View Post
My comments are also a bit tongue in cheek, all pro's use SPD-SL type, that should be reason enough to get those.
Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
Most pros use those systems because those are sponsors. And, they sponsor pros because they want you to think you should use what the pros use. I ride Speedplay Zeros as do my ex-local racer friends. Doesn't mean you should. It just means that there are other systems out there that some think work better for them than the typical Shimano or Look. You might want to check them out and see what works for you.
https://idioms.enacademic.com/35497/tongue-in-cheek
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Old 12-10-20, 03:18 PM
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thanks bruce19 Great. I did not know that. As such I like my bike. I bought it when I had no idea about breaks, shifting, frames nothing. One day woke up, figure I should do some bike haha, did a search on Amazon and Tommaso Monza came up in the first few results. The bike "looked" awesome in pictures and bought it . As such it is a nice bike.
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