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30+ years between road bike purchases, what to get?

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30+ years between road bike purchases, what to get?

Old 09-20-23, 11:17 AM
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30+ years between road bike purchases, what to get?

Looking to replace my 1992 Raleigh Grand Prix that I bought new with something newer.

Likely purchase is the around or under $2000 aluminum frame/carbon fork/Shimano 105/endurance geo bikes such as:
  • Fuji Sportif 1.1 Disc
  • Canyon Endurace 8 Disc
  • Trek Domane AL 5
  • Giant Contend AR 1
Other than the above four, any other models from major lines I should try to test ride/find out more about? Also fine with rim brakes, if slightly older models from the past few years works.

Since I keep bikes a rather long time, the thought of titanium has crossed my mind, but I haven't even begun to look to see what low-end options are out there, outside of:
  • Lightspeed T5, which with 105, comes in at $2600 which doesn't seem bad considering
Any other input for either of the two groups I'm looking at appreciated!

Also need to see any benefits of electric shifting make the price jump worth it, and what the deal is with header routing of cables and wires that seems to be happening. Oh, and it looks like I missed the threadless bottom bracket era, and we are back to threaded bottom brackets?



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Old 09-20-23, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Beanboy
Looking to replace my 1992 Raleigh Grand Prix that I bought new with something newer.

Likely purchase is the around or under $2000 aluminum frame/carbon fork/Shimano 105/endurance geo bikes such as:
  • Fuji Sportif 1.1 Disc
  • Canyon Endurace 8 Disc
  • Trek Domane AL 5
  • Giant Contend AR 1
Other than the above four, any other models from major lines I should try to test ride/find out more about? Also fine with rim brakes, if slightly older models from the past few years works.

Since I keep bikes a rather long time, the thought of titanium has crossed my mind, but I haven't even begun to look to see what low-end options are out there, outside of:
  • Lightspeed T5, which with 105, comes in at $2600 which doesn't seem bad considering
Any other input for either of the two groups I'm looking at appreciated!

Also need to see any benefits of electric shifting make the price jump worth it, and what the deal is with header routing of cables and wires that seems to be happening. Oh, and it looks like I missed the threadless bottom bracket era, and we are back to threaded bottom brackets?

Thumbs up on missing the threadless BB era.

Just came across this video by one of my favorite YouTube guys, a young mechanical engineer/bike racer, on the topic of titanium bikes. (Spoiler: his analyses of the characteristics of titanium bikes have left him a bit dubious about their exalted reputation.)

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Old 09-20-23, 12:12 PM
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Depending on where you live and how yo like to ride (and some other factors)... a 'gravel' design bike might be the most versatile "road and close' oriented design for general riding.
It offers grert road riding, comfortable ergonomics, and the ability to not be put off by any conditions/surfaces short of really technical mtb. Gearing ranges which will cover almost any climb or flat road.
A 'road' bike is very nice - I love my tarmacs; but if I had to settle for ONE bike, it would be my new NINER RLT RDO 2-STAR.
Been riding it exclusively for the past 14 rides, and yes, the slightly heavier wheels with 40mm gravel tires are a bit slower; but if I used another set of wheels - road specific oriented - I don;t think I'd see much difference to a 'road only' type bike.
Gravel bike with a 2nd wheelset road oriented - Do It All.
Not suggesting my Niner (but it's a great bike) , but certainly there are a great selection of bikes in the 'Gravel' grouping, from very race oriented to those very close to MTB bikes.
and having a 2nd wheelset is always a great thing... IMO
The price/performance difference from Road to Gravel is about the same. Go test ride some gravel bikes, and you might like the idea, the bike.
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Old 09-20-23, 01:04 PM
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Depending on what position you like to be in, most any new road bike that is a name brand will be a good choice. Particularly the ones that have a authorized dealer in your area, IMO.

You sound like you are not a youngster anymore. No need to buy a bike to last a lifetime. Just buy a bike to give you a fun time and get another when you've worn the fun out of it.

I went over 40 years without buying a new bike and I really regret it now. It kept me in the dark ages with friction shifting on the downtube and a 14-28 6 speed rear. While all my bikes were fun, my Tarmac I have to say is the most fun bike I've ever ridden. Partly for the light weight and somewhat aero wheels and partly just because it's new.

But also realize when you look for a bike you are also buying a certain riding position. So if you don't want to have a lot of saddle to bar drop that a bike like mine will give you, then don't be looking at bikes with low frame stack. It's not as simple as just raising the bars.

Most of the bikes you list are what I'd say is in the middle of not to aggressive and not too relaxed. So maybe just right. Though if you can afford it without breaking into your future retirement savings, I'd recommend you go for a mid tier bike in the $4000 plus range. Maybe with electronic shifting and/or a PM too if you are going to ride for more than just a leisurely or light recreational purpose.

But if this is just a bike to see if you have the bug for riding and will keep riding in the long run, then a lower tier bike at < $2000 is probably a better choice. You can get a newer and better one later.

Last edited by Iride01; 09-20-23 at 01:08 PM.
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Old 09-20-23, 02:33 PM
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My Lightspeed is an older Ti with CF fork and rides better than any Al road bike I've used, so might be worth the financial stretch. Plus, they just make fine bikes. Guessing in the $2,500 category there are also CF frame options. FWIW I own a mix of every major frame material, just not all in traditional road bikes, Ti and CF are my favorite to spend extended time on.

Good luck, there are sooooo many choices and types now.
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Old 09-20-23, 02:38 PM
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Thanks everyone. I've got a modern mountain bike, a modern commuter bike, as well as an old dedicated winter bike, so this would be solely for road riding. Grand Prix geo was never that racy, so hence the look at endurance road options. Typical use is jumping in on the slower shop rides of 25 miles or so at 18 to 20mph, and will likely get back to weekend 50 to 100 mile group and solo rides, I've only been doing the shop rides as of late however.
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Old 09-20-23, 02:41 PM
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Check Lynskey website. Their base prices may be high but they sometimes have sales.

I can put in a plug for my Habanero, which I got 14 years ago and has 80k miles on it. Check their website too.
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Old 09-20-23, 02:45 PM
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Just an observation, but all of those bikes have R7000 105 (11 speed). Shimano announced R7100 (12 speed) several months ago. 11 vs 12 speed isn't really that big of a deal, but I don't think I'd pay full MSRP for an 11sp bike right now.
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Old 09-20-23, 02:48 PM
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You could also add the Cannondale Synapse 105 to your list. Same price range as the others - alloy frame, 11sp 105. It's a nice bike.
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Old 09-20-23, 05:29 PM
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I’m seeing Cervelo Caledonia 105 on sale for $2500 and less nowadays.
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Old 09-20-23, 07:04 PM
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I am on a third Habanero. First was a road, second a cyclo-cross, and third a road once again. Still have the cyclo-cross and like it best of all, better than the road because it is so stable, but the road is just fun to ride because it is so different and won't rot out on the trainer. They do have a great frame and I recommend them 100%.

Aside from that, the custom steel frame I have had since 2001 still rides fabulously and fits like a dream. Whatever you chose, ride the piss out of it!
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Old 09-20-23, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by force10
I’m seeing Cervelo Caledonia 105 on sale for $2500 and less nowadays.
I"ve had my Caledonia for two years. It's been trouble-free and a joy to ride.
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Old 09-20-23, 09:11 PM
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A couple of buddies have had their TI bikes break at the welds. I'd sure be looking at carbon. I see a '22 Synapse on sale for $2K.
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Old 09-21-23, 02:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Beanboy
Looking to replace my 1992 Raleigh Grand Prix that I bought new with something newer.

Likely purchase is the around or under $2000 aluminum frame/carbon fork/Shimano 105/endurance geo bikes such as:
  • Fuji Sportif 1.1 Disc
  • Canyon Endurace 8 Disc
  • Trek Domane AL 5
  • Giant Contend AR 1
Other than the above four, any other models from major lines I should try to test ride/find out more about? Also fine with rim brakes, if slightly older models from the past few years works.

Since I keep bikes a rather long time, the thought of titanium has crossed my mind, but I haven't even begun to look to see what low-end options are out there, outside of:
  • Lightspeed T5, which with 105, comes in at $2600 which doesn't seem bad considering
Any other input for either of the two groups I'm looking at appreciated!

Also need to see any benefits of electric shifting make the price jump worth it, and what the deal is with header routing of cables and wires that seems to be happening. Oh, and it looks like I missed the threadless bottom bracket era, and we are back to threaded bottom brackets?
I would go all-in with carbon frame and electronic shifting. SRAM Rival eTap is good value on Canyon builds and there are no cables or wires to route. Just a couple of brake hoses that will never need maintenance.

You have waited 30 years for this, so why hold back on some of the best improvements over that period? 105 R7000 is good, but electronic shifting is next level and no cables is a big plus on modern internally routed frames.
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Old 09-21-23, 04:18 AM
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For the 2k range -

My main bike is an Emonda ALR 5. 105 equipped, aluminum frame. carbon fork. $2200 +/-.

I've put about 10k on it so far - the frame and 105 are great. The frame is smooth and stiff at the same time.

The bike weighs 0.2 kg more than its CF Emonda counterpart. For $1100 less.

The wheelset at that price point is the weak spot. I smoked the freehub and rear bearings at about 6k, and they are heavy.

A nice 800-1k wheelset upgrade and you take close to 2#'s off the bike.

And so far, zero issues with the pressfit BB.
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Old 09-21-23, 06:47 AM
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Trek and Giant are good options. They both have a lifetime warranty (for what it's worth), but I prefer Giant. Better bang for the buck.
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Old 09-21-23, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero
I am on a third Habanero. First was a road, second a cyclo-cross, and third a road once again. Still have the cyclo-cross and like it best of all, better than the road because it is so stable, but the road is just fun to ride because it is so different and won't rot out on the trainer. They do have a great frame and I recommend them 100%.

Aside from that, the custom steel frame I have had since 2001 still rides fabulously and fits like a dream. Whatever you chose, ride the piss out of it!
+1 on a TI road bike, I have several and my Habanero frame is built extra strong. A gravel bike would also be a great new addition and Surly offers some nice all-around riders.
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Old 09-21-23, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Beanboy
Looking to replace my 1992 Raleigh Grand Prix that I bought new with something newer.

Likely purchase is the around or under $2000 aluminum frame/carbon fork/Shimano 105/endurance geo bikes such as:
  • Fuji Sportif 1.1 Disc
  • Canyon Endurace 8 Disc
  • Trek Domane AL 5
  • Giant Contend AR 1
Other than the above four, any other models from major lines I should try to test ride/find out more about? Also fine with rim brakes, if slightly older models from the past few years works.

Since I keep bikes a rather long time, the thought of titanium has crossed my mind, but I haven't even begun to look to see what low-end options are out there, outside of:
  • Lightspeed T5, which with 105, comes in at $2600 which doesn't seem bad considering
Any other input for either of the two groups I'm looking at appreciated!

Also need to see any benefits of electric shifting make the price jump worth it, and what the deal is with header routing of cables and wires that seems to be happening. Oh, and it looks like I missed the threadless bottom bracket era, and we are back to threaded bottom brackets?
It's really hard to recommend a bike for another person. All I can do is relate my experience in going from an older bike (not as old as yours) to one of the models that you've listed above and hope that you find the info helpful.

I recently (this past June) replaced a 1995 Cannondale T700 with a 2023 Trek Domane AL 5.

The ride is VERY different (obviously, perhaps). See below (listed in rough order of the magnitude of the difference, with biggest differences listed first): Note that both bikes are set up for commuting, with rear rack and full fenders, lights, etc. One of the reasons I chose the Domane AL5 is that it has full rack and fender braze-ons.

- The most noticeable difference is the balance - the center of gravity on the Trek is much lower than it was on my Cannondale, which makes it feel quicker and livelier, especially out of the saddle. I actually had a bit of trouble controlling the bike during my first couple of out-of-the-saddle efforts, I didn't have to throw the bike side to side as I did with the Cannondale. Not sure if this would apply to your bike, but I think that over the decades this has been a trend, especially with "compact" frames, though I would call the Trek more a sloping top tube bike than a compact - it comes in regular sizes (e.g. 54 cm, 56 cm, etc.) and not S/M/L. Newer bikes seem to be lighter over all, and in general with a lower center of gravity (IME).

- Another noticeable difference is that the top tube length on the new bike seems to fit me much better on the Trek. (There's no way to tell if this would apply to you, but it is next on MY list of differences between my old bike and the new one.) The reach is a bit shorter on the Trek, which has made it easier to stay centered on the saddle - I'm not scootching back nearly as much as I did on my old bike.

- The shifting is also much nicer (quite a bit quicker, less effort). I went from friction bar end shifters to "brifters". Combined with the difference in gearing, this means that I've basically had to re-learn how/when to shift. I shift "later" in my pedal stroke, and I have to shift down more often when going to the big ring and up more often when dropping down to the small ring, I suppose the difference between big/small rings is much greater on the new bike. This should be a big difference going from an old bike like yours to a new model.

- Cornering feels quicker, partly I think due to the difference in center of gravity (as above), but also due to differences in trail/BB height/etc. The tires (32 mm) are Bontrager brand (sorry, I don't know the model), but they're actually quite nice, in my opinion. I like them better than the 35 mm Panaracer Passela tires I last had on my Cannondale. It's hard to tell if this would apply to you, since it isn't really an old bike/new bike difference.

- The bars are wider, which I really like. I have more of a feeling of control and it makes it a bit easier on my neck and shoulders to get down low over the stem. This is something that you should notice, as bars are generally spec'ed significantly wider now than they were BITD.

- Carrying a load (I carry about 25 lb on my rear rack during commutes) is fine, actually (IMO) a bit better on the Trek than the Cannondale. This is perhaps because the Cannondale was designed to carry a load on both front and rear (touring frame), and I only loaded on the rear, which made the front end feel a little light. Probably this is not applicable to your situation.

- The bike is more "solid" feeling. It is newer, so everything is nice and tight and with no slop due to wear over time. You would probably notice this no matter what bike you got, but the Trek seems well made, and (equally, if not more, important) it was set up well by the shop.

- Possibly relevant: the wheels are "tubeless-ready". I don't have any need for tubeless, but when I replaced a wheel on my old Cannondale with a "tubeless-ready" wheel, I found that mounting the tire is a different experience. It is harder to get the tire bead to seat evenly (at least for the Passela tires I was using). Having no prior experience with this type of rim, when I mounted the tires I noticed that the bead was not seated evenly around the rim (something I'd never had trouble with before, in 50 years of changing/mounting bike tires), and I didn't know WTF I had messed up. I took them off and put them back on a couple of times. I eventually found that it is really important to get the first bead into the channel in the center of the rim, and then when the 2nd bead is mounted to also get that into the channel (massaging with hands/palms may be necessary). Then, when you air up the tire, you'll hear the bead "pop" into place. With older rims I would just put the first bead on, then put the 2nd bead on (being careful not to pinch the tube), check to be sure the tube wasn't pinched, air up and go. No "popping" the bead into place necessary. Anyway, you might want to keep this in mind with any new bike, they seem to come with tubeless-ready rims by default nowadays, and you may find that mounting a tire is a bit different.

Overall: I really like my new bike, and I don't miss my old one at all (it still lives in the basement as a back-up/emergency bike) except for sentimental feelings for a bike I rode for 10's of thousands of miles.

Last edited by noimagination; 09-22-23 at 08:11 AM.
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Old 09-21-23, 11:36 AM
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Here's the current bike BTW, still with the cadence sensor zip tied to crank arm. I've lost track the number of cassettes and chains I've worn out.
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Old 09-21-23, 12:41 PM
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It's the new bike we want to see! Though if you aren't finding anything about your rides that you want to change, then maybe that bike is good enough. If you ride rolling terrain, you'll be able to do it longer on a new bike that is probably going to be more than 10 pounds lighter.

The Grand Prix's were what I consider Raleigh's look's like a race bike line and weighs in around 27 pounds by the catalog. They were heavier than other models that were made to be lightweight road bikes. Though my 1978 Raleigh Competition G.S. was still 23 pounds. Better wheels and more expensive new Shimano Ultegra group and I might have gotten it to 20 lbs or a tad under. At just 17.5 pounds, I'm very happy with my current Specialized Tarmac. Many hills I no longer notice.
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Old 09-21-23, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
I would go all-in with carbon frame and electronic shifting. SRAM Rival eTap is good value on Canyon builds and there are no cables or wires to route. Just a couple of brake hoses that will never need maintenance.

You have waited 30 years for this, so why hold back on some of the best improvements over that period? 105 R7000 is good, but electronic shifting is next level and no cables is a big plus on modern internally routed frames.
Yep. You can get a carbon fiber Canyon Endurace with 12sp SRAM Rival AXS for $3k, or 12sp 105 Di2 for $2700.

These are both above the OP's stated budget, and not the preferred frame material, but I'd definitely be getting one of those instead.
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Old 09-21-23, 03:24 PM
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My current favorite bike is a 1995 Litespeed Ultimate with a Time carbon fork and R8000 Ultegra kit. I don't know if Titanium is "magical". I just know that, out of 9 bikes that I have to choose from, the first one I'd grab would be the Litespeed. Between the frame and fork, the groupset, and the other ancillary bits to make it into a bike, it was probably just about within your price range.

Note - bought the frame and fork as a complete bike, possibly for cheaper than if I'd just bought the frame, because the other components were all worn out and the whole thing looked like crap. But under all that, the frame and fork were in great condition.
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Old 09-22-23, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01
If you ride rolling terrain, you'll be able to do it longer on a new bike that is probably going to be more than 10 pounds lighter.
Um.

My new 2023 bike is 2 lb lighter than my 1995 bike (fully equipped - pedals, saddle, bottle cages, saddle bag, rack, fenders, etc.). This is pretty significant as far as bike weights go, but it isn't 10 lb. If you go full-on weight weenie, you may see a 10lb difference, but I wouldn't count on that big a difference for a bike in the $2,500 range.
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Old 09-22-23, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by noimagination
Um.

My new 2023 bike is 2 lb lighter than my 1995 bike (fully equipped - pedals, saddle, bottle cages, saddle bag, rack, fenders, etc.). This is pretty significant as far as bike weights go, but it isn't 10 lb. If you go full-on weight weenie, you may see a 10lb difference, but I wouldn't count on that big a difference for a bike in the $2,500 range.
It's not my fault you bought a heavier bike. There are lighter ones around if you'd only cared to look.

Certainly a road bike can be found that is 7-8 lbs lighter than the 27 pound bike of the OP for $2500. All you have to do when shopping is have them weigh it. Most every shop I've been to has a scale to demonstrate the weight for you. Eliminate those that are above whatever weight criteria you make for yourself.

My new bike is 5 pounds lighter than my previous 22 pound bike. After I got it and was riding familiar routes, I'd sometimes have to think and wonder where those hills were that use to give me trouble on the old bike. Usually I'd just climbed them 30 seconds prior to that.

Weight savings and more aero is cummulative for the entire ride. So even a little bit adds up on longer rides to let you go farther and be faster at the end.

Last edited by Iride01; 09-22-23 at 08:31 AM.
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Old 09-22-23, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01
It's not my fault you bought a heavier bike. There are lighter ones around if you'd only cared to look.

Certainly a road bike can be found that is 7-8 lbs lighter than the 27 pound bike of the OP for $2500. All you have to do when shopping is have them weigh it. Most every shop I've been to has a scale to demonstrate the weight for you. Eliminate those that are above whatever weight criteria you make for yourself.

My new bike is 5 pounds lighter than my previous 22 pound bike. After I got it and was riding familiar routes, I'd sometimes have to think and wonder where those hills were that use to give me trouble on the old bike. Usually I'd just climbed them 30 seconds prior to that.

Weight savings and more aero is cummulative for the entire ride. So even a little bit adds up on longer rides to let you go farther and be faster at the end.
The bike I bought was one of the ones the OP specifically listed in his post. The price range he set in his original post was around $2,000.

I'm not denying that he could find a bike 10 lb lighter than his current bike. I'm answering his specific post with facts. Yes, if he considers bikes other than the ones he listed, and is OK with spending significantly more, then of course he can find a much, much lighter bike.

You said "...you'll be able to do it longer on a new bike that is probably going to be more than 10 pounds lighter," without any qualifying statements, implying that a bike meeting his original criteria (the models listed, the price point) would be "more than 10 lb lighter." I'm just cautioning him that he is not likely to find a bike meeting the criteria he set in his original post that is 10 lb lighter than his current bike.
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