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Need First "Nice" Bike Advice - $2K for Used "highend" or New "Entry"

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Need First "Nice" Bike Advice - $2K for Used "highend" or New "Entry"

Old 02-19-24, 12:43 AM
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Need First "Nice" Bike Advice - $2K for Used "highend" or New "Entry"

hi All,
Been riding bike my whole life, but now I am in the market for a "nice" bike, something like Cannondale Synapse 105 or Trek Domane AL4/5.

However, one of my buddy highly recommend me a $2.5k used 2013 Trek Domane 6.2 Project One Road Bike - 56cm with Dura Ace Di2 and Aeolus 5 carbon wheels.

I am 240lbs at 6'2", and I don't think I'll ever get anywhere close to 200lbs, so the extra weight saving on frame and cockpit seems trivial to me, but I do see the benefit of having lighter wheels.
EDIT: I have short inseam at 33 inches

I am leaning towards to getting entry level aluminum bike with Tiagra/105 for $1.6k to $2.0k USD, and just upgrade wheels later, because I really don't want to deal with the risk of buying a used carbon frame and expensive/hard to find replacement parts. Also, since I am so heavy already, I think getting into better shape would be much helpful in terms of getting faster, and worry about lighter bike/components later on.

Like every hobby, there are always entry level stuff worth starting from, and entry level stuff that's complete waste of money. In the cycling world, is a aluminum bike with Tiagra/105 something worth spending on?

if you started on something like that, please share your experience in terms of riding solo or in group, and how many miles you put on your "entry" level bike before upgrading. Thank you all so much in advance!

Last edited by tai1fob; 02-22-24 at 02:49 AM.
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Old 02-19-24, 03:39 AM
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I took an aluminium cyclocross bike out the last couple of weekends (normally use one of two carbon bikes but they were both “up on bricks” as we say over here)

It rode absolutely fine including hills and went up them quicker than my mate on his carbon road bike. I actually completely forgot I was riding a different material. 30mm road tyres helped with the comfort. I’m about 30kilos lighter than you (for now - that 200lbs is definitely possible) and the same height and agree a lighter frame won’t make much difference. I’m not sure if the carbon Domane is certified for over 100kg

upgrading wheels later is always doable and worthwhile. Tiagra is ok. 105 is better enough to aim for. Bike I was using had 105.

Would be a shame to miss out on the Di2 gears but they improved those quite a bit in the latest gen and that used bike probably has the older type.

Also a 56cm bike is too small for you,
you need a 58.

edit: haha just remembered the weekend before, I was leading out 4 of my friends on that bike for about 2 miles, chasing down 5 others as our group had got split just as we got to the last road home. Great fun, and we caught them.

Oh also, I have Aeolus 5 wheels on one of those other bikes I mentioned. They’re ok and look nice enough but nothing special.

Last edited by choddo; 02-19-24 at 04:23 AM.
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Old 02-19-24, 04:22 AM
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Yep, a 56CM Trek is going to be too small. I’m just at 6’ and ride a 58CM Trek, but 55-56 in other brands…

”entry level” bike…

Personally I ride a Trek Emonda ALR5. Aluminum frame with 105.

$2200 new.

I don’t call it entry level. I call it a damm good bike. It rides well, it handles well, the groupset is bullet proof.

It just turned 10k miles, and I have no burning need for an upgrade.

The only upgrade I made to the bike was the wheels. Picked up a decent set of mid range CF wheels - worth every penny.

At your weight/size, a bike like that is bombproof.
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Old 02-19-24, 05:55 AM
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I'm 6'2'' too and I'm always juggling between 56cm and 58cm. Depending on how long your legs are (inseam), you may or may not fit on a 56cm. My current main bike is a 58cm but with 56cm sized components (narrower bars, shorter stems, shorter crankset). My 2nd bike is a 56cm with a similar fit. It varies from a brand to another. Check the geometries and go sit on one before buying.

I would personally get a brand new bike with 105 at this price tag instead of a 10 year old one. As you wrote, you can always upgrade later one. The only thing that may suck though is the aluminum frame, but it doesn't seem to bother you. Going for the recent bike is the obvious choice here IMO.
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Old 02-19-24, 06:06 AM
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Originally Posted by tai1fob
hi All,
Been riding bike my whole life, but now I am in the market for a "nice" bike, something like Cannondale Synapse 105 or Trek Domane AL4/5.

However, one of my buddy highly recommend me a $2.5k used 2013 Trek Domane 6.2 Project One Road Bike - 56cm with Dura Ace Di2 and Aeolus 5 carbon wheels.

I am 240lbs at 6'2", and I don't think I'll ever get anywhere close to 200lbs, so the extra weight saving on frame and cockpit seems trivial to me, but I do see the benefit of having lighter wheels.

I am leaning towards to getting entry level aluminum bike with Tiagra/105 for $1.6k to $2.0k USD, and just upgrade wheels later, because I really don't want to deal with the risk of buying a used carbon frame and expensive/hard to find replacement parts. Also, since I am so heavy already, I think getting into better shape would be much helpful in terms of getting faster, and worry about lighter bike/components later on.

Like every hobby, there are always entry level stuff worth starting from, and entry level stuff that's complete waste of money. In the cycling world, is a aluminum bike with Tiagra/105 something worth spending on?

if you started on something like that, please share your experience in terms of riding solo or in group, and how many miles you put on your "entry" level bike before upgrading. Thank you all so much in advance!
I would choose the new bike, especially at your weight. You will benefit a lot more from the wider, low pressure tyres than you will from a lighter bike. Plus there will be no wear and tear on the components. It will also have a wider range of gears than DuraAce of that era, which will make climbing easier, despite the weight.

Bike weight and especially wheel weight is over-rated in terms of performance unless you are racing competitively in the mountains. What will matter much more for you is ride quality, fit and gearing. All of which are likely to be better on a new bike properly sized and fitted.
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Old 02-19-24, 06:37 AM
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Originally Posted by eduskator
I'm 6'2'' too and I'm always juggling between 56cm and 58cm. Depending on how long your legs are (inseam), you may or may not fit on a 56cm. My current main bike is a 58cm but with 56cm sized components (narrower bars, shorter stems, shorter crankset). My 2nd bike is a 56cm with a similar fit. It varies from a brand to another. Check the geometries and go sit on one before buying.

I would personally get a brand new bike with 105 at this price tag instead of a 10 year old one. As you wrote, you can always upgrade later one. The only thing that may suck though is the aluminum frame, but it doesn't seem to bother you. Going for the recent bike is the obvious choice here IMO.
Size bike and the position you are comfortable in both play a role. Looking the pictures of your bike - your seat height to bar height ratio is way more than I can deal with, even when I'm fit. When I was heavier, no way... So at 6', a 58CM Trek fits perfectly... everyone varies greatly... so do the standard sizes from brand to brand.

And not to start a big this vs that debate - but some modern aluminum frames don't suck. I have CF frames that suck worse!!
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Old 02-19-24, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Jughed
Size bike and the position you are comfortable in both play a role. Looking the pictures of your bike - your seat height to bar height ratio is way more than I can deal with, even when I'm fit. When I was heavier, no way... So at 6', a 58CM Trek fits perfectly... everyone varies greatly... so do the standard sizes from brand to brand.

And not to start a big this vs that debate - but some modern aluminum frames don't suck. I have CF frames that suck worse!!
That's because I slam my stem down to the ground. I'm flexible enough and it looks better (not sure which of the two is more important to me though!). I wasn't able to remove all spacers on my previous bike's stem. It was a 56cm.

Some bikes (TCR for instance) have shorter seat tube lengths and angled top tubes, which results into more seat post sticking out.

Last edited by eduskator; 02-19-24 at 07:08 AM.
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Old 02-19-24, 08:15 AM
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I think your instinct is right, but your buddy is wrong.

With the new bike, you get what you want, when you want it, in the exact size you want it. Solid metal. Warranty. Hundreds less. Better parts availability. Upgrade possibilities.

Old used carbon fiber bikes scare you and me.

The other part of your question is more of a personal choice. Some people enjoy having a nicer bike than they will ever need and find a fancy bike motivating. Others get more satisfaction out of wearing through the bike they currently have and looking forward to working their way up to a better one.
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Old 02-19-24, 08:46 AM
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Old 02-20-24, 08:56 AM
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So much to see in this picture!

I truly appreciate that you have an older bike and a Corvette. Which is more comfortable?

And parked in front of a Pizza Hut. I have stopped at a PH in the middle of a century ride. It seemed like a really good idea....at the time.
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Old 02-20-24, 09:00 AM
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In ‘20, I bought a brand new Cannondale Synapse 105 for $1800 and it was a great bike. I had a set of lightweight Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheels from the bike the Synapse replaced and mounted them to replace the stock wheels within 2 weeks of buying the bike. Really wanting to try Di2, about 2 months after buying the Synapse, I bought an Ultegra Di2 groupset and had it installed to replace the 105 components. That made it an even better bike.

I eventually sold that bike in ‘22 but reinstalled the stock wheelset and 105 groupset so that the new owner ended up with a bike whose stock components were virtually brand new. The Ultegra Di2 system is now installed on my current bike….and the Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheels with new tires are sitting in my basement and I will sell them to anyone that’s interested.

The bottom line to all this is that I suggest that you buy a new bike. A Synapse with 105 components, which are quite good, for $2K or less is a great choice. Ride the bike as is for a while and then add upgraded components that you want, rather than buying a used bike with components that someone else wanted.
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Old 02-21-24, 07:35 AM
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I'm 6' and ride a 56cm, so that bike is clearly too small for you.

Second hand is always better bang for the buck unless you emotionally care about having a new bike. I'd look for one in the right size. Consider a gravel bike so you can run a wider tire for your weight.
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Old 02-21-24, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Yan
I'm 6' and ride a 56cm, so that bike is 1) clearly too small for you.

Second hand is 2) always better bang for the buck unless you emotionally care about having a new bike. I'd look for one in the right size. Consider a gravel bike so you can run a wider tire for your weight.
1) Bike size does not only depend on height.
2) Not when it's 10 years old.
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Old 02-21-24, 09:09 AM
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Consider a road-leaning Gravel Bike...

The ability to run supple slick tires in the 38-42mm range is a game changer, especially for those of us with total weight (rider+gear+bike) over 100kg / 220 kg.

Personally after experiencing this on my Jamis Renegade (awesome bike) I will never buy another bike for any riding style that cannot easily take a 38mm tire with room to spare. Period.

Usually in order to handle such tires the chainstay length and shape near the cranks needs to expand; often thjs triggers a flip to gravel groupset like GRX600 (roughly same quality as 105 and also very good, no compromise at all).

Roadish-gravel bike geometries still do tend to be a little less zippy handling and be less aero vs pure road bikes. As a generalization, they are more tuned for long rides and all day comfort regardless of type of road ridden. But each brand has a different offer along this road vs gravel continuum so you can find your ideal balance. shopping around, nerding out on geo tables, and test riding pays off here.
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Old 02-21-24, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by eduskator
1) Bike size does not only depend on height.
2) Not when it's 10 years old.
1) 2 inches is quite a bit taller. It's possible that his could fit the same frame size as me. But I'm average proportioned, so he'd have to be a stubby torso spider leg freak of nature to be riding the same reach as me. They exist I'm sure... out there...

2) Every vintage of bike has its own acceptable price point. Any old bike can be an exceptional deal as long as it is cheap enough. Not mention 2014 was a peak era for exceptional bike frames.
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Old 02-21-24, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Yan
1) 2 inches is quite a bit taller. It's possible that his could fit the same frame size as me. But I'm average proportioned, so he'd have to be a stubby torso spider leg freak of nature to be riding the same reach as me. They exist I'm sure... out there...

2) Every vintage of bike has its own acceptable price point. Any old bike can be an exceptional deal as long as it is cheap enough. Not mention 2014 was a peak era for exceptional bike frames.
I completely agree. I am his height, average proportions and was borderline 58/60cm (or do they jump to 61?) for my 2 Trek bikes. It’s possible the OP could fit a 56 maybe but I’d be surprised and with the other issues like first gen Di2 etc…
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Old 02-21-24, 12:19 PM
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I'd suggest deciding what you want in a bike, then base your selection on that. A well-kept 10 year old bike could be a great bargain, IF it has what you want. If you want electronic shifting, disc brakes, and the ability to run wider tires, then maybe that's not such a bargain FOR YOU. But a 4 year old bike might be. There are lots of lightly used bikes out there of all ages. Lots of folks buy nice bikes and then don't ride as much as they expected to - I imagine even more since the Pandemic! Hell, I have found 40 year old bikes that had the original tires, and had spent their entire existence garaged!
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Old 02-21-24, 11:33 PM
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I like new stuff. Other people really enjoy getting a good deal on used things. Neither approach is absolutely right or wrong. Regardless, as genejockey said, figure out what you want, then look what's available new or used. Certainly a bike with Shimnao 105 is going to work very well. Going higher saves some weight but I don't think performs better. And I agree with the fact that at the OP's weight, saving a few pounds on the bike won't matter. Though lighter bikes will feel different, even if it isn't really going to make it easier to climb a hill.

I also agree with looking at a gravel bike for road use. You get more useful gearing for a new and heavier rider. You get the option for actually riding "gravel" and you can always get a set of dedicated road wheels for it if you want.
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Old 02-22-24, 02:23 AM
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tai1fob - that’s a lot of info now, does that help at all?
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Old 02-22-24, 02:43 AM
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Originally Posted by choddo
tai1fob - that’s a lot of info now, does that help at all?
yep! Sorry I’ve been MIA for few days after posting my original question, I think I got the answer I was looking for. Time to go sit on a Trek Domane or Cannondale Synapse
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Old 02-22-24, 02:48 AM
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Originally Posted by choddo
I completely agree. I am his height, average proportions and was borderline 58/60cm (or do they jump to 61?) for my 2 Trek bikes. It’s possible the OP could fit a 56 maybe but I’d be surprised and with the other issues like first gen Di2 etc…
so I have very short legs at 33 inches inseam, should I got with larger size (58) with longer reach, or go by the stand over height (56) where my junk ain’t touching the bar?
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Old 02-22-24, 02:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Jughed
Yep, a 56CM Trek is going to be too small. I’m just at 6’ and ride a 58CM Trek, but 55-56 in other brands…

”entry level” bike…

Personally I ride a Trek Emonda ALR5. Aluminum frame with 105.

$2200 new.

I don’t call it entry level. I call it a damm good bike. It rides well, it handles well, the groupset is bullet proof.

It just turned 10k miles, and I have no burning need for an upgrade.

The only upgrade I made to the bike was the wheels. Picked up a decent set of mid range CF wheels - worth every penny.

At your weight/size, a bike like that is bombproof.
For the bike you have, what does the factory chart put you at? Same size as what you got?

also, what’s your build like?
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Old 02-22-24, 02:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Jughed
Yep, a 56CM Trek is going to be too small. I’m just at 6’ and ride a 58CM Trek, but 55-56 in other brands…

”entry level” bike…

Personally I ride a Trek Emonda ALR5. Aluminum frame with 105.

$2200 new.

I don’t call it entry level. I call it a damm good bike. It rides well, it handles well, the groupset is bullet proof.

It just turned 10k miles, and I have no burning need for an upgrade.

The only upgrade I made to the bike was the wheels. Picked up a decent set of mid range CF wheels - worth every penny.

At your weight/size, a bike like that is bombproof.
haha, the only bikes I’ve owned so far are sears, target, and police auction abondoned bikes, and I was originally planning to spend 700 on a “nice/real” bike, but the budget just kept creeping up the more I look into it.

At 2k, it is definitely going to be one of the nicest thing I have.
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Old 02-22-24, 03:30 AM
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Originally Posted by tai1fob
For the bike you have, what does the factory chart put you at? Same size as what you got?

also, what’s your build like?
5’11 32” inseam. Longer torso.

For Trek road bikes that’s a 58CM, possible 56CM.

My Lemond is a 55, old Cannondale was a 54(Pro fit)

All have similar seat tubes, but different stack/reach. Trek is the least aggressive, has a higher front end - and in my older years, it’s just more comfortable.

This is why buying used based off a size can be a crapshoot - all the brands are different.
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Old 02-22-24, 03:57 AM
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Originally Posted by tai1fob
so I have very short legs at 33 inches inseam, should I got with larger size (58) with longer reach, or go by the stand over height (56) where my junk ain’t touching the bar?
Your “junk” should easily clear a modern 58cm frame too. At 6’2” I doubt a 56cm would be a good fit. Your legs may be short relative to your height, but they are not that short. I’m a fraction over 6’ and also have a trouser inseam of 33” and long arms. All my road bikes are 58cm.
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