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Trying to learn to compare bikes...Trek ZR9000 2100 vs Bianchi San Mateo

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Trying to learn to compare bikes...Trek ZR9000 2100 vs Bianchi San Mateo

Old 01-07-06, 12:32 PM
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donrhummy
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I know that riding the bike and the feel is a big factor in judging a bike, but there are some prior ways to compare bikes before riding them as well (based on frame/wheel/groupy quality, dependability, performance, weight...). I was wondering if you guys could help me learn by using these two example bikes:

1. Trek ZR9000 2100 (MSRP $1470)
http://www2.trekbikes.com/bikes/bike...id=1444000&f=3

2. Bianchi San Mateo (MSRP $1700)
http://www.bianchiusa.com/06_san_mateo.html

Thanks!
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Old 01-07-06, 01:18 PM
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How to decide and compare... oh boy, we need a sticky... how many times this questions gets asked!

Frame - Material (Steel, Al, Scandium, CF, TI, etc)
Composistion of frame material (rynalds version, TI version, CF version, i.e. CF55, 110, etc)
Component manufacturer (shimano, campagnolo)
Rank of group (i.e. record vs chorus vs centaur or Dura ace vs ultegra vs 105)
Wheel set (weight, strength, aerodynamics)
Frame aerodynamics

ETC...

There will ALWAYS be debates of if X component group is better than Y component group, etc. Same with wheelsets. Best thing to do is to make a short list of bikes you like then RIDE them and pick the one that fits best.

As to is record better than dura ace, mavic or shimano wheelsets, Ti better than steel, Steel tubesets, etc I would search or do some research...

Good Luck
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Old 01-07-06, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by my58vw
How to decide and compare... oh boy, we need a sticky... how many times this questions gets asked!

Frame - Material (Steel, Al, Scandium, CF, TI, etc)
Composistion of frame material (rynalds version, TI version, CF version, i.e. CF55, 110, etc)
Component manufacturer (shimano, campagnolo)
Rank of group (i.e. record vs chorus vs centaur or Dura ace vs ultegra vs 105)
Wheel set (weight, strength, aerodynamics)
Frame aerodynamics

ETC...

There will ALWAYS be debates of if X component group is better than Y component group, etc. Same with wheelsets. Best thing to do is to make a short list of bikes you like then RIDE them and pick the one that fits best.

As to is record better than dura ace, mavic or shimano wheelsets, Ti better than steel, Steel tubesets, etc I would search or do some research...

Good Luck
I think you're missing my point. For example you bring up steel versus Titanium. While I KNOW that you might LIKE one over the other, that's not what I'm asking. I'm asking: how do titanium and steel differ? Is one lighter? Is one more flexible? More durable? Affect acceleration? Absorb impact better? These are questions that can be answered without resorting to a "better than" debate.

I hope this clarifies what I meant.
Thanks!
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Old 01-07-06, 03:37 PM
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Both of these bikes look pretty good to me, though I won't be trading in the Orbea for one of them. :-)

Ride them both; whichever feels/fits better, buy it. Don't worry about Veloce vs. Ultegra, etc.

Frame materials all feel a bit different but then what wheelset they are paired with makes an even bigger difference. A steel frame/steel fork will feel different than an aluminum frame/carbon fork but there's no "better", just different. Some people swear by titanium, some by carbon, etc. What you like is what matters to you.

An aluminum frame is probably your best best for stiffness/acceleration/lightness per buck. Throw in a carbon fork and maybe carbon seatstays for some vibration dampening and you end up with the Trek or the Bianchi or the Orbea I ride. Get a good set of wheels( no says Mavics are crap) and you're good to go.

Maybe save some more money and grab a carbon framed bike. But then you must decide how "stiff" of a frame to get. Orbea has three different frames with three different mixes of carbon fiber; the Opal is the stiffest.

For most regular folks that wear tennis shoes or the occasional python boots, a frame like the Opal is too stiff.

Titanium and steel frame bikes are supposedly less bone-jarring than aluminum. "Flexible" is often thrown about when describing titanium frames; they aren't really, they just absorb road vibrations better.

Comparative info. on Reynolds tubing can be found here. Note that none of these numbers will tell you what a bike feels like; for that you need to ride them.

The Bianchi uses 7000 series aluminum, same as my Orbea. The Trek uses an aluminum alloy with zirconium in it. Definitely feels lighter to me.
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Old 01-07-06, 10:50 PM
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any other thoughts or comments?

Last edited by donrhummy; 01-08-06 at 05:19 PM.
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Old 01-10-06, 11:12 PM
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I think I didn't describe what I'm looking for well enough.

I'm looking for answers to questions like:

- if Bike A has a threadless stem and bike B has a pinch-bolt or adjustable stem, which is more likely to break/have problems? Is one more absorbant of shock? Does one offer advantages over the other? etc.

I know there are ways these bikes can be compared based on with what parts/how they were put together.

Thanks!
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Old 01-10-06, 11:34 PM
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OK, here's one difference I found:

The trek uses Shimano shifters. The shimano shifters are indexed shifters for both front and back derailers. (Indexed shifting means it'll click into place for each gear. Non-indexed means you have to push the shifter into the right spot. Sort of the same as the difference between playing a note on a guitar - would be indexed - and a violin - would be non-indexed). That's a plus.

However, because both front and rear are indexed, you cannot upgrade from a 8 speed to 9 speed without changing the shifters and the gears both. Makes upgrades/rebuilding more expensive/complex.

Also, this Shimano enables shifting by simply pushing the brake handle to the side.

The Bianchi uses Campagnolo, so the front shifter is not indexed. This makes upgrading simpler/less-expensive, but means you're shifting the front just like you did that old 1980's 10-speed.

Also, the Campagnolo shifting is accomplished by pushing a button/lever located behind the brak handle, to the side.
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Old 01-10-06, 11:56 PM
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Also shimano's bearings (on the 105) are cup-and-cone, so they're not quite as modular as the cartridge bearings used by campagnolo (but easier to adjust/fine-tune on the bottom bracket).

Does anyone know if one or the other is more durable? Or has other advantages?
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Old 01-11-06, 12:01 AM
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Ignor labels. Ride, ride, ride! Don't buy until you've ridden 15 (No kidding! IMO this is a minimum for a new buyer) in your size and price range + you've found one that sings.

One side effect is that you'll learn most of the in's and out's of the products in the process.
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Old 01-11-06, 12:16 AM
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Originally Posted by theshoemaker
Ignor labels.
I don't mean this in a bad way but, you're obviously not reading what I'm writing. I'm not conerned with labels at all. All I care about are actual comparisons of the functions and capabilities of the bikes and their parts. Read my description of the differences between the shifters of the two bikes. Nowhere does the label come into play with respect to any judgements. I simply state how each works and is constructed and what that means for the cyclist.
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Old 01-11-06, 12:28 AM
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Originally Posted by donrhummy
I don't mean this in a bad way but, you're obviously not reading what I'm writing. I'm not conerned with labels at all. All I care about are actual comparisons of the functions and capabilities of the bikes and their parts. Read my description of the differences between the shifters of the two bikes. Nowhere does the label come into play with respect to any judgements. I simply state how each works and is constructed and what that means for the cyclist.
I read you loud and clear! Sorry my answer doesn't suit you exactly.
I'm just encouraging you to ride and learn the answers through experience. I am VERY glad I did. But if you want search the forum and you'll find everything you want.
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Old 01-11-06, 12:43 AM
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Within a certain frame (i.e. aluminium) it is very hard to know from company labels what you are really getting in a frame for example. Treks frame used dopped zirconium (ZR9000) while bianchi uses their EV3 Evolution tubeset which unfortunitly not alot of information was avalable when I searched. It seems that their oversized downtube adds a bit to the stiffness (both tortional and lateral) to the frame. It is really a toss up when it comes to which one is better, it is more subjective on the rider anyway.

The wheels are another issue entirely. We could go on a big debate over whether a twin spoked low count wheel is better than the G3 campy wheel, I have riden both and actually like the vento's just a little more (mind it was the heavier model last year). I don't understand the real reason for the G3 spoke pattern though.

My advice is the big factors surounding these bikes is not the frame or even the wheels, but the group set... and it comes down to liking campy or shimano, simple as that. BTW, the campy bike should be a hair lighter if that is important.
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Old 01-11-06, 03:01 AM
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theshoemaker has it right. Get out and ride them, put them through the paces and let the bikes decide. All components are of good quality and that leave only feel. If that doesn't work flip a coin.
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Old 01-11-06, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by donrhummy
The Bianchi uses Campagnolo, so the front shifter is not indexed. This makes upgrading simpler/less-expensive, but means you're shifting the front just like you did that old 1980's 10-speed.

Also, the Campagnolo shifting is accomplished by pushing a button/lever located behind the brak handle, to the side.
The Campagnolo front shifter is indexed. In fact there are significantly more trim detents on the Campagnolo than on the Simano. They are also rebuildable, unlike the Shimanos. The merits of each system can, and have been, deabted ad nauseum on this forum and on others. I certainly wouldn't be tremendously concerned with the bearings. Both BB's will be cartridge bearings. If you had Shimano hubs, they would be cup and cone.

It seems that you are getting some bad information based on these two statements. My advice to you is the same as the others-search the formus and ride each bike, and any others available in your price range. Your enjoyment of the bike won't be derived from knowing that you have loose ball bearings vs. cartridge or some other similar minutia (sp?), but rather from the ride quality of the bike and its fit.

Edited for slightly sexier grammar. Slightly.
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Old 01-11-06, 09:09 AM
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Donrhummy, we aren't trying to put you off, it's just that you are getting into the really picky details of bike component construction and these are things only top racers need be concerned with. Campy vs. Shimano is a time-honored, beaten-to-death debate and it really boils down to personal preference.

I'd ride lots of bikes, buy the one that fits you best and you feel most comfortable on. Ride it until things need replacing then worry about cartridge vs. needle bearings, Ultegra vs. Centaur, carbon bottle cage vs. aluminum, etc.


Get out there and ride!
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Old 01-11-06, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by bbattle
Donrhummy, we aren't trying to put you off, it's just that you are getting into the really picky details of bike component construction and these are things only top racers need be concerned with.
bbattle,

Thanks for the note - I think I finally understand why everyone didn't want to answer those things. Makes sense, it's just that for me this is a HUGE investment (my first "real" good road bike in 17 years), so I just want to make sure I'm making the best choice in every way, not just how it feels to me.
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