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Women's Models (low end) Dolce v. 1500

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Women's Models (low end) Dolce v. 1500

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Old 01-11-06, 09:42 PM
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Jutlin
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I've been shopping with my girlfriend for a women's specific bike recently. She has a trek 1000 but hardly ever is in the drops because of the brakes and the shifters and complains about her lower back a lot. Anyhow, we wanted to test out the dolce elite and compare it with the Trek 1500. the store we visited only had a Ruby in her size, which, of course, she loved.

Any female riders here confront this decision before or compare these two bikes? we like to ride at max about 40 miles together, and we do also do biathlons and other races together, but, at best, cat 5 stuff.

advice would be appreciated.

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Old 01-11-06, 10:00 PM
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Not trying to totally dissuade her from getting a new bike but has she tried doing some stem swaps to see if that will improve the fit? Admittedly that won't solve the shifting from the drops problem. I'm assuming that's due to the Sora thumbshifters' reach problem. I would suggest that she test ride both bikes. They differ in geometry. How does she like the handling of her current bike?
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Old 01-11-06, 10:14 PM
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Well two reasons why it she will get a new bike, really. first, she has a buyer for her old bike, which is a good friend (who really does mtb'ing so he's cool with hers for biathlons and training). and also, she's got that new bike bug, she tried that ruby and she said: "it was like i was riding on air..... it was soooo cool." so, i think she's done with the 1000 hehe.

but yeah, the thumb shifter thing was an issue, and definitely she needs a new stem, but, if the bike sells for 350 now, the expense may be near the total cost of the bike to get it to fit comfortably.
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Old 01-11-06, 10:57 PM
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Well what's wrong with the Ruby?

Is it too expensive or don't you believe that its suitable for racing?

Bikes like the Ruby are more like the stage bikes of old and are just as quick as anything else out there.

My view is that the best bike for anyone is the bike that fits the best. I'm big on acheiveing proportional fit starting with the cranks. See http://www.cranklength.info for an interesting read and Sheldon, http://sheldonbrown.com/frames/index.html has a good article on fit.

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Old 01-12-06, 12:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Jutlin
Any female riders here confront this decision before or compare these two bikes? we like to ride at max about 40 miles together, and we do also do biathlons and other races together, but, at best, cat 5 stuff.

advice would be appreciated.

Jut
Just last weekend my wife test rode a Dolce Elite, and liked it very, very much. Until the LBS owner dragged out a leftover 2005 Trek WSD Pilot 5.0 for $300 more. She liked that better, so she bought it instead.

But the Dolce was a done-deal until she took the carbon frame for a spin. FWIW, she had complained of lower back pain too, and the WSD seems to alleviate that with a shorter top tube. The Dolce is a sweet bike for women, and we almost bought one.
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Old 01-12-06, 12:55 AM
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I'm in the midst of this process too. The Bianchi Eros Donna is really nice, and it has Campy shifters which are much easier for smaller hands to manipulate than Shimano shifters. I am also looking at some local bike builders, like Rodriguez (here in Seattle). The short top tube thing really matters, I find---I wanted to get a Specialized Allez but even their smallest size had a top tube that was 1 cm. over my recommended max. And, by the way, getting a bike fitting from a disinterested party (e.g., a local physical therapist/cyclist, or bike coach) instead of a bike shop is really helpful. The Treks and the Dolce all have Shimano shifters, I think, although you can always buy Campy shifters and have them substituted.
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Old 01-12-06, 08:45 AM
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Trek Pilot WSD 1.2 (aluminum) $989


Pilot WSD 2.1 $1430 Zr Aluminum carbon seatstays


Pilot WSD 5.0 carbon frame $2090


WSD bikes come with smaller brifters, narrower handlebars, shorter top tubes, women's saddles. She can always flip the stem or get one with less rise from the LBS.
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Old 01-12-06, 09:16 AM
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My wife has the Dolce, very good bike.
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Old 01-12-06, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by bbattle
Pilot WSD 5.0 carbon frame $2090
Shop around - we got the Pilot WSD 5.0 carbon bike for $1500. It's spec'ed kind of funny though - Durace RD and 105 FD.
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Old 01-12-06, 10:00 AM
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well... i put almost 10,000 miles on my dolce elite (2004 model) before i upgraded it to a ruby pro! i rode numerous metric centuries, centuries, and double metric centuries on the dolce... and it was a great bike! (heck.. the first time i rode a century... i could kept going! and that was before we figured out i needed a shorter stem!)

i will say that the ruby is a much smoother ride than the dolce! but then... i guess that is to be expected from a carbon bike! i assume... that the lower end ruby's are also smoother.... even though they are each made with a different grade of carbon... different handlebars.. etc.... because of the zertz and carbon... they should be smoother than an aluminum bike!


i have to parrot what the others have said... test ride them and buy the bike that fits best!

hope she has fun with her new bike!!!!!
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Old 01-12-06, 10:07 AM
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Wifey bought a 1000 in August to get her feet wet in riding in spite of a slightly better fit from the Dolce. The Dolce was another $200 or so, and she couldn't justify the difference for fit issues that we've addressed with different stems. But, when she gets the upgrade bug in the next year or so we may go to Specialized.

Long story short (too late I know) buy for fit.
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Old 01-12-06, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by bigbossman
Shop around - we got the Pilot WSD 5.0 carbon bike for $1500. It's spec'ed kind of funny though - Durace RD and 105 FD.
I think that's smartly spec'ed.
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Old 01-12-06, 11:52 AM
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Thanks for the advice and pics all. The ruby is very nice, but we're trying to save money so, it's more of a goal bike at the moment.
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Old 01-12-06, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by khuon
I think that's smartly spec'ed.
To clarify - it's a decent spec at the price we got, but at full MSRP of $2000 there are better spec'ed bikes out there.

I think it's oddly spec'ed at the $2000 price point. Most $2000 carbon bikes are spec'ed with at least Ultegra and 10 speed. Basically, while it is a wonderful bike I think it's overpriced at $2000.
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Old 01-12-06, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Jutlin
Thanks for the advice and pics all. The ruby is very nice, but we're trying to save money so, it's more of a goal bike at the moment.
Yeah since I'm in Australia I'm not realy sure how the costs compare for different models. Fit is the most important issue and aluminium will fit just as well if its made properly.

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Old 01-12-06, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by bigbossman
To clarify - it's a decent spec at the price we got, but at full MSRP of $2000 there are better spec'ed bikes out there.
Well then I guess it's smartly spec'ed from the point of the manufacturer. What I was trying to get at was that price aside, the FD can be downspec'ed to save money (or in this case, increase profit) because for most people, the performance difference between a 105 and Dura-Ace FD is barely noticable if even that.
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Old 01-12-06, 08:43 PM
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One thing that struck us from the answers was the Bianchi. It has absolutely no shimano parts, all campagnolo. Anyone have experience with those? it was tempting just cause shimano feels like the microsoft of components and we're tempted to rebel!!!!
*shakes fist*

Anyhow, that and the campy shifters too, although i think the dolce elite had a special buffer for the shifter that made it easier for a woman to shift and brake in the drops.

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Old 01-12-06, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by khuon
What I was trying to get at was that price aside, the FD can be downspec'ed to save money (or in this case, increase profit) because for most people, the performance difference between a 105 and Dura-Ace FD is barely noticable if even that.
Absolutely agree. But for $2000, it's not competetive with other bikes at that price point, for those that care about level of trim.

That Dura Ace rear sure does shift S-M-O-O-T-H, though......
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Old 01-12-06, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Jutlin

Anyhow, that and the campy shifters too, although i think the dolce elite had a special buffer for the shifter that made it easier for a woman to shift and brake in the drops.

Jut
All the WSD bikes we looked at had little "wedges" up on the brake levers to bring the levers closer into the bars. Just for the reason you mentioned - smaller hands.
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Old 01-24-06, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Jutlin
One thing that struck us from the answers was the Bianchi. It has absolutely no shimano parts, all campagnolo. Anyone have experience with those? it was tempting just cause shimano feels like the microsoft of components and we're tempted to rebel!!!!
*shakes fist*

Anyhow, that and the campy shifters too, although i think the dolce elite had a special buffer for the shifter that made it easier for a woman to shift and brake in the drops.

Jut
Love this thread. You are ahead of us in this process. Starting to look for wife who is 5'0". Tiny hands. New to cycling.

Went to LBS that has sold me both Specialized and Bianchi (see bikes in signature below). The owner said in this case he prefers the Specialized to Bianchi. He feels the frames are of higher quality than the Eros (Donna) Frame; that the Bianchi technology has not advanced as much as Specialized's.

Very basic comparison advantages I see so far (also see MSRP) :
-Bianchi Eros Donna:$1200; Triple; Campy; 9 speed; triple
-Dolce $800; price; triple
-Dolce Elite $1300; 9 speed; triple
-Dolce Comp; $1800; 10 speed; triple
-Ruby Comp; $2200; 10 speed; compact cranks; carbon frame

Not sure for her if:
-triple or compact better. (I just got compact and like so far) It's pretty hilly here for the most part; I'm thinking triple here

I would have leaned toward the Eros Donna for her if it weren't for LBS and this thread.

FYI, I love Campy so much that put it on my Specialized (Specialized come w/ Shimano) SWorks Tarmac.
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