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Road Cycling ďIt 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.Ē -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 01-07-10, 10:28 AM   #1
2005trek1200
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Cervelo S1 Climbing Ability

ok so i am looking for a new race bike and am pretty set on the S1 because i want:

1.) a bike with some aero properties
2.) a full on pro-caliber race bike (fast, fast , fast comes before 150 miles comfort)
3.) at least ultegra sl components
4.) a price tag near 2250

The S1 fits all those bills and more, butÖ

I stopped by the ole LBS yesterday and the guy told me that the S1 excels in flats and sprints (makes sense) but is not so great for the climbs and that an R series bike (which is out of my price range anyway) is the climbing bike.

I currently live in Chicago (flat) but am certainly moving to Denver/boulder (mountainous) in a few months. My question is will I love the S1 as much in boulder as I know I will love it in Chicago?

Note that I want to keep things STOCK (Gossamer 50/34 crank 12-25 cassette) because I donít really want to pay to have components swapped out as Iíd like to use that money towards a power tap.

Thanks
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Old 01-07-10, 10:34 AM   #2
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Not to be rude, I am just saying it before others do. Your bike is only as fast as the engine can move it. But Having no real experience with that caliber of bike I shouldn't speculate on how much you appreciate it. FWIW, I love my bikes no matter where I ride them, so long as I get to ride.
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Old 01-07-10, 10:57 AM   #3
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so the lbs guy told you that a $5k bike will climb better than a $2k bike? fascinating.

buy what you can afford, climbing (in reality) has very little to do with the bike.
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Old 01-07-10, 10:59 AM   #4
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LBS is trying to upsell.

Get fitted
Test ride several bikes in your price range, and size
Buy most comfortable bike (keep in mind that you can, and most should, replace the stock saddle)

If you are not comfortable, you will not ride and therefore will not be fast. More comfort = Less fatigue = More speed
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Old 01-07-10, 11:15 AM   #5
Lacking
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not to hijack but what is a really good saddle under 100 bucks. my stock saddle feels very uncomfortable after about 15 miles.
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Old 01-07-10, 11:18 AM   #6
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I'm not trying to hijack this thread either, but is a 900 lumen light any good? My light goes dim when the batteries run out.. just kidding

OP: challenge the LBS dude for a race up a hill. You ride the S1, let him ride the R3 (or let him ride the S1 if you think he's stronger than you). Tell him you'll buy the bike that gets up the hill first.
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Old 01-07-10, 11:23 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by silversx80 View Post
LBS is trying to upsell.

Get fitted
Test ride several bikes in your price range, and size
Buy most comfortable bike (keep in mind that you can, and most should, replace the stock saddle)

If you are not comfortable, you will not ride and therefore will not be fast. More comfort = Less fatigue = More speed
This right here.

I have an '07 Soloist Team, which is the same as the S1, but cooler looking. It is fully able to be ridden uphill. Any failure to go uphill is entirely the fault of the rider.
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Old 01-07-10, 11:25 AM   #8
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how would the guy at the lbs know if a bike climbs well if he lives in chicago (or any other flat area)?
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Old 01-07-10, 11:26 AM   #9
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I have a Cervelo R3 and a Cervelo P2-SL TT bike which is basically the same aluminum type frame as the S1.

The main difference between the Cervelo carbon and aluminum frames that I can see is the ride quality. On rougher roads, the R3 is smooth as silk and the aluminum frame can be kind of a rattle-trap (although probably no more than any similiar aluminum frame that I have ridden including the CAAD9).

For climbing, the R3 is lighter and stiffer but I doubt I would find much time difference on any climb. I know which bike I would take on long rides though when comfort is a priority.
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Old 01-07-10, 11:35 AM   #10
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I did see that my local dealer in Minneapolis had a 2009 S1 for $1900 and a 2008 Soloist Team for $1800 or so - both in 56cm as I recall. There are probably other dealers with some older models as well that might be willing to deal.
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Old 01-07-10, 11:39 AM   #11
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If there are guys who are winning pro races on the S1 I don't think there's a problem with the bike or it's climbing ability (or perceived lack thereof).
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Old 01-07-10, 12:28 PM   #12
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If there are guys who are winning pro races on the S1 I don't think there's a problem with the bike or it's climbing ability (or perceived lack thereof).
this is exactly whati was thinking. my main concern was that the double crankset would be the only hinderance for full-on hillclimbs in denver.

Quote:
I did see that my local dealer in Minneapolis had a 2009 S1 for $1900 and a 2008 Soloist Team for $1800 or so - both in 56cm as I recall. There are probably other dealers with some older models as well that might be willing to deal.
yup, 56 cm here in Chi for 1850, i need a 54cm though so will prolly have topay full price for a 2010

Quote:
LBS is trying to upsell.

Get fitted
Test ride several bikes in your price range, and size
Buy most comfortable bike (keep in mind that you can, and most should, replace the stock saddle)

If you are not comfortable, you will not ride and therefore will not be fast. More comfort = Less fatigue = More speed
+1 for this. the saddle on my trek is bone stock and compfortable and the S1S is stiffer, but that wouldnt keep me from buying it as i could always by a comfy(er) saddle


Sooo. any comments on the compact crank. im 5'7" 118lbs should be fine?

note i may wait to buy until we move to test them out a my new home turf, just looking for opinion currently..
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Old 01-07-10, 12:48 PM   #13
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how about i will tell you what bike is the fastest if you can teach me how to trade options successfully...deal??
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Old 01-07-10, 12:50 PM   #14
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this is exactly whati was thinking. my main concern was that the double crankset would be the only hinderance for full-on hillclimbs in denver.
You can buy the frame from Competitive Cyclist for $1200, and build it up with a double, compact double, or triple. Whatever your climbing heart desires.

If you do a ton of climbing, a compact is not a bad choice at all. A 50/39 crank combined with a 11-26 or 11-28 cassette should give you all the gear inches you need to get up a mountain fast and down a the other side just as fast.
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Old 01-07-10, 12:52 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by 2005trek1200 View Post
Sooo. any comments on the compact crank. im 5'7" 118lbs should be fine?
I like my compact, but it's a bit unnessary where I live (I rarely have to get in the small ring, so I'm either switching to an 11-23, or a 53/39 crank). The 34/26 combination (easiest gear selection) will give you the same ratio as your 30/23 (second to last gear on the rear of a 12-25 9-speed). That's roughly 6 crank rpm difference from a 30/25 ratio.

I can't tell you if it will be fine because I don't know your fitness level. All I can tell you is that if you get the right bike, you'll ride more and eventually you may not even need a compact, let alone a triple.
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Old 01-07-10, 01:09 PM   #16
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I assure you that I could smash you up any hill you name, me riding my steel winter bike with fixed gear and mudguards, you riding whatever the bike shop man tells you climbs best.
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Old 01-07-10, 01:12 PM   #17
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Old 01-07-10, 01:19 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by 2005trek1200 View Post
ok so i am looking for a new race bike and am pretty set on the S1 because i want:

1.) a bike with some aero properties
2.) a full on pro-caliber race bike (fast, fast , fast comes before 150 miles comfort)
3.) at least ultegra sl components
4.) a price tag near 2250

The S1 fits all those bills and more, but…

I stopped by the ole LBS yesterday and the guy told me that the S1 excels in flats and sprints (makes sense) but is not so great for the climbs and that an R series bike (which is out of my price range anyway) is the climbing bike.

I currently live in Chicago (flat) but am certainly moving to Denver/boulder (mountainous) in a few months. My question is will I love the S1 as much in boulder as I know I will love it in Chicago?

Note that I want to keep things STOCK (Gossamer 50/34 crank 12-25 cassette) because I don’t really want to pay to have components swapped out as I’d like to use that money towards a power tap.

Thanks

Yes, get it. Stiff is good in a climbing bike, but also good handling on the descents matters as much, if not more. Almost all of us have bikes that are much better than we are.

And I'm pretty sure you'll appreciate the compact crank in Colorado. I went from the Trek 1200 with a triple to a carbon-frame with compact double and just really, really like having the lower gears in the mountains, without the hassle of the triple.
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Old 01-07-10, 01:22 PM   #19
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I assure you that I could smash you up any hill you name, me riding my steel winter bike with fixed gear and mudguards, you riding whatever the bike shop man tells you climbs best.


You kiss your mother with that mouth?
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Old 01-07-10, 01:26 PM   #20
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With very few exceptions, the hills around here aren't that steep. If "fast comes before comfort" for you, skip the compact. You'll wish you had a standard while riding rollers more than you'll wish you had a compact while climbing.

Unless you have some crazy spin...
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Old 01-07-10, 02:17 PM   #21
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You kiss your mother with that mouth?
Only when she can keep up with me!
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Old 01-07-10, 03:10 PM   #22
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how about i will tell you what bike is the fastest if you can teach me how to trade options successfully...deal??[
just click on the link, read the articles and you'll be all set.

Quote:
I like my compact, but it's a bit unnessary where I live (I rarely have to get in the small ring, so I'm either switching to an 11-23, or a 53/39 crank). The 34/26 combination (easiest gear selection) will give you the same ratio as your 30/23 (second to last gear on the rear of a 12-25 9-speed). That's roughly 6 crank rpm difference from a 30/25 ratio.

I can't tell you if it will be fine because I don't know your fitness level. All I can tell you is that if you get the right bike, you'll ride more and eventually you may not even need a compact, let alone a triple.
Thanks for the actionable data, that certainly helps...i am fit enough, FTP 3.6 watt/kg 5 sec max 12.50 watt/kg...i am a spinner typically ride at 110 cadence..i have a triple but donít use it now even when i go climbing around here simply because the front derailleur is crap on my trek

Quote:
I assure you that I could smash you up any hill you name, me riding my steel winter bike with fixed gear and mudguards, you riding whatever the bike shop man tells you climbs best.
well come to the MT. Evans hill climb this year on your fixie and ill be on my S1...the loser buys shots of Bombay London Gin (thatís what you English folk drink across the pond, no?)

Quote:
With very few exceptions, the hills around here aren't that steep. If "fast comes before comfort" for you, skip the compact. You'll wish you had a standard while riding rollers more than you'll wish you had a compact while climbing.

Unless you have some crazy spin...
Thanks, look forward to riding with ya
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Old 01-07-10, 03:31 PM   #23
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What are you riding on now? If it's something reasonable, I'd go for the powertap now and the fancy bike later.
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Old 01-07-10, 03:45 PM   #24
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Excel Sports in Boulder currently has a 56cm and 61cm Cervelo S1 on sale now for $840. Buy it and find out if it climbs. For that kind of money you can make it work.
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Old 01-07-10, 04:14 PM   #25
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This is of course my opinion, but I think you misunderstood, or is does for that matter, what he meant by the R series is the climbing bike. The R series is going to be a little lighter, due to it being a full carbon frame, as well as having a more upright position. The two properties make climbing a bit easier and more comfortable, but what AngryScientist said is what's most important, it's the engine that counts.

As far as being easier because of the weight difference, we're talking about 2lb or less. I can almost guarantee it will be easier for you to drop 10-15lb way easier and make WAY more of a difference than 2lb on the bike.
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