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Wondering if you guys could help me on a new bike choice

Road Cycling “It 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.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Wondering if you guys could help me on a new bike choice

Old 04-21-10, 06:06 PM
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ModularGT
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Wondering if you guys could help me on a new bike choice

Hey guys, I've been lurking for the last little while and I've finally decided to sign up. I'm interested in buying a road bike. I've been out looking in stores and even test road a few, but I'm unsure on what would be best for me.

Here are the bikes I'm interested in:

All prices in Canadian

2010 Trek 2.1
http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/road/2_series/21/
$1499

2010 Giant Defy 1
http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-ca/....1/5407/37915/
$1529

2009 Specialized Tarmac
http://www.specialized.com/ca/en/bc/...0&menuItemId=0
$1999

I haven't test ridden the Tarmac because when I was in the shop, I had my work clothes on (steel toes, work pants, hardly suitable). To be honest, even when I test road the 2.1 and the Defy, I didn't really feel a difference, probably because I don't know what to look for in a bike. All these bikes have 105 drivetrain, and that's the minimum I want.

I'm approx 5'10", 205 lbs and coming from a mountain biking background. I'm not really in shape, and when I'm on my MTB and climbing, it usually results in my walking the bike up the hill. I quit smoking last year, but I think it's still taking my toll on my endurance.

I'm hoping that you guys have at least a bit of knowledge on these bikes.
I'm looking for a road bike that is easy for the beginner, comfortable, and that will hopefully allow me to ride a century by the end of the summer.

$1500 is really all I wanted to spend, but when I saw the Tarmac with the carbon frame, and the color, I'm really thinking of going back to test ride it in my cycling clothes. I'm just unsure if the carbon frame is worth the extra 5 bills.

Also, I'm wondering about getting fitted on a bike. The stores that are selling the Tarmac and the Defy say fitment takes about 15 mins, where as the guy who's selling the 2.1, says fitment takes about 1-2 hours.
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Old 04-21-10, 06:14 PM
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sooprvylyn
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You will be happy with any of these bikes if it is your first bike. If you want the bling factor of carbon fiber go for it, but for a beginner its overkill. Try to ride all of the bike and go for the one you are most comfortable on, because it is the ride quality that will keep you coming back, not the material the bike is made from. Also you are a bit heavier and CF tends to have a soft feel for us heavy guys.

Aluminum has it's drawbacks too.

As far as fitting goes, 15-20 mins is probably all you need unless you are a racer, then it does take a while longer. You will probably be adjusting everything as you get used to riding anyway. I'd be more concerned with getting the right frame size, which doesnt take long to determine.
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Old 04-21-10, 06:26 PM
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Buy the best that you can afford and that fits you well. Personally I would buy the giant or the specialized. When i was looking for my road bike the thing i noticed was all the treks in my area were 105 with a tiagra RD which is not what you want.
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Old 04-21-10, 06:56 PM
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The Tarmac is a nice bike. But it is a race bike and you may not be able to achieve a comfortable riding position on it given it's relatively short headtube and long top tube. Also if you have trouble climbing then the Tarmac's standard 53/59 crankset is definitely not the best choice for you. You'll have a lot easier time on the hills with the compact double or triple options available on the Trek and Giant.
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Old 04-21-10, 07:13 PM
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Defy
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Old 04-21-10, 07:14 PM
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For my dollar (us or canadian) the best value out there is this Motobecane Sprint -
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...e/sprint_x.htm

Aluminum main triangle with carbon fork and seat stays, plus Ultegra 6700. The wheels could be better and many people change saddles to one of their liking.

I ride a Motobecane Immortal Force, now for 4 years and 15,000 miles. No problems outside normal maintenance. I did change wheels and saddles (twice) in that time. My choice, no faults drove them.

You still have money left over for pedals, shoes, helmet and fitting at your local bike shop.
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Old 04-22-10, 05:31 AM
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I didn't know that the Tarmac was a purpose built race bike. I doubt I'd be doing any racing. All I want a bike for is to go out and ride the country roads out by my house, mainly for getting myself back into shape and just for the sake of riding a bike. Maybe do the odd group ride as there is a lot around here. I like that Motobecane, but I don't think I want to buy my first road bike online. I'd rather be able to test ride it first.

So from the sounds of it, its pretty much between the Trek and the Giant. Problem for me is, the store that has the Trek let me take it out on the roads for as long as I want, where the store that sells the Giant, just lets me ride around in the parking lot behind they're shop. That's like going to buy a car, but the salesman saying you can drive it, but not over 10mph, and in the parking lot.
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Old 04-22-10, 06:13 AM
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Don't be put off by the "race bike" thing. Most of the people who own Tarmacs or CAAD9s or TCRs do not race, and there's nothing wrong with that. I have a Spec. Allez that is supposedly "race geometry" but it's comfortable and fast for the slow amateur stuff I do, and I look and feel good riding it. That being said, the Defy 1 is a sweet bike so don't let any preconceptions put you off picking the bike you like the best. BTW, I just picked up an Allez in that spec range for $950US (which would actually be around $947CA at the current exchange rate!) because it was an 09 closeout, so look around for some deals and you can save yourself some money.
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Old 04-22-10, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by lesdunham View Post
For my dollar (us or canadian) the best value out there is this Motobecane Sprint -
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...e/sprint_x.htm

Aluminum main triangle with carbon fork and seat stays, plus Ultegra 6700. The wheels could be better and many people change saddles to one of their liking.

I ride a Motobecane Immortal Force, now for 4 years and 15,000 miles. No problems outside normal maintenance. I did change wheels and saddles (twice) in that time. My choice, no faults drove them.

You still have money left over for pedals, shoes, helmet and fitting at your local bike shop.
That's a great deal !
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Old 04-22-10, 10:11 AM
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I say go for the Giant or the Trek - then take any extra money & spend it on pedals/shoes etc.
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Old 04-22-10, 10:16 AM
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atmdad
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Originally Posted by SkinnyLegs View Post
Also if you have trouble climbing then the Tarmac's standard 53/59 crankset is definitely not the best choice for you.
I would be willing to bet a 53/59 crankset would make it difficult for most anyone to do alot of climbing
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Old 04-22-10, 10:48 AM
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The Trek and and the Giant are very similar component wise and the Giant has slightly more relaxed frame with the head tube ~ 1.5 cm taller on average comparing the Giant S and M sizes to the Trek S 54 and S 56 which are probably the size ranges your looking at. The Giant probably would be the more comfortable ride at longer distances. The Tarmac has the shortest head tube thus probably would be the least comfortable ride for you at this time since you admit you are out of shape and at 5-10 / 205 would probably readily admit it wouldn't hurt to shed a few pounds. Save the jack on the upgrade to the CF for pedals etc, I would recommend the Defy but you wouldn't go wrong with the Trek either for a nice entry level bike.
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Old 04-22-10, 12:16 PM
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I work at a biomechanics research lab and we do some exercise science on the side using the Vicon MX mocap.
It is all about the geometry which leads to the fit which leads to efficient/correct biomechanical movement. Buy the frame that fits your body. A 5'10 person with short legs will benefit from a frame with a longer top tube. A 5'10 person with long legs will benefit from a shorter top tube/longer seat-tube. A good shop will be able to make an educated guess on frame size and then fine tune the fit with stem length, seat placement, etc.

Personally I do not see how a shop can fit you in 15-20mins. I would like to see a shop adjust stem length, bar width, cleat placement, measure your sit bones, seat width/placement, etc and do all that in 15mins.
I suspect the shop telling you 15mins is going to adjust your seat height and tell you to have a nice day.
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Old 04-22-10, 12:21 PM
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If you have it narrowed down to 3 bikes you like. Ride them all for 3-5 miles and make your choice then.
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Old 04-22-10, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by ModularGT View Post
...Also, I'm wondering about getting fitted on a bike. The stores that are selling the Tarmac and the Defy say fitment takes about 15 mins, where as the guy who's selling the 2.1, says fitment takes about 1-2 hours.
Be clear in the definition of ‘fitting’ with the LBS. For a first time purchase a 15 min quickie is normally getting you fit to the bike, making sure you have a helmet on, your credit card collateralized all of which leads to a test ride. However up to a three hour fitting session with a qualified specialist is where the bike is best fit to you. Of course this makes your next bike purchase more of a demanding and sophisticated process working with the LBS using your geo to better prep a more expensive bike for a test.

IMO the real selection you are making is the LBS predicated upon your feeling of how they’ve dealt with your questions with the specific bike selection secondary as all the bikes you mentioned are outstanding. Oh, and leave the technical macho verbiage of how much you know at home. Use those listening skills. Know-it-all’s who come in and challenge the shop is a complete waste of everyone’s time...although fun to watch. Rather be honest with your knowledge or lack thereof asking for help regarding each item as you should not be embarrassed about any question. First of all, it’s not rocket science and you’ll be brilliant in all matters soon. Second, folks like to help, especially those who are sincere and genuine. You’ll then have your yardstick regarding who you want to do business with. Relationship is king as this sport is expensive demanding you have a trusted sales and wrench team to help you best evolve in cycling.
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Old 04-22-10, 01:30 PM
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Any of those bikes will be sweet for a first bike. The best thing you can do, is select the one that fits best for you. I am a Trek guy. My dad just bought the 2.1, as a matter of fact, he goes and picks it up today with his new pedals and shoes. I guess getting a size 13 US shoe is a bit of a pita for the LBS. His 2.1 is 105 all the way, everything is 105 on it. I have ridden the bike and absolutely love it. Honestly instead of the 2009 Tarmac, I would probably do the 2010 Trek Madone 4.5, as it is 105 all the way, and I am in love with their new paint schemes this year. But like some have said, either the 2.1 or the Defy would be perfect bikes. I know the 2.1 is sold for $1,300 to $1,350 at my LBS (that is USD).
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Old 04-22-10, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by lesdunham View Post
For my dollar (us or canadian) the best value out there is this Motobecane Sprint -
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...e/sprint_x.htm

Aluminum main triangle with carbon fork and seat stays, plus Ultegra 6700. The wheels could be better and many people change saddles to one of their liking.

I ride a Motobecane Immortal Force, now for 4 years and 15,000 miles. No problems outside normal maintenance. I did change wheels and saddles (twice) in that time. My choice, no faults drove them.

You still have money left over for pedals, shoes, helmet and fitting at your local bike shop.
That may be a great price, and the bike may be fine, but ...
a) op is a first time buyer so fitting the bike is a priority - can't be done mailorder
b) they only ship UPS which is a major pain for us canucks.

Screw BD, buy local.
also, +1 on the defy
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Old 04-22-10, 02:25 PM
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I'm going to go with either the Trek or Giant. The Defy comes with a triple crank and the 2.1 comes with a compact. I'm more leaning towards the 2.1 for that reason alone. I spoke to someone today who was a customer at one of the local shops thats selling the 2.1. She was buying a Cervelo back in december and had nothing but good things to say about that particular shop. She was being fitted for 2 hours, that makes me think that the shop is probably the best one to deal with.
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Old 04-22-10, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by ModularGT View Post
I'm going to go with either the Trek or Giant. The Defy comes with a triple crank and the 2.1 comes with a compact. I'm more leaning towards the 2.1 for that reason alone. I spoke to someone today who was a customer at one of the local shops thats selling the 2.1. She was buying a Cervelo back in december and had nothing but good things to say about that particular shop. She was being fitted for 2 hours, that makes me think that the shop is probably the best one to deal with.
Unless you live somewhere super hilly, you'll be very happy with the compact crank. My old bike had a triple & the new one a compact. I wasn't too sure at first - but I really like it.
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Old 04-22-10, 02:36 PM
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I will second to buy local. I did a lot of research in bikes in your price range last year. I know you have narrowed your choices down to three, but you might want to look at Felt bikes.

http://www.feltbicycles.com/Canada/2...eries/F75.aspx

105 group with full carbon fork and carbon seat stays. Also save about $200 for 105 pedals and road bike shoes.
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Old 04-22-10, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by atmdad View Post
at this time since you admit you are out of shape and at 5-10 / 205 would probably readily admit it wouldn't hurt to shed a few pounds. Save the jack on the upgrade to the CF for pedals etc, I would recommend the Defy but you wouldn't go wrong with the Trek either for a nice entry level bike.
Yes, I would readily admit that, lol. I agree with saving the extra $$ for pedals, shoes and other stuff. I'm going to ride with platform pedals for now, just to get the feel of the bike and learn how to ride with people whipping down the country roads beside me. Then in a month or two, I will upgrade to clipless pedals.
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Old 04-22-10, 02:39 PM
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If you like the more upright positioning and comfort orientation of the Defy 1 but want a compact crank, then check out the Cannondale Synapse 5.
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Old 04-22-10, 02:43 PM
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Joe, I don't think Felt bikes are sold anywhere around me, maybe somebody else knows? I live just outside of Toronto.
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Old 04-22-10, 02:47 PM
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I'm doing my homework now, too. Most of the bikes listed here are on my "short list", with the Felt and Giant leading the pack. I was really looking toward the Specialized Roubaix, but just don't want to spend that much money. What are everyone's thoughts on the Specialized Secteur? It's advertised as the econo (aluminum) Roubaix.
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Old 04-22-10, 02:57 PM
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just outside toronto is hardly mountainous. some short steep rollers in and around the oak ridges moraine and some a bit longer nearer the niagara escarpment. a 53x39 w/ a 12-25 or even an 11-26 cassette will get you up pretty much anything.
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