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Beginner buying a road bike, been thinking about several options ...

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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

Beginner buying a road bike, been thinking about several options ...

Old 07-25-10, 12:50 PM
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Beginner buying a road bike, been thinking about several options ...

Hey,

Up untill now I've been mostly riding mountain bikes (but mostly on the road, but I always wnated to have a road bike that I could do tours with.

Now I have a feeling that road bikes are .. well, a little less comfortable than mountain bikes and I want to put that into consideration when buying one. Also, I have a limited budget (since I do this recreationally and I am a student and so on and so on) to 1000 €.

With all that, up until now, I saw about three bikes that seemed pretty interesting:

Trek 1.5

Cannondale CAAD8 (the Tiagra or the 105 compact).

I really hope to hear some opinions on which bike you think would be most suitable to 'start' with.

Thank you!
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Old 07-25-10, 01:12 PM
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The standard answer around here is to ride the bikes and see which one feels best to you. You might also consider the shop you buy from and what kind of service they provide.
If you've not ridden road bikes it will take some time to figure out what you like and don't like, how things fit, etc.
When you say 'tours', do you mean loaded touring with racks and packs, or are you talking about rides where you return to the start at the end?
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Old 07-25-10, 01:15 PM
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All I can tell you is that any bike is going to feel different, and that will change quickly. I did exactly what you are doing. Hadn't been on a road bike since my 10 speed as a teen. Nearly 30 years later I went from riding a mountain bike on the road to a new road bike. When I tested them, none felt good to me. I got used to it after very few miles. Now I wonder what I would have purchased had I been as comfortable on a road bike as I am now.

So I guess you have to decide how you think you will ride and buy a bike geared toward that, not necessarily the initial feel.
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Old 07-25-10, 11:38 PM
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Off the bat, the Cannondale 105 compact. But putting some thought into, whatever feels most comfortable. If comfort is the same on both then my answer above is the same.
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Old 07-25-10, 11:42 PM
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I just ordered my road bike.

I went through options that i prefer from riding on the velo.

Elminating bikes that have less value.

Also. Like above road bikes i find are the most comfortable bikes for any "trek" <- Play on words
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Old 07-25-10, 11:48 PM
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If you're concerned about comfort, you may want to look at "relaxed geometry". They usually have a longer wheelbase due to a longer chainstay, along with a taller headtube, and possibly slacker ST/HT angles. This allows for a more stable, upright position, which will lift some weight off your arms and put less strain on your back.

Trek's version is the Pilot series.
Cannondale is the Synapse.
Specialized is the Secteur or the Roubaix.

Give some bikes a test ride. Do more than a few laps in the parking lot, and see how the bike feels on rough roads. You may not need the relaxed geometry, or feel more comfortable on a different bike.
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Old 07-26-10, 12:37 AM
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Are you wearing the tight shorts on your mtb? Many don't, and that's why people think road bikes are so uncomfortable.

There's more to shorts than just the insane sexiness.
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Old 07-26-10, 12:15 PM
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First of all thanks a lot for all the answers!

I agree that in the end I will have to try them out in order to see which one fits better.

BTW: I was just going to my local store today (they only had Williers) and although I know what a racing bike is and looks like, now that I was checking it out more closely I was really amazed at how thin and smooth the tires are (quite intimidating, when I compare it to my current tires). If the road gets wet, does it hold on it at all?

big john: when i used the word touring i mostly meant one day trips, but I would certainly like to pack a multi-day trip some time in the future when I will be fit enough for it.

ptle: yes, I was looking at those as well, but I dont' know how available are they around here, I'll check it out (I read that the CAAD8 has a geometry that makes for a more comfortable ride?)

colombo357: yes, I use tight shorts if by that you mean the 'cycling' shorts made from polyamid and elasthan that have a cushion sewn into them so it makes the long sitting easy on the delicate parts

Last edited by LiquidEssence; 07-26-10 at 12:21 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 07-29-10, 08:50 AM
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Also I am about 171 cm, what kind of size frame will I be looking into (I know that the proper decision has to be made in the shop, but still, just to know a little bit) - when I was talking a little bit with some people they reccomended S-size or around 51 cm?

Also - I was also looking a little bit at Willier bikes and the Triestino models which mostly have Veloce gears. How good are those?
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Old 07-29-10, 10:08 AM
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Road bike tires don't need tread to displace water, tread wouldn't help.
Maybe try an on-line fit calculator.
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Old 07-29-10, 01:19 PM
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'Road Bikes don't need tread to displace water, tread wouldn't help' -- so they do hold okay when the road is wet, i take it?
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Old 07-29-10, 01:44 PM
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I didn't say they hold the road, I said tread wouldn't help. It's like anything else, if you ride in the rain a bit you figure it out. Obviously any vehicle is going to lose traction in the wet. Do you anticipate a lot of rain riding?
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Old 07-29-10, 01:46 PM
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Well, not really I hope, but it happens that you get caught by the rain (like today for example) and I guess I just wanted to know how these kinds of bikes handle the road
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Old 07-29-10, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by LiquidEssence
Hey,



Now I have a feeling that road bikes are .. well, a little less comfortable than mountain bikes and I want to put that into consideration when buying one. Also, I have a limited budget (since I do this recreationally and I am a student and so on and so on) to 1000 €.
I find road bikes to be far more comfortable than mountain or hybrid bikes especially over long distances.
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Old 07-30-10, 01:02 PM
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I was looking at some online fitting profiles and they mostly suggest from 52-54 cm, most salespeople in the store looked at me and said 52 cm. One of the calculators at the competitive cycling site also suggested different sizes of frames depending on the riding position I want - in essence bigger is supposed to be more upright/comfortable, since the height ratio between the seat and the handlebars is lowered (but they put out several different measurements in C-C and C-T and I don't really know on which of these Cannondale and Trek bikes measurements are based).

I don't really want to do any records or win competitions with this bike, so I guess I'm leaning more on the 'comfortable' side of things

Last edited by LiquidEssence; 07-30-10 at 01:05 PM. Reason: afterthought
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