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I hate which bike to buy threads...but...

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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

I hate which bike to buy threads...but...

Old 01-08-11, 01:44 AM
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MAK
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I hate which bike to buy threads...but...

I'm upgrading from a six year old Felt F80. It's aluminum with carbon forks and has 105 components except for the crank. I'd like to go full carbon and full Ultegra. There is some random ice and some snow is still around so I haven't test done any test rides yet but I will. Right now the Trek 5.2 and the Specialized Roubaix have really caught my eye. I haven't looked at a comparable Felt or Cannondale yet but will be visiting dealers this week. Other than bikes sold at performance (Fuji, GT and a few others), those are the only local dealers. As you can see my price range is up to $3,000 or so.

I will never race but enjoy club rides and I do BRAG (the Bike Ride Across Georgia) and RAGBRAI every summer. During the Spring, Summer and Fall I generally do 150-200 miles per week.

Even though I will do extensive test rides, I'd love to hear from people who ride the Trek and Specialized and get your opinions based on your regular long term use.

Thank you.
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Old 01-08-11, 03:44 AM
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Old 01-08-11, 04:19 AM
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I bought a Scott Addict R3 in August and it's intense on the sprints. My Bianchi that was stolen I could max out in sprinting, but when I did my first sprint with the Scott, I did my usual sprint session and surprised it had much, much more to offer as I started to slow down. It surprised me to see how much more power I could put out and how much more it wanted. It was kinda like riding the Black Stallion. The bike is an all-rounder with snappy response and really plush ride.

I might say all this towards my bike, but i took some test rides prior to me getting the Addict. Here's what I rode and a synopsis of the bikes.

Specialized Roubaix - Good bike, but the geometry wasn't what I was looking for. My Bianchi I was stretched out and comfortable, and with the Roubaix, I felt I was way too upright. The Roubaix i rode also had a really short stem and I tended to hit my knees on the long ergo handlebars when i was out of the saddle. All of this made me not want this bike, even though it's still a good bike. It had Shimano 105

Specialized Tarmac - More my style of geometry. I rode and climbed with it for a short while, but it was after I rode the Addict. I favored the Addict more than the Tarmac, but not by much. It had Shimano 105.

Fuji SL1 - Another really amazing bike. I took a couple of laps and speed around S-turns while shifting on the bike to really appreciate SRAM and how smooth it shifted. Almost as good as Campy and much smoother than Shimano under alot of power. The area that i rode was flat, so I couldn't take it out for any climbs. The only downside was its major upside, SRAM. As much as I love upshifting under crank stress, I hated mass downshifts I know i would do when I would climb. It wore my hands out after 15 mins on the bike. And changing the rings was a pain to learn on brifter. I know i would eventually strengthen my hand so it wouldn't be so worn out after 15 mins, but when would that be?

And of course, the Addict. The shop owner told me a couple routes i could take to fully explore the options of the bike, and so I did. Wow was I blown away by how effortlessly it could climb. I orignally rode an Addict R2 with Ultegra and it was pretty smooth, not as smoother as SRAM or Campy though. I came back to the shop and we started exploring options with my budget. And we settled on getting a 2011 Addict R3 put together the next week. Of course, the owner of the shop was pretty much the most informative and nicest guy I've met and had many recommendations from other friends.

I did not ride a Trek, Felt, or a Bianchi due to the poor salespeople that I ran into that had their bikes.

EDIT: Now if Penn State gave me subjects like this to write about, then I would do pretty happy in writing this long.
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Old 01-09-11, 11:21 PM
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Razor and Eddie, thank you for your replies. I'm a bit disappointed with only two on point comments. No more bumps after this so could I please get some more input. I know that some of you are riding these.
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Old 01-10-11, 05:43 AM
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You will find in most cases, opinions on forums are based on brand loyalty, not the performance of the bike. The Madone and Roubaix frames are both excellent and have comparable warranty terms.

I do not own a Trek, primarily because I won't deal with the lbs that carries them. No Cervelo for the same reason. I have owned a Specialized Roubaix for a number of years now and buy them specifically for the more upright riding position. They have never let me down and are very comfortable on endurance rides like those mentioned in your OP. The Zertz inserts are in my opinion, overrated. They may knock down some high frequency vibration but don't make it as smooth a ride as a Specialized rep would claim. That said, there is a visible difference in vibration between my Roubaix (smoother)and riding buddies Madone.

While the Roubaix is fairly fast, I much prefer my Lynskey R230 for speed and endurance rides. I would never be without a Roubaix though. Overall, an excellent bike from an excellent company with excellent support.
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Old 01-10-11, 06:57 AM
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Go test ride a bunch of bikes, narrow it down to the ones that you liked the best. Ask the bike shop workers lots of questions; how they deal with you should narrow your choice down further. Then, pick the bike with the nicest paint job.

As you may have noticed, most of the people here have more than one bike, some have entire garages of them. No one bike will be perfect for every occasion.

Be sure and post back when you buy your bike. And post pics. (follow the pic posting protocol carefully or lose OCP points)
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