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2nd Road Bike...

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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

2nd Road Bike...

Old 05-18-11, 08:39 AM
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2nd Road Bike...

I know, I know. There are a ton of these threads, and I've read *many* of them. Trying to buy my second road bike. I bought a used Fuji (10 yrs old, Sora stuff). I enjoyed it and want to ride more and I want (not so much need) an upgrade. I'm not sure the current bike is a great fit. It's certainly OK. Anyway...

Trying to do all my research and have settled on about a $1000 - $1200 budget. I know there are a *ton* of bikes in this range and just on either side of it. I think I prefer the slightly relaxed frame geometry. I've ridden a Felt Z95 (105) and a Specialized Secteur (Sora/Tiagra mix) but would probably bump up to the next model. I don't want to buy online. Want the support of a local seller.

On the short list to ride (if I can find 'em locally and if it ever stops raining!) are a Raleigh Revenio 3.0 (105), Bianchi Via Nirone (Tiagra?), Cannondale Synapse (105), and maybe a Giant Defy. I think from my research that these are all well-regarded bikes that should be comparable in components and geometry. It's the little differences and sales pitches that have me confused. Frames and fork materials are comparable. From there, the difference seem mostly between Tiagra and 105 groups, wheels, brakesets, and a couple in this range even have BB30s. This'll probably be my bike for 10+ years. Not a racer, but more into the century ride and long charity ride thing and general fitness. Tiagra is my bare minimum, I'd prefer a 105 set.

1. I'd prefer a full "group" instead of some of these mismatched sets I'm seeing. How important is that?
2. The "Bianchi" guy was selling me on their wheels. Are they that much better? Worth dropping to a lower shifter group for?
3. What's a reasonable amount or % that should be expected to be knocked off the MSRP?
4. If a shop won't move off MSRP, is it time for a different shop? Some have come right out and suggested they'll be 10% lower. Others haven't discussed price at all, other than a tag hanging from a bike.

Having a tough time deciding if any one of these selling points (shifter groups, wheels, etc.) is more or less important. I know many of you have answered these questions dozens of times already, but any constructive feedback is welcome. Thanks!
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Old 05-18-11, 08:54 AM
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If you're not interested in a race geometry bike I'd go with the "Cannondale Synapse (105)" even though it has Tektro brakes which doesn't satisfy your full group requirement overall it'll be a great ride.

Most likely you'll be able to get about 10% off the MSRP of the Cannondale. You can expect to get a 10-20% discount on any other items you purchase when buying the bike as accessories have a much larger markup than the bike. To save a bit more look for a left over 2010 Synapse practically the same exact specs as the 2011 but you should be able to pick up the '10 within your budget.

The RS-10 Wheels on the Cannondale may not be the best out there but for casual everyday riding I have no complaints and I've got about 2000 miles on mine so far.
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Old 05-18-11, 10:42 AM
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I've got the Revenio 3.0 and love it. Re: cost and MSRP - If you buy it from REI, you will probably pay full, but as a member, you'll get $120 back next spring - just in time to get a tune up, new pads, tubes, tires, or whatever. As a bigger (190lbs) rider, I put 28s on it and it rides quite smoothly. Three metrics and a 3/4 full century finished so far this year.
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Old 05-18-11, 10:47 AM
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Also, YMMV, but the mess of cables sprouting all over from the Tiagra/Sora cockpit just wouldn't do for me. 105 and up is cleaner and makes for an easier install of a handlebar bag, should you ever want to get one for longer trips.
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Old 05-19-11, 06:19 AM
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Thanks for the replies so far. Finally hooked up with a local bike shop that has a bunch of my "still to ride" bikes in stock, so hoping to get a ride on the last few and make a call soon. I know this is one of those constant questions you deal with on this forum -- "Which bike should I buy?" -- but I appreciate the feedback.
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Old 05-19-11, 07:30 AM
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If you're like me you'll probably starting looking at cool stuff to buy for your new bike soon after it arrives. I'd consider the frame first and components second. If you find a frame that fits like a glove, looks awesome, etc. and has mostly 105 stuff, but something "less" like Tektro brakes, you can always upgrade later. I'd go for a good frame with components that I mostly like, but wouldn't disqualify it due to one or two components I didnt. In 10+ years you can buy a lot of schwag.
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Old 05-19-11, 07:37 AM
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I have always thought that a 'full group' was more for looks and less for utility. Tektro makes a fine brake (I use V's on my cross and road cals on my road bike), and the pads are more important to me than the calipers. The most important things to me are the levers, be they Shimano or SRAM, or even Microshift (I use these too). You can get away with skimping on a FD, IMHO a good shift is all in the cable finishing. I try to match levers to RD as well.

BigBlue said it all - you will lie awake at night thinking of stuff to do to that bike, or stuff to buy to make you more comfortable on that bike, or stuff to make your bike shinier and faster. Whoever doesn't do this should not own a bike.
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Old 05-19-11, 07:43 AM
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A couple things. The bikes you're looking at are great and seem to fit your price point nicely. I'll recommend you look into SRAM Apex/Rival gruppos too. I've got a felt carbon/alum frame with 105/ultegra mix that I picked up for a great deal because it was a year old. I suspect you can probably find a similar deal if you look hard enough.

Regarding wheels...how much do you weigh? If you're a normal sized guy and not jockey sized, you'll probably eventually want to upgrade the wheels. I wouldn't put too much stock in wheels at this point. Get a good frame/fork/gruppo setup and you can upgrade the wheels down the line.
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Old 05-19-11, 07:44 AM
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Most people find frame/fit to most important followed distantly by wheels and components last (provided there in good tune). As you mentioned, there are ton of bikes at your level and every shop is likely to have a couple. I would find out if one of the shops is willing to work with you on stem and saddle exchanges if the stock ones don't work for you. Getting that right can be frustrating and expensive.

As for full groups, you are probably finding bikes with FSA cranks and tektro brakes. All other things being equal I would prefer a 105 bike with off brand crank/brakes to a full tiagra bike knowing that it's an easier and cheaper upgrade than going from 9 to 10 speeds. But obviously it's down to the specific bike(s) in question. Fwiw most people find swapping the stock pads in tektros for koolstops or swisstops make for some pretty decent brakes.
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Old 05-19-11, 10:24 AM
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Any bike in the $1200 range is going to use just about the same quality of frame and components.

Try a few out, see if they fit well, and pick the one that looks nicest. I wouldn't give the brand a second thought, just make sure it's got the gearing you want.
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Old 05-19-11, 11:17 AM
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If it's a long-term bike, then go with fit and try to stick with 105. Tiagra is fine, but harder to upgrade parts which you'll most likely want to do as parts wear down, get replaced etc. The Bianchi is a fine bike and it's the frame and fork that are a little higher quality and the name that you'd be paying for. It is a really nice frame and fork, but the wheels are nothing special being Maddux/Jalsco wheels made for Bianchi. They are on par w/ Aksiums w/ weight and a decent ride, but lack the bladed spokes.
Try Apex too - great stuff.
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Old 05-19-11, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by eippo1
If it's a long-term bike, then go with fit and try to stick with 105. Tiagra is fine, but harder to upgrade parts which you'll most likely want to do as parts wear down, get replaced etc.....
That seems a bit silly, since you can get all sorts of older parts; Tiagra is not going to be unobtainably obsolete any time soon. If you need something esoteric or very specific you might run into a problem 10 years from now, but that will be true for anything, not just Tiagra.
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Old 05-19-11, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe
That seems a bit silly, since you can get all sorts of older parts; Tiagra is not going to be unobtainably obsolete any time soon. If you need something esoteric or very specific you might run into a problem 10 years from now, but that will be true for anything, not just Tiagra.
I believe he was saying its more costly and difficult to upgrade individual pieces of a grouppo versus one single component (i.e. 105 but has tektro/FSA brakes/cranks). This is why I suggested a properly fitted frame with a solid grouppo. A $1200 bike will not come with "nice" wheels. They will be perfectly serviceable and will serve your purposes, but you may (and many do) find yourself desiring an upgrade to a ~$400-$500 wheelset down the line from Mavik, Soul, Boyd, Williams, PSImet, et al. Pretty much all manufacturers/makers offer an under $500 alloy wheelset that will serve almost anyone just fine.

If all your other components are quality and you're just left with a wheel upgrade down the line, you will have a great bike for a great price. Take advantage of the price break manufactures get by ordering components in bulk and get a properly fitted bike with a quality grouppo.
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Old 05-19-11, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Wescoe
I believe he was saying its more costly and difficult to upgrade individual pieces of a grouppo versus one single component (i.e. 105 but has tektro/FSA brakes/cranks)....
That may be what he meant, but it's still incorrect. Almost everything is interchangeable. There would be absolutely no problems in upgrading Tektro brakes or an FSA crank to 105.

The only real issue would be if he wanted to upgrade from 9sp to 10sp, in which case he'd have to replace the cassette and the shifters... which, if he's upgrading, he would want to do anyway.

Also, keep in mind that Shimano frequently trickles down R&D; so essentially, today's Tiagra is very close (if not equal) to 105 from a couple of years ago. I'd imagine that since $1200 gets you an aluminum frame, chances are that Tiagra components can last, and work very well, for the life of the frame.
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Old 05-19-11, 03:28 PM
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Synapse is a great choice. Whatever you do, get the 105 drivetrain (at least the derailluers and shifters) if you can. (Opinion only)
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Old 05-19-11, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe
That may be what he meant, but it's still incorrect. Almost everything is interchangeable. There would be absolutely no problems in upgrading Tektro brakes or an FSA crank to 105.

The only real issue would be if he wanted to upgrade from 9sp to 10sp, in which case he'd have to replace the cassette and the shifters... which, if he's upgrading, he would want to do anyway.

Also, keep in mind that Shimano frequently trickles down R&D; so essentially, today's Tiagra is very close (if not equal) to 105 from a couple of years ago. I'd imagine that since $1200 gets you an aluminum frame, chances are that Tiagra components can last, and work very well, for the life of the frame.
Yes, I was talking about how you can't upgrade single components to 10 speed on a 9 speed drivetrain and Tiagra is the top of the 9 speed food chain unless he finds NOS stuff.
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Old 05-20-11, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe
That may be what he meant, but it's still incorrect. Almost everything is interchangeable. There would be absolutely no problems in upgrading Tektro brakes or an FSA crank to 105.

The only real issue would be if he wanted to upgrade from 9sp to 10sp, in which case he'd have to replace the cassette and the shifters... which, if he's upgrading, he would want to do anyway.

Also, keep in mind that Shimano frequently trickles down R&D; so essentially, today's Tiagra is very close (if not equal) to 105 from a couple of years ago. I'd imagine that since $1200 gets you an aluminum frame, chances are that Tiagra components can last, and work very well, for the life of the frame.
I don't disagree, but oftentimes OEMs get price breaks because they bulk buy components. That being said, its probably a better deal, if he's set on getting a full group, to get it from the OEM vs. upgrading piece parts afterwards.

However, making a full group a requirement is a little silly IMHO.

For $1200 I still recommend an alum/carbon frame, solid components and setting some money aside for quality wheels in the future. The OP is pretty much in the exact situation i was in when I bought my bike, however, I lucked out and found a year old Felt with 105/Ultegra mix for nearly half price. I put the saved money into accessories and still came out ahead of my original budget.
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Old 05-20-11, 11:24 AM
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Since my "full group" comment seems to be causing a bit of a stir, what I basically meant was with the drivetrain, not including brakes and crank. It sounds like it's not that important, so I guess I don't need to get hung up on that. The Felt Z85 has "no name" brakes, but otherwise a full 105 group and was a nice ride (despite a poor rear derailleur adjustment). In this price range, it's seems I've seen a few bikes with Tiagra shifters and 105 derailleurs (or maybe it was the other way). Maybe I'm confusing myself with the Tiagra/Sora mixed bikes that I started with and discounted. I've been at the research a while and am starting to get myself jumbled up. I have also heard the comment now here and in the shop that "this year's Tiagra is last year's 105", which kind of adds to the confusion. I wasn't sure if that was sales hype or not. Does that mean the 105s are old Ultegra's?

I continue to appreciate the constructive feedback. Thanks!
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