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Best Road bike for the money

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
$1000 or under. One for me and the wife. The bike store near me suggested the 2007 Specialized Allez Elite Triple list price $1100 or the Felt F75 Aluminum/Carbon Road Bike, 2006, listed @ $1400. Both bikes are on sale for $999. Any opinions on these bikes or other models in this price range? Thanks.
post #2 of 21

Re: Best Road bike for the money

Both are good bikes, but if both are priced identically, then the Felt is the better buy - provided you're OK with a double vs. a triple.

The Felt is 18.4 lbs, which is lighter than the Allez, and includes carbon stays, that the Specialized doesn't have. It also has a combo Ultegra/105 component set, where (I think) the Allez has a Tiagra/105 mix. The Felt also has a Shimano 500 wheelset - better than the stock Allez Elite......
post #3 of 21

Re: Best Road bike for the money

As noted the wheels are better on the Felt.

One thing is your location. Lots of big hills or long climbs in the area? You might prefer the triple.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFerrinator
$1000 or under. One for me and the wife. The bike store near me suggested the 2007 Specialized Allez Elite Triple list price $1100 or the Felt F75 Aluminum/Carbon Road Bike, 2006, listed @ $1400. Both bikes are on sale for $999. Any opinions on these bikes or other models in this price range? Thanks.
post #4 of 21

Re: Best Road bike for the money

The other big difference between the two is the frame geometry. Be sure to ride both bikes before you decide. Fit and comfort with the position is an individualized thing. If you are comfortable on the Felt, then I would agree it is the better bike, but many people will prefer the feel of the Allez. To me, the difference in the fit and comfort would be the deciding factor. A bike with lesser wheels and components that fits you well is far superior to a bike with better wheels and components that does not fit.
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 

Re: Best Road bike for the money

If you've never ridden a road bike how would you know if its comfortable or the right fit? The salesman at the store told my wife that she should be on a mens bike because she is too tall for the womens designs. We are used to riding mountain bikes so any road bike would feel uncomfortable.
post #6 of 21

Re: Best Road bike for the money

The main difference between men's and women's frames is the relationship between stand-over height (or seat tube length) and effective top tube length (the distance between the top of the seat tube and the top of the head tube). Women typically have longer legs and arms and a shorter torso for their height than men do; therefore, women's frames have a shorter effective top tube length for the same seat tube length compared to men's frames. Not all men fit best on a men's frame, and not all women fit best on a woman's frame. Two of my adult daughters ride a men's frame, and my other daughter and my wife ride a women's frame.

An experienced bicycle fitter should be able to help you determine which is the best fit for you based on your body proportions, flexibility, physical conditioning, and cycling goals. When I bought my road bike, I was coming from a hybrid (Specialized Crossroads). One of the fitters at my LBS spend about four hours working with me to determine the best bike and the best setup of that bike before I bought. Going in, I was considering the Specalized Sequoia, Roubaix, Allez, and Tarmac; the Trek Pilot, 5000, and Madone; and the Felt f5c.

At the time, I was 54 years old, 200 pounds, 6'0", short arms (33" sleeve) and legs (30" inseam) and limited flexibility due to spinal stenosis. My goals were to ride long distances (75 to 100 miles) at a moderate pace. I have no intention of racing, but I did want to be comfortable over long distances.

With the help of the fitter, I quickly dropped the Allez, Tarmac, Pilot, 5000, Madone, and Felt from my list (the same shop carries all of these bikes, BTW, so there was no bias on the part of the fitter). After spending some time on the trainer making adjustments to the remaining bikes on my list and after a few test rides on the road of about 3 to 5 miles each on the Pilot and Roubaix, I decided on the Specalized Roubaix Elite. Three weeks later, I road that bike 75 miles per day on two consecutive days without any discomfort. I averaged 17 mph on the first day and 15.2 mph on the second day, which was well within my expectations.

As far as the fit is concerned, what you need to look for is the distribution of your weight among your feet, hands, and butt; the position of your knees in relationship to the pedal axis; the extension of your leg when the pedal is in the downward most position; whether your sit bones are positioned on the proper part of the saddle; and the position of your back when your hands are on the hoods. Again, an experienced fitter will be able to help you sort this out. In my case, he had to replace the stock stem with a shorter one so that my reach was comfortable.
I do not agree with your statement "We are used to riding mountain bikes so any road bike would feel uncomfortable". A properly fit road bike will feel different than a mountain bike, but a road bike should not be uncomfortable. If it is uncomfortable, and if there is no one in the store that is willing (or has the knowledge) to take the time to find a bike that fits you properly, then find another LBS.
post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 

Re: Best Road bike for the money

QUOTE=RickF
Quote:
Originally Posted by RickF
The main difference between men's and women's frames is the relationship between stand-over height (or seat tube length) and effective top tube length (the distance between the top of the seat tube and the top of the head tube). Women typically have longer legs and arms and a shorter torso for their height than men do; therefore, women's frames have a shorter effective top tube length for the same seat tube length compared to men's frames. Not all men fit best on a men's frame, and not all women fit best on a woman's frame. Two of my adult daughters ride a men's frame, and my other daughter and my wife ride a women's frame.

An experienced bicycle fitter should be able to help you determine which is the best fit for you based on your body proportions, flexibility, physical conditioning, and cycling goals. When I bought my road bike, I was coming from a hybrid (Specialized Crossroads). One of the fitters at my LBS spend about four hours working with me to determine the best bike and the best setup of that bike before I bought. Going in, I was considering the Specalized Sequoia, Roubaix, Allez, and Tarmac; the Trek Pilot, 5000, and Madone; and the Felt f5c.

At the time, I was 54 years old, 200 pounds, 6'0", short arms (33" sleeve) and legs (30" inseam) and limited flexibility due to spinal stenosis. My goals were to ride long distances (75 to 100 miles) at a moderate pace. I have no intention of racing, but I did want to be comfortable over long distances.

With the help of the fitter, I quickly dropped the Allez, Tarmac, Pilot, 5000, Madone, and Felt from my list (the same shop carries all of these bikes, BTW, so there was no bias on the part of the fitter). After spending some time on the trainer making adjustments to the remaining bikes on my list and after a few test rides on the road of about 3 to 5 miles each on the Pilot and Roubaix, I decided on the Specalized Roubaix Elite. Three weeks later, I road that bike 75 miles per day on two consecutive days without any discomfort. I averaged 17 mph on the first day and 15.2 mph on the second day, which was well within my expectations.

As far as the fit is concerned, what you need to look for is the distribution of your weight among your feet, hands, and butt; the position of your knees in relationship to the pedal axis; the extension of your leg when the pedal is in the downward most position; whether your sit bones are positioned on the proper part of the saddle; and the position of your back when your hands are on the hoods. Again, an experienced fitter will be able to help you sort this out. In my case, he had to replace the stock stem with a shorter one so that my reach was comfortable.
I do not agree with your statement "We are used to riding mountain bikes so any road bike would feel uncomfortable". A properly fit road bike will feel different than a mountain bike, but a road bike should not be uncomfortable. If it is uncomfortable, and if there is no one in the store that is willing (or has the knowledge) to take the time to find a bike that fits you properly, then find another LBS.
post #8 of 21

Re: Best Road bike for the money

Just wanted to agree with Rick. If the guy in the shop told you your wife was too tall for a women's bike then it indicates to me that he doesn't know how to fit a bicycle properly. Its not your height that comes into play with women's designs, but rather your body proportions. Many (but not all!) women have shorter torsos and arms compared to their legs. Some women's bikes are designed with this in mind - others are painted pink and have a women's logo slapped on them, but that is a different story. The thing is if you have a top tube that is too long you will be uncomfortable - it can make your neck and shoulders hurt and your hands go numb, and it can rob you of much of your power too. Have someone reputable who will look at much more than just your height to determine what bicycle you need to be on. Don't let yourself be talked into an uncomfortable bike just because someone tells you its your size. My last bike purchase the guy tried to get me to buy one size up - even though I have experience with a bike that was too big and patiently tried to explain that I KNOW, not think, that I need the smaller size.
post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 

Re: Best Road bike for the money

ImageBrandItem NameVariationsPriceQtyTotal CannondaleCAAD8 Optimo 2
Patriot Blue, 63cm$1,099.99 $2,199.98 SpecializedAllez Elite Triple
White/Red, 61cm$1,099.99 $1,099.99 Trek1500
Discovery Blue/Bright Silver, 63cm$1,109.99 $1,109.99
I rode the Cannondale and the Specailized today. I think the Specialized was a 63 cm too. Any more opinions?
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 

Re: Best Road bike for the money

Any more opinions?
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFerrinator
ImageBrandItem NameVariationsPriceQtyTotal CannondaleCAAD8 Optimo 2
Patriot Blue, 63cm$1,099.99 $2,199.98 SpecializedAllez Elite Triple
White/Red, 61cm$1,099.99 $1,099.99 Trek1500
Discovery Blue/Bright Silver, 63cm$1,109.99 $1,109.99
I rode the Cannondale and the Specailized today. I think the Specialized was a 63 cm too. Any more opinions?
post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 

Re: Best Road bike for the money

What's up with a compact frame design?
post #12 of 21

Re: Best Road bike for the money

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFerrinator
What's up with a compact frame design?
I do not understand the question. The compact frame is different. It is not necessarily better, and it is not necessarily worse - it is just different. If you are like me, and have short legs for your height, the compact frame has the advantage of having a longer effective top tube length for the same stand-over height, but if you do not need the lower top tube, there is no disadvantage to the compact frame. Buy what fits and what is comfortable to you.
post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 

Re: Best Road bike for the money

Any other ideas?
post #14 of 21

Re: Best Road bike for the money

Try to calculate the fit yourself with this online version. At least it can act as a reference and guide you two,

http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za...LCULATOR_INTRO

I just checked myself and found my present bike actually "fits" by numerical method as well. Nice verification of the trial and error derivation.
post #15 of 21
Thread Starter 

Re: Best Road bike for the money

I picked the Trek 1500. Any feedback?



Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFerrinator
Any more opinions?
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