Re: Shimano Ultegra vs. SRAM Rival
Originally Posted by alfeng
The shifting & braking should be comparable -- if not the same -- if both have the same components OTHERWISE it's a matter of the dealer's setup.
I don't know about better acceleration of one bike over another ... it could have been the wheels ... how you felt on the particular day ... the roadway ... etc.
With regard to "ride quality" ... you should study the frame geometry on the two frames & ascertain what the differences are-or-aren't.
Presuming the geometry is different (head tube angle, etc.), then, use that information in culling/including other bikes to test ...
If the angles are the same & the virtual top tube is the same ... then the difference in the way you perceived the ride was probably how the bikes were set up OR how you were feeling at the given moment of time OR the gear you had the bike in OR the phase of the Moon OR ____ ...
BTW. Since you're apparently paying bust-out retail (presuming you're buying a Trek), you may as wait until February to buy the bike because in 3/4s of the country, the peak of the riding season is over ...
Again, where are you that the pickings are so slim AND what other bikes were you considering?
Other than NOT having any of those other brands, what was your impression of those OTHER bike shops?
At $2600+, there are a lot of options ...
Well, I have noticed that shifting and braking varies, and of course some of that's due to the components, and some due to the way they are set up. I'm disappointed when a shop gives me a bike to test and it's sloppily assembled or adjusted, but it does happen.
As for acceleration, I'm sure the wheels are different on the different bike models! Also the crank lengths, and even the gearing. But I keep reading about bikes that "love to climb," or just accelerate easily, and I haven't found any like that so far.
As far as the frame geometries go, it seems they are all very similar, with only a few millimeters difference between tube lengths and angles. I have no way of making sense of these minor differences; I really need to ride the bikes to see how I like them. It's the job of the LBS, as I see it, to make sure it's set up properly for me.
As for waiting until February and/or paying full retail, here's what's happening now: I tested a 2009 Madone 4.7 last week and went in yesterday to have it set up properly for me. The same store has a 2008 Madone 5.5 in the same frame size on clearance for 25% off the original price. The difference between full retail price on the 4.7 and the clearance price of the 5.5 is just a few hundred dollars, so they are setting up the 5.5 for me in the same manner as the 4.7 and I'll be able to test and compare them side by side. The store manager says that, at that price, it's a "no brainer" to choose the 5.5, which is an OCLV full carbon frame with Dura-
Ace components. If it's as good as it's reputed to be, I may wind up with that bike this weekend!
Where I'm located is central New Jersey. There are lots of bike shops, but I haven't been successful in locating lots of bikes in my size. Some of the stores are willing to order bikes in for me to test, and some are very hesitant to do so without a commitment to buy, which for me is a Catch-22: I can't buy it without testing it, and I can't test it without buying it.
As for my impression of the various bike shops, some of them are very good and some are not. Some are willing to work with me to make a sale and some are not. Some staff or owners are very helpful and some are much less so. One owner, for example, prides himself on being a very skilled and thorough mechanic (and, in fact, I brought my Trek hybrid in to him for some repairs last week), but he has absolutely no bikes in my size to test, and isn't willing to order any without a committment to buy. He even has a raw frame I liked that he said he could build up for me, but again, I would have to buy it. And this without being able to test ride it!
So I'm doing the best I can with what's available. I've had my Trek 7500 for 11 years now and it's been virtually trouble-free; I'm happy with Trek as a brand and there's no reason I don't want to use them; I just wanted to see if there might be something a whole lot better that I was missing. Whether there is or isn't, it doesn't look as though I'll be able to find out for a while, or if it will even matter to me if I get one of the Madones.