$1200 decision

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Shane422, Feb 19, 2005.

  1. Shane422

    Shane422 New Member

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    So I'm ready to move past my Fuji Ace to a better bike. I'm down to three bikes: 1) 2005 Felt F60 (Ultegra 10 spd), $1250
    2.) 2005 Trek Pilot 2.1 (105 9 spd), $1260
    3.) 2004 Specialized Roubaix, base model (105 9 spd), $1200

    I'm a big dude, 6'3" and 255lbs of fun. I ride about 100 miles a week in the summer, and I'm not a racer, although I still avg around 18mph for a 20 mile ride. I'm currently leaning toward the Roubaix. I've ridden them all and it feels so smooth, plus its marked down $200, its also the last one and could be sold at any time. But I can't ignore the fact that the Felt has Ultegra 10 spd for nearly the same price, and has a respectable ride as well. I'm 34 years old, and I want this bike to last me to 40, so I'm thinking the upright position may better suit me for the long haul.

    Any advice to help sway my decision ?
     
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  2. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    40..... Bwahahahahaha ! spend your money on a rocker,nice cozy lap dog and drool cup.
     
  3. biker7

    biker7 New Member

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    Hi Shane,
    I too am looking for a new road bike...per my other thread and have to say, what you mention are all nice bikes. I am not quite as big as you and am a bit older and am reluctant to say how much older :cool: The reason I don't buy any of the bikes you mention is because they are aluminum...even with carbon seat stays and a carbon fork...aluminum just doesn't have the damping characteristics of steel or carbon fiber. Sounds like you want a single purpose bike and don't race so consider looking at least at a steel bike...which are getting harder to find....like a Jamis or Bianchi...even those companies are succumbing (selling out?) to marketing pressure and switching out to aluminum frames. If you don't race, I would get a steel bike for about the same money, or bite the bullet and do what I am gonna do and throw down for a nice carbon fiber bike that is fast and easy on the joints.
    Good luck in your search,
    George
     
  4. RC2

    RC2 New Member

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    Really? Is it that black and white? Good to know...
     
  5. JTE83

    JTE83 Member

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    Spend a little more and go for the 2005 Giant TCR Composite 3 (carbon fiber with 105) or the 2005 Giant OCR Composite 3. I saw both bikes at a bike shop in Chicago for $1475.
     
  6. biker7

    biker7 New Member

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    agree with JTE83...check out both the TCR and OCR composites with 105 components...probably worth the extra cost. I will be doing the same to see if they are a better alternative to spending $500 more for a Trek 5000.
    George
    PS...yeah RC...its cut and dried...can you feel the buzz? ;)
     
  7. RC2

    RC2 New Member

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    There's nothing wrong with the Roubaix. You can spend a ton of money on a composite frame with full DA if you want and end up loosing the bang for the buck you'd get out of a 105 equipped Roubaix. And a 255 lb dude on a whippy TCR? Who's buzzin?
     
  8. biker7

    biker7 New Member

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    RC...guess it depends on which flavor Roubaix you want...monocoque carbon or aluminum frame with carbon seat stays and fork...the latter I am not a fan of.
    Kind of like last years OCR and TCR.
    The higher end Roubaix with carbon monocoque frame is about $2500 depending on component mix.
    Agree that full DA really shoots the price up and isn't needed.
    George
     
  9. dhk

    dhk New Member

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    I'm with RC2 here. You might prefer the "lively" ride of steel, but that's from a relative lack of damping vs AL or CF frames, not more damping. If you do a "bounce" test with a steel frame and fork bike, vs a stiff AL/CF or all CF frame, believe you'll be able to see which has the damping. My steel bike will buzz and vibrate for about a second after being bounced, vs my AL/CF bike which shows very little vibration at all.

    Of course, some steel-ride fans say a CF bike has a "dead" ride, since they are used to the vibrations and springy feel. All depends what you like.

    A 255 lb rider needs the stiffest, strongest frame he can buy, not something whippy. I'd advise selecting the bike with the stiffest frame and wheels.
     
  10. biker7

    biker7 New Member

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    dhk...you are mixing your metaphors a bit or there is a semantical disconnect....I believe both.
    I am a mechanical engineer and design cars for a living so I know a bit about material/mechanical properties, material densities, modulus of elasticity versus yield strength differences etc....what I do for a living. You are confusing vibration signature which is the aggragate of frequency, amplitude and period...all very different between materials and often lumped together generically to describe what many refer to as damping. It is the low amplitude, high frequency, short period resonance of aluminum that makes it so unattractive from a feel standpoint. Without turning this into a material treatise, for the same section modulus, a higher amplitude/ lower frequency, longer period vibration of a steel frame is actually friendlier in terms of feel, shock and fatigue which is often described as better damping.
    HTH,
    George
     
  11. dhk

    dhk New Member

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    OK, believe it is a semantics thing. Agree that a steel frame "generally" has a higher amplitude/lower frequency and longer vibration period than aluminum or carbon. But I associate a longer vibration period (ie, of a spring) with less damping, not more.

    If you were using the term damping to mean smoothing out road noise, or compliance, understand that a steel frame with a lower natural frequency would do that better than a stiffer frame.

    But, have you actually ridden or owned a good AL/CF or CF frame? I've ridden several, and have one now. To me, they have a more comfortable, more compliant ride than either of my old steel bikes. Wonder what AL frames you've ridden to pronounce all of them "so unattractive from a ride standpoint", and what steel frame your comparing them to?

    My steel bikes are Raleigh 531, certainly not high-end or ultralight such as S3 or Ultrafoco. If there is some super-ride steel frame out there, I'd like to try it. Several of the club guys I ride with have custom Ultrafoco steel frames they like a lot, but I haven't ridden them yet.
     
  12. artmichalek

    artmichalek New Member

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    Compliance is flexibility, which only comes in when you're dealing with how a frame is going to respond to a high amplitude input.. Frame vibration is even more complicated than biker7 made it sound. You can build a frame out of steel or titanium that is every bit as structurally stiff as carbon or aluminum, but still has a lower frequency. For low amplitude inputs, it feels like it's "soaking up" road vibration, but it's really responding to it in a different way.
     
  13. triguy98

    triguy98 New Member

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    I will say this:

    MY new Trek Equinox with carbon fork is a world above the ride quality of my old all alum. GT ZR5000. You'll probably be fine with any of the bike listed. However, with a Trek 5000's price line @ ~$2k, ya cant really go wrong with that.
     
  14. RC2

    RC2 New Member

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    Know what? Another engineer here. Intel, design chips, lots of fun materials, largely metals, fun chemistry, you-name-it involved, requires a bit of precision w/r/t getting the math right too. Applying materials science fundamentals to describe the properties of a frame is all well and good, but guess what? You can also ride 'em and form opinions based on direct observation if ya want. I've done a lot of that since biking is something I'm into. I've got a steel frame and love it, ridden lots and lots of composites and have loved many, and still my primary stand-by is Al. Why? I weigh in at nearly 200 lb and am young and strong enough to appreciate a light and stiff frame that I don't care about ruining. Is it 'harsher' over a rough course...yes but I'd have to ride over 50 mi to really 'feel' any significant difference in my arms and wrists vs. a steel, Ti, or composite number, and still then it wouldn't really be that noticable. Making a sweeping statement like all Al is bad is just plain 'tarded. And fwiw if you haven't experienced Al post early 90's Cdale, they've come a long way.
     
  15. Shane422

    Shane422 New Member

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    Wow, the advice range is all over the board here. Seems to range from "get a steel bike" to "spend more than your budget". I would like to go for steel, but I haven't really seen anything in the price range and quality that I'm looking for. My Fuji Ace is actually Cromoly, and I like how it rides, but I know there are better rides out there. Any steel recommended sites ?

    It does seem that nearly every bike in the $1000 - $1400 range has the Alum frame mixed with carbon stays, and fork. The exception is the Trek 1500, but I really can't stand the 2005 paint job.

    I was actually thinking I'd get more of a "Go with the Specialized, Felts suck for big dudes". Or something about how compact frames suck, and I should get the Felt.
     
  16. Doctor Morbius

    Doctor Morbius New Member

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    I'm not going to get involved with the steel vs. alum vs. carbon debate, but out of the three bikes you've mentioned I am biased toward the Specialized.

    If I won a $1200 gift certificate that could only be spent at a bike shop I would probably lean toward the Specialized. I own two of them now ('04 Sequoia Elite & '03 Allez Sport) and am very impressed with them so far. I don't own any Treks or Felts. They may very well be better bikes, I couldn't say. There are many people on this forum that will favor Trek or Felt brand bikes.

    An '04 Specialized Roubaix with full 105 for $1200 sounds like a pretty good deal to me. Unfortunately, I don't like white. That would be my biggest drawback.

    If that '04 Roubaix sells before you make your decision/purchase, you may also want to consider the '05 Specialized Allez Elite. The tripple comes in Flo Red and Dream Silver, the double comes only in Flo Red. Although it doesn't sport full 105 components, it is close. The cranks are FSA Gossamer and the brake calipers are Specialized' house brand. It doesn't have the carbon rear stays either, but as some of the posters have stated you may not be able to tell much difference. My Sequoia has carbon rear stays and my Allez Sport doesn't. Can't really tell the difference to be honest with you. If I want a more comfy ride I will put on a set of fatter tires and let some of the pressure out instead of riding them at 130 PSI like some people do.

    Like you I am a Clydesdale and the only thing I would consider changing would be the wheelset. I have the Alex ALX-290 wheelset on my Sequoia. They're the same as on the Roubaix you're looking at. I keep expecting to hear something like "boing" "snap" just before doing a nose dive into the pavement! :eek:

    Does that help? My consulting fee is your old cromoly Fuji Ace. Just pack it up and sent it at your leisure. Thanks. ;)
     
  17. gerardbjr

    gerardbjr New Member

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    Don't buy what other people tell you to buy. All that has been said is a bunch of BS. If you want to be happy then test ride each bike and buy the one that will make YOU happy. That is the best advice. Also, if you lose flexibility as you get older, you can always raise the handlebars/change the stem angle so buy a bike that is comfortable and fits you well now.
     
  18. biker7

    biker7 New Member

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    The only BS written is what you wrote gerardbjr which is no advice at all... generally the case when someone makes a comment of that nature. Shane is looking for a road bike and many good comments have been made. Its a tough decision frought with tradeoffs. RC...you know bikes and Shane may like an AL bike and yes they have come a long way. I personally wouldn't buy one because I am older and like to take long rides and have ridden several AL bikes and my psyche as you allude is tainted with old AL bikes :)
    Bikes are like cars in many ways. A full frame (Steel) Lincoln is going to ride better than a unit body (AL) Porsche and of course the Porsche will out handle and accelerate the Lincoln.
    I think you are going to see over the next few years the trickle down of monocoque carbon to lower level bikes, Giant leading the charge. Whether its skis or golf clubs, designs are always morphing to a new level.
    Aluminum was a short lived material used in tennis rackets until everybody started to develop arm problems.
    Since I play around a lot with materials in my line of work, I tend to know the properties of each. And geometry matters a lot as well...so quite right RC, it isn't cut and dried however you are always designing toward the strengths of materials and away from their weakness, each is always there however.

    With all the great bikes out there, it is a tough decision and one could argue no one bike is best for every occasion.
    Good Luck,
    George
     
  19. gerardbjr

    gerardbjr New Member

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    More BS

    Better to give no advice than make improper generalizations about frame materials. Frame geometry, and tube shapes and sizes play a bigger part in a bikes feel than the material used. Yes, choosing a bike is a tough decision, but you should buy a bike based on how it feels and handles when you ride it. Better to make your own judgements on ride quality than to trust forum "experts" (many of whom don't know what they are talking about).
     
  20. biker7

    biker7 New Member

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    ...more insightful advice gerardbjr. You are truly a brilliant man.
    bawahahahahaha...ok, I am better now. :D
    George
     
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