ADVICE: Learsport 8500 Vs Giant TCR1

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Svatze, Mar 6, 2005.

  1. Svatze

    Svatze New Member

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    Hi all,

    This is my first thread on this forum and I'm seeking some advice to help me make a very difficult decission.

    I'm buying my first ever road bike and hoping to compete in the Gatorade Tri Series next summer. I'll probably be riding only 150 - 200km per week.

    So, I'm trying to chose between the:

    Learsport 8500 ($2200 retail) - no pedals
    http://www.learsport.com.au/view_product.php?product=Lear8500 and;

    Giant TCR 1 ($2600 retail) http://www.giant-bicycle.com/au/030.000.000/030.000.000.asp?model=9881.

    I'm also going to need to all of the extra's like shoes, hemet, bike computer etc. so my budget limit is set to $2500. Both have full Ultegra 10sp with Shimano R550 rims and both ar sub 9kg bikes. The biggest difference is obviously the brand name and the frame. Learsport uses columbus zonal tubing which as far as my limited knowledge tells me is a fairly decent frame.

    :confused:

    I need some unbiased feedback (hard to get at a bike shop) re: Learsport and how they compare to other bikes in similar price ranges. I'm really stuck for a decission here as the value of the Learsport seems pretty unbeatable but the safety of the "known" brand name "Giant" would appear to be the safer option.

    BTW - these aren't the only two bikes I've looked at but are the two that I'm most serious about buying.

    PLEEEEEEEEEEAAAASE HELP!

    Thanks in advance for your help.
    Svatze :)
     
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  2. Scotty1981

    Scotty1981 New Member

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    Haveing not ridden a Learsport I dont have much of an opinion of how good they are. However even though they are only a relatively small brand they are based in Australia as you are, so any warranty problems should they ever arise shouldn't be a problem, the 2 bikes will be a much of a muchness both frames are made in Taiwan and both use similar components, the best way 2 decide is to ride them both and see which one you like the most, also take into consideration sizeing so as to get the right fit.

    Although you said you have looked at other bikes, did you have a look at the Felt F65, you can pick them up for around the $2000 mark and it is also Ultegra equiped, and a bigger international brand, just a thought if you were worried about Learsport cause it's not well known and wanted somethin around the same price.
     
  3. Svatze

    Svatze New Member

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    Thanks for your feedback scotty. As far as other bikes go - no I haven't yet seen the Felt F65. I'll start searching now. Do you know any stockists in Australia so that I can check out their web site? Also is it the 2005 model (10sp Ultegra) - just so that I'm comparing apples with apples. Other bikes I've looked at are with 105 groupsets in the < $2000 price range such as, Giant TCR2 & the Gitane mach1800.

    Thanks again for your feedback.
     
  4. sambo76

    sambo76 New Member

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    Two of my training partners have recently purchased the learsport 8500. Both of them to date have been extremely happy with their choice. One used to ride a TCR1 (aluminium Frame) and loves the learsport.

    I used to be skeptical of the learsport but since seeing the bikes have to say they represent great value for money.

    You should be able to get the bike for less than the $2200 qouted as I know they both got them for Just over $2200 after upgrading the wheelset to Ritchey WCS wheels. I think if your willing to haggle you can easily get the bike for around $2000 mark.

    Hope that helps.
     
  5. Scotty1981

    Scotty1981 New Member

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    Yes the Felt F65 has the new ultegra 10 speed, since your in melbourne, your best bet would be the Melbourne Bicycle Centre, on High street in Prahran. There website is www.bikes.com.au But if you want further info just log onto Felts website www.feltracing.com Hope that helps
     
  6. honk

    honk New Member

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    Haven't ridden the Learsport either but built up a Giant TCR (as the frame was going for £799 - I'm in the UK) with a Centaur groupset. I think with the 2005 TCR frames you should be able to get bargains on the TCR (whether it is Ultegra or Centaur).

    Main plusses with the Giant is the comfort and of course the weight :)
     
  7. honk

    honk New Member

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    Whoops my mistake thought it was the Composite you were looking at (need more sleep);)
     
  8. HotLips

    HotLips New Member

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    Dont know overly much about the learsport, but all shops/mechanics i asked (even those which sold them) didnt have best opinion of them. Yes they are good value, but you are mainly paying for groupset, and personally would be looking at a more reputed and well known brand, even if does cost slightly more. It is your choice though, and no matter what you get make sure you are fitted correctly and are comfy on the thing.:)
     
  9. sambo76

    sambo76 New Member

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    It is funny you should mention shop/mechanics opinions of them as such. When I purchased my new bike late last year I stayed away from them for the very same reason (mind you without ever looking at one in person). Since seeing them and talking with training partners who purchased them I think I paid alot more for what I got than what I could have got had I purchased the learsport and used my change else where. I only wish I had the guts to buy something different then follow the usual brand name bikes.


    As my mates have pointed out they have a 3 year warranty on parts regardless of shimanos own 1 year warranty and a 15 year frame warranty. So I find it hard to believe they are such a bad bike to offer such warranties. Also I believe IMHO that other shops are going to write them off as they have nothing which compares in value and quality for that dollar value. Learsport only have limited retailers where as nearly every shop sells Giant.
    But at the end of the day ride both bikes and decide what you feel is best for you. Just on that note I believe Learsport dealers have a bike you can loan for a week to help you test it correctly. I know one mate took that as he was really worried about what he had heard and after a week on the previous years bike that had been well used and abused still purchased one.

    Hope that helps you to read between what some shops tell you and test things for yourself.
     
  10. Svatze

    Svatze New Member

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    Sambo76,

    Really appreciate your honest feedback. The more I read the more I'm leaning towards the Learsport. I am sitll a big fan of the Giant TCR1 though - so still very much struggling to make a decission. I guess (hope) the test rides will determine one way or the other my final decission. Also Scotty now has me thinking about the Felt s65!! Like I need MORE to think about ;)

    I will definately look into using a loan-test bike for a week. No-one has offered that up to me yet but I will be asking.

    Thanks again to all for your valuable feedback.
     
  11. pase

    pase New Member

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    remember that buying a learsport will bite you when it comes to resale.


    sure ive seen the ads, great component spec, decent frame materials, so why isnt it a bargain?

    i dont really know, but then why do people pay crazy prices for bikes like colnago and pinarello, which have the same parts, might be made from the same materials as your bikes in question?
    do they ride that much different?

    get a decent bike shop to size you up on the bike and let you test ride it. buy whatever is the most comfortable and appealing ride to you.

    bikepro in surrey hills, melb sell learsport road bikes so you might what to check them out there
     
  12. phillip-8727

    phillip-8727 New Member

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    i have been the happy owner of a 2005 giant tcr 1 for 4 weeks, and let me tell you why i bought it.

    1.karl menzies rode the exact same frame (YES THE ALUMINIUM ONE) in the 2004 herald sun tour and he led the race for 3 or so days

    2. klayton smith rode the exact same frame (YES THE ALUMINIUM ONE) to win the 2003 national mens open road race at club nationals

    3.team ONCE rode the aluminium frame in all their european races up till 2002

    this frame and fork is good enough to compete at any level, it has and continues to be put under alot of research and development by giant.
    i am very, very, very, happy with the responsiveness and great feel that it delivers, it feels AWESOME when sprinting in the drops.
    i had put it through 150km days back to back with no trouble at all, and the shimano 550's have held up well (but i do have another set of wheels for racing). i did a stint of 600km's in five days and always felt comfortable to go out for another 4-5 hours each morning, the great feel of the bike added to my enthusiam to ride more.
    i decided on this bike because i want a great performing bike on a budget, but this is for me, the learsport may be the better option for you, but i would test ride both first.
    you have to make the decision on what is the better option for you, but i will say with some confidence that you will enjoy riding the giant tcr1 if you decide to purchase it.
    i hope this helps.
     
  13. phillip-8727

    phillip-8727 New Member

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  14. Svatze

    Svatze New Member

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    Hi everyone,

    Thanks to everyone for your advice!!

    I went out yesterday and finally bought my bike and am very excited about it!

    I finally decided on the Giant TCR1 one after taking both for a ride. Bought it from Lygon St Cycles for a pretty good price:
    Bike plus other bits and pieces including shoes, computer, cages, repair kit etc.. for $2655.

    Not bad considering the bike retails for $2600!

    Thanks again to everyone for your help!

    Cheers.
     
  15. ksl

    ksl New Member

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    Hi Svatze,

    Congrats on your choice! I've been eyeing the TCR1 for a while as well. Would love to know what you think of the bike once you've spent some time on it.

    Enjoy your riding,

    KSL
     
  16. Svatze

    Svatze New Member

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    Thanks KSL.

    Just something to keep in mind. The TCR1 is now pretty hard to find as this has been a very popular model. Most of the bike shops I called were saying that they are sold out and not getting any more from Giant.

    Good luck.
     
  17. ksl

    ksl New Member

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    Thanks. Won't be in a position to buy for at least two months, so will have to wait and see at the time.
     
  18. phillip-8727

    phillip-8727 New Member

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    when i bought my M/L sized giant tcr1 in feb of this year, my LBS said they were unavailable. luckily for me a guy at the shop had a friend who worked in the giant distribution centre and one quick phone call later my giant was on its way. while inspecting the bike i noticed some slight scratches and a dint in the front rim which my LBS filled out. i think mine may have been one of the last left due to these problems.
    even so i have had nothing but great times on the bike, i am looking forward to kitting it up with my velomax circuit/michelin pro race tyres for racing.
    if you are gpoing to buy this bike i suggest upgrading the pedals to ultegra pedals, it only cost $50 extra but i think it is worth it.
    i receive a discount through my LBS, so mine cost $2270 with ultegra pedals, 2 drink bottle cages and training tyres.
     
  19. NewKidOnTheBike

    NewKidOnTheBike New Member

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    Being a New Kid On The/A Bike I do not know much about models, specifications and specially shimano parts(compleatelly a new world). My eyes were couth by the TCR1, just for good looking, but being NKOTB, prices were a little to high, so I decided to look for a OCR2 or 3. And after testing the 3 I was happy, but then the 2 came along and even better. The shop, not having a Small OCR2, they offered me the Small OCR1 at $1450, same price as the OCR2... Do you think is a good offer?... advise so I make my wallet loose weight faster than myself... :eek:
     
  20. Svatze

    Svatze New Member

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    Sounds like you got a pretty good deal to me.

    Happy riding.
     
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