Aluminum Tri/Multi-Sport for a REALLY long mountain ride?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by shabba, Jun 24, 2006.

  1. shabba

    shabba New Member

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    I currently ride a Specialized Transition Multi-Sport (see link), but have committed to a 455 mile charity ride in August, with the first two days being spent riding through the upper Adirondacks. :eek:

    Here's the Specialized link: http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=13000

    I have a chance to buy a very slightly used Carbon Fiber '06 Trek Madone 5.2 at a good deal, and am thinking about doing so for the ride.

    Here's why I'm considering the change:
    • Weight. The Trek is probably 7 or 8 pounds lighter than my Specialized. I thought about taking off the aero bars on the Specialized, but this wouldn't make a ton of difference.
    • Geometry. The Specialized has more of a tri-geometry, and I'm concerned this could hurt me in over 100 miles of mountains.
    • I don't do as many triathlons as I used to, and might be better off with a good bike just for road riding.
    Here's why I'm thinking I might be better off with the Specialized:
    • Aero bars. Those would be nice for the longer rides, once we clear the mountains.
    • Overall comfort. I know the Madone is more of a racing frame, and I'm a bit concerned that this will translate to decreased comfort levels over the 5 days.
    • Cost. Unless I feel there is a significant advantage of the carbon Trek Madone, I would prefer to save the cash.
    I know there are a lot of other options out there, but I would really like to choose between these two. I'd really appreciate the input, especially from people that have upgraded to a CF bike.

    What do you guys think? I'd really appreciate the input, as I have to make a decision in the next couple days. Thanks!!!
     
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  2. artmichalek

    artmichalek New Member

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    Stick with the Specialized, but ditch the aero bars. If you're riding with a group, you won't be using them anyway. Some of the climbs in the Adirondacks are pretty big, but not big enough for the extra weight to really kill you. What's the longest ride you've taken with your current bike so far?
     
  3. ericm979

    ericm979 Banned

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    The Specialized has a steep seat tube angle to move you forwards so you can get into an aero position. Most people like having the seat farther back for "regular" road riding and especially for climbing.

    You could move your position back with a setback seatpost. The TT is short on that bike, so you may be ok with the resulting longer reach to the bars. Obviously you can change your stem to suit.

    The usual rule of thumb is knee over pedal spindle (do a search for how to measure) but it it only a rule of thumb. Many people like to be a cm or two behind KOPS. Moving farther back uses your glutes more and makes it a bit more difficult to spin high rpms. Forward uses your quads more.

    Whatever you do whether it is a new bike or a position change on the old one, do it far enough in advance so you can get used to the new position and work out the bugs. I like to be done with that a couple months before my goal event, so I can just ride.
     
  4. gclark8

    gclark8 New Member

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    I suggest stay with the bike you know. Make the geometry a little more "comfort" than tri, the rear offset seat post is good, also remove the aero/tri bars. If the stem can be flipped to bring the bars up a little that will help with comfort too. Give some thought to comfort gearing as well, a triple chainring with a 12-25 cassette. After all, its a charity ride, not a race. :cool:
     
  5. shabba

    shabba New Member

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    Thanks for the input so far. I'm not adverse to staying with my current bike, but I wanted to add some responses to your posts, and add a couple things for consideration:
    • I've taken 60 mile training rides on my Specialized, with no major issues. With most of my focus previously on triathlons, I am not a great climber, and this bike certainly isn't the most adept in that area. I'm okay on longer, flat roads.
    • We moved from San Diego to the Carolinas 7 months ago, and until recently I haven't been riding much since the move. I've learned to appreciate a cycling-friendly city once I moved! I'm thinking that the lighter Trek might be a significant advantage on the upcoming long ride. After all, it's probably 6-7 pounds lighter than the Specialized even if I do take off the aero bars. Anybody have any input on this, particularly when a lot of climbing is involved?
    • Since I'm not doing as many triathlons now that I'm landlocked, I might want to make the switch to a more road-specific, higher end frame. If there is a sizeable advantage of the Trek Madone, this might be the time.
    • Finally, anyone have any knowledge/input as to whether the Madone's aggressive, race-designed frame would be less comfortable than the Specialized over a multi-day event like this?
    I really do appreciate everyone's input greatly. As you can see, I'm mostly concerned about the climbing, and maintaining a decent pace in doing so. Even though it's a charity ride, I don't want to get passed by the Sag Wagon halfway through the day!!!

    Thanks very much you all, and I'm hopeful that the decision I make shortly will pay off in a couple months. Thanks, and I need your honest opinions!
     
  6. John M

    John M New Member

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    I agree with the others that the Specialized will get you through the ride just fine, but if your tri days are indeed behind you, a road bike is more versatile and comfortable for general riding. The Madone would be a very nice ride for the type of tour that you are planning (provided that you are not planning on carrying panniers, racks, etc...). It may be more comfortable based on the road geometry (if it fits properly) and the carbon may be more shock absorbing than the Specialized aluminum.
     
  7. ToffoIsMe

    ToffoIsMe New Member

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    6-7 pounds is not going to be very noticable. Also, unless your current bike is in the 22-23 pound range, a madone isn't going to be 7 pounds lighter, stock.
     
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