Bikes w/relaxed geometry; Frame Materials

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by noonievut, Aug 14, 2009.

  1. noonievut

    noonievut New Member

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    I ride a Giant OCR 1. It's my first road bike. I've put close to 15,000km's on it and overall I've been pretty happy with it. I did have some wheels handbuilt recently and I'm happy with them as they seem to be stiffer (better at climbing), I get 'lifetime' service on them, and they should handle anything I'll throw at them.

    I'm in the market for a new bike. I don't race. In the summer I ride twice a week, including a 75km ride on the weekend. I also do a couple of 100km rides a year. I think I would like a bike with a relaxed geometry, though I'm not sure if carbon is worth the extra money (I'm also thinking of a custom-built steel bike).

    Two questions:

    1) I know of the Cervelo RS, Specialized Roubaix, Cannondale Synnapse as bikes having relaxed geometries, and I've read about each of them...are there others I should look into? I do plan to get fit and test ride whatever bikes I'm serious about.

    2) I'm not sure that carbon is worth the money. I also worry about the frame surviving minor incidents such as falling over in the garage, being used on a trainer in the winter, as well as anything more serious. Assuming I found a CF bike and a steel one, and each fit me well, each was sold through a good lbs (etc.), I'm betting the CF one will cost more (though will likely weight less, be stiffer, etc.), I'm just not sure it's worth it. I know if I go steel I can get a custom frame, though after my fitting I may find that I'm 'normal' and a stock frame by cervelo or specialized (etc) would be fine.

    Thanks
     
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  2. rparedes

    rparedes New Member

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    Giant Defy Composite (replaced the OCR composite); Felt Z series are a couple of others I looked at.
    Personally the only difference I have found between a "performance" compact geo and a "performance" type relaxed geo is about 15 to 20 mm headtube length difference. So I would not limit myself just to a "relaxed geo" bike if you can stand 20 mm extra of spacers (assuming the steerer tube allows you to add spacers)
    I bought a generic carbon frameset for about $450 (EBay); there is a couple of threads at bike review forum. (look also at Pedal Force or Motobecane Immortal- about $800) and just cut the steerer tube a little higher.
    I'm very happy with my "budget carbon"; much lighter and smoother than my Alu frame. I've put about 1000 miles on it and rides great.
     
  3. Peter@vecchios

    [email protected] New Member

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    Have a Waterford or Gunnar dealer around? Well made cutom steel.

    Welcome to Waterford Precision Cycles

    Gunnar Cycles USA
     
  4. longfemur

    longfemur New Member

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    If you're not into racing, and you're not into upgrading to a new Madone or whatever whenever a new version number comes out, it's hard to beat a custom-made steel frame. I've been riding mine since 1998, and I'm still thrilled to be on it every time I go for a ride.

    So-called relaxed geometry is more than just handlebar height. The whole bike has to be designed in such a way as to distribute your weight between front and rear properly (and provide room for wider tires, fenders, racks if you need those). Those current relaxed geometry bikes on the market still seem pretty race-like to me, and way over-priced for what you get. A nice steel bike is timeless, but plastic probably isn't. In normal, everyday transportation or recreational/fitness riding, I guarantee you that you won't be missing anything in terms of performance if you choose steel. A quality steel bike isn't exactly one of those heavy 1970's bike boom 10 speeds.

    Good luck with your decision, but my final thought is that those modern bikes are like modern digital cameras... quickly out of date within mere weeks after spending the big bucks. In comparison, a nice steel bike is more like a classic metal-bodied Nikon or Leica.
     
  5. noonievut

    noonievut New Member

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    Thanks for the feedback. All good points.

    Part of my decision also involves either buying just a frame/fork and putting my existing wheels/drivetrain on it, or buying a whole new bike (and selling the wheels...I'll be keeping mine for sure). While I think this is the way I'll go (frame/fork), if a shop can give me a good deal on say an ultegra drivetrain and other parts, I may bite the bullet. But I have come to the realization that for now, my decision is centered on getting the right frame/fork for me, that I plan to ride a long time, and can deal with the rest later. We'll see though...
     
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